The Last Of Us Doesn’t Force Perfection On LGBTQ+ Characters

The entertainment biz has a nasty habit of presenting queer characters as borderline Christ-like figures of goodness, a means to humanize us to a hostile world that debates whether or not we should even exist. And so, it is refreshing that “The Last of Us” not only declares queer characters as some of the most pivotal to the story but allows them to maintain their value without having to become some weird avatars for innocence and purity. Any sadness or pity we feel for these characters is not because of their queerness, but because they’re human beings enduring unspeakable circumstances.¬†Whether she’s reading diarrhea puns or smashing up glass display cases, Ellie’s emotions are always validated by the show.

Unfortunately, the same can not be said for the Black characters on the show, and as beautiful as the retconning of Bill and Frank’s story was, it also changes how their deaths will impact Ellie moving forward. We won’t know until season 2 specifically how this will all play out but given the explicit queerness presented in “The Last of Us Part II,” it’s safe to assume that the HBO series will only be getting gayer and even messier. We’re currently living through so-called “unprecedented times,” and considering the ongoing legislative assault against the LGBTQIA+ community, namely transgender people, I understand why so many people are afraid of allowing queer characters to be sloppy, messy, or frankly, human.

But “The Last of Us” doesn’t take place during unprecedented times, it takes place during the end times. Here’s hoping we don’t need a zombie outbreak in real life to make people realize a queer person existing imperfectly is a non-issue.

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