In last night’s episode of Looking, characters Patrick and Kevin, both video game designers, launch a gay app at GaymerX, a real gay video game conference. The app is an illustrated Pokemon-style mobile game where gays of all shapes and sizes and colors and subcultural persuasions battle it out using fierceness points.
Patrick and Kevin, two young wealthy white cis men, see their app as a tongue-in-cheek way of celebrating diversity in the LGBT community, but a bitchy gay in a wheelchair sees it as perpetuating stereotypes. Hence where the comedic tension lies. A similar criticism was hurled at the Looking creators when the show first premiered.
Patrick and Kevin’s app was akin to an illustration that went around Facebook a few years ago where gay friends playfully tagged each other and their supposed stereotype. Albeit the categories of the caricatures in the Looking app seemed more nuanced and considered, with “drag mother,” “silver fox” and “faerie” thrown in to the mix. Update: It has come to our attention that the original illustration was created by David Buisán.
Looking aims to depict an authentic portrayal of three gay friends in San Francisco. So it makes sense the show runners take direct real-life cues, from including well-known locales (Toad Hall haha) to riffing on local newspaper cover stories (Gaymer cover in the SFBG). This week, the show even used one of my favorite sayings! For the record, my version is, “The best thing about living with your boyfriend is half the rent, double the wardrobe.”