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Doctor Who and Sexuality

Guest contributor Lewis Hurst examines how the show represents character’s orientation.

jenny-vastra-s

Doctor Who is undoubtedly one of the biggest television programs in the world, so the show’s representation of gay characters has great significance. Being gay myself, for the show to represent LGBTQ in a positive light is an immensely inspiring thing. Who would have thought ten years ago that a married lesbian couple would be major recurring characters in Doctor Who? Not me, for sure.

It makes me really happy when I sit down to watch Doctor Who that alongside the Doctor whizzing about through time and space there’s a variety of developed and enthralling gay characters within the show. Now some of you may wonder: why is it so important the show has gay characters anyway? My answer: it’s because of the show’s young audience. Let us not forget that Doctor Who is watched by children all around the world. Some of these children may be having feelings they don’t quite understand. A young boy’s school mates may be talking about how ‘hot’ Gwen Stacy is but he may be more focused on how attractive Spider-Man is instead. Or a young girl finds herself more attracted to Katniss while her schoolmates pine over Peeta and Gale. Such children may begin to ask themselves questions. Questions that they are too scared to talk to their parents about. Questions such as “What if I’m gay?,” “What if I like boys instead of girls?” or “Do I like girls and not guys?”. Sure, times have changed, but there is still a social stigma towards ‘coming out’ as gay. The word “gay” is now used as an insult, changing from a word that used to mean “happy” to a word that is now used for sexual preference. There is always the chance that parents won’t understand; even that they will be ‘outcast’ from the family. Let us not forget that discrimination against the LGBT community is still rife and common in the world today. You need look no further than the terrible events happening in Russia.

So for young children to sit down and watch Doctor Who and then see LGBTQ characters saving the universe every other week and being accepted by everyone else can essentially say to them: “What you’re feeling isn’t wrong; let nobody tell you any different.” Most importantly of all, it can be used as a reassurance: a rock – a show that teaches them the right messages, that helps them to discover their identity. It teaches them that no matter who they are, no matter who they love, there will always be someone out there willing to listen to them and love them back. Doctor Who can become the most important entity in that child’s life, helping them to develop and mature. They may keep their sexuality a secret for many years to come. They may not choose to reveal it just yet. They may even have doubts. A large percentage will consider – and even go forward in – perusing an unhappy but accepted life by being straight. But Doctor Who will always be there; always there to comfort and reinforce a strong message of love and hope. It will teach them to look past the insults others may throw at them. It will teach them not to judge by appearances. It will teach them to be the best of humanity. Why do I know this? Well: that’s what it did for me.

day of the moon promo pics (4)I was going through a tough time in 2011. I was struggling with my sexuality and I was uncertain on whether I was gay or not. And then we reached that pivotal moment in Day of the Moon where Canton turned round and said those two words, “He is”. And then it struck me that I can be happy and be who I was. Despite being a simple scene, it had the potential to be life-changing in that it re-affirmed a message that’s beginning to become entrenched within society: that society itself is beginning to change, and that the best and most self-assured people are those who don’t block out their own identity.

I love how Doctor Who handles its LGBTQ characters. Many other shows will introduce an LGBTQ character and then have that be their defining characteristic. Doctor Who however seeks to flesh these characters out, thoughtfully avoiding television stereotypes. Jack Harkness for example. In Series 1, Jack received little development (probably due to him being introduced towards the end of the series) but when he progressed onto Torchwood he rounded into a more developed personality. Of course, it’s hard to apply any limitations onto Jack’s sexual interests; no doubt he’s tried them all, but it doesn’t change that fact that he is, truthfully, one of television’s strongest and most popular LQBTQ characters. Doctor Who has featured others since but I feel the only other noteworthy ones (apart from Canton) are Vastra and Jenny.

