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As I have noted beforethere is a danger in dissecting a television narrative that is still in the process of unfurling. However, on Monday night March 21, an exchange occurred on Twitter that made me think this is a more pressing conversation. But the suggestion that the way the show handles its queer relationships is on par with how it handles its interracial ones is, unfortunately, a tone-deaf sentiment.
Yes, the Bury Your Gays trope is antiquated and worthy of analysis for both its prevalence and its implications. Note: While Jesus identifies as gay in the comics, no mention of his sexuality has been made thus far on the series.
Easily the most developed of all the LGBT characters, Tara still functions as very much a background player. Her relationship with Alisha is verbally confirmed by other characters but visually the relationship is only implied via the two holding hands and sharing a bedroll.
The audience understands that she has regrets but is only given to forgive her when Glenn does.
Similarly, it is her relationship with Eugene that showcases just how far Tara has come in understanding how to survive this new world. She continually challenges him and, in doing so, displays a ly unseen fighting acumen. The two forge a bond until Tara is hurt, thus propelling Eugene from ineffectual burden to hero. Certainly, her character-defining relationships with both Glenn and Eugene could point more to a problem of paternalism than to latent homophobia, but only if you ignore the impact of her relationship with Denise.
Seemingly coming out of nowhere, the relationship was described Denise telling Daryl that Tara was home in bed far more than it was shown the kiss on the porch. The only thing we truly uncover about Tara as a result of her relationship with Denise is that Tara has a penchant for soda pop.
Unfortunately, that fanfare quickly fizzled out. When we are first introduced to Aaron, he is an affable presence whose concern for his injured boyfriend is explicit and heartfelt. While the kiss suggested that the show might be ready to explore a homosexual relationship in some depth, it was not Walking dead lesbian kiss be the case. The things we Walking dead lesbian kiss about Aaron-his guilt over leading the Wolves to Alexandria, his love of spaghetti-come about as a direct result of his involvement with Daryl.
This is made abundantly clear in our last view of Aaron this season as he sits alone in a pew with no mention made of his boyfriend. It is interesting that the gay character we know the least about may also be the one whose identity is most fully formed independent of interactions with heterosexual characters. Appearing in less than ten episodes, the audience has yet to really learn anything about Eric other than that he shares a gentle and loving relationship with Aaron.
Again though, much of what we learn about the Aaron and Eric dynamic comes courtesy of things Aaron shares with Daryl. Did Eric die after the epic battle in Alexandria-a battle he was shown to have survived-or did the show just forget about him? Or perhaps he just discovered the same cloak of invisibility as Tara. When we first meet the character, she is panic prone and not at all comfortable with the doctoring role in which she has been thrust.
Her growth throughout the season is marked and the character herself notes that she is just starting to come into her own when tragedy strikes. While Denise does strike up a friendship with Tara that ultimately turns romantic, far more screen time was spent establishing her relationship with Daryl. The unlikely friendship seemingly came out of nowhere and appears to be deed to highlight the guilt he feels in the wake of her death.
It is her conversations with Daryl in which we really start to find out about the character and what makes her tick. Too often, queer characters develop only in relation to straight characters and only to serve those straight characters.
And sometimes, like Denise, they die to serve the development of those straight characters. That the arrow that killed Denise was in the comics meant for Abraham and in the show meant for Daryl — that they both live and she dies — seems unavoidably symbolic. No Comments.
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