Representation in media thrives high


Mackenzie Zent, Staff writer

Every year, there is progress being made with media becoming more inclusive of LGBTQ characters and storylines. Since the world is a diverse place, it is important to showcase this reality in TV and movies. “Heartstopper” is a series on Netflix that came out in April of this year. It is such a feel-good show and an easy watch as there are only ten episodes in the first season.

Based on a comic book series, the show follows 14-year-old Charlie Spring, who has been bullied for being one of the only openly gay students at his school. Things start to heat up when he becomes friends with Nick Nelson, who he likes as more than a friend. All of Charlie’s friends tell him that Nick is straight, and there is no way he has a chance with him. Without giving too much away, Nick also has a storyline developing showing his growing feelings for Charlie. The show has many scenes that pull on the viewers heartstrings and hit home to those who resonate with Nick and Charlie. Heartstopper accurately depicts the excitement, fear, happiness and heartbreak that come with accepting yourself and falling for someone when you are queer.

Another show that may be popular for fall is “The Haunting of Bly Manor.” The Netflix original came out in 2020, with the intent of the first season being its only season. The story takes place in London in 1987. Dani is an American girl who moved to England to be an au pair for two young kids at their home, Bly Manor. Dani is haunted by the death of her ex-fiancé and sees him in mirrors and in front of her while she is going about her day-to-day life. This is not the only frightening thing happening as Bly Manor holds secrets of its own.

While the show progresses, it becomes very clear that the place is haunted, and not everyone will make it out alive. When Dani moves in, she meets the gardener, Jamie, who she has an immediate attraction to. Running from the ghosts of her past, Dani follows her heart for the first time and falls in love with Jamie. The love story between them is shown in such a beautiful and natural way. Unlike a lot of queer shows, it is not a big deal that Dani and Jamie are together and there is never an official coming out scene. While coming out scenes are important to be shown too, it is nice to see a lesbian relationship as not a huge plot point. Just like any straight couple would not have to state that they are straight, Jamie and Dani never say that they are gay, but their love story is just as real. This is really important for a lot of people because when someone feels different than everyone else, they can find it hard to picture themselves having a “normal” life. Dani and Jamie’s love story is the perfect example of gay relationships being normal and natural.

With the amount of inclusion increasing in media, there is a character or storyline out there for everyone. This representation is so meaningful and shows people that no matter who they are, they are not alone.