Question of the Week: August 1st, 2017.

If you could stick a well-developed canon ace character into any one popular media franchise, which one would you pick?

I personally would love to stick an ace character into the Marvel cinematic universe. I remember being so excited that protagonist Peter Quill and Gamora did not kiss in semi-romantic scene in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I happily rambled on and on about the kiss that didn’t happen (but totally could have in heteronormative Hollywood). The Marvel cinematic universe has so many emotionally deep and complex characters. Loki struggles with being adopted and not belonging. Tony Stark has panic attacks because he’s experienced trauma (but the panic attacks magically go away). I think there is tons of room for well-developed queer and ace characters.

About Talia

Talia is an asexual, nonbinary, vegan-feminist that drinks a lot of coffee and stays up very late playing Blizzard video games and writing fiction. They are working on a PhD in Environmental Studies where they think a lot about oppression as intersectional and impacting identities differentially. Talia has a particular fondness for asexuality, fandom, and Critical Animal Studies. Their personal blog is petuniaparty.tumblr.com
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12 Responses to Question of the Week: August 1st, 2017.

  1. Sennkestra says:

    Probably BBC Merlin? But that’s mostly just because it’s my current fandom interest. On the one hand, it might be difficult since, y’know, the series ended years ago. On the other hand, the main character barely ever got the romance treatment outside of his fairly platonic bromance with Arthur, so I like to think a belated ace canon could fit right in.

    In terms of actual current shows, it might be interesting to have one on like….one of the big crime solving shows like CSI or NCIS or Bones or Criminal Minds (as long as it’s an investigator or positive side character, not a murder victim or a murderer – and not another House). As a widely popular genre and franchises that’ve been running for about a million seasons, I feel like that’s almost as mainstream as you can get. (Also, I like puzzle-solving crime procedurals)

    • Rivers says:

      Even though the series has ended, I would’ve loved for them to have made Merlin ace too.

      I also feel like it would be nice if Bones had an ace character (as long as they don’t fall into categories mentioned above) because the show hasn’t been particularly ace positive/ace friendly in the past. Realistically, I feel the chances of positive ace representation on the show are pretty slim, but that’s exactly why it would be nice if they did have some ace positive stuff.

  2. Sennkestra says:

    Also, if I can stretch the question a bit to include nonfiction media franchises, I think it would be totally cool to see an episode about asexuality on NOVA or Frontline or American Experience or some similar PBS series.

  3. Silvermoon says:

    Probably Brooklyn Nine-Nine? It’s currently my favourite TV show and I feel like they’d treat an ace character well if there was one.

    • Silvermoon says:

      For less popular media, it would be neat to have a canon ace main character in the Realm of the Elderlings verse. I would love for the Fool to interact with them– I feel like they would totally *get* it. (I mean, you can headcannon the Fool as romantic ace pretty easily, but it’s not canon- and it would be cool if it were even vaguely explored, especially with the era the fantasy novels are set in)

  4. luvtheheaven says:

    I have a lot of strong feelings about this. Movies are so far behind TV shows even in terms of gay and lesbian representation. There are no canonically, explicitly mentioned in the movies, non straight people at all in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t want asexuality in a franchise that only has straight people plus now an ace. I feel like that just wouldn’t work.

    Sirens and Shadowhunters at least have 1 other queer identity (or 2) established as a part of the world, the world built is at least a little less heteromormative, before asexuality enters the picture. That feels like the smarter route to take.

    In the same vein as what you suggested though, maybe the Arrowverse could add in an asexual character who isn’t even a villain, possibly we’re so lucky as to let them recur instead of only be in one episode. Arrowverse has as far as I can recall… 3 lesbians (Alex Danvers, Maggie, Nyssa), a bisexual woman (Sara Lance), and some more minor gay men (Hartley is a villain, but not Captain Singh or his partner or even the musical episode alternate reality counterparts of a couple straight main male characters who there were gay). I can see an ace realistically existing on one of the 4 shows of the Arrowverse, not any of the current characters probably – I certainly would hope not an alien on Supergirl – but even so.

    I know some people thought Glee would be a perfect show for asexuality, since they were known as the LGBT show and had characters for each of those 4 letters. In some ways yeah I would’ve loved an ace character in a show as big as Glee with a fan following.. But. They would’ve butchered the representation most likely so it’s probably for the best. No representation is sometimes better than horribly bad rep that encourages misconceptions.

