US comedy-drama Gilmore Girls (currently streaming four new films on Netflix) has a funny old history with LGBT representation. Back when the series first began, showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino planned for Lorelai’s (Lauren Graham) best friend Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) to be a lesbian, only to be denied by the network (The WB, now defunct) and making her straight instead.
Subsequently, the show has gained something of a reputation for being uneasy around queer issues, with no openly LGBT characters and the only discussion around the subject being gags about things like Luke Danes’ (Scott Patterson) status as a single man living alone. As many fans asked: Is Stars Hollow really a town without any LGBT people?
Well, no – thanks to the new Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life films just released on Netflix, we now know that there ARE some non-heterosexual relationships that exist in the small Connecticut town. Early on in the first film, Winter, it’s revealed that Yanic Truesdale’s French inn manager Michel Gerard (long suspected by fans of being gay) is married to a man called Frederick, and rages against the prospect of having children.
Interestingly, Michel’s sexuality in the series was previously displayed as straight, with the character known to have dates with women and otherwise express interest in them.
“We sort of went on record saying he was into women, because we put it in the script once,” Sherman-Palladino told The Huffington Post in 2015, “but things can change or shift.”
Still, whether Michel is canonically gay, bi or something else, it’s great to finally see some queer representation on the series – and it doesn’t stop there. In the next film, Spring, a Stars Hollow meeting sees town selectman Taylor Doose (Michael Winters) bemoaning the lack of gay people in the town available to join a planned Pride parade, in a slightly meta commentary on the show’s former lack of representation.
“I have to inform you that after exhaustive research and an informal census we made a surprising discovery,” he tells the crowd. “There just aren’t enough gays in Stars Hollow!”
Many fans would probably agree, though the brief inclusion of new gay character Donald (Sam Pancake) and a suggestion in the same scene that either town mechanic Gypsy (Rose Abdoo) or Taylor himself might be gay may go some way to alleviating a few of these concerns.
Still, perhaps the final word should go to actor Yanic Truesdale himself, who has spent years fielding questions about Michel’s sexuality and has come to a pretty firm conclusion.
“Whether he was going home to a wife or a husband, it didn’t change anything of my vision of Michel,” Truesdale said earlier this year. “The character has been defined in so may other ways that, at this stage, it wouldn’t have an impact to know one way or the other.”
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“I’ve always been very intrigued how the media are obsessed with so and so’s sexuality,” he continued. “Who cares who they f**k?”
Well, Taylor has to fill out his Pride roster somehow, Yanic…
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is streaming on Netflix now