My Personal Experience With: Sexuality And Star Wars

Coming to terms with sexuality isn’t always easy, especially at a young age where you don’t quite understand what it is or what it means to be gay.

Growing up in a community where being LGBT wasn’t welcomed, accepting and understanding who I truly was ended up being a huge obstacle in my childhood.

The fact that I had no one to explain to me what I was feeling only made it that much more difficult. I had no one to talk to about what I was going through, and I knew I couldn’t go to my mother because she would just dismiss me as a confused eight year old. I was stuck, stressed, and feeling lost at such a young age. Looking back my struggle, if I had an LGBT character to look up to and to help me understand what I was going through, things wouldn’t have been so perplexing for me at the time.

This leads me to talk about one of my most favorite film franchises when I was a child — Star Wars.

It wasn’t until last year that I fully realized there are zero openly gay characters in the movies. If a franchise as big a Star Wars were to have had openly gay characters a long time ago, I would’ve had someone to look up to and help me accept myself. Not only me, but others as well.

Believe it or not, LGBT kids exist and they struggle with their identities, too. It’s crucial for these LGBT kids to have role model characters to look up to and make it easier for them comprehend the meaning of LGBT and what it means to be a part of that community.

LGBT representation in big franchises ranges from very minor to nonexistent. This is not the kind of representation we (the LGBT portion of the Star Wars fanbase) are asking for when say we want to see ourselves represented in these films. We’re calling for good and accurate representation; we don’t want to be sidelined or simply killed off. We exist too, and it’s time for Star Wars to recognize that. Another popular sci-fi franchise, Star Trek, already has openly gay characters, so why not Star Wars too?

Those of us in the Star Wars + LGBT community have started a twitter movement called #GayTheFourth for this reason specifically. It is a celebration of LGBT fans in the community and a call for good representation in the Star Wars films, as well as the rest of the Star Wars Universe.

It is time for better representation in the Star Wars franchise. For those still figuring out who they are, For those who wish to see themselves in a galaxy far far away, and for those who need someone to look up to when they have no one else to go to.