The introductory scenes of General Hospitals second LGBT character seem to have annoyed some of the gays. Hmmm. I’m pretty sure there’s simply no way a character could be introduced that would make everyone happy – OH WAIT – that’s how soap opera characters ALWAYS work when they first come on screen.
So Felix Dubois is a young black male nurse (or nursing student – that’s unclear). His first scene was a combination of queenish primp and sincerity that I personally found refreshing. Felix had some lovely one liners about long established GH hallowed ground (“Nurses have balls?”) and had absolutely no hesitation about whipping out his lipstick .
Stereotype? Sure, but its a soap folks. All of the characters are stereotypes – brooding gangster with a heart of gold, socially awkward computer geek with a heart of gold, restless antihero who returns to town to save the day, misunderstood bad girl with a heart of gold, and so on and so forth. And let’s not forget that General Hospital currently has us believing that big bad Faison could don a rubber “Duke Faison” mask and mack on his lady-love without her being any wiser. Now that’s an affront to rubber mask wearing people everywhere right?
Will Felix be the gay best friend? Probably. Will be do a splashy number at the Nurse’s Ball? Good chance. Will he possibly fade into the background after that storyline? Likely, but who knows? Remember when Spinelli was just a nerdy kid and now he’s a leading man with two love interests. Or baddy Coleman was a walk-on bad dude and now owns a bar, sings karaoke and dated a fashion magazine editor before she returned to her mobster lover.
I’m a big proponent of positive representation of LGBT characters in the media, but I also believe in the power of soap operas and believe me – casting the role of sassy, wise BFF with a gay black man is fine. It is refreshing that he is clearly smart (nursing school), comfortable with his identity, and new to town (who doesn’t know about the Nurses Ball?)
It is also nice to have new direction instead of the coming out story that has driven LGBT storylines for years – well done, but perhaps we need something new. And how awesome that we have black LGBT character? I mean these are good things. Why shy away from the fact that he seems to have effeminate tendencies? There are actually gay men who carry lipstick and are sassy and try to “oomph” up the straight women that they know. And that’s fine.
Consider some of the other ridiculous things that have happened to daytime LGBT characters
- Bianca Montgomery, lesbian darling of All My Children, was raped and impregnanted and kept the baby. She also dated a transgender rock star (of course), got married, watched her wife kiss a man (Bianca’s brother in law) and so forth. Oh, and the brother in law fathered Bianca’s second child because his brother is the one who raped Bianca. Plus, Bianca murdered her rapist.
- Luke Snyder’s long missing bio dad tried to send him off to ex-gay camp. Then said bio father and Luke’s mom – both fabulously rich – decided to legally adopt Luke’s comatose boyfriend who didn’t have health insurance. Rather than just pay the bill. Then Luke fell in love with a snarky doctor who was smushed by a train and gave his heart to a transplant patient. In the middle, Luke’s unknown bio cousins came to town in some sort of Scissor Sister guise, kidnapped Luke to get their fortune back. Yawn.
- Will Horton came out. His Mom left the room, his Dad was fine. Then his Mom became his #1 champion and his Dad went all macho on Will’s boyfriend, demanding to know how much sex he’s had. Of course, Will had sex with his ex girlfriend. Now she’s pregnant with his child and he’s keeping mum, allowing her creepy new boyfriend to claim paternity.
- Lucas Jones came out on GH. His mom sent him for therapy, his Dad who was dying of a dramatic illness embraced him. Then Lucas went away to boarding school or something.
Rather than worry about the lipstick, let’s focus on the important issues … will Felix be connected to another GH character with the last name of Dubois? Will he get an on-screen love interest? Maybe he already has one! Will GH explore homophobia with some of the dignity and nuances that Days recently did? Will Felix have a storyline? Will Lucas return to town?
And what does Epiphany think about all of this? You know, the sassy black nurse character. Who is also a stereotype? But loved…