Okay well this whole post is kinda messy. i just started writing and i had so much to say so its kinda all over the place and i jump back and forth all the time but i hope you'll read it anyway cuz this is something that means a lot to me. Also, i kinda wrote this all very fast and i wrote so much all at once so if i've worded myself wrong somewhere or if i have managed to offend anyone then please tell me so i can change it. I just had a lot to say and i wanted it all out so its messy and there may be some wrongs here and there, i hope there isnt, but if there is, please point it out to me. Im not the best with putting my feelings down inte words but yeah, i hope you enjoy this messy post anyway.
Also, im sorry that i dont have links to where all the quotes are from, i wrote most of this during the night and i was so into it i wasnt really thinking but if you wanna know where the qoutes are from just copy part of the quote/the whole quote and put it into google and search and i'm 99.9% sure the articles will show up.
Representation in media today is a lot better than it used to be. Its not perfect, its nowhere near but its a good start. One show that has really succedeed when it comes to all kinds of different representations is Shadowhunters(based on the book series The Mortal Instruments). Im gonna be honest tho, the first season isnt that well done when it comes to the visual effects etc and its kinda hard to get through but i promise its worth it because season 2 really stepped up its game. Especially the second half of season 2. 2A was great but 2B is off the charts amazing. If you can only get through season 1, you wont regret it. Back to the part about representation. The big thing i really wanna talk about here is the Malec relationship. Its the biggest relationship on the whole show between two boys, one gay and one bisexual. This relationship is a blessing for the LGBTQ+ community regarding representation. It makes you so proud. They are given fair screentime, they are given scenes that are usually only given to hetero couples. This show really works to show that every relationship matters, no matter what your sexuality is and that is so beautiful. One of the things that makes me the most proud when it comes to this show is that they consult GLAAD about things they do with Malec.
What is GLAAD you may wonder? "GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love."
The Malec relationship has even won the GLAAD prize because of their representation. But it doesnt stop there, this show has so much more they represent. The show as a whole has characters that are bisexual, gay, asexual and lesbian(i may have forgotten some, please tell me if i have). They also tackle homophobia, discrimination and racism.
I also really want to talk about Alec Lightwood, the shows gay character. This show really works with showing how it is being in the closet and fighting to accept yourself. That's what Alec's journey is about. He's afraid of his own sexuality and the whole first season is about Alec coming to terms with himself and i think his character journey has been so great. This show tackles so many of the problems of being gay in a society where its not really acceptable and they deal with standing up for yourself and to fight for what you want. Coming out is not a simple or universal experience, despite how Hollywood likes to market it. Self-identifying takes some people their entire lives while others never feel safe enough to try.
Something i really like about Alec in the show is that he's so different from the books. In the books Alec is made out to be bi-phobic in the way that he doesnt trust Magnus and that he's afraid that Magnus will sleep with just about anyone cuz he's bisexual. They removed that element in the show which i think is great because the norm that bisexuals are automatically cheaters is something that we need to change. They also killed that norm in an episode during 2B where they had a girl trying to kiss Magnus and Magnus stopping it and saying that he's in love with Alec and that he's a "one soul at a time kind of guy". Because so many people think that just because your bisexual it means that you'll sleep with just about anyone and i really loved the fact that this show killed that norm. It means really much to me since im a bisexual myself.
Lets talk about Magnus Bane, the show's bisexual. And he's not only bisexual, he's also Asian which plays a big part because Asian representation in media today is also something that needs to be worked on. And this show does it so well. Magnus Bane is an openly proud bisexual person of colour who is very secure in himself and his sexuality. To steal a quote from the internet: "From his imposing demeanor down to the details of his wardrobe, Magnus’ unshuttered boldness is a reminder of how comfortable I still want to be with my own identity every single time I declare it."
Magnus is an asian man who has experienced racism in multiple ways during his 400+ years of life. I also read a really great thing about how Magnus challenges the norm of what is considered feminine and it goes like this: "Magnus Bane is tremendously adept and strong. Being covered in a slew of accessories and a cloud of glitter doesn’t change that. None of his trappings actually make him more “feminine” either. Instead, they subtly illustrate that no one had to be hyper masculine to be mighty. Male-coded things aren’t innately more commanding. Wearing bright purple doesn’t mean you can’t throw a solid punch."
Important quote: "Our small screen stories don’t always mirror real-world realities. This is why so many of our representations have been and continue to be one-dimensional. But Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane aren’t devices, thrown in to advance another’s plot. They’re the heroes and love interests of their own stories. That’s a fact and one that underscores just how well Shadowhunters is changing the way LGBTQ characters live and love on screen."
