Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Farkle is Gay…and That’s Okay!




I can’t be the only grown man watching Girl Meets World on the Disney Channel, right…? Right?

Aw c’mon…it’s got nostalgia appeal! It’s the sequel to Boy Meets World. It’s Corey and Topanga back together! And they just brought Shawn back! Oh fine, judge me.

In any event, Girl Meets World is the latest hit for the Disney Channel. As many ‘90s kids know by now, it’s about Riley Matthews, the daughter of Corey Matthews, (the main character from Boy Meets World), and her friends,as they deal with junior high problems, etc. Essentially, it’s the same formula as the old series, but GMW has an obvious legacy element to it. Characters from BMW have been known to pop up, including Stuart Minkus, the nerdy blonde kid from BMW’s first season.

And wouldn’t you know it, our ol’ buddy Minkis has a son on Girl Meets World. Farkle Minkus, played by young Corey Fogelmanis, is a short and skinny character who doesn’t let his small stature contain his massive intelligence, or his quirky personality. He’s an extremely flamboyant character, who even has Dr. Evil-ish ambitions of conquering the world. Fogelmanis is a very likeable actor, and his performances tend to be among the highlights of the average GMW episode.

Like BMW, GMW has a flare for goofy comedy, much of which Farkle provides. But there’s always plenty of heart underneath the comedy. Almost every episode has a moral or a lesson about family, friendship, growing up, etc. As such, Disney and Girl Meets World have a really interesting and wonderful opportunity with this Farkle character…

GMW has positioned Farkle in sort of a modern day Steve Urkel role. He’s super intelligent, provides comic relief, and is a friend to the other characters. He’s talked about liking both Riley and her best friend Maya. But at the moment, he’s not a romantic interest for either of them.

Farkle also tends to call for very big, flamboyant performances from Fogelmanis. The nature of these performances have sparked various questions and theories from GMW fans about Farkle’s sexuality.

“Could Farkle be gay?”
“Farkle = Probably gay.”
“Farkle is obviously gay, right?”

At the risk of sounding creepy, I’ve had those same suspicions about Farkle. And to be clear, this is strictly about the character, not Fogelmanis. I can’t necessarily point to one specific thing about Farkle that sparked my suspicion. It just sort of happened. 

Interestingly enough, the Disney Channel recently set a precedent (albeit a mild one) for gay characters on the network. Last year an episode of Good Luck Charlie revealed that a character had two lesbian mothers.

There’s been nothing on Girl Meets World that directly suggests Farkle is gay, or could even be pondering such things. But that doesn’t change the fact that Disney has an awesome opportunity here. They’ll ruffle some feathers, to be sure. But they can also do something they’ve never done before, and do it on a show with more eyes on it that your average series for young people. What’s more, GMW is a show that lends itself to this kind of talk about self discovery and growing up.

So I say let’s do it! Let’s make Farkle the Disney Channel’s first gay teenager.

It wouldn’t need to be over-sensationalized (believe me, the media would provide more than enough sensation). All we really need is one episode…

The show has already established that Farkle gets bullied sometimes. So let’s lead in with that. Let’s have Farkle getting teased about allegedly being gay. Of course, Riley, Maya, Lucas (the show’s resident hunk and Riley’s love interest) come to the rescue. Then, later in the episode, Farkle drops the bomb.

“Guys… what they’re saying about me…it’s true.”

We wouldn’t need to dive into the mechanics of how Farkle discovered it. From where I sit, he’s known since at least the start of the series, and he’s tried to cover it up by pining for Riley and Maya.

Riley, Maya, and Lucas would naturally be a little bit shocked by Farkle’s revelation. From there, we go to Papa Corey, who talks about how it can sometimes be difficult for someone to come to terms with this kind of thing, and that lot of people have trouble accepting it. But in the end, he’s still the same Farkle he’s always been.

We close the episode with Riley, Maya, and Lucas protecting Farkle from the bullies, and Riley giving the little guy a hug. Aw heck, how about a group hug!

And that’s it. They put it out there, and they never have to touch it again if they don’t want to. The important thing is that Disney makes a statement about gay teens. And they put out a good message about Farkle’s friends accepting him for who he is.

Girl Meets World is such a great stage for this kind of thing. It’s a show with characters that millennials grew up on, and can serve to remind them of the changes they’ve brought, and can continue to bring to the world. For the kids, it’s a bold statement: If you’re gay, that’s okay. Your true friends will stand by you.

