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Representation still matters

I am an openly bisexual man, in a relationship with a wonderful gay man. I say that partially for context and partially because in the grand scheme of things that’s still a new thing for me, it still feels good to get it out there every now and then.

Crazy-Ex-Girlfriend

 

Said wonderful boyfriend and I recently binged our way through all 3 current seasons of Crazy Ex Girlfriend. It’s a unique show that’s a comedy, drama and musical all at once. The reason I want to write about it is quite specific and relates to the character of Darryl.

Initially Darryl is somewhat of a background character, he’s the main character’s cooky boss, a very genuine and sweet man but just a little bit silly. I was fairly indifferent to him at first, he was funny enough but he didn’t really do much of note.

As the first season progressed something unexpected happened, Darryl received a mildly suggestive kiss from another man. Neither guy’s sexuality had been discussed, up until this moment most would have assumed they were straight. That in itself is an issue but I won’t get into that right now. I’d wager in fact that a lot of non-queer folk watching may not even have paid the moment any attention.

Little ol’ bisexual me though, as I watched this moment I got giddy. Literally, I let out a gleeful scream and excitedly tapped my boyfriend on the leg. I was so excited to see this develop, just the mere suggestion that something would happen between these two men had me even more invested in this show I was already beginning to love anyway.

Following this incident Darryl begins to question things, he clearly felt something after that kiss. What did it mean? He couldn’t be gay, after all he had an ex-wife and they had a daughter but if he wasn’t gay how could he be feeling something for another man?

I love how Crazy Ex Girlfriend dealt with Darryl’s struggle, I don’t think I’ve related to something more than his journey from confusion to confirmation. Just like that first moment with the kiss I jumped up and down multiple times, one of the things that especially excited me is when he finally figured out “what” he was, he used the word. He said bisexual. Hell, it being Crazy Ex Girlfriend he sang a bloody song about it!

Even in 2018, a time where there are bi folk on tv more than ever before, the word is still so rare to hear. To have Darryl go through this journey, one so close to my own and then say the word well it was just beautiful.

I’m out, I’ve become comfortable about who I am and I understand it now. Even so, seeing a version of my journey represented on TV in a respectful, relatable and real way was so incredibly validating. Knowing you’re not alone, whether you’re out or still struggling to understand your feelings is so important. If I had been able to watch Darryl’s journey when I was 14 my own may have been very different.

I’m so thankful that I can watch a show like this and get the warm fuzzies because I see myself in it and on top of that I know that it’ll mean the world to a confused 14 year old somewhere. I know that because it means the world to this no longer confused 31 year old.

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