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    We Need To Talk About One Of The Most Problematic "Degrassi" Couples

    Sorry, but Triles was not the ship they thought it was.

    If you know me, you know that my favorite teen drama show of all time is Degrassi. It's such an iconic show that tackles so many important topics.

    Season 14 "Degrassi: The Next Generation" cast
    Nickelodeon Network / Courtesy Everett Collection

    One thing I think the show majorly missed the mark on, though? Miles and Tristan's relationship. They're one of my least favorite TV couples of all time, and here's why:

    Netflix

    SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

    So, when these two first got together, I was actually on board with the ship. Even though I've never really been a fan of Tristan as a character, I was excited that the show was exploring Miles's sexuality and giving us more LGBTQ representation.

    Tristan: "Come any closer and I'll kiss you!" Miles: "Go ahead."
    TeenNick

    Unfortunately though, their first relationship was...not great. Miles was dealing with abuse from his father and still had lingering feelings for Maya, and he wasn't very nice a lot of the time.

    Miles and Tristan secretly meeting up in the greenhouse
    TeenNick

    Miles is one of my favorite Degrassi characters ever, but I gotta acknowledge when my boy is in the wrong. He DID own up to all of this and apologize, though.

    However, my biggest issue with Miles and Tristan as a couple starts in the first episode of Next Class. They've broken up at this point but recently kissed. And then at the school presidential debate (because of course they're both running for class president), Tristan sees Miles flirting with some girl.

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    Now, I can totally sympathize with Tristan feeling hurt by this. But what he says during the school debate is seriously not cool πŸ˜•.

    Tristan: "Decisive my ass β€” you can't even decide if you like boys or girls"
    Netflix

    Tristan continues to repeatedly invalidate Miles's sexuality even after they get back together and the writers never make any point to frame this as wrong.

    Tristan: "Miles is firmly on boys now"
    Netflix

    The worst example of this is in the episode "#RiseAndGrind" when Tristan finds out that Miles slept with a total of five girls before they were together and gets super upset about it.

    Miles: "[Sex] is no big deal." Tristan: "Maybe for a man whore."
    Netflix

    Miles definitely should have been way more tactful and actually talked to Tristan instead of making assumptions. However, shaming your partner for the amount of people they've been with like this is never cool. It's especially problematic here because bisexual people are often stereotyped as promiscuous and shamed for having partners of multiple genders.

    Tristan continues to be the WORST.

    Miles brings up how Tristan called him a man whore. Tristan responds, "Yeah is there another name for someone who humps anything that moves?"
    Netflix

    Then the episode ends with them having sex together for the first time, apparently stronger than ever as a couple. Huh?

    Now, Miles definitely makes his fair share of mistakes throughout their relationship; but for some reason, he's the only one who's ever held accountable and has to apologize. That doesn't feel right to me, especially since bisexual characters are so often portrayed as villains in media.

    Tristan slams Miles into a wall and says he wants an explanation for what he did to him
    Netflix

    Tristan gets injured in a bus crash at the end of Season 2, putting him in a coma while Miles is left to pine for him, and it kind of weirdly rewrites Miles and Tristan's relationship as some amazing, perfect romance.

    Miles says he loves Tristan so much he wishes he could take all his pain and give it to himself
    Netflix

    In reality, we never even saw them like, going on a date or having a real conversation to show why they even liked each other.

    After three months of Tristan being in a coma, Miles ends up having an affair with Lola (aka his actual soulmate). I feel like I should be upset they pulled the "bisexual cheats on their partner" trope but TBH, I was mostly just happy to see Miles with someone who actually accepted his identity.

    Netflix

    Also, like...is it really considered cheating if your significant other has been in a coma for months and might not ever wake up? God, some of these Degrassi plots got HEAVY.

    I will give Tristan some credit for how he handled the whole affair revelation after he woke up but I still don't think it undid the damage the writers did in earlier seasons. If anything, it just made me kind of sad for both of them and frustrated that they were still together.

    Miles admits he fell in love with Lola. Tristan responds, "Okay"
    Netflix

    They do finally break up at the end of the series though, thank GOD.

    So yeah, as you can see, this relationship was messy as hell and not exactly my OTP.

    Miles and Tristan argue
    Netflix

    And to be clear: Miles and Tristan having issues isn't a problem by itself. Queer couples should be allowed to have ups and downs and angst just like any other TV relationship. But shows should also be conscious of how they write these ships and be able to recognize when something is just harmful.

    If Degrassi actually addressed these issues and made a point of having Tristan learn, I would have a totally different view on all of this. But alas, that never happens πŸ˜•.

    Miles: "I've got this really amazing person in my life who supports me even though I've done a bunch of really dumb stuff"
    Netflix

    In conclusion, Miles's character arc is really important to me but I just can't bring myself to ship the only canonically confirmed bisexual character on the show with someone who repeatedly didn't respect his identity. If Degrassi ever returns, I hope they write bisexual characters who get to date people who love them exactly for who they are.

    Miles and Tristan dancing at prom
    Netflix

    In the meantime, I will not be getting on board with #Triles. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

    Nickelodeon

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