Tag Archives: Once Upon A Time

One Million Moms Go Into Meltdown Over ‘Once Upon A Time’ Lesbian Storyline

Hate group One Million Moms have gone into melt down about a recent episode of ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” that featured a lesbian kiss .


According to their press release:

ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” introduced a lesbian couple during this week’s episode which 1MM and parents find completely unnecessary. On the other hand, the producers said the inclusion of homosexuality in a show popular with kids was “important.” Many families watch the program based on beloved children’s fairytales, but unfortunately, ABC has distorted and twisted the storylines in these fables.”

The offending episode, named Ruby Slippers, aired on April 17th and featured Ruby from Little Red Riding Hood and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz kissing, making them the first-ever gay couple to appear on the show.

One aspect that really makes One Million Moms angry is the fact that “the munchkins from Oz watch.”

The press release continues:

True Love’s kiss has been a staple of this show since the beginning. This past Sunday’s episode was just another example of how in a fairytale, as in life, love is love,” co-creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis said in a statement about the LGBTQ storyline. Horowitz added that the storyline will be as “exciting, emotional, and heartfelt as any other love story.”

“Once Upon a Time’s” executive producers have also said their gay advocacy is “important to do” and something that needs to be “normalized,” not “marginalized.” Last year, when hinting the coming storyline, they said, “It (the LGBTQ relationship) is something we think is due and important to do on the show. This is the world we live in.” The producers repeated the mantra “love is love” and again admitted that their goal was to normalize and push gay relationships “as a part of everyday life.”

Homosexuality continues to be over-represented in the media because producers want people, and especially kids, to think it’s normal and everyday life. In reality, that is their fairytale.”

So there you have it — this month’s generous helping of stupidity, courtesy of One Million Moms.


‘Once Upon A Time’ Introduces First Same-Sex Relationship

Once Upon a Time has been teasing us for years, but now they have finally introduced us to the shows first same-sex couple.

Alas SnowQueen fans, it isn’t Emma and Regina.

im sorry

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead, if you have not watched episode 18 of Once Upon A Time.

The new couple on the block is Ruby aka Little Red Riding Hood and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

In a series of flashbacks, Ruby and Mulan team up with Dorothy in Oz to take down the Wicked Witch.

Romance blossomed between the two women after a fateful sleeping curse lead Ruby to the Underworld to bestow true love’s kiss on Dorothy to wake her.


Executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz originally revealed an LGBT couple would be joining the show after a screening of the season premiere last year.


Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Kitsis said

We know that community have been big supporters of the show and we would love to be able to tell a love story that reflects that”

Horowitz added.

It’s something we want to do this year. It’s something we think is due and important to do on the show. This is the world we live in.”

Viewers originally speculated that the relationship could occur between Mulan and Aurora – after it was hinted that the pair loved each other – but Kitsis and Horowitz did not reveal which characters the arc would feature until the episode aired.

Watch a sneak peek below.

‘Once Upon A Time’ Stars Lana Parrilla And Jennifer Morrison Talk SwanQueen

When it comes to the central relationship on Once Upon A Time, we all know it’s Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) and former Evil Queen Regina Mills (Lana Parrilla) — or Swan Queen, as they’re known to their legions of supporters — that really rule.

Swan Queen 02

The connection between these two women is deep-rooted, and has evolved into one of the most fascinating and championed relationships on Once Upon a Time.

The ways in which they’re constantly saving one another, both literally and figuratively, is profound and worth talking about, particularly because anyone with eyes can see the unresolved tension between the two of them. So why is Once wasting this golden opportunity?

Well, Morrison and Parilla have talked with EW about their onscreen relationship.

Swan Queen 02

Morrison explains

I feel like they have a really true friendship. It’s just awesome to see two strong women have a great friendship on television, because usually you have two strong women fighting each other, or angry at each other, or having a catfight.”

Despite Emma’s own turn to the dark side during the first half of the season, their friendship has gone uninterrupted.

Swan Queen 01

Parrilla added

Regina doesn’t really hold anything against Emma. Emma became the Dark One because she sacrificed herself for Regina, so Regina feels obligated to help Emma in any way that she needs. She sees that everything that Emma was doing was for the greater good. She accepts that. They’re back to being friends and really family.”

