Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of people missed the opportunity to engage in gender free cosplay at San Diego’s Comic Con. Nevertheless, the virtual Comic-Con gave attendees the rare opportunity to watch a plethora of lgbtq panels from their own home.
One of the highlights during the four day confab was the “LGBTQ Characters on Television – What’s Next?,” a Comic-Con@Home panel chat, moderated by Jim Halterman of TV Guide magazine, which featured Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, and the dynamic duo on Star Trek: Discovery: Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz.
Cruz talked about how far television has come since the days when he played a gay teen in the beautifully written 1990s series, My So-Called Life. “People ask me all the time, when was the first time I saw myself on television? And I always say, ‘When I saw myself on television.’ … I understood how much I wanted and needed to see myself and my lived experience represented in some way.”
These days, Cruz is thrilled to see a coming of age gay comedy like Hulu’s Love, Victor. “What’s exciting to me about where we are now is the fact that we have something like ‘Love, Victor,’ which takes Rickie (his So Called Life character) and expands on that story in a lot of ways.”
He added: “That show looks at a queer Puerto Rican boy and his family and how he navigates that. And it’s incredibly moving and fresh on my mind because I spent the whole night bingeing the entire series in a bucket of my own tears.”
Cruz would like to see more lgbtq representation working behind the scenes too. “We have to have more LGBTQ (people), especially trans people behind the camera – producers, directors, writers. That’s how we’re going to see more diversity.”
As much as fans would have loved to see Cruz and Rapp sing Rent songs, the two did discuss their onscreen romantic relationship during their Star Trek: Discovery panel.
“Star Trek is, of course, fiction,” Rapp said. “It’s science-fiction. But, it’s always meant to imagine a future and world where people are valued for who they are, the content of their character, not the color of their skin, not their gender, not their age. In this explosive time it seems more resonant than ever. It’s not shining a light super vividly all the time. It’s just part of the fabric of it.”
He continued: “It really blends the personal/family nature of our show,” “Not just literal family like our coupledom, but the family of the ship. It really explores family in wonderful new ways. That’s one of the major things that gets developed in season 3 for sure.”
Another interesting panel was “Horror is Queer,” which featured co-host of “Attack of the Queerwolf” podcast, Nay Bever, who talked about what defines the genre.
“If queer or trans folks see themselves in something, then it’s ours, period,” Bever stated. “Any community who is marginalized and experiences the death rates and death threats that we do, we are 100% allowed to find ourselves wherever we can. If anyone has a problem with that, that tells us something about them… Horror is just a playground for the imagination and queer folks are so used to see things outside the little box they are given or outside these made up set of rules to behave by, it’s just such a wonderful combination.”
Child’s Play franchise creator Don Mancini, Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller, director of the Shudder documentary Sam Wineman, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” actor Lachlan Watson and moderator Jordan Crucchiola also participated.