I don't watch a lot of television. I've started watching several television programmes over the last few years but I've come to realise that I prefer to immerse myself in stories where I control what everything looks like in my own head. So there are few programmes that I stick with.
One of those programmes lately has been Revenge (although I'm nearly at the end of my tether with it!) about a girl seeking revenge on a powerful family in the Hamptons. One of my favourite things about this show? Is the main character's best friend, Nolan Ross.
Nolan Ross is very loyal to the main character. I love his wit and humour. I love that he's handy with technology and is able to help out with his quick-thinking. I also love his outlandish fashion sense. There's a real vulnerability about him though. You can tell throughout the entire span of this programme that he wants to feel included. As Emily's friend and as her family. And I can relate to that need to belong.
But the thing I like the most is that throughout however many seasons it's been, Nolan has had significant relationships with both men and women on the show. I don't often come across openly bisexual characters either in television, film and definitely not many in the fiction that I read.
And this is definitely something that I would like to see more of in YA. I don't admit to knowing that much about things like biphobia (which is a term I've only just discovered when searching for YA books involving bisexual characters) and I don't feel like I am a very knowledgeable person when it comes to issues concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people or how the representation of these people appear in fiction in different, sometimes harmful, ways. But I would definitely love to see more sexual diversity within YA including more bisexual characters. I was also recently talking with an author on Twitter about how we need more bisexual characters on TV/film as well.
Some YA fiction that I've read recently that I would recommend that contain bisexual characters include Adaptation by Malinda Lo, Empress of the World by Sara Ryan, Far From You by Tess Sharpe, Pantomime by Laura Lam (does this count?) and Pink by Lili Wilkinson.
I don't want much tv either, but REVENGE! I used to follow that one (then I got bored I guess...)ReplyDelete
Nolan was one of my favorite characters (but to me it looked more like they "changed" him back to heterosexual after that affair with a man rather than him being bisexual... so I don't know... I think I just don't like what they did with his character.... But I'm not up to date so I might be wrong...)
"we need more bisexual characters on TV/film as well." AGREED. I come across gay/lesbian characters from time time on tv but bi? Nope. Can't think of any bisexual characters (other than Nolan)... but I hope that's only because I don't watch many series. (probably not though)
Pantomime - that's an interesting question. The MC is intersex, but falls for a girl and a boy sooo I'd say it counts (but I'm no expert)
Btw, don't forget to link-up your Far From You review as well! :)
Hi. Yes, he had a thing with a man ... and then that girl. But now he's been dating another man. So I don't think they were trying to backtrack with him before!Delete
I heard there might be a bisexual female character in Pretty Little Liars, but I don't watch the show?
Regarding Pantomime, it fits with the definition of bisexual, sure. But as Micah is an intersex character I'm not entirely sure if it still the case? As Micah is not female or male but both?
Thanks for the reminder about the FFY review! I'll do that now :)
I'd say Micah is bisexual, since he fancies both. He's personally genderfluid, but gender identity is often separate to sexual identity. :-)Delete
Ooh, thanks for the clarification, Laura :)Delete
I also think we need more variety of characters in books, film and TV. I've read Ash by Malinda Lo (I think you've mentioned it elsewhere on here)? Wildthorn Hall by Jane Eagland has a lesbian main character. You might have mentioned that one too? I can't think of many other YA books with bisexual characters.ReplyDelete
A lot of the time if there is a gay or bisexual character they seem to be there for sensationalism, rather than just people who happen to be gay or bisexual. I've read a few books where it's not like that, they're not Young Adult though. The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby is one of my favourite books (based on the life of the Japanese author Murasaki Shikibu). I would class her as bisexual, she had close relationships with women but also loved a Chinese man and her husband. And in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See the two main characters have a relationship that's like sisters (they're put together as "laotongs") but it's deeper than the average friendship.
I read a book years ago about a woman who was a model and was under the influence of her boyfriend/manager but she met this other woman who helped her escape. It was to do with magic. It was just a love story about two people who happened to be women. That book was good but I can't remember the name of it at all!
The only bisexual character I can think of on TV is Tara in True Blood. I'll see if I can think of any more. :)
I think that's probably why I enjoyed Adaptation as much as I did. Because it isn't a story about coming out or a story about one girl trying to define her sexuality. It's a science fiction story involving government conspiracies and it just happens to contain a girl going through this things. I definitely would like to see more like that. Where the sexuality of the character isn't turned into an issue.Delete
I've read Ash but it was so long ago that I don't really remember it. And I didn't mention Wildthorn Hall! I'll have a look for that one.
Definitely would like to see more diversity! I hadn't realised Tara was bisexual, but I stopped watching that show fairly early on!
