YES, this, for example, look at Deaton, we know NOW Deaton is gay because of deleted lines from the script, they went not because it’s not important to the character but because they ruined the pacing. Deaton is a great character but he’s not a great gay character, but a great character who happens to be gay.
For example the scene with Danny and the hacking, his sexuality was used as part of the story, but at the same time it did feel a bit exploitative, however Danny was implicit in that scene, in contrast I hated the scene where Scott used Danny’s sexuality to get rid of Finstock at the dance.
That’s what we need, characters who are gay and open and proud and capable, not characters who are there to add to the spread and no other reason.
I stumbled on a great quote earlier by Olivia Wilde, who did a live reading of a classic film on stage with a few other actors/actresses. They decided to gender-swap the roles so all the actresses played the male characters and vice versa. To the actors involved, it revealed to them the ways in which women so often feel sidelined in media - that more often than not male characters get the best roles, the best characters, the best lines. And of course, the same applies to other marginalised peoples/minorities. So yes, definitely, this is what I want in media- beautifully complex characters like Deaton who just happen to be queer. People should never assume anything until directly informed and even then I believe it’s open to change or interpretation. But I think a big part of the problem is a large part of the audience have an extremely heteronormative view of the world and for those people a character’s non-straight sexuality needs to be pointed at some point for them to accept it. I think that’s what people are so frustrated about; we have beautifully complex characters like Dumbledore or Deaton whose sexualities don’t matter to their characters or stories and that’s great, but because it’s only clarified outside of the text many people read and treat them as straight. It’s not just representation for queer individuals, as a way for people to see themselves in queer characters, it’s also a way of telling the world, ‘Hey, see that dude? see that awesome character? just so happens to be queer. Oh, you didn’t know? Sorry there wasn’t a massive fanfare.” I can absolutely understand why that drives people nuts, because while it’s good for those in the know, it’s not changing the perspectives of people who need to be shaken out of this hereronormative world view. This is why I love the way Nolan in my “guilty-pleasure watching” series, “Revenge”, has been portrayed. His character and role within the series was established well before it was revealed that he’s bisexual, which is fantastic because his sexuality, like any other straight character, isn’t treated like it’s part of his narrative or an issue - he just happens to be bisexual. His subsequent relationships take on a much more fuller meaning than “filling some ridiculous quota” or tokenism - their tied to the plot, to his personality and character as a whole. He’s not a stereotype and his character/story doesn’t depend on his sexuality. Danny, on the other hand, I have mixed feelings about. I think he’s a great character, but I’ll never be happy with the fact that his sexuality was introduced before he even came onscreen. I think there are levels of positive representation. There’s Danny, who shies away from gay stereotypes, but his involvement in the TW story still depends too much on his sexuality rather than his character. Deaton is another positive, but because it’s never mentioned in the text in any way, the large majority of viewers don’t consider him a complex character who just so happens to be gay. For those in the know it’s great representation, but like Dumbledore, that depends on whether you’re in the know or not.