Swan Queen 04

And on the further developments, Parrilla says

I always see their relationship as best friends and sisters. I’m nervous to say that because there are so many SwanQueens out there that see something else, and I don’t want to take that away from them.”

Swan Queen 01

Morrison has high praise for how OUAT bosses Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have developed this relationship into something people should aspire to.

The one thing I always say is that we’ve got to be good to each other. When you have examples of a friendship like that on television, that’s a good thing to be putting in front of people, because it is exactly what we need. We need women building each other up, supporting each other and being there for each other, even when we have made mistakes.”

Once Upon a Time returns March 6th 2016.

Bi Erasure In Television Perfectly Summed Up In These Wonderful Memes

Are you tired of the straight-as-default trend in most media today? Are you tired of all queer subtext being read as gay or lesbian, but never bisexual? Then you are not alone.

Author and activist Nicole Kristal’s memes about bisexual TV characters hilariously point out, not a single one has used the word “bisexual” on screen.

Talking to Bustle, Kristal explained.

Labels are important because they create visibility and community, and they help dissolve shame.When you’re a minority group who cannot see a positive representation of yourself on television or in films, it’s damaging. It accounts for the horrific stats that have recently come out about bisexuals.”

In an effort to draw attention to bisexual erasure and its effect on individuals, Kristal created the #StillBisexual campaign last January, which features bisexuals discussing their sexuality and dating history in confessional-style videos.

I thought if people could see our bisexual stories, they would finally start to believe that we exist.

When bisexuality is depicted on television, it’s often shown as a transitional stop on the road to gay town …or as ambiguous and undefined. Characters almost never say the b word, especially not in reference to themselves, and often times their sexuality is used as a plot twist rather than a permanent identity.”

As a result, Kristal created memes featuring frustrated TV characters…


bi-memes-12 bi-memes-11 bi-memes-10 bi-memes-09 bi-memes-08 bi-memes-07 bi-memes-06 bi-memes-05 bi-memes-04 bi-memes-03 bi-memes-02

Jamie Chung to Return to Once Upon a Time

Fairy tales aren’t exactly known for their LGBT representation and so it was a surprise when ABC drama Once Upon a Time, a show based on classic fairy tales, appeared to allude to a queer romance.

In its second season we were introduced to Fa Mulan (played by Jamie Chung) and Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty, played by Sarah Bolger) with the two women quickly striking up a bond.


Although Mulan seemed to have the hots for Prince Philip, this quickly changed when Philip temporarily died after sacrificing himself to a wraith to save Mulan and Aurora.

Before he got offed by the monster, he asked Mulan to keep Aurora safe and so she does her best but is unable to stop some zombie-types from snatching Aurora’s heart, allowing them to control the princess’ body.

Mulan goes to get Aurora’s heart back (popping it in her chest in a strangely erotic moment), the two go on a quest to save Philip and so Aurora and Philip are loved up and happy as Mulan sits on the sidelines.

Mulan eventually gets an offer to join Robin Hood and co. but before she agrees, she says that she needs to talk to “a loved one”; Aurora. Mulan is heartbroken when she goes to see Aurora and right as she goes to confess her feelings…Aurora tells her that her and Philip are having a baby.

While that all sounds a bit complex (and some have seen it as queerbaiting), fans of ‘Sleeping Warrior’ (Aurora and Mulan’s ship name) were heartbroken when Mulan left the show, and even Jamie Chung said that it was “disappointing” to leave fans hanging.

Thankfully though, E! has revealed that Jamie Chung will be taking up her role as Mulan in a multi-episode arc this fall.

Unfortunately, it’s unclear whether or not Sleeping Warrior will be on, or if Aurora will be too loved up with Philip to care about her gal pal but E!, who announced Chung’s return ” exclusively”, makes several mentions of the two women’s relationship.

It would be usual for the publication to make such a heavy mention of Sleeping Warrior if the ship wasn’t going to be revived so hopefully more details will be revealed soon.

A Line From ‘Orphan Black’ Just Became the Internets Best Ever Lesbian Meme

As we all know, season 3 of Orphan Black is underway, and has us all crazy with anticipation.