Yeah, it's good when the sexuality isn't turned into an issue. I like it when race isn't made into a big thing either. I really liked True Murder by Yaba Badoe. It's a good book. An African girl living in the UK is the main character but her heritage/race isn't an issue. I'm half African, so it's nice to read stories with Africans characters. Also I'd like to see more books with mixed race characters where their race/s aren't the main theme. In Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Kali is half Indian (Asian Indian) and half white (Italian maybe?).Delete
Just realised it's actually Wildthorn, not Wildthorn Hall,lol. I got it wrong! It's good, it's about a girl who is put in a mental home against her will and plots to escape. I enjoyed Whisper My Name by Jane Eagland as well.
Tara started dating women later on. I think True Blood has gone a bit more over the top with every series, so I can see why people would stop watching, lol.
Yes, I could write several posts just on the need for more mixed race characters as well! (I'm mixed race too - half white/half Native Alaskan) and I remember reading books growing up and I was never really able to relate to any of the characters I was reading about...Delete
Hopefully things will change in the future. There seem to be more mixed race children's books now. When I was little I remember one, about a girl who had a white dad and black mum (opposite way to me, lol). The little girl wasn't well so she had the day off school and her dad looked after her. Her mum was a nurse, I think.Delete
I *hope* things change in the future! It'd be pretty horrific if not. Especially as when I was growing up I didn't know anybody else who was mixed race (apart from my brother) and now it is much more common.Delete
I'm glad you found some things to read when you were little. I usually stuck to a lot of Native American fiction but they usually had really terrible messages in them :(
There are more mixed race people in my area now than when I was young. Also there seems to be more awareness than there used to be. There's a children's book called I Am Mixed that came out recently, it was co-written by the actress Garcelle Beauvais (she has mixed race twins). And I belong to a few mixed race Facebook pages, like Mixed Chicks and Mixed Race Babies. They post lots of pictures of people who are different mixes.Delete
That's a shame about the lack of positive Native American fiction as well. When I was a child I didn't know much about Native Americans apart from the stereotypes they had in films. I'd like to see more Native American characters in mainstream films and books as well. (Not stereotypes). :)
That sounds quite cool. To be in different FB communities who are proud to be mixed race and celebrate that fact :) I might look into that.Delete
I would definitely like to see more positive Native American fiction, though I'm probably unlikely to come across any in my local UK bookshops :)
I think the FB pages are definitely worth checking out. :) You do get some negative people on there and arguments sometimes but there are nice comments too and you can just look at the pictures, lol. A few years ago I had a look for mixed race sites/forums but there seemed to be a lot of negative stories and posts on them. I made my own mixed race boards on Pintrest last year and I post positive things on there.Delete
Yeah, I doubt there's much in the bookshops here. You'd probably have more luck online, maybe there is more positive fiction available in America now. :)
Oh but I adore Revenge, I am completely hooked on it! But I agree with your actually point, more characters like Nolan are needed in TV, film and book, just being open and happy with who they are.ReplyDelete
Yes, for sure. There needs to be a higher level of visibility so that young people now can be aware of them so that they know it's okay to be who they are.Delete
I don't watch Revenge anymore (I do need to catch up!) but I adore, adore, adore Nolan. He's one of my favourite characters ever. I can't think of any bisexual characters other than the ones mentioned already, which definitely shows we need more of them!ReplyDelete
For sure. All the television programmes out there and we can only think of a couple? Major sadface.Delete
I think Brittany from Glee is bi. Other than that, there was Torchwood, which did okay on that front. But aside from these two examples I'm struggling to come up with more.ReplyDelete
I read and reviewed Adaptation and Far From You recently and they were both so awesome! I'm really looking forward to reading Pantomime. Grasshopper Jungle has a bisexual protagonist too; I thought that was a pretty good book, but it's not the kind of story for everyone.
Anyway, I completely agree we need more bisexual characters in YA. I'm bisexual myself, so I'm dying to see more representation!
Oh I heard about Brittany actually but I'd stopped watching Glee before that happened...Delete
Far From You is AMAZING. I love that book so much. And seriously, Pantomime is WONDERFUL. Really hope you enjoy it.
I didn't know about Grasshopper Jungle. I've been interested in reading that but also not very enthusiastic about it because I heard it's weird and gross and I don't know how well I'd deal with gross!
I love Nolan! He's the funniest character on the show, and I agree that he's a really loyal friend to Emily. Mulan from Once Upon a Time was implied to be bisexual too, though she needed more screen time IMO. I have hopes we will see more of her in the next season. I think there definitely needs to be more bisexual characters in TV/film though. I watch a lot of TV/film and it's kind of sad that I could only think of two bisexual characters off the top of my head. I know I've seen other shows where there have been bisexual characters in a few episodes, but not as recurring or main characters. Fab post, and thanks for the YA recommendations, will definitely be checking them out.ReplyDelete
I really hope that you enjoy any of my recommendations as much as I did :)Delete