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Magical Queer

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"I'm your gay male friend! If Hollywood has taught us anything, it's that I'm naturally insightful!"
Justin, El Goonish Shive

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 they are gay, and has been persecuted because of it. If male, he is most often a Camp Gay or a Drag Queen and can thus 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 their 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 Manic Pixie Dream Girl (hence Lindsay Ellis's reference to "Manic Pixie Dream Gays" in her video criticising RENT) and Magical Negro, 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 and Zooey Deschanel is the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, then Harvey Fierstein is this trope.

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). Compare Mentor in Queerness, when a gay character offers someone who has recently realized they are LGBT.

This trope isn't about a character who becomes weird as a result of having magic powers. We are using the more recent, imaged meaning of queer here. Has nothing to do with someone who changes gender during superpower transformation sequence.


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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 Princess Jellyfish. He's a (straight) 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 he's bi.

    Comic Books 
  • Scott Pilgrim:
    • Scott's gay roommate, Wallace Wells, averts this. 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.
    • Wallace also plays this role during Ramona's fight with Envy, at least until he has to go to the bathroom. His homosexuality is a possible reason why he is not awed by Envy the way that most of the other male characters are and feels free to despise her for what she did to Scott.
    • The movie subverts "Magical Queer Pep Talk" moment — Wallace doesn't make the dramatic "Tell her you love her" speech, but instead the "Tell her you love her (and shack up with her)... because I just signed the apartment lease with my boyfriend and I need you to move out" speech.

  • Zigzagged in As Good as It Gets; Melvin learns to be a better person by caring for his gay neighbor Simon after his life falls apart; when Simon offers tough-love advice to Melvin he snaps, "I thought you people were supposed to be sensitive and sharp!"
  • Lola from Kinky Boots, who is in fact also a Magical Negro, making them 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.
  • 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.
  • In Bounce, a gay character, Ron, convinces the main character Buddy that he needs to enroll in AA. There are other instances where Ron provides wisdom for Buddy in the movie.
  • Thoroughly deconstructed in Thelma. While Thelma is magical and she is a lesbian, she is the protagonist and her powers bring her a combination of (frightening) liberation and total anarchy.

  • Played with in Blackbird (1986). When Randy starts having inexplicable premonitions, Crystal starts hinting to him that he may be this trope.
  • Oddly Enough: Literal and very self-aware version of this in "Am I Blue", with Melvin — a gay fairy godfather/guardian angel. Also played for tragedy, since Melvin 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 with ambiguous gender who is also a shaman. In an odd twist, we never find out their gender identity (they're simply called "Shamud", as the generic term for a shaman of their people). Also, they are commonly referenced, and LGBT individuals are said to be almost always powerful shamans, able to draw on the powers of both men and women. This also reflects some real-life beliefs about LGBT people held by various cultures.
  • 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.
  • 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 doesn't judge him like all the other students, because, you know, everybody judges you when you are gay.
  • In Tales of the City, Anna Madrigal has shades of this, constantly dispensing wisdom (and pot) to her "children" (tenants), although Sure of You subverts this; when Michael goes to her seeking advice on how to deal with a very serious problem, for a moment, he fully expects her to come up with a brilliant scheme to fix it, but she's got her own problems and her advice is rather boilerplate.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The whole idea behind Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
  • Ally McBeal had a Very Special Episode guest-starring Wilson Cruz from My So-Called Life as an Attractive Bent-Gender Magical Prostitute.
  • Willow of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is both gay and magical, but not particularly a Magical Gay. Tara is a more, for lack of a better term, straight example.
  • Kurt is shaping up to fill this role on Glee, particularly for Finn. Also subverted. During his time playing this role for Rachel he was deliberately giving her bad advice to keep her and Finn apart because of his own crush.
    • For most of the show, Blaine was this for Kurt. Subverted with Elliott, who tells Rachel off when she tries to make him into her new "gay BFF," and isn't interested in any of the drama.
  • Robin in Desperate Housewives, though she was revealed as gay for an episode and a half.
  • Lampshaded in Modern Family, where Cam has an irresistible urge to help everyone around him.
  • Marco del Rossi on Degrassi: The Next Generation always knows about heterosexual relationships, even before having a true relationship. He had a beard, who he later experiments with. Marco is a bit of a hypocrite since when his friend Spinner tries to fix him up with Dylan, he asks Marco what it's like to be gay. Over his six seasons on the show, he helps out Ashley and Craig, Ellie and Sean, Paige and Spinner, Paige and Alex (justified in that Alex is a girl), Ellie and Jesse. Magic abounds.
  • Lampshaded in an episode of The Big Bang Theory in which Wolowitz is visited by the spirits of George Takei and Katee Sackhoff (playing themselves), offering him relationship advice. Takei's advice actually works, but not before he gets grief for it:
    Takei: A woman needs to be wooed.
    Sackhoff: How would you know?
    Takei: (indignantly) I read!!!
  • The Kids in the Hall:
  • The January 11, 2012 episode, of The Colbert Report where Mitt Romney's winning the New Hampshire primary and Stephen's coming to the realization that he might just have to settle for him, parodies this, with Andy Cohen (host of a talk show on Bravo and the first openly gay talk show host) as the gay best friend who gives Stephen advice.
  • On Sisters, a friendship with an AIDS-stricken, cross-dressing, black, and yes, GAY man is enough to turn the spoiled and bratty daughter of eldest sister Alex into a compassionate young woman determined to turn her life around (she met him at the hospice where she was sentenced to do community service after being arrested for prostitution) and regain custody of her daughter (whom she ditched when she abruptly decided she no longer had any interest in being a wife and mother).
  • Subverted in Metrosexuality. Max isn't compassionate and a decent problem-solver because he's gay. He's a problem-solver because his many life trials made him very experienced.

