In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
To start things off, I’d like to say that this isn’t a hit piece. I have no desire whatsoever to drag Roswell, New Mexico. This is me calling to attention one of the scariest scenes so far on the show, and one that as a queer woman, I can’t stop thinking about.
For those not in the know, or checking out Roswell, New Mexico for the first time while reading this, here’s a little background. Michael Guerin, one of the main aliens in this drama, falls for local small town man, Alex Manes. But right as they were discovering who they were to each other or the possibility of a future together, Alex’s dad came around and brutalized Michael.
Jesse Manes took a weapon and inflicted physical damage on Michael, as a way of straightening out his son and scaring the hell out of both of them, so they would never be together again. Because this wasn’t just about these two young men having consensual sex, no. Jesse wanted to break any bond that was growing between Alex and Michael.
And for that, he’s a monster, and I just can’t stop thinking about the moment he tried to crush Michael’s spirit by crushing his hand. It was brutal AF, and I wanted to punch through my TV and protect Michael and Alex from the bigoted and hateful man that Jesse Manes is.
This bigoted trash didn’t have to go so far. He could’ve let both Alex and Michael off with a warning that would deter them from seeing each other. But no, he had to be extra trash and guarantee the trauma that his son would go through and think about, for the rest of his life. His hate put a stop to something beautiful between these two young men, and it’s unforgivable.
It’s also something that, I admit, made me side eye this show and hold my breath in hesitation. I’m not used to TV treating queer people like me with respect. So when you have a relationship like Michael and Alex’s developing before your eyes, it’s easy to be wary. And the violence enacted upon Michael was that woah/eye-opening moment where I’m on the edge on how they’ll play this out.
So far, Roswell, New Mexico has taken care of me and my needs when watching good TV. It’s hit me with twists and turns that I’ve never even thought about, created a BAMF female lead who is 100% here for finding out what happened to her sister, and given me the queer my little bisexual heart desires. All of this is why I haven’t bounced after Michael’s targeted attack.
Roswell, New Mexico has introduced me to a huge part of why Michael and Alex aren’t together. They put the beginning of the story out there, hooked me, and now I’m patiently waiting to see more, while hoping that they don’t fuck it up or overlook the TRAUMA that Jesse’s attack caused on Michael and Alex. Because shit like this is REAL and HAPPENING all over the United States, and the world.
Queer people are being raped, assaulted, or murdered for being who they are, and loving someone society doesn’t want them to. We are being brutalized, scarred, and made to feel alone and lost when it comes to our identities and love lives. The pain we are put through isn’t a joke or something that TV can use to casually include queer stories without giving me the investment that we deserve as queer people.
So far, I don’t think Roswell, New Mexico is taking this as a joke. I think they understand, can see, and are on the cusp of addressing the wider scope that is Jesse’s disgust with his son and his first love. But, oh does it hurt to trust and wait to see how Roswell, New Mexico deals with all this. For too long violence, pain, and coming out stories are what queer people have seen on the big screen and the little one.
But we are more than that.
We are friends, companions, confidants, adventurers, lovers, and a wide range of wonderful things that define us more than the queer coming out of the week that TV seems still holds onto. So when addressing Michael/Alex & the turd of man Alex’s father is, I hope Roswell, New Mexico takes the time to give us more.
Give me two young men supporting each other.
Give me two young men who make the other laugh and feel like butterflies are fluttering around their stomachs.
Give me two young men that are defined by more than just the brutality of an attack pushed upon them.
And give me two young men who survive, thrive, and flourish in SPITE of the pain they’ve had to go through at the hands of a bigot back in high school. Give me hope, love, and the kind of resilience that I see in the queer community and that I see in me.
Roswell, New Mexico airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)
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