On National Coming Out Day & How To Get Away With Murder
There are many reasons to love How To Get Away With Murder: the eye candy Billy Brown and Alfred Enoch provides, the acting prowess of Viola Davis, the heart-pounding mysteries that keep audiences on the edge of their seats.
But the one aspect of the show that keep me coming back are the portrayals of real, human stories even amidst harrowing themes of death, murder and betrayal.
One particular moment during the most recent episode that resonated with me was Connor’s interactions with a random guy who he had previously seen flirting with Oliver.
Random Guy: Asian guys aren't really my type.
Connor: So you're a bigot?
Random Guy: What're you talking about? I'm stating a preference.
Connor: Let me guess. Your only into masc. dudes too, right? Your humper profile is all 'no fats, no femme, no Blacks, no Asian.
This interaction is one I experience often. I am Gay, I am Asian, and for as long as I can remember I have always struggled with body image.
Seeing 'no fats, no femmes, no Blacks, no Asians' glittered across various dating pages is an important reminder that our liberation as an LGBTQIA+ community — especially those living at the intersections of not only gender/sexuality but of race, class, ability, spirituality, etc. — was not fully achieved when marriage equality was legalized. It was just the beginning.
To see a widely-viewed television series call out racism within the Gay community so blatantly is transformative. Popular culture has a tremendous responsibility in counteracting the ways in which racism, homophobia, transphobia, and sexism have become normalized throughout our history.
#HTGAWM succeeds in ensuring that these issues become an important component of the show alongside the heart-wrenching mysteries.
So on #NationalComingOutDay, I want to thank the creators of #HTGAWM for creating the character of Oliver and especially Conrad Ricamora for reminding me that there is a place for Gay, Asian actors and characters on network television.