Representation Matters – Rimjhim Sayana

Representation matters. But what matters even more, is how we represent anything. The show Brooklyn-Nine-Nine, in particular, has done an excellent job at this. I’m going to be talking about two characters from this show today: Rosa Diaz and Raymond Holt.

Brooklyn-Nine-Nine is a fantastic show which shows great depth and thought for each and every one of its characters. It somehow manages to teach and depict important aspects of life and society in such subtle ways. For example, it normalises being LGBTQ. Now, you might think ‘What’s new about that? Many movies/ shows and books are reproduced around LGBTQ characters. What’s so special?’ That’s true, and it is a good thing too.

The thing that sets B99 apart, is the fact that the existence of the characters as a whole doesn’t depend solely on their sexuality. It takes into consideration all aspects. That’s what real life is like. The person you know is not their sexuality; they are their personality.

 

RAYMOND HOLT

Raymond Holt is the Captain of the 99th Precinct in Brooklyn. He is openly gay and has a husband (Kevin). During his time in the field, he was never treated with equal dignity or respect, especially because of his sexuality.

Despite all this, his entire plotline doesn’t revolve around him being gay. It showcases his dedication towards his work, his robocop attitude, and his face showing not a single sign of emotion, even though he is considered to be one of the funniest characters. His attitude, emotions and overall demeanour also earn him the respect of his colleagues. Everyone loves his guy. He’s like the Dad Of Precinct™.

Like, one of the main characters punched his childhood hero in the FACE, because he used a homophobic slur against this captain, whom he had known for about a week.

(Talking about Kevin and Holt)

Like. To. Every. Single. Person.

Plus, how would we ever get amazing one-liners like this? 

(What more could I ask for in life?!?!)

Damn.

Talking about when he first came out.

 

You can see subtle indications of Pride all over the precinct.

The Rainbow Folders
The Pride Flag on the Desk

 

Let’s Talk About ROSA DIAZ
Now, this is a little bit of a spoiler…but, well, never mind.

Rosa Diaz came out as a bisexual to everyone in the fifth season of the show. I feel like this was a very good thing to show. They portrayed Rosa’s entire character development, relationships, plotline— everything. It never changed the fact that she was bisexual. She knew who she was.

It really speaks volumes about how it doesn’t matter what a person’s sexuality is, it matters who they are. We loved Rosa for being Rosa. And nothing changes that fact.

Rosa’s parents were not “okay” with her sexuality. Everyone in her precinct supported her. Jake, one of her closest friends, stayed by her side for an entire awkward dinner with her parents, just so that she could be comfortable while telling them. (He even gave her advice.)

When she came out as bi, her parents were unhappy. After a little showdown, her parents decided to meet her again at their ‘Family-Game-Night’. But, they still didn’t get it. They told her that it was fine because in the end she’d marry a man and that this was just a phase.

She told them that she just wanted them to accept her as she is. That being bisexual was a part of who she was. It wasn’t just a phase.

But they needed time. So, Family-Game-Nights were a no-no.

EXCEPT they weren’t.

The precinct surprised Rosa by coming over to her house with loads of games and food. It was Family Game Night. The precinct was her Family. A family that love and supported her. Not to mention, in later episodes, different characters try to set her up with other girls. This is the type of Wholesome Content™ that I’m here for.

Side note: Stephanie Beatriz, who portrays Rosa, herself is bisexual. She recently married and then released this powerful statement:

Now, I’m going to end this article, but there is something I want to say. It doesn’t matter what you identify as, what matters is that you’re human, that you have emotions, and everyone should respect that. You are not your sexuality. You are your personality. And one last thing, something that Holt said to Rosa when she came out:

Please remember this. Watch this whenever you need to hear the words…

~ Rimjhim Sayana, Amity International School, Noida

 

 

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