Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gay guy and straight girl

Helen Shugart discusses the gay man/straight woman relationship in different layers, but essentially that gay men play roles that would still be fitting for a straight character except there is the necessary conflict where she and he could never be together because their sexual orientations don't attract; that is, the genre is of "wannabe partners whose sexual orientations are at odds" (73). Other points she brings up are the paternal characteristics and the unilateral sexual access gay men have to their heterosexual female friend (80). Her examples were spot on to demonstrate these tropes, and I only thought of the relationships between the TV characters of Marc and Amanda from Ugly Betty or Eric and Jenny from Gossip Girl (plus they're step-siblings).

Obvious but I'll state it: Amanda is the straight girl and Marc is the gay friend. They're a great duo and team up to insult Betty and plot together for anything. When Amanda was upset over finding her real father or was conflicted with boy problems, she would always talk to Marc and he'd be reasonable with his paternalism (85). Otherwise, they're just silly together.

In this clip, Amanda and Marc kiss in order to reenact a scene Betty describes that happened to her and a guy, but they really get into it. In the end, a few seconds later, they don't address or think anything of it because he's gay and she's into guys.

It's not actually a big deal, but to audiences it might be slightly confusing. Ultimately, I believe their relationship doesn't have the potential to reverse his homosexuality, like Shugart's article examples suggest: to be in love with someone "like you, only straight" (74). After last week's reading on Queer Theory, however, I'm starting to understand that gay and lesbian characters are not as simple to define.

1 comment:

  1. the relationship between the gay guy and the straight woman is most definitely see in Will and Grace. And oftentimes, the two are almost like a couple, in a way.