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Representation of queer people in media

I've been working on a small post talking about gay people in media, which will probably be posted in a couple of days. Meanwhile, I want to link to an open letter to Jensen Ackles, written by a queer teenage girl. Jean Ackles plays Dean Winchester in Supernatural, a show where it is often implied that the character is bisexual. But fans who want to ask questions about it are shut down by the actor. He has stated, at the very least, that he would be uncomfortable being in a romance with another guy. So this fan explains why she feels so strongly about representation. What it was like for her to grow up as a queer girl. It is really amazing and I recommend you read the whole article.

Mr. Ackles, let me tell you a story.

Pretend that you are a queer teenage girl. (I know this is difficult for you. I know you find this ridiculous. Do it anyways, please.) You have spent your entire life looking for media that has you in it.

You look through every movie list, every book review, you watch and you read and you try to find a character like you.

And you don’t. For a very, very long time you don’t.

And when you do, you wish you hadn’t. Because what you find is a hatred for what you are- a limiting of what you can be.

You find tv shows where you die for being the way you are.

You find movies where you’re evil for being the way you are.

You find books where you’re evil, and dead for being the way you are.

You can’t turn on the tv and see yourself. Sometimes, when you’re lucky, you find a tv show where you don’t die; but your character revolves around that one trait, and you suffer for it. It’s a stereotype of you, nearly dead but not, and that’s the best you’ve got. I repeat: the closest thing to you you get to see, is ashamed of being like you. They are a stereotype. They are afterschool specials. This is what you are given. This is what you get to aspire to be: not a hero, not even a person. A poorly written stereotype that lives in fear. 

That’s it.

And then, one day, you turn on the tv and you find a character like you.

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