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Queer as Tropes

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"Ugh, these preconceived notions about gay people. It's time to dispel that stereotype—through a lavish musical number!"
Greg Corbin, American Dad!

Characterization, narrative and sexuality tropes commonly applied to queer characters, e.g. homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender people, etc.

While in the real world, LGBTQ+ persons are just as varied in personality and traits as straight/cisgender ones, it has suited television writers to use common stereotypes for their gay characters in lieu of actually making them "real people". In general, gay TV characters have become more realistic since the 1990s. But the stereotypes still remain the favorite tool of the hack writer — or the comedy auteur looking to parody or shock. Even some LGBTQ+ people perpetuate the stereotypes by criticizing those who fall outside of them as "not really gay" or words to that effect.

In contrast to gay characters and their stereotypes, bisexual characters are virtually unknown on TV. Writers don't seem to know how to portray them, although when they do appear they tend to be The Casanova or Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, at best. It's also not uncommon for their same-sex attraction to only be mentioned, while their onscreen love interests are always the opposite sex. And even when bisexuality is depicted, it's almost never called by name.

Within media intended for gay audiences, gay writers have their own subculture of stereotypes that occasionally leak into the mainstream.

See Gender and Sexuality Tropes for tropes dealing with sexuality in general.

Trope Name is a pun on the English idiom "there's nowt so queer as folk", used for the trope-subversive British and American shows of the same name.


Alternative Title(s): Stereotype Gay