In this episode of Project: Shadow, we dive into the gay episode of The Last of Us and explore the problematic tropes that it leans into. We examine the harmful effects of these tropes and how they perpetuate harmful stereotypes and stigmas about the LGBTQ+ community.
We start by discussing the first trope, which suggests that all gay people are the same and have the same experiences. This trope is harmful because it erases the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community and reduces individuals to a monolithic group.
The second trope we discuss is queer male body shaming. This trope is harmful because it reinforces the harmful idea that there is only one acceptable way to look as a gay man, and anyone who does not fit that mold is ostracized and ridiculed.
Next, we delve into the third trope, which portrays queer relationships as predatory and domineering. This trope is harmful because it reinforces the idea that same-sex relationships are inherently dysfunctional or abusive, which is not the case.
We then examine the fourth trope, which suggests that death or "un-aliving" can be romantic for queer characters. This trope is harmful because it reinforces the idea that queer love can only exist in the context of tragedy or pain, which is a harmful and limiting representation.
The fifth trope we discuss is "bury your gays," which suggests that queer characters are disposable and can be killed off for shock value. This trope is harmful because it reinforces the idea that LGBTQ+ characters are less valuable than their straight counterparts and perpetuates harmful stereotypes.
Finally, we touch on the issue of tokenism, which is when a character is added to a story solely for the purpose of diversity without giving them any real depth or development. This trope is harmful because it reduces queer characters to a checkbox and fails to give them the same treatment and consideration as other characters.
Throughout the episode, we ask the question: Why did this episode and series get a pass? We explore the various factors that may have contributed to the acceptance of these harmful tropes, and examine the ways in which we can work to be more mindful and inclusive in our media consumption and creation.
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Music: Intro music by Project: Shadow
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