The now-iconic duo have yet to receive any significant development but with only four episodes under their belt this is to be expected. From what we’ve learned, Jenny has been disowned from her family due to her sexual preference. Now this represents a very real issue in today’s world, especially for those in more religious families. If we can get an episode where we see how it impacts Jenny as a person, this would be a very bold move for the show.

ianto-deathTorchwood opens up and shows a wider variety of gay characters, but the two most fascinating are Ianto and Angelo. Ianto isn’t exactly a gay character; as he explains, he is only attracted to Jack and could otherwise be considered heterosexual (viewers will recall his relationship with ‘Cyberwoman’ Lisa). Ianto, though initially questioning his instincts, quickly became comfortable in his new lifestyle and despite the problems in his and Jack’s relationship, Ianto never once doubted himself as a person. Ianto was one of Torchwood’s most authentic and complex characters and, as his enormous fanbase will demonstrate, was one of the most beloved characters on the show. So when Ianto was killed off in the third series there was an outrage. Fans petitioned for Ianto to be brought back. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such outrage after the death of a gay character in a television program, rivalled only by the backlash after the death of Tara in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The ‘Save Ianto’ campaign is still going strong even today. It’s amazing how much of an impact he has had not just on the show, but the world outside the show.

Angelo on the other hand was very different. Angelo, being religious, wasn’t as comfortable with his sexuality as Ianto. Angelo feared his orientation and its connotations at every turn and it was only through Jack that Angelo began to accept his true identity. However, after he and Jack parted ways, Angelo perused a straight lifestyle. Angelo loved his wife dearly calling into question whenever he was gay or bisexual (or, like Ianto, ‘Jacksexual’) but either way, Angelo was a scared and sexually confused man in a time when it was not accepted to be so, which makes his story all the more tragic.

Doctor Who hasn’t always featured gay characters. It’s only in recent years that this has become part of the show. But this is just because of changing times. The world as it is in 2014 is no longer the world that was 1963. Homosexuality is open and is becoming commonly accepted in the world today and is no longer hushed up and ignored like it was back then.

In short, Doctor Who owes it to viewers to ‘properly’ portray the LGBTQ community in the show. I’m not saying that the Doctor should suddenly take an interest in men as it would cause an outrage in terms of continuity. Doctor Who is fine depicting the LGBT community through its recurring characters. The show is a big part of popular culture and children around the world sit down and enjoy the adventures of the Doctor, so this is the best way to reach those viewers who may be questioning their sexuality. The show shouldn’t suddenly be populated with gay characters for the sake of gay characters. Goodness knows; way too many American shows do that. But if Doctor Who can do just a handful of LGBTQ characters well like it is doing now, it might just become something more than the adventures of a Time Lord in a blue box. It may become a show that will mean everything to a young (or even old) viewer out there somewhere. And in a world where homophobia is still rampant, we owe an escape from a society that is in places brutal to those views. For what is Doctor Who at its heart? Escapism – but, indeed, something which is just that little bit more useful. Would I be the same person I am now had Canton not been introduced? I doubt it. Doctor Who is constantly moving forward, and it needs to do so at the same rate as society – and, in some cases, it is mature and morally aware enough to race ahead.

Step back in time...

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448 comments
Scootersfood
Scootersfood

Yeah, I love Vastra, Jenny, and Jack! I really look up to the show for having Homosexual characters in it, I agree with all of this article!

crazyartist12
crazyartist12

The writers of  Doctor Whoo would always avoid TV/media stereotypes in the stories for a good reason, stereotypes just creates more perception in the socity.  since the 2005 reboot (I suppose) we've seen LGBT (human rights) and lots of other issues that exists in the modern socity, besides scaring the little ones behind the sofa from the 60's. The show always carries an important message or fact for the viewers, in the 60's it was about the world historical events but nowdays it's historical events and human rights!(good on ya writers!)

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

Moffat should be applauded for bringing Lgbt characters to our screens. Inroducing superb strong and well rounded characters like Vastra, Jenny and Canton will hopefully allow more young people to feel comfortable about their sexuality. Stands and applauds.

RiseOfBread
RiseOfBread

For all homophobes in the name of Christianity:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. - John 3:17


Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? - James 4:11-12


Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; - Luke 6:37


The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these. - Mark 12:31


The Bible never says, "Hate all gays." Please don't use it to justify your hate. And that is my preachy post of the day.