In the last episode, Cosima — as Alison Hendrix — almost outs herself to a room of suburban moms while making a school trustee campaign speech.

Orphan Black Meme 01 Orphan Black Meme 02 Orphan Black Meme 03

Orphan Black fans on Tumblr quickly took the scene and ran with it.

But they were not the alone.

Soon, the floodgates were opened and no show was safe:











Why Gay Fans Shouldn’t Accept Queerbaiting In TV Shows

Queerbaiting (verb): to deceive or trick the audience of a form of media (e.g film or television) into thinking that a character identifies as non-heterosexual. Often done by networks in an attempt to raise viewership numbers.

Even if you didn’t have a definition for queerbaiting until now, you were certainly exposed to it. Case in point: Glee with Brittany and Santana (in season one), Glee again with Quinn and Rachel, John and Sherlock in BBC’s Sherlock, MTV’s Teen Wolf, Rizzoli & Isles, Once Upon a Time, and Skins (Gen 3).


Once Upon a Time - Swan Queen Art Work

All of these shows are guilty of it; the production teams behind them have purposefully injected faux queer content into their shows so that queer folk pay attention and begin to support the show.

They dangle a queer carrot in front of us like a rabbit that’s not eaten for a week and then, because we’re a fickle bunch, starved for canon queer content, we often hoover up these scraps and run with them.

Furthermore, not only do we tune in and watch the shows that do this but we’re also incredibly vocal about them on platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and YouTube.

With a tuned in queer audience, not only are the networks getting extra viewership but queer fans getting their queer friends to tune into the show too and the TV networks are managing to do this without actually including any real queer content at all.

You see, the beauty of queerbaiting is that it can be explained away, or, in some particular egregious cases, it can just be left alone and forgotten about. A good example is Glee, which I’ve mentioned.

In the first season, there was a throwaway line by Brittany that her and Santana had slept together. Back in those days Brittana didn’t get very many lines and so it wasn’t until season two that the show really elaborated on it – after fans had expressed their vocal support for the pairing.


Glee - Brittana

Meanwhile, Quinn and Rachel were also extraordinarily close (despite the show pitting them against each other), something shown in season one where Quinn draws a not-so-nice picture of Rachel in her notebook and yet she doodles hearts around it.

Glee was keen to have them face off, though, despite the times that they comforted each other (e.g when Rachel called Quinn the prettiest girl she’d ever met), and it allowed the show to dismiss their relationship as a budding friendship, despite the hints of something more.

But you know and I know that this sort of thing is classic queerbaiting, and shows like Glee should be ashamed.

Are we right to put up with this sort of behaviour from TV creators? In our defence we don’t have a lot of representation so perhaps queerbaiting, even in its weakest form, is a good thing? One clued in TV viewer I spoke to (who we’ll call J, for privacy), disagreed with this idea:

“Just because it’s representation, it doesn’t mean that it’s good representation; LGBTQ people deserve good representation like everyone else. I understand that the intentions are often good, but for me, it’s not good enough.

I don’t want to say that if you’re not going to have good representation (preferably written or influenced by actual queer people) don’t bother at all, but queerbaiting is still unfair.”

When considering a stance on queerbaiting, we should also consider the other nefarious side of the business, along with the outcomes of it.

Queerbaiting doesn’t just pull queer viewers in, but it also satisfies heterosexual ones too. By having viewers ask ‘are they or aren’t they’ and then eventually revealing that no, the character isn’t even the slightest bit questioning, it helps to pander to an audience that would be uncomfortable if the character was anything other than incredibly heterosexual* (*with close gal pals or bromances only).


Rizzoli & Isles

On the one hand, this robs real queer people of a chance to see their stories presented on TV but it also tells people that it’s far easier for a character to not be queer. When you skirt around the issue of someone’s sexuality, it suggests that there’s something wrong to be skirted around. And that’s not fair at all.

Essentially, if the queerness isn’t canon, don’t accept it. It’s fine to ask and campaign for it but watching a show specifically for queerness that will most likely never happen in the future means that the queerbaiting production teams have won. If they don’t respect our identities then they don’t deserve our patronage and really, it’s as simple as that.

