Captain Jack – Cute, Flirty,
And A Bisexual Conman. . .
As BCN goes to press, the new series of Doctor Who is erupting into a bisexual plot arc with new character Captain Jack Harkness (John Borrowman) joining the series part way through on a contract which apparently runs into the next season. It would seem that series producer Russell T Davies is bringing just a hint of his past work on Queer As Folk with him.
While it is unlikely to ever become too explicitly bi – both down to the timing of the show early on Saturday evening, and the traditions of the programme over many decades – and the “b” word does not get used, the hints are there in six foot high letters. The Doctor’s assistant Rose (Billie Piper) seems puzzled by Jack’s apparent flirtation in every direction, and is dismissed for being out of step with the times by the Doctor. “Relax, he’s a 51st century guy, he’s just a bit more flexible when it comes to ‘dancing’.”
Jack himself reminisces that last time he was sentenced to death “I woke up in bed with both my executioners. Lovely couple.” With sexual tension simmering in several directions, we get an episode ending with the Doctor posing the question as to who out of himself and Rose Jack might prefer to ‘dance’ with. There is even a dodgy bi teeshirt slogan waiting to happen in the Doctor’s aside that “so many species, so little time.”
After three episodes the bi references are not ebbing away, if anything becoming more explicit, so while Jack may be a shady character given his conman past, and a conman fits so many negative bi stereotypes, this may be one of the best depictions of a bi person who is happy and open with their sexuality we’ve yet seen on mainstream TV. I am sure we shall come back to Jack next issue!
Kath & Kim
Also on TV, BBC2’s Kath & Kim took a bi twist on May 19th. The episode was called ‘Gay’ and the plot was that Kim separates from her husband and her mother, Kath, gets it into her head that Kim is gay. She confides in her fiance, Kel, over this and he admits to having had same sex experiences whilst in the Navy. Kath has issues with this, but after Kel has shown her that he’s a ‘real man’ – and gives her a Barbara Streisand CD! – Kath decides that sexuality is fluid, that Kel’s experiences with men have made him a better lover and that she herself might actually be bi.
Pink goes Purple
In print media, the Pink Paper may have been rebranded as “lesbian and gay news” but fears of what this might mean for bi coverage were dispelled in the 14th May edition. While not quite on every page, there were items about the Spring Bi Activist gathering and London BiFest in the news pages and a writer from Brighton bi group on the letters page. Indeed there was plenty of queer press coverage of both those events in other publications like Time Out and Out NorthWest.
And just when we’d started to forget about her, last year’s tabloid bisexual sensation Rebecca Loos turned up on Sky One presenting “Power Lesbians” and ITV’s “Celebrity Love Island”. Given her return to the public eye, she was interviewed in the People on May 22nd:
What’s going on in your love life right now?
Well I’m single, have been for three years, and I’m bisexual.
Are men put off because you are bisexual?
I don’t think it’s done that, but it has unquestionably worried men I’ve dated. Initially, they have said how much they like my bisexual streak. But as soon as I see someone and say: “She’s quite nice,” they say: “Oi, cut it out!” So they like me being bisexual – but only up to a point!
Would you ever marry a woman?
Who knows what the future holds, but I wouldn’t rule out being part of a gay couple. It would all depend on who I fell for, a woman or a man. Either way, I would like to have children of my own.
At the same time she was telling the Australian Herald Sun that: “Since David (Beckham), I’ve had two male lovers and two female lovers. But I feel more comfortable with women. I enjoy the sex more.”
In no time she’d followed this up with a mock marriage former Calvin Klein model Jenny Shimizu, for the making of The L-Word, a documentary for (guess) Sky One.
The lengths you have to go to in order to be as notoriously bisexual as a fictional Dr Who sidekick, eh?