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

Doctor Who Tv should publish more articles about extremely controversial topics more often...it makes for more interesting discussions, dare I admit it :)


Leslaeus
Leslaeus

I think this show promotes the ancient Greek conception of the homosexual. For example, unlike most homosexual characters in media, Jack has not been emasculated. In many ways, his and Ianto's relationship mirrors Achilles and Patroclus' relationship. Similarly, Vastra and Jenny could be compared to the ancient Greek lesbian poet Sappho. And these representations are in contrast to the LGBT hierarchy which, unfortunately, has tied itself to the sexual freedom movement.




gwylock1
gwylock1

The only thing that really bothers me about the current representation is the comedic  angle, and the fact that Asexual representation is currently nil. As someone who is asexual, I really feel that this needs to change in some way. Aside from those two niggles, I agree! Though it's funny you should mention Russia as a bad example... have you seen some of the more recent laws in America? Sexual segregation?! REALLY, KANSAS?! I didn't realize this was the 1950s!

AztecsDaleksAndCavemen
AztecsDaleksAndCavemen

This article was always going to happen. Since the revival, Doctor Who has been representing sexuality on both sides of the scale to keep up with the times. In fairness, it's a strength. For what is after all a sci-fi fantasy, connecting with people in this way is impressive. Can the show survive without sexuality being represented? Of course it can. It spent 26 years barely representing any kind of sexual orientation. However it is nice to have it because it adds a human angle to it.

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

I am a bit surprised that this article didnt' mention the Thin One and the Fat One. I thought that they were a great way to satirize the unnecessary emphasis that people put on labels, and a good example of a couple that rose above that and turned it back around.

Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

And yet a lot of LGBT-people feel that Moffat and other writers are completely missing the point with their portrayal of LGBT-characters. It feels more 'for the lolz' than being true character development. I mean, when someone says "I'm a lizard woman and this is my wife" I think people would be freaked out more over the fact that there's a frigging talking lizard woman in front of them than that she has a wife (how does it even work, lizards with, eh, boobs?). 

I mean, why does it have to be rubbed in people's faces that OMG LOOK THIS CHARACTER IS GAY OR BI OR IT'S A MALE HORSE THAT WANTS TO BE CALLED SUZAN instead of merely implying it and not making such a huge fuss over it? Do straight people go around loudly proclaiming they are straight in every episode? And before people say 'but that's accepted', well, then why not write an episode about humanity in the future where being straight is something that's strange? 


Or throw in an alien race with such a biased outlook and have the Doctor and his friends come in to solve a whole different problem and make subtly comments about how it can be different? In normal life gay people don't go around yelling at random strangers that they're gay, do they? I think most of them just want to live their lives without being afraid of being persecuted or beaten to death or even having to deal with all sorts of small, seemingly insignificant remarks that people think are normal but are really not. 

The only thing we know about Vashtra is that she is gay and she's married and she works as a detective. As if those are the defining characteristic for the character! The only thing we know about Jenny is that she's married to Vashtra, can kick ass and... that's it? Or the nameless gay couple we meet in "A good man goes to war". They are defined by the fact they are a gay couple and we know nothing about them other than that. It's even a joke in that episode! No, no, Doctor Who in its current state is not portraying LGBT-people well at all. The fact that Clara's little adventure with a girl was 'just a phase' and the Doctor has only ever been attracted to women (and that's not just Moffat and the current writers, let's be clear on that) and there's no evidence at all that he's ever been anything but straight, well, I think that about says it all. 

And Canton, well... I don't even know why they threw that in there. For a few jokey one-liners? I would've LOVED to see Canton make a return (companion?), but alas, the moment he became even more interesting was the moment we last saw him. 

But, and maybe that's something that should be taken into account, Doctor Who is a family show (although a lot of people say it's a children's show), so why should be be concerned with how LGBT-people are portrayed at all? Well... perhaps because children can learn things from what they see on the show?




HermionePond
HermionePond

I just love how the Doctor is asexual like I suspected it forEVER but I thank Moffat for confirming it.

Agonslayer
Agonslayer

This is a great article.  The moment with Canton had at the time I first saw it seemed forced to me, but reading this article and how it affected Lewis and very happy those lines were in the script and on the screen. Good for you Lewis and good for Dr. Who!

