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AHS Fans Reveal Strong Feelings About The LGBTQ+ Representation

With headlines ranging from In Magazine's "Can Queer Television Escape The Ryan Murphy Industrial Complex?" to Comic Book Resources writing about "Ryan Murphy's Queer Television Legacy," the divide over the producer's portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters is sharp. From the dark medical comedy "Nip/Tuck" to the campy musical drama "Glee," Murphy's offbeat TV shows have undeniably brought queer characters to mainstream audiences.

"I only wrote or created shows that I really wanted to watch, so they inevitably had gay characters and trans characters and minorities," Murphy told The Guardian in 2019. "And I made them the leads instead of the sidekicks, because that is what I did in my own life."

"American Horror Story" was ahead of the curve when it came to putting queer characters at the heart of its various iterations. However, not all fans agree that the anthology series offers strong LGBTQ+ representation. On the show's subreddit, u/jvincentsong asked, "How do you feel about Murphy's queer representation on AHS and other shows?"

Their question was inspired by the Fear Street trilogy, which they felt was "more respectful" of its characters' identities. "It made me realize that Murphy's flaw is to always make queerness a center of their lives. They don't have other dimensions," they wrote, adding that the drag ball performers in "Pose" are better developed.

One critic argued that the producer is a "trailblazer," however, "he is not exempt from the same mistakes that previous show runners and network executives have made" when representing LGBTQ+ people (via McGill Tribune).

Where do AHS fans stand on this?

American Horror Story fans are split

Much like critics, fans of "American Horror Story" are divided. "Queer representation is important and definitely pervasive throughout various Ryan Murphy projects. He loves to include queer people and queer history in his works which is great but sometimes he misses the mark," wrote u/VeryGreenGreenbeans. "Occasionally it can veer into stereotypical territory so I think it depends on the character and season."

"People knock Murphy for representation but it's fitting with the show..." said u/AlfieBoheme. They added that "Murphy was hiring and casting LGBT+ actors for years (before it was profitable) and has pushed representation for years. That said, (his) shows are not realistic and thus the queer characters are stereotypes and/or parodies to match this."

Similarly, u/Huncrweo said people need to recognize the horror genre's history of combining sex and violence, adding that the spin-off show "American Horror Stories" wasn't exploitative, which the OP had argued. "The only person likely to be shocked by the existence of a gay woman is some sort of ultraconservative Christian, and I seriously doubt there is any such person who watches AHS," they said.

On the other hand, u/TwilightontheMoon plainly said, "I think he does a bad job representing gay men." Others criticized Murphy's tendency to "glamorize cheating" and how queer AHS characters are "very caucasian." Fans like u/AggressiveCrow3967 and u/Giles-TheLibrarian were critical of the hypersexuality of some characters.

Responding to a similar criticism on Twitter, however, Murphy replied, "I will always write gay perverted addicts, sorry."