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Deconstructing GH: LGBTQ+ Representations, the Good, Bad & The Ugly

August 30:

Image: Jill Johnson/JPI

With only two new episodes of General Hospital this week, I decided to change things up and write a column on a more focused topic. The return of Kristina, without Parker, was what spawned the idea for this blog. When it comes to daytime, GH leads the way in LGBTQ+ characters and storylines. While this increased representation on daytime is a positive, not all the portrayals and storylines have been stellar. Some have even been downright cringe worthy.

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Kristina comes out

Many viewers were frustrated that Kristina was suddenly into women, when the character had always dated men. The closet isn’t just about hiding your sexual identity from others, but sometimes yourself. It’s not uncommon for LGBTQ+ people to deeply deny even to themselves that they are who they are, and a certain set of circumstances push them to acceptance or clarity. This part of the storyline, and Kristina’s struggle to accept who she was, I thought was well done. Her family’s acceptance was also great. My issue was with Parker. Falling in love, or lust, with your teacher is common for many teens and young adults no matter their orientation. While Kristina’s initial pursuit of Parker and the grade for sex fiasco was wrong on her part, Parker was in a position of power and did lead Kristina on. Her inviting Kristina to her house after hours for wine and to complain about her loveless marriage was not only unprofessional, it was downright creepy. That they went from a strained and sexually frustrated student-teacher relationship, to Parker being Kristina’s first, to running off to Oregon together felt equally odd and rushed. Especially given Parker didn’t have much screen time as a character. It’s no surprise the relationship has imploded. Even though Pristina has a very vocal fan base, I’d be in favor of Kristina moving on with someone new.

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The threesome best forgotten

The triangle involving Lucas, Brad and Felix resulting in their threesome was without a doubt the worst moment for representation of LGTBQ+ people on the show. While threesomes do happen, and even among straight couples who have open relationships, this move perpetuated the stereotype that gay men can’t be monogamous and are all about sex. Fortunately they moved on, and Brad and Lucas were married and went on to plan a family. Now thanks to the baby switch storyline, the first LGBTQ+ family on GH is about to be blown up. Yes, this is a soap, and every character on a soap at one point or another becomes a lying, scheming, backstabbing hypocrite who will likely have an affair, commit a crime, or what not. It’s just a shame to see this happen to Brad and Lucas and ruin their adoption story.

Liz’s childhood friend

The introduction of Terry so far has done everything right, though she is not the first trans character on the show. Last year Joss and Oscar fought to hold an alternative school dance for their friend Dakota, who was not allowed to dress pertaining to the gender he identified as. The story seemed more of a feelgood, PSA plot point than a fully fledged storyline. Unlike Dakota, Terry is being played by a trans actress, Cassandra James, a first in daytime. The scenes of Liz accepting her friend, and Terry telling Liz and Franco her story and addressing their questions, was a well written scene. That Terry is a doctor is another positive, because trans characters in movies and television shows have a history of being stereotyped as crazy, killers or sex workers. It’s also a great move to have more doctors on a show called General Hospital, which has been overrun by the mob.

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Princess Calinda of Everwood

Recently the idea of gendered toys, shows and well, pencils, came up when Liz’s son Aiden expressed his desire to get school supplies based on his favorite show, Princess Calinda of Everwood. Big brother Cam, not wanting him to be bullied at school, unfortunately became the bully at home and told him those things were for girls and only girls like Princess Calinda. While he may have had good intentions, he went about protecting his brother in the wrong way. We don’t yet know where this is going, and perhaps this is why Terry has been brought onto the show. However I hope it doesn’t become like the Dakota storyline and was simply a PSA moment to let it be known it’s okay to like things that others might not see as gender appropriate. It would also be great to see Liz in a story involving her children for a change.

Next week’s blog will return to the normal Deconstructing GH format. Until then, please leave your thoughts on mine and these topics.

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