Nick Mattos, ’06, is a freelance journalist and essayist living in Portland, OR. He turned up recently in The Guardian as one of three panelists discussing the evolution of LGBT characters in pop culture. Here is a sample:
The Guardian: The concept of the ‘gay sidekick’ is a classic mainstream exploration of the LGBT community in American pop culture. Have gay characters moved more to the center of the plot in recent years, and where does work still need to be done?
Nick: One great effect I’ve observed in recent representation of queer people in pop culture is the presence of queer characters whose sexuality is not the crux of their identity. A great example of this was the character of Mitch Downe in the excellent 2012 film Paranorman, who was arguably the first openly gay character in a mainstream children’s animated film. He wasn’t stereotyped at all – the revelation of his sexuality was actually a humorous but sensitively handled plot twist. [He] was instead a whole, integral character, whose personality grew organically through the course of the film. In terms of work that still needs to be done, there are still very few representations of queer people that don’t fit the mold of being affluent, white, and relatively heteronormative in expression.
Read the entire interview at The Guardian.