Some of you PlayStation 4 players may realize that as I write this, The Last of Us is on sale for $9.99 on the US PlayStation Network. If you’re not a gamer, please keep reading, because this post isn’t about games. But spoilers abound, so you’ve been warned.
Playing through TLOU was an amazing experience. It centered around an older man, Joel, whose daughter was killed at the beginning of a zombie-like invasion, and Ellie, who seems to be about 14-16 years old and is needing Joel to take her across the country to help find a cure. Gameplay wise, I thought there was too much wandering around looking for trash and moving platforms around, and not enough compelling gameplay, however story-wise, the game is top notch, with an ending that seemed more like how a book might end.
I played the game when it came out on PS3, and when it was on sale last year, I snagged it again to play through TLOU: Left Behind, its DLC that came out well after the original game was released, on PS4. Left Behind shows Ellie’s life before she met Joel. She’s friends with this black chick and even though there are zombies she’s and her black chick friend are about as normal as teenage girls can be. Until her black friend kisses her.
When this happened about 70% of the way through Left Behind, I was disgusted. Ellie’s sexuality literally had nothing to do with anything in TLOU, and really nothing to do with anything in Left Behind, yet they had to force her sexuality to be an issue, and when the developers did so, of course they made Ellie gay, because that’s what creative types do nowadays, all the fucking time. And it ruined my memory of TLOU.
If there is a show or story that revolves around a teenage girl, there will always be a lesbian story line as long as the show is around long enough. It happens so much that I consider it to be hack, and it makes me angry because I cannot escape the gay.
I grew up in the 80s and 90s. I remember my parents saying things like, “What two people do in the privacy of their own home is none of my business.” Oh, I long for those days. Now, publicly, we can’t condemn anything anymore, it seems. If a bakery doesn’t want to make dick cakes for gay weddings, it makes national news. So much for the privacy of their own home.
I feel like I cannot escape the gay, and I’m a heterosexual middle-aged man who shuns mainstream entertainment. I watch very little TV, very few movies, and play video games in my very little spare free time, and yet gay is everywhere, and if there’s a teenage girl involved, it’s always there.
Remember NBC’s Heroes? Season 1 was for the most part fantastic, and I foolishly trusted the writers so I endured seasons 2 through 4. Hayden Panetierre played a cheerleader in high school named Claire, and she had a gay friend who was a male (and it’s rumored that the actor who played the gay character was upset because the producers never told him his character was gay beforehand and then the show dropped his character)…by the series end, one of the Claire’s best friends in college was her lesbian dorm mate and they kept hinting that a relationship was in the cards.
Even animated series aimed at kids and teenagers are not immune. Years ago a friend of mine got me into Avatar: The Last Airbender on Nickelodeon, and I felt Seasons 2 and 3 had some very adult themes despite the fact that the show was aimed at kids. When the creators came out with The Legend of Korra, there was no doubt I had to watch.
Apparently, Korra did not meet expectations, so Nickelodeon let the series conclude via their online site only. One of the very last scenes (if not THE last scene) involved Korra starting a lesbian relationship, even though she had been heterosexual for the entire series.
For some reason, I can’t think of a single instance of a gay teenage male character that started out as obviously heterosexual. My guess is that this goes to Heartiste’s maxim that feminism is about promoting female sexuality while demonizing male sexuality.
It may seem like a consume a lot of media from this post, but I don’t, so I can’t imagine how many more examples I’d be able to draw from if I consumed as much TV and movies as the average American.
Final thought about this: I don’t believe video games and movies cause violence, but I also do not believe that media doesn’t influence us at all. If media didn’t influence us, songs wouldn’t get stuck in our heads and advertisers wouldn’t buy commercials. Certainly gay acceptance would not have gotten mainstream in as little as 30 years. And now we have gay marriage. I attribute that to media.
I wonder how many teenage girls see games like TLOU Left Behind, watch shows like Legend of Korra, and then think that it’s completely normal to try muff-diving even though they’ve never thought about it before.