Things to keep in mind WRT: Joey WLW subtext and her conversation with Xefros
The year is 1994 in Joey’s universe.
In 1994, LGBT issues were almost universally kept completely hushhush from kids. For example, “Ellen” was taken off TV and cancelled after Ellen DeGeneres came out, in 1998.
Even in the 2000′s, while great strides were made in open conversation about LGBT issues, I remember it was still VERY taboo to even acknowledge as existing. I was in high school through 2006-2010 and people would still whisper the word “gay” under their breath.
In the 90′s, the internet wasn’t really a thing. You had online bulletin boards that would take 2 hours to get onto and often forbade any talks of politics, sexuality, or the like. The only place you could find information on LGBT topics was the library, in old encyclopedias possibly from the 70′s classifying homosexuality as a mental disease, IF (and big IF) you could find anything at all.
This persisted even into the early 2000′s. It improved somewhat during what I call the Forum Renaissance wherein everyone had their own more or less functioning web forum and were free to write whatever they wanted in whatever context they liked without having to cowtow to a company’s rules, but that didn’t start until around 2003 on.
Now back to Joey. 1994. Joey seems to live in a small town, with very little of a social ring (just her brother’s friends, apparently), and therefore very limited access to information.
Joey is 14 years old, clearly having trouble at school from her diary entries, and clearly very, very lonely. Joey, like many young WLW, particularly young lesbians (although not limited to just lesbians, of course), doesn’t seem to realize that being attracted to women is even an option.
This is a concept that resonates completely with me, in fact. I didn’t realize I didn’t have to force myself to like boys until I MET someone who was in a relationship with someone of the same gender. However EVEN THEN I still tried, because I was 13, and struggling, and wanted to be liked, and very very very afraid of how people would see me because I was already being bullied and just added fuel to the fire.
Joey’s questioning of Xefros actually echoes a conversation I, in fact, had once. Her quiet contemplation right afterwards is really telling.
Joey hadn’t realized, until this moment, that being in a relationship with someone of the same gender was an option. Joey’s life has been one of sheltered heteronormativity.
She accepted it very quickly. Now she can blossom. Maybe she’ll have a Thing with Xefros. Who knows? I sure don’t. Perhaps Joey is bi. Perhaps Xefros and she will become moirails. WHO KNOWS.
All I know is, her being a WLW is not subtext. At this point, it’s blatantly Text. I do believe Joey is a great realistic WLW character as well, and one that young struggling WLW might be able to relate to if they’re going through the same things as she is.
I know I related to her a lot. She reminds me of me at that age.
This is not Hiveswap’s team being homophobic or what-the-fuck-ever, and it certainly isn’t ‘qu**rbaiting’. It’s literally being realistic for the era, and I have full faith that they WILL address these issues people have over the course of the continuing story. A young LGBT character is allowed to question themselves and society on their own time. That’s part of what makes Joey so realistic.
there’s a rule about taking Doctor Who seriously and it’s that to take it seriously you need to not take it too seriously
this show doesn’t take itself seriously, no matter how dark it might get at times
this isn’t some fucking gritty Edgelord show, this is a show watched by millions of children about hope and belief and trying to help people even when it seems hopeless and even when it doesn’t work, we should never hope that anyone in it stays dead, especially not anyone that represents so much for so many
above all we should never as older fans want anything for it that would take away from the enjoyment of the younger fans
you can’t treat it the same way you would a lot of other shows. its demographic is anyone who is willing to believe in it, anyone of any age.
this is a show about an idiot in a magical box who fixes things with a screwdriver and a belief in the goodness of people
an idiot who gets into ridiculous situations that are often also dire, who saves the day always but only uses violence as a last resort, who tries to win with words and cleverness first
over the last few years it’s been one of the only shows on television still trying to tell a hopeful story in a world obsessed with Edgy Cynical Realism, while never shying away from how harsh the universe can be
it is a show about possibility where almost any thing or person or story that can be imagined could be plausible (hello, people being killed by plastic inflatable chairs, a small box being infinitely huge on the inside, a lesbian being saved by her magical star girlfriend)
it is a show created by lifelong fans, it is a constant love letter to itself with stupid little in jokes and nostalgic trips, and above all it is a message and lesson of hope and kindness
take it or leave it but that is what it will or at least should always be