One of the most satisfying/cathartic things about black sails is the way it completely spits in the face of this idea of being a “good victim”. I’m sick of stories where lgbt characters have to be sad, saintly, pure martyrs in order to be sympathetic and palatable to audiences, as if homophobia is only awful when its directed at soft nice people. Stories that clearly exist so that straight people can sit there feeling sorry for us and be like, “those poor gays, life is so hard for them” and pat themselves on the back for being so open minded.
Flint isn’t a saintly martyr, he’s not a “nice gay”, he’s angry and violent and complicated and shockingly awful at times, but it’s never like those things make his reasons for being that way any less significant. He gets to be sympathetic and horrifying at the same time, one doesn’t negate the other.
And I just really love the way this show deals with anger and trauma. There’s no false cheerful message that a person can just will away their rage. It’s there and you can either acknowledge it and try to understand it or you can ignore it and pretend its not there, but it is there and it will still effect you, just in ways you won’t understand. This show really helped me in a lot of ways, but one of those ways was helping me allow myself room to be angry. Not even necessarily “be angry”, but to look at and accept the anger that was already there, which actually has helped me start to be more calm and open.
And its not like the story is without kindness or optimism as well. There’s this sort of subtle, quietly compassionate core at the heart of black sails that compliments all that angry gay revenge in a way that’s incredibly beautiful and complicated. I think flints “freedom in the darkness” speech encapsulates that perfectly.