One could argue that Orphan Black is about identity more than anything else, and a large component of one’s identity is sexuality. To that end, Orphan Black features several queer characters, including one who’s a clone. In this episode, Kris and Stephanie talk about the significance of the show’s representations of its queer characters.
- Most significant queer character (in terms of representation of queer characters) given that she’s a clone, because having Cosima be queer suggests that, in the Orphan Black universe, one’s sexuality is not determined by genetics.
- Graeme Manson:
Delphine, a conflicted straight girl, gives our thesis on sexuality in episode eight, when she says “… as a scientist I know that sexuality is a spectrum, but social biases codify sexual attraction, contrary to the biological facts.” So, yes, the biological facts: People are definitely “born this way.” That’s the nature side, whether it’s genetic, or epigenetic, or whether womb chemistry plays a part. As each of our clones were carried by different surrogates, that could explain differences in sexuality. But who wants to run around blaming mothers and their hormone levels for the sexuality of their children? Haven’t we had enough of that, since, like, forever? Maybe it was the lipstick in Daddy’s glove box? Or Great Uncle Arthur’s? Okay, then how about the nurture side of things? Cosima grew up in the Bay Area, in a permissive community and a progressive home fostering intellectual and social tolerance. She learned to approach sexuality without shame, with curiosity. I think Cosima’s been “bisexual” (if you had to codify it), but maybe she’s ready to self-identify as gay. She would defend her freedom to choose, no matter where nature placed her in the spectrum. And Delphine too makes a choice to follow her heart for an individual, even though she’s always been “straight.” Awwwww … isn’t that sweet, shippers? So, sexuality is a spectrum of many factors, and even though we’re a show about clones, we celebrate individuality and the crazy contingencies of nature. And just to keep it all in perspective (season-two spoiler!), Cosima will remind us at some point next year: “My sexuality is not the most interesting thing about me.” (Source)
- Manson’s statement doesn’t really make any sense unless you add some kind of qualifier to it: ”[Some] people are definitely ‘born this way’“, for example.
- To extrapolate from the “nurture” side of things, it’s easy to see why Cosima would be more open to acting on an attraction to a woman than Alison would.
- It is unusual for a television series to give a female bisexual character a woman as the first love interest the audience is introduced to. This might explain why many have assumed that Cosima is a lesbian.
- Jordan Gavaris’s comments from the Nerd HQ panel are very different from what we might have heard from the gay community 10-15 years ago when the only gay characters on TV were Will and Jack on Will & Grace
- As we mentioned in the Felix episode, he is a stereotypical gay male character in some ways (theatricality, rent boy), but he’s more than just the gay best friend. He isn’t desexualized.
- Multiple representations of gay men.
- Colin is kind of an average, cute, geeky boy – not someone the audience is encouraged to read as gay like Felix is.
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