Doctor Hoosier
Doctor Hoosier

You know, every time this comes up I see people throw Canton into the mix and I'm not entirely sure he should be. He had one line indicating he wanted to marry a man but it is totally within reason this was simply a lie. When the story starts he has left the FBI and is being drug back into it. At the end of the story he is attempting to once again extricate himself from the FBI. Saying he wants to get married and retire isn't enough so the added detail of this person being black is added. When Nixon starts to say he is more liberal than people may think, only then is the man part added. Now, to the viewers this is obviously meant to parallel the civil rights movement of then and the one going on now. And as that relates to this piece it is very relevant, and a nice way to handle the subject, especially in just a few lines. However, I am not entirely sure if Canton himself is a gay character or just saying that, characters are wont to lie to achieve their own ends, and I see nothing wrong with him doing so in this case, as he had no desire to work for Nixon at any point in the story. Now this doesn't mean for sure he isn't gay, but on my first viewing of the episode this is how I interpreted the exchange and nothing really contradicts it. And I suppose whether or not he actually is would be missing the point, Nixon's response is: "I think the Moon is far enough for now, don't you?" Hopefully we've all reached the point that going to the moon seems just a little bit more outrageous.

GregChipman
GregChipman

I see myself as heterosexual, but sometimes I see a guy, Johnny Depp for example, and think, "Yeah, I probably would."

Oliver J. "cool"
Oliver J. "cool"

I'm not against gay people as individuals, just their way of life.

Leslaeus
Leslaeus

@crazyartist12  Human rights? I do not understand. Like most people, homosexuals will get assaulted if they wear conspicuous clothing or have conspicuous behaviour. Of course that is wrong, but it is not because these people are homosexual. Aside from less developed nations like those in Africa, the world is very tolerant of homosexuality.




SteveWillis
SteveWillis

@Leslaeus  my difficulty with Jack is a personal one. I am not fond of people/characters which "dance around" sexually. I found it quite jarring that at the End of Time, Jack meets Alonso and in The Miracle was "free spirited". I felt like it was "too soon" after the death of Ianto. There is an assumptio with some homophobic people that homosexuals are "sexual predators" and will want to have sex with male with a penis, and unfortunately Jack appears to fall into that cliche. It's nice that we have Jenny and Vastra who are a same-sex couple without any reliance on sexual activity to indicate their sexual preferences. That is, if you call an inter-species a homosexual relationship. I think the point of Doctor Who is that love (or lust) doesn't listen to the "quaint little boxes" society creates.







Ava Averson
Ava Averson

@Diana van der Pluijm  If we didn't know that Vastra and Jenny were gay, we would know the same amount of things about them as we do now. I don't think the emphasis has been on their homosexuality, rather that they are a couple. 


Now a Silurian and a human in a relationship, that is an oddity. We know very little about Vastra and Jenny on a whole, which is why depending on your view you could see them as those gay people, or those Victorian people, or the detective people, or just those random women who are friends with the Doctor for some reason.

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

"The only thing we know about Vashtra is that she is gay and she's married and she works as a detective. As if those are the defining characteristic for the character!"

- Then from where did I get the impression that she is wise, level-headed, and has learned to grow out of her stereotypical Silurian hatred and is a better person for it?

"Or the nameless gay couple we meet in "A good man goes to war". They are defined by the fact they are a gay couple and we know nothing about them other than that. It's even a joke in that episode!"

-No, it was satire. People put too much emphasis on labeling others. But instead of being hurt by it or letting it bring them down, the Thin One and the Fat One turned the labels that people ascribed to them back around on them. They are clearly comfortable with themselves and don't care what other people think.

"The fact that Clara's little adventure with a girl was 'just a phase'"

-You are aware that some people do go through experimental phases, yes? It isn't a crime for a character to have done so.

bringmeknitting
bringmeknitting

@HermionePond  So why does Moffat have to imply that pretty much everybody fancies the Doctor these days? He's not James Bond. Also, is the Doctor asexual? I've not got that impression from the revival... ;)



yoshfiction
yoshfiction

@HermionePond  Why should the Doctor use things like asexual, bisexual, straight, etc? He is not from earth, he is from Gallifrey. Completely different planet with a completely different culture. Why should he fit in with our culture?


Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

Um, Moff has sort of done the complete opposite. :P



Personally, I think of it like this: The Doctor isn't asexual, but he isn't very sexual either. His attitude toward it is, as a friend of mine put it, "been there, done that, let's find something more interesting toWOAH, look at that ship!"

mwanderson
mwanderson

@Doctor Hoosier  "[Canton] had one line indicating he wanted to marry a man but it is totally within reason this was simply a lie." - really!? You're honestly going to try and add a level of complexity to a character that was accepted by the Doctor and the President of the United States as being gay... head in the sand much!? 



mwanderson
mwanderson

@GregChipman  And I'm gay, and I look at beautiful women and think, "If I was straight I would..." I don't think sexuality is completely fixed, and I've known a few men and women who have thought themselves 100% gay, only to find themselves attracted to the opposite sex. In the end it doesn't matter who you are attracted to as long as you love and respect them.

JasonSmallwood
JasonSmallwood

@Oliver J. "cool"And what way of life would that be? A normal one? A life of work and paying taxes, of having friends and owning my own home. Of going to the gym going shopping for my weekly food. For feeding the cats and visiting my parents, for paying the loan I have on my car. Some deranged life me and my partner live together. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

sour_rutabaga
sour_rutabaga

@Oliver J. "cool"

Haha, what? It is hard for me to determine if you're being serious here or if this is meant to be a sarcastic, satirical comment of sorts.

If you're genuine, go and get your head screwed on, please.





The Administrator
The Administrator

@Oliver J. "cool" This statement is confusing. You're not against gay people but you're against their way of life? So I can have feelings for another man ut acting on them is wrong? This technically against gay people. 

ThatGuywiththeBowTie
ThatGuywiththeBowTie

They're not saying he's homophobic, they're claiming he's sexist. Which is kind of a different thing.

mwanderson
mwanderson

@Jeremy Kyle  But also, being a gay man myself, I'm always very aware that straight people don't greet others with, "Hi, I'm Peter; I'm straight by the way". In these times - and having lived through the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties - I am amazed by how different takes on sexuality are accepted these days. While those who are young and coming out now think it is hard - it's hard no matter what - I remember trying to find role models in the Seventies and Eighties. It was nigh on impossible, and the only ones who were visible and "accepted" were John "I'm free" Inman of Are You Being Served and Larry "Shut That Door" Grayson! These people set themselves up to be ridiculed which was hardly flattering or accepting. So, to be honest, with role models like Tom Daly, Gareth Thomas and Clare Balding I think the reality that gay people are respected these days - in deed, admired for their achievements regardless of their sexuality - is amazing and should act as a "lighthouse" for those young people (or even those who are in their twenties and thirties who are still frightened) who worry they won't be accepted. Of course, there are always those who won't accept, no matter what but really, would anyone want those people in their life anyway, no matter how closely related?







Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

I think he's the exception to the rule. ;-) 

Fact is, people put up with it when he does it. Also part of his charm. I think that if non-famous gay people do that, they would at best be regarded with confusion. At worst, well... Think Russia.


SteveWillis
SteveWillis

@Amy the Consulting Commentator  I agree with all you said. With regards to Clara: How does anyone know if they like something unless they tried it? Perhaps she was seeing if she was interested in women in general. Besides, as a teenager, hormones do affect you psychologically. There are people who are curious during puberty, but then are dead-set heterosexual afterwards. It's a slight irony that someone thinks that writing a character that went through a "phase" of being curious is homophobic, when thinking it's homophobic is somethingphobic. It discredits people who did go through a "phase".                                                                                                                                                                                                                     What *is* damaging are young attractive people (usually all women) who pretend to be Bicurious for (it seems) money; Katy Perry and Ke$ha. It's also patronising to men as it exploits the stigma that men apparently like seeing two women involved with each other.






Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

I think there were more Silurians than just her that grew out of their 'Silurian hatred'. She's not exactly special in that regard, especially if you see that the Silurians and the humans broker a peace under guidance of the Doctor. 

I didn't see the gay couple as satire. If anything, it was a sad example of the state of affairs of how people view gay people nowadays. As just 'gay people' instead of people. To be okay with being called 'the fat one and 'the thin one' is not rising above it, it's mostly about trying to learn to live with the constant bigotry and hatred in a way that doesn't make you depressed. If people can't even remember your name, that's never, ever okay, not even as a joke or satire. 