Sleeping Warrior – Recap of ABC’s ‘Once Upon A Time’

On October 13, 2013 family network ABC aired the Once Upon A Time episode “Quite a Common Fairy”, so I’m a little late publishing my observations on an aspect of that specific episode that is relevant to this blog.

Once Upon A Time is a retelling of various fairy tales. The show-runners received dispensation to show characters patented by the Walt Disney company, which rose to fame in the past several decades with their own fairy tale re-telling. Sleeping Beauty, named Princess Aurora in the 1959 animated Disney film, is brought to life in the TV show by the delightful Sarah Bolger. The woman warrior Mulan, more a legend than a fairy tale in China where this heroine’s story originated, was portrayed in the 1998 Disney film as an awkward misfit who struggles to find her place in society. Jamie Chung brings honor to us all by playing the cool, mature and formidable re-interpretation of this character in the show.

Neither characters were part of the regular cast. Their own story arc appeared at first to be a love triangle between Princess Aurora, Prince Philip, and Mulan. When Prince Philip is spirited away, the barely-acquainted Aurora and Mulan must contend with the main characters of the show who caused his apparent demise—and then with one other, and their shared history with the lost prince. Fans refer to the relationship between these characters as Sleeping Warrior.

In a world where heterosexual romances are ubiquitous in media, it would have been a great subversion already just for these two women to grow to be friends rather than in competition for something—success, reputation, or the love of a man. By the end of the previous series, this does appear to be the case: Prince Philip has returned, although we aren’t shown how, we can gather that Aurora and Mulan teamed up to get him back from whatever mysterious other dimension in which he was trapped. He is, after all, Aurora’s prince, and Mulan’s comrade-in-arms.

“Quite a Common Fairy” isn’t an episode that focuses on the three of them. They are the sub-plot of a sub-plot, again made merely supplementary to a more regular member of the cast of characters. Mulan is given the advice that, “If you love someone, don’t hold it in.” This leads to the following scene (unofficially transcribed by yours truly.)

  • Castle gardens. Aurora waters the plants as Mulan stands some way off.
  • Aurora: (smiling as she turns to see) Mulan?
  • (Mulan returns the smile of elation. They walk towards each other.)
  • Aurora: How long have you been there? What are you doing?
  • Mulan: Just gathering my courage.
  • Aurora: What’s going on? (Aurora takes both of Mulan’s hands in hers.) I am so glad you’re back!
  • Mulan: Is Philip here?
  • Aurora: No, no. Shall I get him?
  • Mulan: No, that’s unnecessary. It’s you I want to talk to, you see, I…
  • (Aurora grins)
  • Mulan: Why are you smiling at me?
  • Aurora: I can tell you are busting with news, but so am I.
  • Mulan: You are?
  • Aurora: Philip and I are expecting a baby!
  • Mulan: (appears thunderstruck, then politely smiles) That’s excellent news.
  • (Aurora embraces Mulan, and doesn’t see Mulan’s expression change from thunderstruck to devastated)
  • Aurora: It’s like a dream come true! (releases her embrace, steps back) Now please, please tell me your news.
  • Mulan: (pauses) I’m joining Robin Hood’s band.
  • Aurora: What? (smile fading) You’re…leaving us?
  • Mulan: (nods) Yes. I’m afraid so. Goodbye.
  • (They embrace. Mulan turns away, eyes filled with tears. Aurora watches her leave, and shakes her head miserably.)

So, basically…nothing happened. Nothing. Tierney Bricker on TV Scoop interviewed actress Jamie Chung to find that Mulan’s growing care for Aurora in previous episodes had been “an ongoing inside joke between Sarah and I, and … there was this conspiracy online, like, ‘Mulan loves Aurora!’ and I’m really glad that the writers listened.” While Chung went on to suggest that “I really do think that’s what they—” that is, the showrunners “—planned from the beginning” because the writers are “all about twists”, I’m more inclined to think that the creative team only went in this direction when the fans voiced their receptiveness to an onscreen lesbian relationship. More than receptive, fans were enthusiastic.

