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*THIS POST CONTAINS POSSIBLE SPOILERS TO SEASON THREE OF THE WALKING DEAD AND SPOILERS OF THE GRAPHIC NOVEL.

PLEASE CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK……

The Walking Dead, the zombie post-apocalyptic horror television series on AMC based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman and developed for television by Frank Darabont just might have its first gay characters in Season 3 if Darabont and Kirkman stay true to the comic books original storyline.

But are they the kind of positive gay characters that the LGBT community wants and needs to be presented on television?

The show to this point has had a multitude of characters types, White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, and even added the red-hot redneck character of Daryl (played by Norman Reedus) but there has not up to this point been one character identifies as LGBT.

Kirkman, with a few exceptions has stayed true to the comic’s story-lines thus far in the television series with just a few exceptions.  Sophia who in the comics  is still alive and well,  was turned into a walker and was subsequently shot and killed by Rick in the second season of the TV show.  And Carol consumed by grief commits suicide.  The biggest change from the comic’s storyline so far has been the surprise demise of Dale who in the comic after being bitten by a zombie has his leg amputated and sneaks into the forest to die alone, but is kidnapped by a group of cannibals, who yes you guessed it, eats him.   But so far in Kirkman’s Walking Dead series world as in most of the most television world dramas LGBT people just don’t exist.

But that may change in Season 3 if Kirkman sticks to the comics Prison storyline but unfortunately it might not be for the better.

At the end of Season 2 of the Walking Dead the final shot was that of “The Prison” which leads into a new story arc in The Walking Dead comic series.  In the comics the remaining members of Rick’s group, join up with four surviving inmates to fortify the prison against zombies. But danger comes from within because one of the inmate is a psychotic killer.

But his is where an old gay cliché’ come in with the possible introduction of two of the surviving inmates at The Prison,  Andrew and Dexter.

From the Walking Dead Wiki

Dexter is a towering, physically intimidating African-American inmate who survived the outbreak trapped in The Prison cafeteria.  He has a covert homosexual relationship with Andrew, but is in the relationship purely for sex.  Dexter also knuws how take advantage of Andrew’s love for him..

Andrew is a convict who dealt in drugs but he survived the initial stages of the undead Apocalypse trapped inside The Prison cafeteria.  A homosexual relationship between him and Dexter was hinted at, and explored later. And at one point there is a  conversation between him and Axel (another inmate) concerning the availability of women now that the new group was among them and  Dexter will turn heterosexual again

So is this the representation that the LGBT community will get in The Walking Dead?  A cliche storyline of “gay prison sex/down low relationship” because there are no women around? Let’s hope not.

Now there is no guarantee that Kirkman will introduce this into the storyline.  But if he does it will be a total insult to the LGBT Community.  (Not to mention the Black community because, of course BOTH characters are Black)  As of now considering the United Nations of characters that have been seen on The Walking Dead the fact there has not been one LGBT character on this show is beyond belief.   Does Kirkman, Darabont and A&E not think that a LGBT person couldn’t survive a Zombie Apocalypse?  Have they ever seen a pissed off Drag Queen fight?   In this day and age that gay characters might be introduced as a “convict and his bitch” is just unconscionable and NOT a step in the right direction.

Invisibility on television is a major problem for the LGBT Community.  And many of the LGBT characters who are on television are satirical stereotypes.  Even on “Modern Family” which GLAAD lauds the two main gay characters are so stereotypically gay that they are really nothing more than a caricature.

For this to change television shows and movies must learn that a character being LGBT isn’t and doesn’t have to be THE storyline.  A persons sexuality is an aside, a trait like being left-handed or having blue eyes and should be presented and treated as such.  There are many a gay man out there that don’t wear cardigans and shop at Abercrombie & Fitch and can kick some serious ass if they needed to.

LGBT viewers of The Walking Dead and television in general deserve much better.  Better characters, better representation, and better advocating for such by our organizations instead of applauding tired old stereotypes.

Hopefully Kirkman will see the light and deliver at least one positive character that just happens to be gay during the shows run.  The Dexter/Andrew storyline is old, tired and really kind of offensive and who knows it may just be what bites the The Walking Dead in the ass.

