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Queer Cancelation

Written By ’22-’23 Student Board Member Harper Hallquist


With the recent cancellation of GLAAD award winning television series Our Flag Means Death,  speculation of the cancellation of queer media has risen. With shows over the years such as First Kill and I Am Not Okay With This, many beloved shows featuring LGBTQIA+ representation have been abandoned. 

Our Flag Means Death

After a slightly successful season one of the enrapturing show Our Flag Means Death, an imminent season two was approaching. Once released with more popularity and press coverage, the show was canceled in January of 2024. A statement from media outlets and streaming services saying “the numbers weren’t there”, contradicting the amount of fandom and support the season had racked up. With current petitions circulating such as “Save Our Flag Means Death” and “Renew as a Crew” having over 60,000 signatures, and even billboards in time square; the fan reactions are pushing for season 3. Even though the new season was well received, and had a significantly more well received second season; the show was imminently canceled. This raises the questions of, why are the numbers for the cancellation of queer shows much more significant? And, Is the little representation given an accurate one?


In the year 2022, 29% of all queer characters in film were reported to not be returning for additional seasons, for reasons such as death or just overall cancellation of the show. This number significantly increases when the film contains queer women, resulting in a shocking 70% cancellation rate. Compared to more hetero forward shows, the numbers for LGBTQIA+ shows returning is slim. Shows with fewer queer characters such as Breaking Bad and The Big Bang Theory, both of which returned for multiple seasons following a successful debut; compared to queer packed shows such as First Kill only getting one season. The evident increase in queer show cancellation is significant, and rising. But even though these inspiring shows are being canceled, is the representation accurate?


The LGBTQIA+ community has seen a wide variety of some pleasant and not so pleasant stereotypes in film. Common ones being quirky, different, and only for the main characters’ use. In many shows, the queer characters are seen as background, used to enhance the ultimate decisions of the main character. From the flashy best friend, to the introverted and quiet archetype; the queer community has seen it all. The inaccuracy of this community leads to feelings of neglect and isolation. Being able to see one’s self in the media is important to living an authentic life. 


Though there has been a recent uptick in queer representation, we can still see certain communities gaining more screen time than others. Many shows include token queer characters most identifying as lesbians, bisexuals, trans, or gay. As said before, shows which feature outside of the main walls of LGBTQ+ representation, are often outcasted. Shows like Our Flag Means Death which featured polyamorous and gender non-conforming people, as well as Heartstopper which highlights asexual and aromantic identities, have often received a lot of backlash from viewers. With the hundreds of shows portraying characters which don’t ring true to the community, viewers begin to feel abnormal or different. With the added reality that many of these shows, even with the little representation, are scrapped to be replaced with shows and movies which show little to no quality representation. Without the ability to relate to content or find content with an accepting community, this creates that sense of isolation and results in the hiding of one’s own identity and authentic self; further prohibiting the self expression which has taken years to gain rights and access in society.