I reiterate that, in the scene above, absolutely nothing happened. The scene was suggestive of a possibility of lesbian characters, but not overt. Why? Is it because this is a family network? In the tenth episode of the previous series, episode title “The Cricket Game”, the main character Emma Swan and her twelve-year-old son accidentally catches Emma’s parents (Snow White and Prince Charming) naked in bed about to—or in the middle of—having sex. This is executed as a moment of comic relief. This demonstrative contrast between how celebrated heterosexuality is, and how overtly it can be portrayed and still considered acceptable, provides a stark contrast to the portrayal of the suggestion of the possibility of a homosexual relationship. I don’t believe the scene above earns the writers any applause for working towards equality, when there obviously is no such equality.

There was some push-back by a minority of viewers at this the slightest of suggestions that people can have relationships with genders other than their opposite. However, I’m personally uncomfortable with the way this was handled for several other reasons. First, it was gimmicky. Chung’s sentiment that the writers were “all about twists” is spot-on. This scene could have been written for shock value alone, with the unfortunate implication that simply being homosexual is shocking, exciting, deviant—nothing to do with normal romance experienced by normal human beings as a normal human experience. It’s a twist! Oh, what a twist! I continue, sarcastically: Mulan’s love must remain unrequited and tragic, too, of course—homosexuals don’t get happy fairy tale endings, or even hope for one.

With that sort of sensationalist approach, I almost wish the show had never presumed to represent lesbian characters at all.

Even if that were neither the intention nor the effect, I also consider it irresponsible not to examine the tired, overdone, clichéd tropes when it comes to media representative of homosexuals. Gender and sexual orientation are two different concepts that combine in many different ways—except in most entertainment media, where homosexual men are feminine, and homosexual women are masculine.

The writers of Once Upon A Time have been very good about portraying different ways to be a woman that makes their female characters human—this is a lot rarer than it should be! However, when the time came to reveal one and only one of their female characters as a homosexual, it was the one female character that pursued a masculine manly position. Of course, many female characters in Once Upon A Time are also formidable warriors, but that is not considered gender-bending within the story’s setting—it’s taken for granted that women are able to fight just as well as men, not that by fighting they become men. Only Mulan has stated that, in stepping up to battle, she stepped into a man’s role, and she is the only lesbian character. That sends quite an unfortunate message about the creativity and social responsibility of the show-runners. If there were just one other character in Once Upon A Time who was a homosexual woman that broke or blurred the stereotype that homosexual women are necessarily masculine, then I wouldn’t be getting this irritatingly ignorant message that this is the way it always is. As of now, lesbianism has become Mulan’s defining trait as a character. That’s unfortunate.

The character of Princess Aurora returns in the last half of the third series, so perhaps this storyline will see further development than the disappointing way it was handled earlier this series.

Once Upon A Time has given male roles to female characters before. Their version of Jack, as in the one who climbed the magic beanstalk, was a femme fatale by the name of Jacqueline. While Julian Morris, who plays Prince Philip, does the character every bit of stalwart dashing justice—if handling this relationship triangle had the least bit more care, Aurora would have paired up at the end with her beloved lesbian partner Philippa. In the Disney film, Mulan’s love interest was the young General Shang. A product of the conditional love of his strict and judgmental father, Shang is eager to show good form, discipline, and unwavering devotion to the codes of conduct—but he must learn to disregard these in order to do what is truly right and honorable, by Mulan. I’d like to see Once Upon A Time swap the gender of that complex sort of character.

Alternatively, I could just forget about all this and let it be. I wouldn’t call this brush with controversy “courageous” but, for the writers, I’m sure, it was a new endeavor in unfamiliar territory as individual storytellers, held perilously accountable to producers and audience members alike.

Earlier, I mentioned that I almost wished the writers had never presumed to represent a lesbian relationship at all. Almost. Instead, now, I look forward more confident, mature, and respectful representation of lesbian relationships between characters that are established to be complex, interesting, and have a profoundly dynamic relationship with one another.

Basically: Swan Queen, please.

The Swan Queen in ABC’s ‘Once Upon A Time’

In any storytelling medium, there will be the official representation of the story—and then there will be all of its fans. Fans meet up with other fans to discuss what they love, and why they love it, and this creates a culture around the official story that is usually separate from the professional creators. Keeping this boundary up is understandable. Each fan will have a different interpretation of the story, and even be moved by inspiration and enjoyment to write stories and draw illustrations based on the stories they love. This is done without profit, and all the other fans would know that it’s an unofficial extension of the story—but, legal quibbles aside, many official creators naturally find permutations of their artistic vision… just plain awkward.

