Wynonna Earp deserves the acclaim it gets for its queer (specifically LGB) rep. Honestly, I slept on this show for a long time, even though Netflix kept insisting that we were a 98 percent match. I peripherally heard it was a Gay™ show, but I was not prepared. So, I want to celebrate this Canadian sci-fi western dramedy masterpiece for all its normalized queer, found family glory and general homo-sensibility. Writing this is bittersweet, what with Season 4B underway and the show’s future uncertain, at best. But, I’m holding out hope we’ve not seen the last of this series. So, without any adieu, here are my favorite queer things about Wynonna Earp.
Let’s Talk About Sex
First, I’m just gonna get the Stair Sex out of the way(haught). Yeah, it’s hella romantic and all, but seriously? Bless this show for accurately depicting what can go where. Plus, Waverly’s (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) and Nicole’s (Kat Barrell) enthusiastic sex is a running gag. But neither in an ew, lesbians nor an ooo, lesbians sort of way, you know?
Second, all other queer affection is just … homogenized into Purgatorian society, too. Jeremy (Varun Saranga) and his maybe-kind-of-boyfriend, Robin (Justin Kelly), act like any couple of nerds embarking on a relationship. When Rosita (Tamara Duarte) and Waverly kiss and freak out, it’s not about gender, but about the fact they’re cheating on their partners. Also, monosexual people on this show don’t have any qualms about doin’ it with multisexual people. If only life were that easy.
Angels & Demons
Wynonna Earp is rife with biblical imagery—I mean Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) herself is a demon hunter. Monster stories and queer people have a long history. This one slots right in, turning it on its head ever-so-slightly.
Waverly, the littlest Earp, grew up with no baby pictures, tormented by her oldest sister, ignored by her father, only to be abandoned by her mother and the one sister who does love her. Her family seems to hate her, so what does she do? She shows everyone else that she’s just the most lovable person ever, studies to the Nth degree and takes care of everyone around her.
Eventually, Waves realizes she’s biologically not an Earp. At first, she believes she’s half-revenant. Later, that she might actually be a demon. She thinks there’s something fundamentally wrong with her. That’s despite all evidence to the contrary. It doesn’t feel coincidental that Waverly’s discovery of her paternity and her sexuality are juxtaposed. Growing up queer can be extremely isolating, and thinking you’re evil, only to discover you’re an angel? Well, if that isn’t the ultimate “it gets better.”
Worthy, Righteous, Holy, Socks?
So, on a similar theme… Let’s talk about the stairs to the Garden of Eden, which happens to be in rural Canad-ia? It’s stated that only the righteous can see said stairs. Righteous, meaning morally correct, virtuous. Who can see the stairs from the very beginning? Jeremy, Robin, Waverly, Nicole and Doc (Tim Rozon) (who is at the very least, bi-curious). That’s a pretty strong statement, show. Thank you. (I mean, the Garden of Eden did kinda turn out to be the opposite of Paradise, but details, shmeetails).
Unkillable Gay Squad*
*(Sorry, I couldn’t find a song title to top the moniker)
— Emily Andras (@emtothea) August 19, 2017
Moving on, this next part might just be my favorite queer thing about Wynonna. Queer people die so often in media, the trope’s got its own name. But Wynonna Earp refuses to bury its gays. Creator Emily Andras has come out time and again to reassure fans that she’s aware of the trauma queer death on TV causes. Wynonna gets that the world isn’t a level playing field, but shows us what true queer equality could look like. To further that point, the fact that actors Barrell, Provost-Chalkley and Co-EP Noelle Carbone are queer helps with the authenticity of the storytelling.
Being able to trust this show to not do us dirty—at least when it comes to LGB rep—lets me watch without real fear. I can actually have fun while watching Wynonna, instead of constantly wondering when The Fam is gonna get murderated. Even the queer revenants who die have agency over their own deaths. It doesn’t matter that some of the queer people are a bit evil because there are just so many queer characters. And you know what, I’m so friggin’ thankful for that.
The Stereotypes Song
Now, normally, I wouldn’t think of stereotypes as a good thing. However, the ones Wynonna Earp plays with are like in-jokes, not the ones prevalent among queerphobes. Here are some of the greatest hits, in no particular order:
- Veg*nism: Waverly is a vegan; Jeremy, a vegetarian.
- Super smart perfectionists: Jeremy and Rosita are STEM geniuses, Waverly is a research and linguistic queen, and Nicole wants to be the bestest cop around. Queer perfectionism is real and it’s not healthy because it stems from hoping if you’re perfect in every other way, maybe no one will notice the “one bad thing” about you.
- Cats: Queer women own more cats than the rest of the populace. Nicole owns a cat that doesn’t like men.
- Clothing: Two things here. One, have you seen Nicole’s shoes? Two: Waverly couldn’t wear seasonally appropriate clothing if her life depended on it.
- “Oh my God, they were roommates”: I’m not saying Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp were dating IRL. I have no idea, nor do I particularly care. The thing is, Wynonna has thrown a few winks to the possibility that Doc and Wyatt were more than friends. Considering how much people like to de-gay history, it feels … appropriate.
- Bisexual vampires, demons: It seems like a general rule that vampires and demons have to be at least a little bi and Wynonna‘s baddies are no different.
- The show has a certain … Je ne gay quoi: More than anything, Wynonna is just delightfully campy. From Dolls (Shamier Anderson) and Doc in a cage match to demon sister-widows … to Wynonna shooting a magic gun, dressed in nothing but a cardigan and her underwear … to a woman feeding bits of her dead mother to her monstrous ancestors, there’s just something ineffably queer about the whole shebang.
Words, Words, Words
Finally, the dialogue on Wynonna is #goals in general. But, I want to round out this queer love fest with some of my fav thematically-relevant lines, completely out of context:
- “Halloween costume. I’m going as She-Ra.”// “Oh my God. I would die.”
- “Oh God. I can’t believe I’m gonna go out blasting beavers.”// “Stick with me kid. I’ll show you how it’s done.”
- “Just call Smokeshow the Bear and ask him on a date.”
- “You are Wyatt Earp’s boyfriend.” //” Yeah, fine.”
- “Wyatt buggered us both.”
- “You’re a lesbian, not a unicorn, right?”
- “Yeah, well, Chrissy says [Waverly] scissored a stripper.”
- “Tacos are tasty.”
- “Hey, this is good. There’s usually a lot of vagina jokes.”
- “I learned it from Coyote Ugly!” // “I love that movie!”
- “You can double-tap me any time.”
- “But yeah, you really are the daddy.”
- “I call it Antoni because if you want to turn something into guacamole, you bring Antoni.”
- “Were you two [hits fists together, scissor hands] on the couch? And then [makes explosion noise]? Cause that’s why they make lube.”// “That’s not why they make lube.”
- “Love lives in the butt.”