I’m not really sure what to say
I’m sorry that some of you feel Emmerdale is slighting you somehow. That is a terrible feeling. I can relate to that. I don’t agree or at least don’t see it that way but it does suck if that’s how it feels. Cause you should always be heard.
Maybe it’s an experience thing? Maybe everyone imagines that every show is marginalizing us. I don’t think that’s the case but I also don’t think anything they could do aside from breaking all the pre-watershed rules would go much further to change that.
This show has done amazing things with all their LGBTQ characters over the years but especially Aaron and Robert. Aaron is great product of that. They’ve legitimized bisexuality with a main CORE character and continue to show what bi-phobia can look like and fight against it.
For me the difference with Emmerdale and other soaps who have gay characters is so striking. I was deep in a ship of a US soap gay couple. At the time it was groundbreaking (this wasn’t that long ago to be honest) and it was exciting for so many of us in that fandom. We had 2 kisses…
….and then nothing, some hugs, a little handholding, one mistletoe kiss THAT WAS PANNED away from so it was IMPLIED rather than seen.
For over 8 months. Nothing. Once they did kiss, it was a bit easier but then it took a total of 2 YEARS for this couple to have sex. TWO YEARS. And we didn’t see anything at all.
They moved in together at some point but we were told…not shown. There were a bunch of obstacles that made no sense thrown in the way. Then it ended with them not even together.
But I could have gotten over that if they had been treated as part of the actual show. They were isolated for the most part, had almost no real interaction with other characters (well one had a bit more than the other but not really all that much) and they didn’t feel like they were a part of the show. They had good emotional depth because the actors were fantastic but – yeah. That was ignorance and fear at work.
Currently there are several gay couple/characters on US and UK soaps but they have no story (don’t talk to the DAYS fans who are being screwed over right now). Hollyoaks has probably one of the most physical but the writing and stories for them are abysmal and they have no depth as a couple while their other couple has potential but it’s being squandered. Corrie is a little boring to be fair and aren’t front burner. Let’s not even talk about East Enders and Ben, ok?
I look at them and then I look at Emmerdale. I am astounded. Because they are not marginalizing Robert or Aaron. They don’t stick them in a corner and pull them out when they want to show us “the gay couple.” That’s the thing..they aren’t spotlighted to be that. They are shown to be a COUPLE in love. They have actual jobs they go to (sometimes), they interact with other stories and characters, they have family, they have friends (well, they have at least one friend). They have ENTIRE PRESS JUNKETS AND SPECIAL EPISODES revolved around them. The writers take care so much to write them. I’m sorry but they do. Maxine and Isobel and Jane in particular are amazing with characterization.
Could it be better? Always. I think everything has room for improvement. I want to hurry their timeline on how they are integrating Robert more and more as they have fleshed him out (but that’s a completely different post, ask me about that later. :))
I just – I don’t think that Aaron is being written in the way he is being written because they want to not show a gay couple being intimate. Aaron is being written the way he is because Aaron has ISSUES with intimacy. Always has. He has NEVER been an outwardly physical or emotional character. He rarely let’s anyone outside family and Robert touch him and EVEN then he is hesitant with them. That is who Aaron is. It’s partly his past experiences, his own insecurities and to be honest, his and Robert’s very recent past issues. Aaron has let Robert in more than I think anyone else and that is something important the writers have done. Robert, oth, is the most tactile character. He shows how he feels way easier. I think for him being physical was his go to when he wanted something or someone. It’s the emotional side of Robert that has needed tending to. And it has gotten that. In recent weeks, we’ve seen more and more sides to Robert, more fleshing out, more thoughts and feelings.
What they have done right is tell this love story between this two damaged men very well and quite truthfully. They haven’t backed down from doing that though. They are leaps and bounds ahead of so many others. And they keep trying.
I’ve been on the other side of this fence. I’ve been in that writer room watching them try to figure out a way to tell their story effectively while having to listen to network interference. I know how writers are, how much they can care and how much they sometimes don’t. This bunch of writers on this tiny show care so damn much about these characters and their fans. It’s a blessing because many many do not.
Maybe it’s those experiences that don’t let me see where some of you are coming from. I’m sorry for that. I hope that somehow it gets better and that you can find enjoyment. I hope that you one day find a show who you believe is hearing you and speaks for you.
I hear you though and I am crossing my fingers and I love you very much.