Created By: rainbowfish on June 30, 2011

Homosexual Frustration

The Token Gay remains single.

Name Space:
Page Type:
Alice and Bob have been together for years, Charlie's got a new girl every episode, and even though Diane just broke up with Edward, she and Franz seem to be getting along swimmingly. But poor Gerald, no matter how hard he tries, can't seem to find himself a boyfriend.

Homosexual Frustration is when most of the straight people in the cast are pairing up and dating and having wacky romantic troubles, but the gay characters aren't, even if they're actively looking for a partner. If bisexual characters are present, they may or may not fall into this trope- and if they don't, it's usually because they're only seen having relationships with the opposite gender.

A variant of this is when Gerald does date- but it happens completely offscreen, and the straight characters' relationships don't.

There are many reasons why this might happen. For one thing, gay people in real life have a smaller dating pool and it can be harder to find somebody. More unfortunately, though, many authors want to include gay people in their stories, but don't feel comfortable writing them in actual relationships. Equally unfortunate is when authors assume the only people in their audience who enjoy seeing gay relationships are the Yaoi Fangirl or Yuri Fanboy crowd, and avoid them so not to cater to those demographics. Somewhere in the middle, many authors don't have any experience with same gender relationships and just don't want to get it wrong.

Expect this to be averted to hell in back in a Queer Romance.

Seen It a Million Times, but can't think of any examples right now. Possibly needs a better name.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • July 1, 2011
    I think this is But Not Too Gay. Or at least, related.
  • July 1, 2011
    I think the "variant" mentioned is But Not Too Gay... but this trope, itself, has room to actually work as a distinct trope. It's less about simply keeping homosexuality restricted on-screen, and more about practically "punishing" the homosexual by keeping them effectively celibate. That is, they can't get any sort of interest, no coupling of any sort, and it shows. It's part of the character, not just a way it's displayed on-screen.

    Possible names... No Go Homo? Shipless Gay? I'd be tempted to suggest But Not Two Gay, but it's too close to the original. Not Two Gay could work, though.
  • July 1, 2011
    What keeps this from being Have I Mentioned Im Gay?
  • July 1, 2011
    The Only Gay In The Village?

    This is a famous catchphrase in Britain from the comedy sketch show Little Britain. It is said by a character called Daffyd who always complains there are no other gay people for him to hook up with in his tiny Welsh village. (Ok, so in the sketch there are plenty of gay people and Daffyd is possibly a Camp Straight man who just wants to be the Token Minority. Regardless this could be a better name.)
  • July 1, 2011
    Actually thinking about it I think your title Homosexual Fustration is better. It is more representative of your description.
  • July 1, 2011
  • July 1, 2011
    It seems like Oscar in The Office was like this for a while -- possibly because he's had something of a superiority complex. A while ago, he decided he was sick of being lonely, swallowed his pride, and courted a good-natured Brainless Beauty guy who worked in the warehouse. I'm not sure how that worked out.
  • July 2, 2011
    Most Writers Are Straight?

    I am so very, very sorry.
  • July 2, 2011
    It's not about the writers. This isn't about not going into detail about gay relationships, but about not having them in the first place, even if there are gay characters in the story.

    Only Straight Ships?
  • July 2, 2011
    • Kurt Hummel in the first season of Glee. Averted in the second season.
  • July 2, 2011
    This should not have "ship" in the name because it is NOT a shipping trope. And even if this happens on the medium, the fandom is practically guaranteed to have multiple homosexual ships.
  • July 2, 2011
    Trying to remember some of the examples that I've seen.

    Would Tai from Questionable Content fit? It's stated that she had some polyamorous relationships, but they happened completely offscreen and didn't seem to be very fulfilling to her. Since she's been expressing interest in other onscreen characters, though, she's failed every time.

    Also possibly Kanaya from Homestuck, and maybe Karkat.
  • July 3, 2011

    Web Comics
    • El Goonish Shive. Poor Justin Tolkiberry (the only gay male in the strip) can't find a boyfriend. He has a crush on Elliott, who is unfortunately (for Justin, anyway) straight.