The Lesbian-After-the-Fact Phenomena

How many times have you logged onto social media to find a big-shot writer or director talking about how a female character was actually a lesbian four years after the show ended? Or how about waiting 10 seasons for one kiss because the network refused to allow two women to be in a relationship? Or what about the ever popular, dripping with homoeroticism, but pulling a no homo at the last minute? Unfortunately, this is common in lesbian, media isn’t? It’s infuriating. And it just keeps happening.

Jinkies!

Anyone who has ever watched any incarnation of Scooby Doo knows Velma exudes Big Lesbian Energy. The glasses? The big sweater paired with leggings? The fact that she’s the only one in the group with a brain cell? We all knew she was a lesbian. Of course they would never give us en episode where Velma and Daphne go on a date. But when Mystery Incorporated came out, many thought there was a chance. After all, this reiteration was supposed to be different. That didn’t seem to be the case when the show starts out with Velma trying to get Shaggy to be her boyfriend. As the show progressed, she soon gave up on that endeavor while forming deeper relationships with female characters. One developer on the show describes the situation on this Instagram post.

In a reply to the post, Tony Cervone states that Velma is gay. He also states that post the reset, Marcie and Velma are a couple. We were so excited about it, we even wrote about it. And that’s all well and good. We’ve always seen Velma as one of us, but is this good enough? Was it necessary to force her into a relationship with a boy? If it felt wrong, why push it? Then tell us 10 years later. Sure, most viewers might be able to pick up on that subtext. But, why should we have to settle for that?

The Legend of Lesbians

Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of my favorite shows of all time. So when the sequel, The Legend of Korra, arrived of course I was excited. But, that excitement didn’t last long. The first season left me disappointed and borderline insulted. I couldn’t be bothered to finish it even when there were rumors that Avatar Korra and Asami Sato would end up together in the end. But, since its recent release on Netflix, I decided to give it another go. After all, don’t we all deserve a second chance? Maybe I was being too harsh and my bar was too high? But I played myself. Never mind the forced heterosexual love triangle and the fact that the boy these two amazing young women were fawning over has about as much personality as the stale end-piece of cheap white bread. There was virtually no build up to their relationship in the last two seasons. Allegedly, the writers and creators tried to make “Korrasami” happen much earlier in the series. But the network would not allow it. And what we got was a compromise. What exactly was that compromise? Ten seconds of hand holding. But, the avatar’s journey didn’t end just because the show ended.

We were lucky enough to have two comics where the pair could openly be a couple. At times the comic did read like something your school counselor would give you when you mentioned you might be gay. But overall, it was enough to calm the raging storm in my heart. That’s wonderful, right?! It is! But I shouldn’t have had to wait for a comic book series to see myself represented in a show that was supposed to have lesbians!

Lesbian Croft: Tomb Raider

Anyone who played 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot knows exactly why it’s included. Had Lara Craft been male, there were would be no doubt that she and Sam were a couple. It’s the classic hero rescues the love interest and they ride away into the sunset. Because that’s literally how the game ends, Lara carries Sam, bridal style, down a mountain, and they sail into the horizon. But they’ve been given the, “haha they’re such good friends” treatment. And just like The Legend of Korra, Tomb Raider had a comic book series. But it wasn’t so lucky.

https://twitter.com/JacksonLanzing/status/1284606418104881152?s=20

It seems like there was every intention to make this romance a reality. Lara Croft was going to be an out lesbian. I mean she already dresses like one! Tank top, cargo pants tucked into combat boots, a knife somewhere on her person? Classic Lesbian Look. But the writers and creators were barred from making our dreams come true. So much so that Sam completely disappeared in the next two installments of the game. And while Lara did become friendly with other female characters, it was her male best friend who got a girlfriend in the end. Lara went home alone.

Disney’s No Homo Problem

It’s no secret Disney has a huge problem with allowing same-sex relationships take center stage. The company’s most egregious offense was perhaps the biggest no homo of all time. Anyone who follows the Marvel Cinematic Universe knows exactly what I’m talking about. They would rather send Steve Rogers back to 1945 than have him live out his life with the man he’s spent three movies trying to save. It would’ve been a different story if Bucky Barnes had been Rebecca Barnes. You might be thinking, “this is a lesbian site, why are we talking about men?” Can’t we support our gay brothers? But you’re right, you’re here for lesbians. So let’s talk about Carol Danvers and Maria Rambeau. The movie made it very clear they raised a daughter together, that Carol was ostracized by her father and Maria and Monica became her new family. But of course Carol disappears for 30 years. How could this possibly work out? I haven’t even mentioned all the lesbian fan art Brie Larson herself retweeted in support of Carol and Maria as a couple.

Maria isn’t the only character Brie ships with her character. She even mentioned that Captain Marvel and Valkyrie look cute together.

But wait! There’s more! On the television front, there’s the matter of Raven’s Home, the spin-off of That’s So Raven. We all know Raven-Symoné is a lesbian. But Raven the character… Well… Who can say? The premise of Raven’s Home is that Raven and Chelsea move in together and raise their kids together. One big happy family. There were stretches of episodes where Raven and Chelsea looked and acted like a married couple. But every now and then Disney would remind us that wasn’t the case by shoehorning in their ex-husbands. Damnit, Disney.

Lesbians After the Fact

The aforementioned instances are only a few examples. Never mind the fact that when we do get lesbians, we have to wait until the very last season for the reveal. But why does this keep happening? Most times, the network or studio simply doesn’t allow the creators to have a lesbian couple in the show, as was allegedly the case with The Legend of Korra, Adventure Time, and even the Tomb Raider comic book. It was definitely the case for Disney. Relying on subtext, waiting until the last episode, or running to the safety of comic books are their only options. Some might argue, “but most of the examples you mentioned are aimed at kids.” You’re right. And that makes it safe for those who don’t want to be surprised by sudden graphic violence against women. Plus, it’s not like lesbians just pop out of the ground fully grown. Imagine seeing lesbians like Velma, Korra, or even Captain Marvel herself as a child. You can be smart, strong, determined, and a lesbian. You can be the hero and get the girl. It would have saved us a lot of heartache. And I dont know about you, but Im tired of people who aren’t lesbians deciding that our stories shouldn’t be shown. How dare they think they have any authority to decide lesbian stories aren’t “allowed.”