UPDATE: 10.15.2012

At the end of last night Season 3 – Episode 1 première.  Rick and the others did indeed find a group of prisoners hiding in the prison cafeteria mirroring the comic’s storyline.  While these characters were not introduced by name, during the end credits one character was indeed listed in the credits as Andrew.  But there was no listing for the character of Dexter.

On the bright side Daryl DID fend off Creepy Carol’s advances so there is still hope for an asskicking gay redneck character.

I can dream can’t I?

About the author

Will Kohler has written 6660 articles on this blog.

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

19 Comments

  1. ferretrick says:

    Oh, come on. Homosexuality does happen in prison among otherwise straight men. Acknowledging that fact is not an insult unless you’re hypersensitive. And you are wrong about Modern Family as well. Certainly Mitchell and Cam have some stereotypicly gay traits. You know who else has those? ACTUAL GAY PEOPLE. Stereotypes become stereotypes for a reason. It’s when the stereotype is all that there is to the character that it’s offensive, and that is not the casee with Cam and Mitchell.

  2. Jeni says:

    WOW.. so because there is a show on, it has to have openly lgbt characters or its not okay? I watch the show to see zombies and people running and surviving FROM the zombies around them – not to watch who is having a love relationship with who – same sex, opposite sex or any way whatsoever. Geez

    • Will Kohler says:

      Of course not. But considering the show has had a veritable United Nations of characters it would be nice to have at least 1.

    • Dean Hutchinson says:

      How DARE straights accuse US of being oversensitive when they’re pampered by the media WHEREVER they fucking look and all we get are sorry-assed stereotypes or invisibility! Well, fuck THEM royally, damn it! What the above posters seem to miss is the fact that, between zombie attacks, all the straight women are doing is gossiping, feeding and/or fucking their men, or the men are fighting each other and/or talking about getting some woman laid. Since when would straights be BETTER able to survive the zombie apocalypse, who, pampered as they are in a straight-run/straight-reinforcing/straight-entertaining world, would be far less able to adapt to a hostile environment than gays and lesbians who are BORN into a world that is full of potential hostility –and worse, gay bashings/lynchings, anyone– at every turn? The heterosexuality of the figures so dominates the storyline that it’s almost made me side up with the zombies and start rooting for them instead. :D

    • Aerick says:

      Really? The Walking Dead seems to be practically dripping with heterosexual relationships and drama. Some have even pointed out that the zombie situation is more of a backdrop environmental factor for all the human to human drama happening there.

      But yeah, after awhile in that show it has gotten to me how utterly heterosexually focused all the relationships and drama going on is. It would be nice to have at least a few sympathetic characters in the show who identify as lgbtq or such just to lighten the thick straight-person stench that show gives off.

  3. JohnnyG says:

    The show’s lack of gay characters is really getting on my nerves. The country folk presented are subtly typed as moderate Dems (Lori is anti death-penalty, Hershel is sympathetic about the vilification of AIDS victims, Rick is too much of a nice guy to agree with anything Rush Limbaugh says.) Still the show comes off as a paradise for homophobes. Maybe it has to do with the target audience. It’s based on a comic book and comic book nerds are notoriously homophobic. They’re losers who never grew up, so they have to pride themselves on something. They may not have ever had sex with a woman, but at least they want to, so the cling to that for a feeling of superiority.

  4. [...] Season 3 starts “The Prison” storyline and as Back2Stonewall.com has previously posted, in the graphic novel as part of this storyline two gay prisioner appear. [...]

  5. Dr. Skyler says:

    Hace you ever been to prison?

    I really doubt it.

    I personally hope they include Dexter and Andrew. I think they are important to the story. I dont think the fact that they are both black has anything to do with it. Your simply looking for something thats not there. If you had actually read the comics, you would know that they have another gay couple farther along in the story. They are totally normal and a big part of the group. Dex and Andrew are supposed to make you uneasy, ones a murderer and the other a drug addict, far worse than anything your throwing a fit about.

    The Walking Dead is supposed to be gritty and raw, not PC. I like how this upsets you, but the governor getting his genitals cut off, and his several rapes is of no concern, and not the least bit offensive. Picking and choosing.

    • Will Kohler says:

      Actually I am not picking and choosing just stating one part of it. I could do a detailed article of the walking dead but it would be longer than the 99 issues of the comic.