  • 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. Bottoming though was considered unmanly (as in Greek and Roman culture) so Odin had to sacrifice some honor (per Norse beliefs) to use magic.
  • In Mesopotamian Mythology, the underworld goddess Ereshkigal cursed intersex and nonbinary people to be shunned by society, so Ishtar gifted them with healing and prophecy to make up for it. As Red from Overly Sarcastic Productions put it: "So the lesson of this particular legend is if you're gender non-binary, you're magic, Ishtar loves you, and even the queen of hell thinks you're hot."

    New Media 
  • 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 The Bible figures.
  • In a similar vein, when Mark Read The 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.
  • Another parody in The Cinema Snob with Bear Ryan, Snob's magical gay friend who exists only to help straight women with their relationships. Problem is, his solution is to murder the husband with an axe.
  • Discussed (like most other Tropes) in After Hours, though the setup is a bit... on the nose.
    Soren: What're we talking about?
    Michael: Gay people are magic!
    Soren: Mm-mm. (Proceeds to get up) Nope.

  • 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 into 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.

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Deconstructed by Patton Oswalt on his Finest Hour tour, where he discusses how he was asked to audition for a sassy gay friend role in a bad Rom Com, before comparing the trope to a modern equivalent of blackface for being so stereotypical and dehumanizing. Noting his real gay friends are as dumb as his straight ones, he goes on to explain his condition for accepting the role was that he would do it down to the same sassy gay rhythms, albeit subverting it in that the character mustn't have anything helpful or intelligent to say:
    "I've seen that look before, sweety! You... you wanna... ha— (Beat) Do s— uh. (beat, then resigned) Something with his cock? I guess? I dunno. Fuck, I'm tired."
    "You and your two friends! When the three of you get together, you guys are like The Thr— (long beat) What— who are the guys with the muskets? What did they call those guys again? (beat) Are they called Musketeers?! Was I that close?!"

  • 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.
  • Despite providing the quote above, Justin from El Goonish Shive usually averts this, as he needs as much advice as the other characters.

    Western Animation 
  • 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 origins 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 completely sex-obsessed. Since Chef's departure, the kids have consulted him on numerous occasions.
    • Apparently the boys view Brian Boitano as this.
  • 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). Said drag queen thought Peggy was also a drag queen though.
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Magical Gay