A Station Eight Fan Web Site
Hey! Young Justice is my life. As of the time I'm sending this, Pride Month is almost over. I read over lots of the asks and replies you get on here and a fair amount are about something LGBT related, whether its about something thats akin to Fanfiction or borderline homophobic. I'm sure you might have come to dread those types of questions, but mines is a bit different.
I don't want you to think that I'm requesting this, i guess at the end of the day i am, but i mean so in the most respectful way possible. Please... If there's ever a time when you might include LGBT content or anything like it in YJ, please don't let it be queerbaiting. Its such a horrible thing to do to us. I don't think I'd be able to handle it from my favorite show. I don't think you'd ever let that happen, and i don't even think we'd get LGBT relationships in the show, but i just had to say it. For myself, just in case.
I had to look up queerbaiting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queerbaiting
Some of the examples given on the wikipedia page seem unfair to me. (Though I'm happy to grant that as a straight male, I'm coming at this from a very different point of view.) For example, calling Holmes and Watson queerbaiting actually seems outrageous to me. Creators need to be able to present two male or two female best friends in a close but non-sexual relationship without being accused of trying to "bait" anyone.
I'm not going to address anything related to YJ, since that would involve spoilers, but I will bring up some Gargoyles stuff, as an example.
In our minds, Lexington is gay. But in those mid-nineties days when the series was originally on the air, there was absolutely no way Disney would let us objectively show this. Nevertheless, we strove to write the character to be consistent with his orientation. We thought we were doing the best possible alternative. So were we queerbaiting? And what would the alternative have been? Not depicting any LGBTQ characters at all?
I, personally, don't have the clout to make (successful) ultimatums to my employers. I could, of course, have insisted on being allowed to show Lexington kiss a guy. But if I had insisted that it's the kiss or I walk, Disney would have shrugged and waved goodbye to me. And my replacement would likely - if only to reassure his or her bosses - have made Lex objectively STRAIGHT. Is that better for anyone?
This kind of thing is simply a reality of the industry. It is getting better. There are plenty of series we can point to that demonstrate that. And I like to think I'm trying to help make things better still. But I'm going to - for my own mental health - reject the notion of queerbaiting almost entirely.
Maybe I'm not yet 'woke' enough. That's certainly possible. But I'm going to consistently push to depict what I can, to suggest what I cannot and to not for one second shy away from depicting two same sex characters having a close but platonic relationship, because (for example) one or both might be heterosexual. Because I write characters. I don't write agendas-masquerading-as-characters. I have agendas, but I don't write characters who are nothing but. I try to keep my characters consistent and true to themselves. But I'm not baiting anyone. And I'm certainly not trying to trick anyone with this sort of thing. Quite the reverse. I'm simply trying to do the best I can under occasionally hostile conditions.
Sorry if that's disappointing. But it's the best 2018 Greg Weisman can give you.