Captain Jack Harkness and Representation in Media

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Oh gosh I feel like it’s so much more than lols and shipping.

For one, it’s a HUGE win for LGBTQ representation in media. Jack is such a subversive character. In many ways he’s the traditional hypermasculine action hero—but by the way he’ll do any being in the universe as long as he can figure out where to put everything. And the other characters accept it almost instantly. It’s fine. It’s even kind of awesome. This is IMPORTANT, because viewers take their cues (consciously or subconsciously) from other characters in the show.

And not only that, Jack gets to be the protagonist in his own show, and for a significant portion of it he’s in a happy, loving, complex relationship with a dude. I can probably count the shows I know of with an openly non-heterosexual protagonist on one hand. And not just any show, a gritty sci-fi action show, the dominion of the Heterosexual Male Action Hero. And people LOVED it. Jack can swoop in and save the hot girl, but he can also play naked hide-and-seek with his cute coffee boy and no one thinks any less of him.

Most importantly, Jack is given more of a personality than just his sexuality. I feel like Tumblr does Jack a disservice. We only see his zippy one liners and flamboyant sexuality. But Jack is a seriously nuanced and tortured character. He’s forced to make impossible decisions, and he often chooses paths that are agonizing to watch. And sometimes he makes impulsive decisions based on love and desperation that have horrible consequences. And he knows it. Because he’ll have to live with his mistakes and their fallout LITERALLY FOREVER.

Jack is SO MUCH more than his sexuality, and this is important because often TV writers will make the horrible mistake of thinking that just making a character gay counts as characterization. It’s an important facet, but people are much more complicated than their sexual preferences.

Plus the fact that Jack is omnisexual and from the future has the nice implication that in the future, maybe we won’t even have to talk about LGBTQ representation in media because we’ve learned to just let people love who they love without judgement.

And as for shipping, I think it’s also important that Jack’s relationship with the Doctor wasn’t as simple as “he’s in love with him.” He LOVED the Doctor, but he never made a move to turn it into something. He was just so happy being WITH him. Otherwise there would have been WAY more tension between Jack and Rose. But he loved being with Rose too.

That might have been a longer and more dramatic answer than you were looking for, but I feel very strongly about this, especially since books and television had a massive influence on my attitude toward LGBTQ people and issues. 

Made rebloggable by request.

Watch on f1xdd.tumblr.com

Fijate 2014 / Criterium

Watch on solikatorr.tumblr.com

Fijate 2014 / Criterium

fitzsimmonsofshield said:

Why would the writers want to make Jack omnisexual? Besides the lols and the shipping?

Oh gosh I feel like it’s so much more than lols and shipping.

For one, it’s a HUGE win for LGBTQ representation in media. Jack is such a subversive character. In many ways he’s the traditional hypermasculine action hero—but by the way he’ll do any being in the universe as long as he can figure out where to put everything. And the other characters accept it almost instantly. It’s fine. It’s even kind of awesome. This is IMPORTANT, because viewers take their cues (consciously or subconsciously) from other characters in the show.

And not only that, Jack gets to be the protagonist in his own show, and for a significant portion of it he’s in a happy, loving, complex relationship with a dude. I can probably count the shows I know of with an openly non-heterosexual protagonist on one hand. And not just any show, a gritty sci-fi action show, the dominion of the Heterosexual Male Action Hero. And people LOVED it. Jack can swoop in and save the hot girl, but he can also play naked hide-and-seek with his cute coffee boy and no one thinks any less of him.

Most importantly, Jack is given more of a personality than just his sexuality. I feel like Tumblr does Jack a disservice. We only see his zippy one liners and flamboyant sexuality. But Jack is a seriously nuanced and tortured character. He’s forced to make impossible decisions, and he often chooses paths that are agonizing to watch. And sometimes he makes impulsive decisions based on love and desperation that have horrible consequences. And he knows it. Because he’ll have to live with his mistakes and their fallout LITERALLY FOREVER.

Jack is SO MUCH more than his sexuality, and this is important because often TV writers will make the horrible mistake of thinking that just making a character gay counts as characterization. It’s an important facet, but people are much more complicated than their sexual preferences.

Plus the fact that Jack is omnisexual and from the future has the nice implication that in the future, maybe we won’t even have to talk about LGBTQ representation in media because we’ve learned to just let people love who they love without judgement.

And as for shipping, I think it’s also important that Jack’s relationship with the Doctor wasn’t as simple as “he’s in love with him.” He LOVED the Doctor, but he never made a move to turn it into something. He was just so happy being WITH him. Otherwise there would have been WAY more tension between Jack and Rose. But he loved being with Rose too.

That might have been a longer and more dramatic answer than you were looking for, but I feel very strongly about this, especially since books and television had a massive influence on my attitude toward LGBTQ people and issues. 

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