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    Updated on Jul 26, 2020. Posted on Jul 26, 2020

    23 Anti-LGBTQ Moments From TV Shows That I Genuinely Can't Believe Got Aired

    Bisexuality = exists. A one-bedroom Manhattan apartment on a writer's salary = doesn't exist.

    by ,

    Shows like Sex Education and Pose prove that nowadays LGBTQ+ representation on television is THRIVING, but it hasn't always been this way. Here are some examples of times our favourite TV shows failed to accurately represent queer people, and/or chose to belittle the community in the name of "comedy".

    FX / Via giphy.com

    1. That time Kurt politely informed his boyfriend Blaine that *apparently* bisexuality isn't a valid identity in Glee.

    Kurt sits in cafe with Blaine in an episode of Glee and tells him bisexual is a term used for gay guys who want to appears normal in high school
    Fox / Via Buzzfeed

    Glee was a revolutionary show for LGBTQ+ representation, but it still had some pretty biphobic moments that were never properly addressed. However, the show did end up earning some bi-points with its characterisation of Brittany S. Pierce, an openly bisexual cheerleader who has relationships with men and women throughout the show.

    2. And that moment when the supposedly sex-positive protagonist of Sex and the City, Carrie, unfortunately seemed to hold the same view on bisexuals.

    Carrie and Miranda from Sex and the City sit in a cafe and Carrie says I don't think bisexuality exists, it's just a layover on the way to gaytown
    HBO / Via Buzzfeed

    While some people do temporarily identify as bisexual before identifying as gay, that doesn't mean bisexuality doesn't exist. Do you know what actually doesn't exist? A one-bedroom Manhattan apartment that Carrie could afford on a writer's salary. Here's the clip in full.

    3. When Max begins transitioning on The L Word, and his hormone therapy turns him into a hyperaggressive, possessive jerk.

    A trans man grabs a woman's arm at a party and says you're my girlfriend and this is my party, you shouldn't be dancing with some other dude
    Showtime / Via Buzzfeed

    Max was a pioneering character for trans-masculine representation on screen, yet many transgender people believed the character failed to realistically portray the FTM experience, particularly during transitioning.

    4. And when Max's lesbian friends – who should've been supporting him – treated his choice to transition as a threat to the butch lesbian identity.

    A close up of a woman saying to a trans man it saddens me to see our butch girls giving up their womanhood. Why not be the butchest butch in the world and keep your body
    Showtime / Via Buzzfeed

    I don't know who needs to hear this, but trans men are not butch lesbians who have lost their way! It's sad that a groundbreaking show like The L-Word didn't understand that, and instead chose to pit lesbians and trans people against each other. Luckily, The L-Word: Generation Q does a much better job with trans representation!

    5. In Friends, when Ross assumed a male nanny had to be gay, simply because he was openly emotional and had a job in a female-dominated industry.

    Ross and Rachel from Friends sit on a couch and Ross says are you gay to an unseen figure
    NBC / Via Buzzfeed

    Let's just say this episode did not age well. Ross becomes so uncomfortable with Sandy, the male nanny, for no other reason than his own anti-effeminate prejudice. It's such a disappointing storyline as Sandy, who is perfectly lovely and super qualified, ends up being fired because of Ross's feelings. It's a real low point for Ross – and let's face it, there are many!

    6. Also in Friends, when Ross and Will admit to spreading a rumour in high school that Rachel was intersex in an attempt to humiliate her.

    Ross and Will from Friends, played by Brad Pitt, stand in the middle of Monica's apartment and say the rumour was that you had both male and female reproductive parts
    NBC / Via Buzzfeed

    Friends portrayed intersex people as freaky and even repulsive, which is harmful and just not true. Being intersex is completely natural and actually pretty common – about one in a hundred people are intersex!

    7. When Chandler's dad is constantly mocked for her gender identity.

    Chandler from Friends's dad, who presents as female, sees Chandler's mum and says aren't you a little old to be wearing a dress like that? She replies don't you have a little too much penis to be wearing a dress like that
    NBC / Via Buzzfeed

    The show initially presents Chandler's father as a man who does drag, but in reality she appears to be a trans woman who also does drag. Honestly, the only silver lining about the whole Chandler's father debacle was learning about her undeniably brilliant drag name – Helena Handbasket.

    8. When How I Met Your Mother fetishized lesbianism to the point that Robin and Lily making out was the ONLY thing that could wake up Barney from a drunken stupor.