Of course people can go through phases, but there are also a lot of young people who are told, every day, that the fact that they love their own gender is 'just a phase' when it's not. To brush it off like that, well, I think that's kind of disrespectful to people who have to deal with that every day.


HermionePond
HermionePond

@bringmeknitting @HermionePond  Um because fancying someone does not equal being sexually attracted to someone. Sexual and romantic attraction can exist separately, and while the Doctor certainly is capable of being romantically attracted to people (and things besides people, I imagine), he is not capable of experiencing sexual attraction towards anyone? And anyways, who wouldn't like someone who looks like Matt Smith! He is asexual, Moffat's confirmed it in at least one interview, though I thinks he's confirmed it twice. Anything having to do with asexuality hardly gets any publicity, so you have to dig and know where to look to find these interviews. (The ones I'm talking about now are actual sound interviews I heard so I know the information is credible.)

HermionePond
HermionePond

@yoshfiction @HermionePond  Okay, I get your point about other sexualities, but asexuality could easily be present in any other species from any other location. Other sexualities (except for pansexuality) might not make sense because other planets would potentially have a different gender setup and assortment. But seeing as asexuality is basically the lack of a sexuality, it still fits and make sense. 

HermionePond
HermionePond

@Amy the Consulting Commentator  No, in a podcast (about Sherlock, I think) he said that the Doctor and Sherlock were the most asexual characters in existence. Also, there was another interview where he confirmed the Doctor as asexual. Also, Matt Smith describes him as such! Face the facts. 

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

Hey, there's a difference between expressing an opinion and bashing. Trashing on the Bible is not only unnecessary to this particular discussion, but it is insensitive and rude as there are many people on this site myself included who consider it to be sacred. Could you be a little more courteous to others please? Thank you.


Calebxy
Calebxy

@GregChipman @Oliver J. "cool"  That is extraordinarily rude and offensive. I'm a Christian. I firmly believe in the Bible completely, but I'm not going to insist that I'm right, and you shouldn't insist that I'm wrong. 

RahneEverson
RahneEverson

@Amy the Consulting Commentator

1.) That wasn't Vastra. That was another Silurian also played by Neve McIntosh, though Vastra is said to be of the same tribe/gene line I think. 

2.) Either way, in regards to Vastra and Jenny, we really don't see their lives together, how they interact without some threat facing them, or whatever. With other couples, say Amy and Rory, we see it tremendously -- in "The Power of Three," that was essentially the main story. The Brilliant Book 2012 did more in fleshing out Vastra and Jenny's backstories than any on-screen episode ever did. Vastra repeats the constant story of "Silurians accepting humans" which was put to rest in New Who already, and we virtually know nothing of Jenny. They also aren't affectionate on-screen with each other outside of random sexual remarks (Vastra has a long tongue, I get it) which isn't any more affection than a cheap joke. Thing is, I'd watch a show with just Amy and Rory, being themselves, sans the Doctor or even aliens every week. I don't see that with Vastra and Jenny, as much as I really like them as concepts, and they're the ones who get discussion of a spinoff. 

3.) As a man someone who once had a boyfriend, only to realize that he's not gay and the difficult breakup afterwards, I found the "just a phase" remark Clara said disheartening. It may be experimenting for you, but not necessarily for the other person. This is a problem with all storytelling, if you've never had a personal experience that affected you, but you should still do research and ask around, and I think it' more important in sci-fi an fantasy because they explore these ideas in fantastic ways, then relate them to our problems now.

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

(Posting in two parts because my computer is dumb)

Fair point about the Silurians, but we know that Jenny was kicked out of her home for being gay. So we do know that she has faced prejudice for it. Jack, on the other hand, grew up in a time period wherein all humans were sexually liberal, so he wouldn't have faced that much adveristy for his sexuality in his own time. As for Rose's line, no, it isn't okay to use it as an insult like she did. But since she is a modern-day young adult, she was exposed to an environment in which it was considered to be acceptable as an insult. She probably grew up with peers who used it as an insult, or saw it on TV, and thought it was normal to use it as an insult. Nevertheless, that says nothing about anyone but Rose, just like how Oswin's phase only affects Oswin herself.

