How queerness became the norm on "Wynonna Earp"
Waverly Earp. Nicole Haught. Rosita Bustillos. Jeremy Chetri. Amon. Doc Holliday? How did a little Canadian show about a magical gun-slinging rule-breaking heroine become TV’s queerest genre show? Well, I don’t exactly have the answer to that, but I have a hunch.
Before Wynonna Earp, shows with large LGBTQ followings often acknowledged their queer fanbases, but rarely steered content towards them. Right off the bat, Wynonna Earp appeared to recognize that if it was going to keep on Earping, it would be because of the hard work and support of its majority queer fanbase. So as Wynonna Earp evolved, the queerness of its characters also evolved. Now, in 2020, queerness seems to be the standard mode of Wynonna Earp.
Where most other shows with LGBTQ characters still remain firmly in the straight world-view, Wynonna Earp has shifted into a universe where the main love story is between two women, a nerdy gay is a hero and friend to all, the smartest person in Purgatory is a bisexual demon scientist, the queer monster bar owner is mutually flirting with the leading man and woman. And these are just the main and supporting characters! The Earp universe is filled with other LGBTQ characters from bit parts to those with touching backstories. Dialogue is peppered with lesbian sex jokes and intimate confessions of queer love. Even Wynonna herself is not immune to the charms of a gorgeous woman.
Having LGBTQ writers and directors as part of the crew certainly helps, but so does listening to your fans, and I think that is what Wynonna Earp has done with aplomb. “Please don’t bury your gays.” “Give us more Wayhaught!” “Jeremy is a precious baby angel.” “Wynsita!” It may not all make it to the screen, but Wynonna Earp’s dedication to its queer fanbase shows in every scene and every decision. It’s no shitshow. It’s the real queer deal.