    Robin and Lily from How I Met Your Mother kiss in front of a bed and then Barney sits up and says more, more, more, more, more
    CBS / Via Buzzfeed

    How I Met Your Mother frequently frames lesbianism as entertainment for straight men. It's a lazy, homophobic trope that should've never gotten any air time!

    9. And when Ted invites Barney to play a gross game where they attempt to depicher cis female models from trans female models.

    Ted from How I Met Your Mother enters Barney's office and says there's a bunch of models in the lobby, the gossip is one of them is really a dude. Want to play who's hot and who's Scott
    CBS / Via Buzzfeed

    Not only does Ted claim that trans women are just "dudes," but his idea of fun is trying clock trans people? No wonder it took nine seasons for Ted to find a girlfriend who could put up with him – he's the worst.

    10. That early episode of Bob's Burgers, which features a group of trans sex workers who are referred to as transvestites and are all voiced by male comedians.

    Bob and Linda from Bob's Burgers stand together and one says to the other you invited transvestite prostitutes to our daughter's birthday party
    Fox / Via Buzzfeed

    At first, it appears that the characters are cross-dressers, and one of the characters even identifies as a man. However, as the episode continues, the characters make references to transitioning, implying that they're actually trans women. The writers clearly didn't do any research on either community.

    11. When Zach thought it was somehow gay to express his emotions and his friendship with other men in Gilmore Girls.

    Zach from Gilmore Girls stands in the middle of a dinner function and addresses an unseen figure saying I don't mean to get all Brokeback Mountain on you but we're buds, you know, and I miss you
    The WB / Via Buzzfeed

    Gilmore Girls features a zillion of these kinda gags, and let me tell you – they get old real fast! Like, really... Brokeback Mountain?!

    12. And equally, when Luke thought it was awfully gay for Kirk to be carrying his girlfriend's bag around Stars Hollow.

    Luke and Kirk from Gilmore Girls stand in a diner. Kirk carries a pink bag and Luke asks him what's with the gay bag?
    The WB / Via Buzzfeed

    I know the hip thing in 2003 was to call things you disliked gay – thanks again to Hilary Duff for sorting that out – but as a stan of the show, I do still wonder whether the Gilmore Girls team lowkey kinda hated gays?

    13. When Douglas allowed a relationship with a trans woman called April to develop in The IT Crowd because he didn't know she was trans, and then promptly broke it off after realising.

    Douglas from The IT Crowd lies in bed with a woman named April and hugs her. He says to think you worried when we met you were from Iran. She says no, I said I used to be a man and he replies oh God
    Channel 4 / Via Buzzfeed

    The irony is that they were perfect together, and shared a lot of the same hobbies! That characterisation in itself is HELLA problematic, since it seems to suggest that trans woman are still men somehow, but let's say that April does enjoy darts and drinking beer – Douglas letting her go because of a bigoted world-view was just stupid.

    14. In Will and Grace, when Jack must work with a lesbian couple on a dramatisation for Will's gay sensivity seminar, and he can't help but mock them at every opportunity.

    Jack from Will and Grace gestures to a script and says to an unseen figure there are lesbians in this, let them be played by men, no one will know. Then in another image, Jack addresses a classroom and says don't take photos the lesbians may attack you
    NBC / Via Buzzfeed

    There are some funny moments, and the jokes feel mostly light-hearted, but Jack's constant belittling of Terry and Annie underscores a very real sense of misogyny and anti-lesbian sentiment that often pervades the gay community.

    15. When Brian sleeps with Ida Quagmire in Family Guy without realising she is trans, and then pukes and takes a "recovery shower" when he finds out who she is.

    Brian from Family Guy sits with Stewie in his bedroom as Stewie tells him Quagmire's father is now a woman, his name is Ida. Brian then realises with horror that he has had sex with her and then is sick. In the final photo takes a shower in disgust
    Fox / Via Buzzfeed

    I mean... really!?

    No but for real, the whole transgender-character-is-revealed-to-be-trans-and-then-the-small-minded-straight-cis-guy-pukes-his-guts-up trope has been played SO many times – looking at you Ace Ventura, The Crying Game, The Hangover etc. It's a disgusting gag that needs to go.

    16. Scrubs wasn't exactly at its best when Carla wanted to spread a rumour that a young, attractive nurse was trans.

    Close up of Carla from Scrubs as she says come on Carla, just do what you always do, turn the other cheek and spread a rumour that she's a guy
    NBC / Via Buzzfeed

    Being trans does not make you less hot! Also, people, we have another case of a character believing that trans women are just men.