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

We know that she wasn't. She used to be rash and vengful and tried to kill the innocent Underground workers when their construction work killed her sisters, but the Doctor taught her a better way. She showed a flash of her old ways in "A Good Man Goes to War" when she uniformly insulted humans, which offended Jenny, which Vastra apologized for, and now she doesn't do it anymore.

Again, the whole point is to highlight that labeling people like that, be it by sexuality, body weight, religion, or anything else, is shallow and thoughtless. But despite the insensitivity of others, the thin one and the fat one are happy and perfectly comfortable with who they are. It shows that people are people no matter their beliefs or lifestyles, and that reducing them down to labels is pointless, because that only makes the labellers closed-minded and intolerant. It doesn't change who the people being labeled are, and that they shouldn't feel bad about what other people say. They don't let the labels affect them. They laugh at the people who are intolerant by satirically flaunting those labels. Them being gay or over/underweight isn't being played for laughs. They are who they are. The satire in it is that other people are so closed-minded that they actually make a big deal out of them being "the fat, thin, gay, married, Anglican marines" instead of looking at what matters.

Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

I haven't said that Vasthra's growth in this regard means nothing. I merely commented on the fact that she should be singled out as being a 'special Silurian'. By the way, who's to say she hasn't always been level-headed like that? Perhaps she always was one of the Silurians who didn't hate humans? 

I still don't agree with your assessment of 'the thin one and the fat one'. Especially since instead of being called 'gay' they are now being indicated by their body size. This is better how? I fail to see the satire. I merely think it's a shame to have being gay portrayed as a joke. Perhaps that's merely my view of it, but I really didn't (and don't) see it as satire, merely as a poorly executed joke and not a good one at that. 

Ah, but the characters you mention never talk about being told that 'it was just a phase'. Maybe in Silurian society it's normal to be gay? We never hear about that. We never hear about either Jenny or Jack having been told it was just a phase, so we have no idea of knowing what kind of prejudice they faced when they were younger and how they coped with it. I don't know about Rose's remark, I think that slipped by. But is it okay for someone to say 'you're so gay' in modern-day society? It used to be, back when 'gay' meant 'happy' or 'having a good time', but nowadays it can be considered very insensitive or even an insult. 


Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

-So because some other Silurians have learned not to hate humans, Vastra's growth in that regard means nothing? Good to know. Learning to abandon hateful thinking and turning your life around isn't something that affects you as a person, I guess.

-" If anything, it was a sad example of the state of affairs of how people view gay people nowadays." Yes, it is. That's the satire. Going along with the names "thin one" and "fat one" showed that they don't let what people think of them get them down, which was evident from how they acted. It's them saying "People can call us what they like, but we're happy together, and if they can't accept that, they're the ones who are intolerant. They're the ones who have to be shallow and label us."

-If that were the only instance of a gay character, I might agree with you, but it isn't. Vastra isn't just a phase. Jenny isn't. Jack isn't. And so on. Oswin had a phase, and it wasn't for her. End of story. I'm not saying that there isn't a point to what you are trying to say; I just think that Oswin's "phase" was just a fact of a her own individual life and wasn't meant to be any big statement. Like Rose's "you're so gay" line from "Aliens of London". Is it a prickly line? Yes. Was it Russell trying to imply that gay people are all whiny and self-obsessed? No. It was just Rose's modern personality. She grew up in an evironment in which saying something like that was considered acceptable.

HermionePond
HermionePond

@Amy the Consulting Commentator   Holy frick just because someone has had sex does not mean they are not asexual??? Honestly. And after said interview where he called Sherlock abstinent he corrected himself and has since described him as asexual in three interviews. And Benedict Cumberbatch called Sherlock asexual. The truth is right before your eyes...

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

No, Moffat has said that Sherlock is abstinent, not asexual. He ignores sex because he finds it distracting. He has said similar about the Doctor, even citing that when we first saw him, he was traveling with his granddaughter. So he clearly has had sex.

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

I agree. I'm a Christian and I found that completely unacceptable as well, and also entirely irrelevant to the discussion here.