I'm your gay male friend! If Hollywood has taught us anything, it's that I'm naturally insightful!
In much the same way that people of African descent are made Closer to Earth
with the Magical Negro
, LGBT individuals (but most commonly gay men
, except in gay male fiction, in which they are most commonly lesbians) are made Closer to Earth
by being a Magical Queer
The Magical Queer
has all of the wisdom in the world because s/he is gay, and has been persecuted because of it. If male, he is most often a Camp Gay
or a Drag Queen, and can thusly bring culture to his heterosexual brothers and sisters. The male Magical Gay tends to be an expert on heterosexual relationships, even though he's never been in any kind of romantic or sexual relationship with a woman, and even gay romance seems suspiciously absent
from his life.
The Magical Queer
, by virtue of his/her status as both Closer to Earth
and too good for it
, tends to succumb to Bury Your Gays
, even if it is to teach the straight characters or audience an aesop about homosexuality
This trope runs into the same problems as Magical Negro
, and Manic Pixie Dream Girl
, because it can come off as more patronizing than honoring. Also, it depends on the validity of certain stereotypes
which can be considered offensive to both
heterosexuals and homosexuals. However, on the bright side, it's a less negative portrayal of homosexuals than certain other tropes
If Morgan Freeman
is the Magical Negro
, then Harvey Fierstein is this
See also Magical Native American
(which is similar to the other various magical archetypes but tends to involve actual
magic) and Gay Best Friend
(which it often overlaps with).
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Anime and Manga
- "Beautiful Queen" Leeron in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, though it's not said outright that he's gay, it's heavily implied. He likes to help Yoko with her relationship problems while taunting the men. Not to mention after the Time Skip, he was singlehandedly responsible for starting his planet's industrial revolution.
- Kuranosuke of Kuragehime. He's a Wholesome Crossdresser who decides to teach a bunch of female Otaku to face the world.
- Franz of Gankutsuou seems to have attained a sort of enlightenment through suffering from his unrequited love for his best friend, Albert. After his death, he becomes the indisputable moral compass of the show.
- Nuriko of Fushigi Yuugi fame fits, even though she's bi.
- Neatly averted in Scott Pilgrim, with Scott's gay roommate, Wallace Wells. While on one occasion he responsibly ushered Scott in a healthy romantic direction, he did so through a verbal threat, and apparently only out of a responsibility to Scott's wrongfully betrayed younger girlfriend. Wallace himself is a flirtatious, often drunk, Straight Gay and not beleaguered for his sexuality in the slightest (Scott once describes him as "boy crazy" and his response is "I'd take offense at that if it weren't so true"). Rather than being a magical pillar of emotional support and romantic advice for the flawed-but-lovable straight white lead, Wallace is just a guy.
- Lola from Kinky Boots, who is in fact also a Magical Negro, making him/her a Twofer.
- Averted in the play, where Lola is explicitly NOT gay, and uses his crossdressing to attract women.
- Similarly, Hollywood (Meschach Taylor), from Mannequin (1987) and Mannequin: On The Move (1991) is the Magical Queer Negro in spades.
- Drag Queens Noxeema, Vida, and Chi-Chi from To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. They find themselves stranded in a midwestern hick town and proceed to glam it up. Also, Noxie is Black and Chi-Chi is Latina making them Twofers
- Rupert Everett's character in My Best Friend's Wedding
- In Taking Woodstock, a friend of a friend of Tiber's shows up to be head of security, to bring Tiber's father out of himself, and to provide spiritual and moral guidance to Tiber himself. She is of course transgender.
- In William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, Mercutio's sexuality is not made explicit, but he dresses up as a drag queen.
- Hamam: Married guy discovers his homosexuality and dies in a way that encourages his wife to change her life for the better. He gets more screen time than her but the ending makes his life and death seem instrumental in hers.
- Harvey Fierstein as Uncle Frank in Mrs. Doubtfire enables Robin Williams' entire charade.
- Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist has an entire band full of Magical Queers who exist to give relationship advice and ferry around the occasional Hard-Drinking Party Girl. Michael Cera is the put-upon token hetero-Muggle in a scene made up of happy, attractive, promiscuous gay dudes.
- In Oyayubihime, the strange man who sells Saeko the shrinking potion also becomes her genuine friend, has no life or problems of his own, is identified by Saeko as an "Okama", and is actually magical.
- In Dasepo Sonyo, Big Razor Sis, a cross-dressing loan shark, provides Poor Girl with a relatively healthy friendship that makes her feel better about the fact that Poverty literally clings to her.
- Literal and very self-aware version of this in the title story of the book Am I Blue, with a gay fairy godfather/guardian angel. Also played for tragedy, since the character ended up that way because he was killed in a gay bashing incident.
