the gay kiss in svtfoe is like 1 sec long i wish you guys would stop gaslighting people with this being good rep when the entire second season is given over to a completely unnecessary supposedly heterosexual love triangle, because they won't ever canonize marco as a girl. like seriously. pretending this is great rep has consequences, it alienates fans and it tells disney and other corporations they can throw us scraps and that they don't need to try to get our pink dollars. Stop.
First of all, I can do whatever I want. Second of all, I can do whatever I want. And third, I can do whatever I want.
Okay? Glad we established that. With that out of the way, I’m gonna be very clear with people like you who keep telling me and other people like what we should want, need and demand.
Star has done a lot in terms of destroying gender roles and other stereotypes and taboos for kids and young people out there. Its characters are not flat and they have their own personalities, their own lives and agency, which don’t conform to gender norms as they have been force-fed to us by society. Breaking this kind of stereotypes is gonna be so liberating for so many kids. For example:
- You don’t have to be girly to be a girl (Janna is into a lot of creepy and icky stuff usually considered boyish, just to mention someone)
- Being feminine doesn’t define your gender (Marco, and I’m gonna get back to you on this)
- Having trouble managing your anger does not make you a bad person (Tom. who is working so hard to keep it under control and improve because he wants to be better)
- You can have a bunch of mixed, apparently contradicting traits, and that doesn’t make you less worthy of the gender you identify with (Star is very girly and likes cute stuff but still kicks ass and loves every second of it)
- Boys can be affectionate with other boys (if we assume, based on what we know at the moment, that Marco identifies as a boy, and again, I’ll get back to you on that), and that’s okay (Marco and Tom, even though I still think the whole Friendenemies episode was very homoerotic)
I’m really grateful for this new wave of cartoons (such as Star vs The Forces of Evil, Gravity Falls or Steven Universe). Different shows are exploring different themes from different angles, and that doesn’t mean that one is necessarily above the other. Star may not be exploring queerness in full (like Steven Universe does, for example), more like touching upon its surface, but it is still playing a role in its normalisation.
Never did I say that the
infamous 1-second gay kiss was good rep. For me to call it rep, I would need it to feature at least characters whose names we know. But you know what? I’m okay with it being something in the background and I don’t consider it gaslighting, because as far as I know, the show did not make a big deal out of it, they did not announce “Hey! We are giving you guys gay rep! Look at all the diversity we’re including!”. I actually heard nothing from the show-runners. It was the media that blew up and made a huge deal out of it because of some stupid parents’ reaction. The whole thing was a nice detail that acknowledged the existence of gay people and made an effort to normalise queerness by showing them doing something as mundane as going to a concert with their partners. Period.
And on that note, I want to add that yes, more than this is desirable and it’s okay (it’s very important, actually!) to ask for proper representation. But we can’t close our eyes to the stuff that’s already come our way just because it’s not as much as we wanted it to be. Things take time. Society is still coming to terms with LGBT+ people, and rushing them is only gonna make them clam up and reject any notion of it. Hell, parents wanted to take Star out of Disney XD because they were outraged by a 1-sec cartoon gay kiss! Even though I’m tired of waiting, I see that Disney is treading on thin ice with its more conservative audience and has to carefully plan its every step. And they are still making progress. Slowly, but surely.
We got Beauty and the Beast with gay LeFou (even though I still think it should have been the clock and the candelabra), despite the foreseeable boicot from many people. I’m not saying “we’re good, we can stop demanding stuff from show-runners and movie directors”, I’m saying, “let’s appreciate the progress we’re making while aiming for more”. We’ve come a long way since Disney’s massive no-homo when High School Musical gave a girlfriend to Ryan, literally the gayest man alive in the Disney Universe.
And about the “unnecessary heterosexual love triangle”: I dunno, anon, I’m a storyteller and I saw it coming for a long time. The show built up to that point. It’s not like they pulled it out of their asses. Would I have wanted it to be a love square featuring Tom? Why yes, absolutely, but oh well. It still makes sense in the story they’re telling and it’s integrated in the plot. It would have been weird if Marco, who had been crushing on Jackie since Day 1, had just moved on from her without thinking twice.
Now, about Trans!Marco: I’m gonna be very honest with how I view it, and I’ll also let you know that I’m transgender myself (non-binary pal here, hey, how are ya), as well as a transgender rights activist and lecturer, so I know what I’m talking about. I have nothing against the Trans!Marco fannon, obviously. I think some seed has been planted in the show and as of now, people can make of it what they will. I’d be thrilled and on board if there were any confirmation from TPTB. But I’m not taking it as anymore than that for now, and I’ll entertain both Trans!Marco and Cis!Marco notions. Why?
Yes, Marco has been shown as Princess Marco several times already, pronouns have been changed to feminine and nobody has questioned Marco’s new status during those times. However, Marco hasn’t expressed a particular preference for being treated as a girl (true, no preference for masculine treatment has been expressed either, so we’re kind of in a neutral zone I guess?). I mean, you see Marco wearing dresses and a wig with no complain, as well as being treated as a girl, but after that episode is over, you don’t really see Marco displaying any signs of discomfort with gender identity or pronouns or disphoria or gender expression or anything like that. Actually, the character’s development continues as it was before that happened (anybody else remembers that episode where Marco lives on a different dimension for 16 years and embraces every masculinity trope under the sun?).
Now I’m not saying you have to meet a bunch of requirements to be trans (I’m no trans gatekeeper), but these are the kind of things that usually give it away when we’re talking about someone else’s experience, since we are not inside their head.
Yes, Marco does possess some traits traditionally associated with femininity (like spending hours getting ready for the date with Jackie), but they’re vague enough that they could mean something or nothing at all (like I said, the show does a lot to destroy gender roles). I feel like I can’t really call it for sure based on that. With how indifferent Marco seems to be to different pronouns, I’d actually say that there’s higher chances this character falls somewhere in the non-binary spectrum, rather than identifying as a girl. This is, of course, my personal opinion, and I might be wrong. But it goes to show that the hinting done in the show has been so subtle for now that it could go either way, and so, I fail to see why we should get angry that Marco isn’t being treated as a girl at the moment.
Just my two cents.