    17. Raj and Howard's friendship on The Big Bang Theory is frequently mocked for being "gay".

    Sheldon's mum from The Big Bang Theory played by Christine Baranski sits on a couch and asks Howard and Rajesh if they have summoned the courage to express their latent gay feelings for each other, to which they both reply what, no
    CBS / Via Buzzfeed

    First off, having a close friend of the same gender doesn't make you gay for each other. Secondly, when other characters mock Howard and Raj for acting "gay", they're actually saying that being gay is a bad thing. Someone call Hilary Duff!

    18. Remember that asexual patient on House who turned out to only be asexual because of a brain tumour?

    A close-up female character in TV show House tells Dr House that he's going to have to  accept that an unseen patient doesn't want to have sex. He replies lot's of people don't have sex, but you'd have to be sick, dead, or lying not to want sex
    Fox / Via Buzzfeed

    Asexuality, meaning one doesn’t experience sexual attraction, isn't a medical condition that needs to be fixed. It's a valid identity, and deserves to be treated as such. Luckily, shows like Sex Education are doing a much better job of representing the asexual community.

    19. In The West Wing, Abigail Bartlet was *totally fine* with gay people, but was relieved when her daughter turned out to be straight.

    Abby and her husband in The West Wing wait outside of a function dressed in formal attire and Abby says there's nothing wrong with that inclination, but it can't be denied that I'm unhappy my daughter is straight after all
    NBC / Via Buzzfeed

    Spoiler alert – if you're not welcoming of LGBTQ people within your own family, then you're not supporting the LGBTQ community overall, ma'am!

    20. Did you know that Jughead's character in the Archie comics, the inspiration for Riverdale, is canonically asexual? And yet in the show, he's very... not.

    a dual image shows an illustration of the character Jughead in the new Riverdale comics and a photo of Cole Sprouse as Jughead in Riverdale
    Archie Comics, The CW / Via Buzzfeed

    In recent editions of the comic, the character of Jughead is an "aroace" – someone who is both aromantic and asexual. Yet, showrunners for Riverdale decided not to represent him as such. Even Jughead actor Cole Sprouse has spoken out about this being a missed opportunity for asexual representation!

    21. Speaking of straight-washing, Dan Humphrey and Chuck Bass were supposed to be bi in Gossip Girl. However, in the show, neither get queer at all, really.

    Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl kisses a guy and in the second image says to Blaire I'm upset because I kissed somebody who wasn't you. Do you really think I've never kissed a guy before
    The CW / Via Buzzfeed

    In Cecily von Ziegesar’s book series, both Chuck and Dan date a guy named Greg who is not featured in the TV show. Their fluid sexuality is an enjoyable aspect of the books but series creators chose not to show it on screen. The closest we get is when Chuck kisses a guy as a set-up for his girlfriend Blair, and then vaguely admits it's not his first gay kiss.

    22. The way Mitch and Cam have zero intimate scenes in Modern Family and don't even really seem to like each other.

    A dual image shows Mitch and Cam, a gay couple from Modern Family, kissing in the background of a shot and the other image shows a straight couple kissing in the foreground. Handwritten text on top points this out
    ABC / Via Buzzfeed

    Many argue that while it was a positive move for Modern Family to include a gay couple and show them as capable parents, Mitch and Cam just don't get a fair crack as a couple. They’re constantly trying to one-up each other and they lack any intimacy; any kissing they do is relegated to the back of shots. It just feels as if the writers don't view their relationship in the same way as the het ones.

    23. And lastly, when Kenny hoped his boyfriend wasn't bisexual in The Real O'Neals.

    Kenny from The Real O Neals, who is played by Noah Galvin, sits with his boyfriend in a cafe as his boyfriend I didn't know how to tell you this. In another image, Kenny thinks to himself here we go, money problems, webbed toes, or worse bisexual
    ABC / Via Buzzfeed

    You would hope that television made by and starring queer people would do a better job of representing the LGBTQ community, but alas, that's not always the case. This joke from a 2017 episode of The Real O'Neals proves that in the minds of many, the perception of bisexuality hasn't come that far since Carrie's clueless comments.

    Are there any other frustratingly anti-LGBTQ moments from TV shows that we missed out? Share them in the comments below.

    FX / Via giphy.com

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