- The titular character of What Happened To Lani Garver. Subverted in that his sexual preference is never actually revealed, and is in fact probably asexual. He just looks androgynous and is therefore assumed to be gay. There's also his offhand comment that "I'm the one who has to live in a strange body and deal with it."
- The second of Jean Auel's Earth's Children novels had a one-shot character based on the example mentioned in Real Life below. In an odd twist, we never find out their gender. Also, such are commonly referenced, and gay people are said to be almost always powerful shamans, able to draw on the powers of both men and women.
- Carlo in Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Poor, poor Carlo.
- Mercedes Lackey loves this trope. One of the key historical figures of her land of Valdemar is Vanyel, a literal Magical Queer in that he's both gay and a mage.
- Magnus Bane is this for Alec Lightwood in The Mortal Instruments. Literally, since he's also a warlock.
- Patrick does this job for Charlie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He is not the only character that guides Charlie, but is the first friend that Charlie does, mostly because Patrick doesnt judge him like all the other students, because, you know, everybody judges you when you are gay.
- Dekka talent from the GONE series comes under magical lesbian and negro, as she has the power to cancel gravity on command.
Live Action TV
- In Norse mythology, Mana was replenished through contact with ejaculate. Odin was a wizard. This means exactly what you think it does. So only women, bisexuals, or gay men could be sorcerers; however, Everyone Is Bi in viking culture.
- Parodied in an Onion news article about the President appointing a gay man to the office of National Homosexual, whose sole function is to give heterosexuals relationship advice. See Supportive Gay Friend here.
- Parodied in the internet video series Sassy Gay Friend, in which various tragic female characters from the works of Shakespeare are saved from their fates by a flamboyantly gay man who both insults them but builds their confidence in themselves all at once. And after finishing with Shakespeare, he moved on to Charles Dickens characters, movie characters, The Giving Tree, and now Bible figures.
- In a similar vein, when Mark Read Lord of the Rings, he came to the conclusion that every problem the fellowship faced could be resolved with one of these, played, of course, by himself.
- Doug Danger (Gay man, gay journalist) from The Phil Hendrie Show is a parody of this. While very unstereotypical and rarely discussing gay issues, he feels he has great insight to the topic of the day because he is a gay man, gay journalist. In some of the more absurd bits, he attributes superhuman powers to being a gay man, gay journalist. All by having been out for three months.
- Used literally in Sore Thumbs, where Flower gains certain magical powers simply from being gay (notably, being able to teleport on Oscar Night from party to party). He's too self-absorbed to really bother dispensing wisdom, though.
- Drezzer Wolf of The Suburban Jungle.
- Usually averted in Girls with Slingshots, with a great deal of focus being on how gay people have the same kinds of relationship problems as straight ones (STIs, infidelity, irresponsibility, romantic awkwardness, etc.). However, due to the comic's heavier focus on the female characters, Darren has less development and sometimes comes off as an advice-spouting gay.
- Clarence from Code Monkeys is so magically queer he can actually fly and phase through locked doors. This ability is even referred to as his "gay magic".
- South Park.
- Big Gay Al was the first openly gay character to appear in the game. He even explains Stan about the origina of homosexuality.
- Mr. Slave too. While he isn't much of a Camp Gay (besides his accent), he has consistently been one of the sanest and most insightful characters in the show in spite of being a complete degenerate. Since Chef's departure, the kids have consulted him on numerous occasions.
- Homer's secretary Karl (voiced by Harvey Fierstein) on The Simpsons.
- King of the Hill had a subversion; Peggy makes a distraught speech to her flamboyant hairdresser that takes it for granted that he's one of these. Then he turns out to be Happily Married to a woman, with no idea why Peggy would think otherwise.
- Another episode involved a Drag Queen who helped Peggy work on her body issues (namely, feeling insecure about the less-than-feminine parts of her like her large feet).
- Subverted with Bobby Panache from Glenn Martin DDS. He is a flamboyant stylist who seems to be gay, and several times its hinted at him being gay. Subverted at the end when his 'fiancée' Penny drives up in a corvette to pick him up, and Glenn makes a remark that says they knew he was straight all along.
- In some Native American tribes, there was the tradition of the "two spirit," a queer-spectrum individual who was singled out to be a good shaman because they obviously had both a male and female spirit in the same body.
- Winkte in Lakota.
- There are and have been scads of societies where LGB and gender-variant or trans people have had particular magical or religious roles.
- The Hijra of South Asia are a special caste comprised mostly of transgender and gender-variant individuals, and are believed to be able to practice magic. They often make their livings by charging a fee to bestow blessings upon newborns...and are prone to cursing those who refuse to pay.
- Similarly, Kveldulf Gundarsson speculates that in Norse/Germanic cultures a shaman displayed qualities and behaviours of both genders, much like Odin himself is known to do on occasion.