MORE REPRESENTATION TALK
Another great thing about this show and their portrayal of the Malec relationship is that they really listen to the fans and to those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. They want to do right and they encourage the fans to tell them if they are doing something wrong. There was a moment during season 2 that really upset the LGBTQ+ community and it created a lot of hate towards the writers and they learned from that and they corrected their mistake in later episodes and that is what i think is so great about this show because they prove that they listen to the fans and that our opinion mattes.
And its not only the writers who cares, two people that really care about this representation being done right is the actors that play Alec(Matthew Daddario) and Magnus(Harry Shum Jr). They are constantly talking about how much it means to them to be able to portray the LGBTQ+ community in such a good way and they are always discussing with fans and they encourage the fans to always tell them what they're doing wrong and what they're doing right because the most important thing to them both is that this representation is done right. They also always talk about how being gay or bisexual doesnt change your worth in the world, they are always talking about that all different sexualities are just as important, no one is worse than the other. Matthew and Harry are really advertasing the fact that the gender of the person you love is not what matters, its the personality of the person.
In the books, Alec is meet by a lot of criticism from his parents when he starts dating Magnus and his parents are made out to be very homophobic. The show however changes this plotline and replaces in with an issue that is similiar instead. Instead of his parents being upset that he is dating a man, the show shows Alecs mother disapproving of the relationship because Magnus is a downworlder(which are seen as scum compared to the shadowhunters which is what Alecs family are). This is a metaphor for racism in the show and it is also highligthed by the fact that a big part of the downworlders are played by people of colour. And i love that the show brings this subject up because racism is something that is such a big issue in the world right now.
List of things Shadowhunters have
1. Gay man in position of power
2. Bisexual man in position of power
3. A jewish latino character
4. 5 out of 8 main characters are people of colour
5. Addresses racial profiling irl despite it being a fantasy show
6. Addresses the holocaust
7. Mental Illness representation
8. Addresses drug addiction
9. Strong latina woman who is not oversexualized and constantly established as one of the smartest characters
10. LGBTQ+ couple that is respected and has real problems any other heterosexual couple would have
11. Ended bisexual cheating stereotype
12. No biphobia or jealousy amongst the LGBTQ+ couple
13. They touch on PTSD, self harm, suicide and mental+physical abuse
14. Asexual man in position of power
15. Black Alpha Leader + Black Female Beta
16. Growth of a homophobic/controlling parent realising how they were wrong towards their children
17. Gives male characters emotional vulnerability that isn't shamed upon
WHAT THE SHOW MEANS TO ME
The character that means the most to me on this show is Alec Lightwood. Why, you may ask? Well. Alec started out as a closeted character who was seen as "the perfect child" and he always tries to make his parents and people around him proud. He pushes his own needs away for others cuz he is so loyal to other people and i really relate to that. Nothing i do is for myself, every single thing i do and step i take is always for others because i want to make others proud of me and i dont want to give anyone a reason to dislike me. Just like Alec. Alec also has this layer of "Fuck off, I dont care" but in reality, underneath that, he is kind, compassionate and caring. That’s a way of coping with feelings that are too big to let out. i do the same thing, bottling it up underneath my ‘fuck off’ layer, but really? i care too fucking much. Alec is a shining example of how to be a leader and yet a flawed human being who tries to be better.
Also, when he finally does come out and accepts that he's gay he gets acceptance and love from people around him(except his parents, which does change later on in the show). He has amazing character growth, he learns to accept his mistakes, he apologizes, he's a great leader and he is so much more than his sexuality. Him being gay is just another part of him and it isnt hyped up which i think is great. You never hype it up when someone is straight so you shouldnt do it with other sexualities either. All sexualities should be just as accepted and normal. And this is what gives me hope, the fact that when Alec came out people accepted him and he grows into himself and becomes so comfortable in who he is because that has made me become more comfortable in my own body. Alec's journey is one of the reason as to why i finally came to terms with the fact that i'm bisexual.
The character of Magnus Bane also plays a part in me accepting that part of myself ofcourse since he's the shows bisexual character. Magnus never lets his sexuality define him and he has teached me so much about being confident and being comfortable in who you are and well, the fact that he kills off bisexual stereotypes just makes it even better and when i see Magnus and the way he represents bisexuality i feel so proud of being a bisexual. Magnus makes me want to be okay with all of myself.
I also really want to mention that i dont only love this show and the characters because of the representation. Alec and Magnus for example are so much more than their sexuality, they're complex characters with amazing storylines and they're wonderful in every way and they deserve all the love.
To end this off with, i want to show you guys this interview of Matthew Daddario talking about why he thinks the fans love Malec.