      Yes there IS a homsexual couple MUCH further along in the story.

      My point is that the changes that have been made to the storyline and charcters in the first 2 seasons (Especially since the first season cast/campground was a freakin United nations and the addition of Daryl Kirkman could have added a strong gay character.

  6. tijua says:

    I am a gay guy and I am truly offended that there is people who think like you out there. First, your comment about modern familly is completely irrelevant because the concept of the show is based on stereotype. ALL the characters are stereotypes. For walking dead, I am too wishing that there will be a gay character but it doesn’t need to have one at all cost. I don’t like when a show does positive discrimination by having a certain type of person just for the sake of having it. There is no gay characters in the comic untill the prison so there is no need to have one before. Yes the gay story line at the prison isn’t the most beautifull but it is what it is. Those guys just had sex. I’ll be able to wait longer for the introduction of a relevant gay couple.

    • Will Kohler says:

      Just so you know. I am a gay guy and since the first deason was a veritable United nations of characters many of which weren’t in the comic book. Including Daryl there was no reason not to add one.

      Look its not for the sake of having one at all costs. Why should it cost anything? But to ignore the fact that there are gay people while having almost every other group represented is just wrong. We do exist and a few of us would survive the Zombie apocolypse. Even in the comics a gay couple isn’t inroduced till much much later and meet Aaron and Eric who won’t appear until the survivors move on from the prison in search of a new home. Probably season 5 or 6 by the looks of things.

      There have been MUCH deviation from the comics. Daryl, Carol should be dead by now. Herschel should be dead. Dale doesn’t die till much later in the comics and is the victim of cannibalism. So Kirkman really isn’t following the comic to the letter to begin with.

  7. Shanahan says:

    I just saw this post and am particularly not thrilled by your attitude of the shows “deliberate” lack of gay people. I don’t believe that because there is a United Nations of characters there should be a homosexual character because they can survive the zombie apocalypse. I’m at this point where I believe everyone should have equal rights, gay marriage included, to say no to that just makes you an asshole, but who the hell cares if you are gay? I couldn’t care less, if you are good for you, but stop acting like a creative piece of work needs to follow a checklist to make sure every single type of person has been represented. There’s no single reason that the Dexter and Andrew subplot should be avoided because it will be offensive to the LGBT crowd. We should appreciate a good show for what it is, not because it may not be what you would prefer. Sorry for long comment. And thanks for the post though I still enjoyed it, I just don’t agree with you.

  8. Daniel says:

    Great article. I agree. Only reason I watched TWD was for the possibility of a decent gay character(s) since if I want to watch shows just about straight people I can do that anytime on any channel 24 hours/day 365 days/year.

  9. Keri says:

    I completely agree with the comments made by Tijua and Shanahan.

  10. Keri says:

    And Ferretrick for that matter.

  11. [...] storyline in the graphic novel belongs to that of Dexter and Andrew a cliché storyline of “gay prison sex with a down low inmate relationship” and  while the [...]

  12. jack says:

    Merle Dixon is gay….

  13. Me says:

    Shouldn’t there be one of everyone on the show? How many countries are there? Shouldn’t we have one gay, one lesbian, one transsexual, one transvestite, one blind person, one one-armed person, one with big ears, one with a big nose. Who is the Jewish character on the show? Who is the cancer survivor? Who is the orphan?

    If you want a show that has everything that YOU want then go write one yourself. Oh, look at that a bunch of gay men whining on here.

  14. cody says:

    well this never happened. and I have to say I agree with them adding some gay characters. I mean its not like they all died and only straight people lived. however there are two main gay characters in the comic that live in a community in Washington. hopefully they don’t take those characters out. especially since they took the two twin boys character storylines and gave them to two girls who had absolutely nothing to do with the series. and since they kept carol around even though she died before Hershel. and its not about having to have gay characters in it to be good. its about 1. acknowledging that gay people do exist, and 2. giving gay people somebody to relate to on the show. as for the whole wanting to watch people fighting zombies, well this is the wrong series for that. in the comics and even recently in the t.v. show its stated or shown that zombies aren’t a threat unless its a horde. hell in the comics rick and carl and 1 of those gay characters I mentioned above take out a horde on their own. the biggest recognizable threat is other people.

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