While I find much of what they speak of enlightening and on point, I would be remise if I did not cite the part of the interview that makes me cringe: The section about Fem Boys (about the 41 minute mark). They claim that most depictions of black gay male characters are of fem black gay males and this is laughably untrue, particularly within the last decade or so. The interviewer actually suggests 90-95% of gay characters are effeminante and flamboyant, and the creators say the reason for this is that the effeminante character is familiar. Now, the reality is, no, people are not comfortable with effeminante gay men. Effeminante gay men are rarely, if ever, really allowed to be multidimensional and sexual and shown to be desirable. And, if we look historically, no, effeminate gay men originally existed to illicit horror and disgust and the failed male person. Now if we look at the vast majority of black gay stories, these stories tend to be geographically are located in urban environments (Seriously when was the last time you saw a black gay story set in the suburbs or the country but not the South?) and the characters are either relatively affluent or rather poor, the middle does not really seem to exist, and the vast majority of the male characters are decidedly masculine. There exists some need, an odd need, to disavow the existence of the fem gay boi and uphold the masculine gay guy who is able to be “just like others except for this one aspect.” Now admittedly this is a rather simplistic casting of the issue but at times getting to the bare facts of the matter is important. Even in the DL Chronicles, there is not a single episode dedicated to a feminine gay male, and this is a decision right? When the interviewer says using feminine gay characters is creatively lazy, I agree if all you do is have the effeminante person just be flamboyant, but it is also creatively lazy if all you do is write masculine characters and act as if they have no femininity to them. Many of us have experiences with and know those men who are so masculine in the streets and feminine at home, and the drag queen who is one of the butchest mother fuckers around. If you really want to be creatively daring and challenging, show us a couple that is both masculine and feminine, or better yet, don’t waste your time falsely claiming that you “are not pushing a masculine versus feminine point of view” (you actually are; just because you tell me that you are not trying to hit my face, that does not mean my cheek is not stinging from the slap) instead give us a black gay effeminante man and make him complex and compelling and dare to show him and present him as desirable. A fem desirable black boi, now that is real danger.
But until then I guess I will just have to ignore this part of the interview and just wait eagerly for season 2.