The world of fan-created works, even of fan discussions, is a wild place. Fans can infer potential romantic connections between characters that the original creators might not ever consider artistically, never mind how much financial, cultural, and legal opposition they would meet if they had such a vision and tried to bring it to life.

I’m referring, of course, to what some fans call HoYay: “homoeroticism, yay”.

Enter Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, creators of the television show Once Upon A Time. As the title suggests, this show is their own interpretation of fairy tales. Far more mature themes are added, and I mean mature as in emotionally mature: how parental neglect, abandonment, and emotional abuse of their children can cast shadows long into adult life, for instance. Many genre subversions are celebrated, particularly subversions of binary gender roles in fairy tales. This has effectively created a story setting wherein women are front and center, as heroes or villains, with a few men to serve as love interests or get rescued by the female heroes.

Fans of all genders and orientations saw some HoYay between the female main characters, notably the long-lost princess Emma Swan and the evil Queen Regina. Fans dubbed the pairing “Swan Queen”. For those active enough in fan subculture not to clutch the pearls, this is par for the course, at most spurring a Swan Queen fan to pose an awkward question to the creators at fan conventions.

Do I keep saying awkward? Excuse me, I meant awesome. It’s rare that professional creators and cast members allow themselves to attune quite as much with those in the subculture formed around their work, as the creators and cast of Once Upon A Time. Jennifer Morrison, the actress who plays Emma Swan, has taken to fan subculture language like a cygnet to water. She tweets, “I love all the ships” —fan slang for pairings of fictional characters, or relationships— “surrounding Emma: swanfire, captainswan, and swanqueen”. Lana Parilla, the actress who plays Queen Regina, has expressed similarly unprejudiced appreciation for the fans of her character. Even answering in the negative as to whether a Swan Queen romance is an element in the show and not just fan interpretation, the creators answered with more insight into their characters’ personality dynamics and history—rather than displaying any hostility towards HoYay as a concept.

In America, where most of the professionals involved with the show reside, gay rights and even gay representation in entertainment media is a highly charged social issue. Would the writers of Once Upon A Time ever go there? How about: They already have. Their interpretation of Disney princess warrior Mulan had a scene depicting her romantic devotion to Princess Aurora. On a personal note, these weren’t characters that I was particularly interested in before or after this development, and I have a long and unfavorable analysis of its clumsy execution that’s best left for another article. I will voice my suspicions, however, that this came to pass as a nod to the vocal fans of Sleeping Warrior (that’s the affectionate fan term for Sleeping Beauty, or Aurora, romantically paired with Mulan the Warrior.)

The show is now in the middle of its third series, and the relationship between Emma and Regina has drastically changed from the antagonism that started it all. Emma and Regina have now fought shoulder-to-shoulder, have seemingly given up going for each other’s throats, and their scenes together lately have been warm with understanding. These characters’ respective potential male love interests remain, both generally likable characters in their own rights, but still in potential with no commitments made onscreen yet. Shall Swan Queen grace the screen in a future series, rather than remain in-between the show and the viewer, or only in the viewer’s minds? We shall see. If it doesn’t happen, that anyone working on this was ever personally averse to the concept would be the last reason I would consider.

Fans of same-sex pairings had a dubious luxury of not being targeted as overtly as “official” media, for any deviation from the heteronormative—because we’re just the audience. Casual viewers can enjoy the story without involving themselves with other fans, or even particular kinds of other fans, and the creators don’t ever have to notice anything from the audience but money. Nevertheless, I consider this all a shining example of how influence in media has the potential to no longer be a one-way flow all the time. Many actors, writers, and various other storytellers are able to converse with the audience through social networks and commenting platforms. What more, creators can be willing to listen, and recognize as valid how anything from their creation is interpreted or simply enjoyed.

As I have said before I love all of the ships surrounding Emma: swanfire, captainswan, and swanqueen.

Morrison, J. Tweeted – https://twitter.com/jenmorrisonlive/statuses/414153162103074816