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Wentworth actor wants broader palette for LGBTQI tales

There are more LGBTQI stories in Australian media than ever, but so many end the same way - with the death of a lovable character.

Whether it's by AIDS, murder, overdose or other tragedy, these deaths are so common that the trope, called 'Bury Your Gays', has sub-variants such as 'Out of the Closet, Into the Fire' and 'Homophobic Hate Crime'.

Australian actor Zoe Terakes, known for their role as a transgender man in the TV series Wentworth, said these can't be the only stories told.

"The reason I'm daunted by only telling trans stories for the rest of my life is because, for the most part, they're really traumatic and ... boring," Terakes told a WorldPride panel on Friday.

Fellow panellist Imbi wants to see more like films and programs like Love, Simon and Heartstopper, which both feature wholesome queer love stories.

"You forget that these authentic expressions of queer joy can actually be really radical," they said.

"Sharing them on a public and accessible platform is a powerful tool, it can be really affirming."

However, of the few examples of positive LGBTQI representation, most are taken up by gay, white men who are not transgender.

While Terakes loves those stories and believe they have a place, they take up a lot of space that could be used to explore other forms of queer love.

"Gay men everywhere, all the time," they said.

"I love them to bits but it's almost an over-saturation. You hear them all the time over any other voices."

Instead, Terakes wants to shine the spotlight on positive stories from other LGBTQI demographics.

Terakes themself starred in the lesbian love story Ellie and Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt) in 2020 and later this year, they are set to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe TV show Ironheart.

While they worry that representation can be used to distract from issues of discrimination, they still believe it is important for youth.

"If little Black trans kids turned on a TV and saw a Black trans super hero, you bet your bottom dollar they would be less depressed."

"They'll say 'oh I can see that and therefore I exist', especially if they're little."

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