How The Walking Dead universe can improve LGBTQIA representation

Nico Tortorella as Felix - The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/AMC
Nico Tortorella as Felix - The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/AMC /

Our panelists discuss how to make The Walking Dead more inclusive

Talking about how to improve representation is always tough. When a show has demonstrated a commitment to telling diverse stories the way that The Walking Dead has it can seem like criticism to offer suggests about what more the show could do to tell diverse stories.

When our panel talked about how The Walking Dead could improve the diversity present in the TWD universe the conversation wasn’t critical though. All of our panelists acknowledged TWD as a leader in genre TV when it comes to diversity. There’s always room for improvement though.

Gay and lesbian characters have been part of the TWD narrative for some time now. Even though there was no gay or lesbian characters on TWD until season 4 both Fear The Walking Dead and World Beyond included gay characters from the very beginning, which shows real growth.  But so far trans people and non-binary people have not been part of the narrative at all. It would be great to see that change.

Our panelists had a lot of thoughts about what LGBTQIA representation could look like in the TWD universe and things the show can do in the future to increase representation and include stories that include a wider range of experiences.

Part 5 – The Future Of LGBTQIA And The Walking Dead

What can The Walking Dead do in the future to become even more inclusive?

Sonya says:

"The Walking Dead has definitely done a better job with LGBTQIA representation than most other popular shows, especially genre shows (Side-eying you Game of Thrones…) but of course there are things that can be improved. I think that TWD universe has made steps in every new show and every new incarnation the develop and I think that follows a natural path. As the world expands and we see more survivors and more examples of what survival looks like we also get more LGBTQIA representation.I think I have a little bit different perspective because I’ve seen the first episode of TWD World Beyond and without commenting specifically I am really excited about how the universe is expanding and I am confident that TWD universe will continue their commitment to diversity in TWD World Beyond and in the films. Casting Nico Tortorella as Felix in World Beyond is a huge inclusionary step because of their very vibrant online presence and openness about gender identity.I trust the show to continue to develop LGBTQIA narratives that are inclusionary and organic. What I’d like to see is more LGBTQIA representation behind the scenes. In the writer’s room, in the director’s chair, and in other positions of power off camera. TWD does already have a pretty good track record for diversity behind the scenes but that’s one area where personally I’d like to see more development."

Joe says:

"While The Walking Dead has done a good job so far at being inclusive, there is definitely still work to be done. In recent months it was announced that Nico Tortorella, who identifies as non-binary, will play a starring role as Felix, an LGBTQ+ character in the new spinoff show, World Beyond.The inclusion of a non-binary actor is another great step in the path towards inclusiveness both on and off-screen for The Walking Dead and is something they should continue to pursue in the future. Having more diverse backgrounds and perspectives in the narrative of the show and behind the scenes will allow for even better stories to be told and could draw in an even bigger audience of people who finally see themselves in a fictional world."

Sara says:

"While I’m very happy with how inclusive The Walking Dead universe is, the shows can always do more and aim higher. We have seen a lot of gay characters on the show but that is just one small part of the LGBTQIA+ community. I’d love to see transgender characters, non-binary characters, A-sexual, Bisexual, Pansexual and everything in the community! I’d love to see these characters played by an actor or actress that is the same in real life so it can come from a place of honesty and we can have that much more representation in our fandom.The Walking Dead: World Beyond follows a group of teenagers and that is when you are finding yourself, so they have an opportunity to do something beautiful for the LGBTQIA+ community. The story Felix has is an amazing step in the right direction. I’m very proud to be a fan of a show that is so inclusive and I’m excited to see where they go from here."

Dawn says:

"I feel that much more can be done to represent the other parts of the LGBTQ spectrum such as asexual, demisexual, non-binary, and trans. Although, I suspect this is coming in World Beyond, which I can’t wait to see! It seems to be more fitting to focus more on that with a show that has such a young cast – and thus likely young viewers – as it’s very obvious that the youth now are the ones far more savvy about all aspects of LGBTQ lives. And thus, the viewers will likely need much less exposition on those sexualities and identities than the older audience of TWD. Also of course, hiring more LGBTQ actors and creatives is always hugely important as they know truly what stories need to be told."

Related Story. Our panel's favorite LGBTQIA characters in The Walking Dead universe. light

What do you think TWDFamily? How can The Walking Dead universe become more inclusive? Tweet us and join the conversation: @SonyaIryna, @Labrosse_Joe, @MamaDeadHead,  @DawnGlen2 and @UndeadWalkingFS