The thing is, representation matters, and one of the worst things that this kind of narrative does is that it expects an LGBTQ audience to be satisfied with the bare minimum. When this bare minimum is not met with automatic praise and thanks, the audience is punished in any number of ways, from a producer’s social media snarkery to claims by the mainstream media that the darned homosexuals just aren’t grateful enough. Even the smallest amount of negative reaction is cited as reason enough to not bother with such a storyline in the future.

It’s sort of like showing up to Thanksgiving having said you’d bring green bean casserole, except you brought a single green bean on a paper plate. Even though this will obviously not feed any of the other guests and barely counts as a green bean casserole, you sneer at those who are protesting, telling them that they never specified what a green bean casserole is and besides that, they’re being whiny babies. You wave the single limp green bean in the air and tell them that it’s obvious they’ll never be happy, that they’re complaining for the sake of complaining and it’s no wonder they don’t get to eat quality green bean casserole, because nobody wants to share green bean casserole with such an aggressive and unfriendly group. In other words, making a character gay only to immediately write them out of the show makes me feel like shoving a green bean up someone’s nose.

excerpt from the piece i’m writing for autostraddle on why i’ve stopped recapping once upon a time, because they pulled some bullshit