    You said franchises though. And again I don’t know. I love so much the idea of ace characters in Harry Potter or Star Wars, and love certain headcanons too. But again without even being able to handle the simple G in LGBTQ, would I actually want the first or only explicitly LGBTQ character (in the movie sides of these franchises, at least) to asexual? I’m not sure…

  5. Hibernia says:

    I like the idea of getting some aces in Tamora Pierce’s worlds. As I recall, she’s said that Niko is asexual, and some forthcoming books will be about pre-Circle-of-Magic Niko, so that could be good. Years ago I saw someone posit that Kel was aromantic and heterosexual, which I thought seemed correct and also seemed like positive representation, though I’m not aromantic so I don’t take my opinion on this too seriously. More recently I saw that Tamora Pierce has said, albeit in a somewhat confused way, that Kel is aromantic, so that’s cool. I’m also happy about all the other queer women in her books, both canonical (e.g. Lark and Rosethorn) and word of god (e.g. Lalasa).

  6. Seth says:

    I like the question, but I’m having a hard time answering it because most of the media I consume is indie. I’d say I’d very much like to see an ace character in any BioWare game, but I’d be talking about the old BioWare, not the new crushed under EA’s boot heel BioWare.

  7. Blue Ice-Tea says:

    Star Trek. It’s a popular, respected, well-established franchise that prides itself (somewhat questionably) on its progressiveness and diversity. It’s also sex-positive to a fault, with several characters practically defined by their heterosexuality. It would be swell if the franchise that gave us James T. Kirk and William T. Riker could also give us a positive representation of a character who just isn’t interested in sex, and is okay with that. Yes, there have been a few ace-ish characters (Data, Vulcans in general), but what we really need is a *human* ace, not a robot or alien one. There’s a new series coming soon. It could happen!

    That said, Star Trek has yet to include an explicitly gay main character. And I totally agree with luvtheheaven in feeling that queer positivity is should be an even higher priority than ace-positivity. That said, Star Trek has an ensemble cast. That means there should be room for both!

    • luvtheheaven says:

      “And I totally agree with luvtheheaven in feeling that queer positivity is should be an even higher priority than ace-positivity.”

      Just to clarify…

      I actually do consider asexuality to be queer lol, but also i don’t think Lesbian or Gay representation is of higher priority! Bisexuality and Transgender representation has been more forgotten/not done in any movies at all so I think they’re higher priority than the L or the G in LGBT, and in terms of actual “prioritization” i think the things no one has heard of ands no one understands, the things still fighting not only for acceptance but also awareness like nonbinary genders, asexuality, etc is actually maybe the highest priority!!

      I just said that when “the world built is at least a little less heteromormative, before asexuality enters the picture. That feels like the smarter route to take.” Because I think asexuality needs to be framed as a sexual orienation: https://luvtheheaven.wordpress.com/2017/07/01/make-sure-to-frame-asexuality-clearly-as-a-sexual-orientation/

      And ALSO I don’t think it is practical either to expect showrunners or heads of film franchises to work in asexuality when they can’t even remember/put in any effort not to make all their main characters heterosexual.

      Btw. I forgot to say this in my first comment:

      The Fosters is not a franchise, just a tv show, but they’ve already had significant recurring or main characters for all of the LGBT. Jude shouldn’t necessarily have been (only?) G (gay) in my opinion and rather should’ve been ultimately written to be trans like first planned (although once they casted a cis actor I’m glad instead they ultimately have featured two trans guys played by trans actors) or even better, he could’ve nonbinary, or anywhere on the asexual spectrum, and should not have been pressured to use the label gay when he didn’t want to (the show can certainly be flawed). The bisexual representation has been a mess. But they tried with all of it and acknowledged not only all that but also, in passing at an LGBT prom event, genderqueer as an identity. I think this show would be a great practical candidate for the introduction of an asexual character. Especially with all the “asexuals aren’t queer/ don’t belong at pride or in LGBT clubs” bigoted pushback against us in certain places like Tumblr, a show that is the opposite of cisheteronormative embracing us as another part of the LGBTQ umbrella of identities could be both easily and naturally done, and powerful. Shadowhunters is already on the same network but their world is fantasy and doesn’t use the word gay or the word asexual in canon. The Fosters is meanwhile a show that could easily both say the word asexual but also perhaps utilize like 75% of the Ace Tropes mentioned on this blog and still feel like a typical episode/season of the show.

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