Am I hoping for too much? Maybe. Such a major change to an already-established character would be a pretty bold move for Disney.


But hey, it is 2015…


Written By: Rob Siebert

19 comments:

  1. 1. You should change the title of this post "Farkle Could Be Gay..." because you're just speculating.

    2. Just because a character is flamboyant doesn't mean that character is gay. That's pretty broad stereotyping.

    3. Speaking as a writer, just because some people think that a character is/could be/should be something doesn't mean the writers have to/need to/should do what the fans say. (Otherwise a number of fan-shipped couples would have gotten married immediately.) If it happens organically, and not because of fan pressure, fine, but the writers and producers should tell their own stories, not what people tell them to do.

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    1. Who cares if he is gay or not. Shouldn't we just watch the show. And stop making rumors about a character no one likes theories.

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  2. re: Kacey F

    Never suggested flamboyant meant gay. I also noted that there's been nothing to directly suggest Farkle is gay. I'm merely saying this could be a cool direction they COULD go, because it does seem to be happen organically. At least for my money. Just one opinion.

    - Rob (author)

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  3. I've thought Farkle was gay from the get-go. If they're going to explore it, they'll probably wait til the high school seasons.

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    1. Stop saying that gosh are you gay or just pretending to be.... maybe we should watch it no offense to anyone. I love the show buy hate the critics who habe nothing good to say

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  4. Farkle is not Gay. It is clear he likes women. From the first episode we see him flirting with both girls than in the subway with two grown women. I would like to see Maya and Farkle together in the show however it seems like they are going to make her the girlfriend of Josh.

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  5. I agree actually that Farkle could be gay or at least bisexual. I definitely got that same vibe from seeing his character. He amuses me to all hell. But yeah. I think there's a possibility that Lucas might be bi as well, possibly Maya. Just a thought. Nice screen rant. I enjoyed reading it. And no, nobody's going to judge you. It's not like you're marathoning Gossip Girl ...or maybe you are. :P

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  6. ok but...same set up as yours where Farkle is being bullied because of rumors and the show totally fakes us out because Lucas reveals that he is gay. Either way, it would be amazing.

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  7. Farkle gives off a very obvious gay vibe. It may be unintentional on the part of the actor, or perhaps the actor himself is gay. I doubt the character will ever be gay. Not on Disney Channel.

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  8. I dont think he is Gay. I just dont. I mean we obviously see he loves Riley and Maya and we know that he likes them. Also if you look into season 2 he is starting to get more older and also there might be something going on with Smackle (his arch-enemy) so right there can tell you he is not gay and plus they already have to much of his character put together it would mess up his entire character since they already know who Farkle is. Watch Season 2 I am Farkle.

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  9. HE'S NOT GAY MY GOSH I'M SO SICK OF PEOPLE SAYING THAT! HE'S ABSOLUTELY STRAIGHT, LEAVE IT ALONE

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    1. God, please stop saying This like being gay is a bad thing

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    2. ...it is a bad thing. There are reasons that Christians are against homosexuality. Most religions have doctrine to support the immorality of homosexuality. People need to stop pushing the gay agenda and making it influence every show, every network and every aspect of our lives. This show has touched on religion, love, heartbreak and autism. If they're gonna touch on homosexuality, it would cause a drop in their viewers.

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    3. Funny to hear "gay agenda" from a member of a religion that has done nothing but push its own agenda for over 2000 years. If you don't like the idea of a gay on a TV program, turn the channel.

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  10. He's straight & should stay that way. Flamboyant doesn't always mean gay just like tomboy doesn't always mean lesbian.

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  11. My niece just came out (16 years old) as gay. I love the idea of mainstreaming the LGBTQ community by normalizing it in shows like GMW. Love your idea, the proposed treatment of the subject matter and the positive impact it could have on thousands of straight and gay youth. I've got your back on this one

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  12. I love this idea it's perfect! And to all you haters: NOTHING IS WRONG WITH BEING GAY

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  13. Moi je suis un de ces fans.
    Même s'il l'est,c'est ça manière de faire puis c'est sa vie il est libre de faire ce qui lui semble bon.
    Farkel joue un bon rôle dans GMW.
    Courage pour lui...

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