In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx 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.
American Gods Salim has been holding onto the Jinn for a very long time. Since their sensual experience in 1×03’s “Head Full of Snow” they’ve shared this connection unlike any that Salim has every had. With the Jinn he felt loved, cared for, and like someone saw him for the very first time. Who wouldn’t hold onto that feeling for as long as you can?
“The Rapture of Burning” sought to change that and have Salim moving forward. Let’s be clear; he’s not over the Jinn. He’ll always carry a part of the Jinn inside his heart. But he won’t be held down by his love for the Jinn or held back from trying new experiences like the ones we saw in the latest American Gods episode.
What brought on this sudden change? Well, a queer fairy convention at a remote hotel known as the Grand Peacock Inn, of course! At first, Salim was thrown off by his feelings on the place, the people who worked there, and what they represented; freedom, love, and honesty with the self. But he took a leap of faith, he took a chance, and grew because of it.
His experience, in what I call the Rainbow Room, was transformative. He experienced thoughts, feelings, and emotions at his own pace. He saw people exploring who they are and setting their own limits on what they allow while being respected by all those participating. And he had a sensual moment with a man he just met, who let him set the pace and rhythm of their encounter.
All of these things combined left us with a Salim that was changed. He’s not going to live in fear anymore of what people think of him or what his anxieties make him think about himself. He is a man who loves men and there’s no shame in that or the emotions brought on by those connections.
Personally, we’re excited for the roads this takes Salim on. He’s of importance, has been since day one, and his destiny is still tied to that of Laura. They will meet again and hopefully fight at each other’s side for both of their lives. Until then, we’re excited for what Salim does next, the leaps he’s willing to take to grow on his terms, and what he’ll bring to the fight between the Old Gods and the New.