Youth Voices

Dear Netflix

October 31st, 2014     by Shilo Silver     Comments

Dear Netflix,

We’ve had a lot of great times together. Do you remember the time when we marathoned Doctor Who after I broke up with my ex? That was really comforting of you to do that with me… I want you to know you’ve been one of my best friends for years.

Netflix, I realized recently that you have a strange way of categorizing tv shows and movies. Particularly, you have a category called Gay & Lesbian. I can understand why you put that there, sometimes I like to watch films where the main theme is centred around sexuality. It was really nice of you to consider me when you made it it’s own category, but frankly, there are a lot of issues with you doing that.

When you start categorizing tv shows and movies based on the sexualities portrayed you put all those who don’t fit into normative sexual narratives into an “other” category. Gay & Lesbian as the only sexuality category it normalizes the false dichotomy of either being gay or straight. I noticed you didn’t create a category for themes relating to bisexuality, panssexuality, asexuality, polysexuality, etc. Netflix, those identities are just as valid as straight, gay, and lesbian identities.

There’s another thing you do that confuses me, Netflix. You put Boy’s Don’t Cry under the Gay and Lesbian category despite it not having any gay or lesbian characters; the main character was a trans man. You also put Mr. Angel, a documentary about the life of Buck Angel – another trans man – under the category. Jeez Netflix! What’s with you and lumping all gender variant and sexually variant people together?

I hope in the future you decide to stop clumping gender variant and sexually variant people together under a non-inclusive label and allow for the dozens of tv shows and movies you keep under the Gay and Lesbian category to be either under a more inclusive label such as LGBTQ2IA or other variants. Or deciding altogether to allow the tv shows and movies that are currently under the Gay & Lesbian category to appear in the category that best represents them. For Instance, Brokeback Mountain could be under romance/drama, But I’m a Cheerleader could be under romance/comedy, and Rent could be put solely under musical.

I hope you don’t take this the wrong way Netflix, because you’ve been there for me in times when other people haven’t. I just want you to respect me for who I am as much as I respect you for what you are.

Sincerely, Your good friend

Tags: film, lgbtq+

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