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Author Topic: Homosexuality in Futurama  (Read 5917 times)
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SweetZombieJesus

Bending Unit
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« on: 06-27-2010 12:30 »

I was chatting with a fellow Futurama nerd last night who is a lesbian and we got on the topic of homosexuality within Futurama. It surprises me that a show so rich in satirical content, pop-culture, and current events, rarely, if ever touches on the subject.

The only character who I can think of who is outright bi-sexual (possibly homosexual) is Hedonismbot with Jomby. Of course there is the scene of kissing with Leela and Amy but nothing else in my mind has come up in any Futurama.

Thoughts?
Svip

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« Reply #1 on: 06-27-2010 12:35 »

http://theinfosphere.org/Proposition_Infinity

/thread
SweetZombieJesus

Bending Unit
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« Reply #2 on: 06-27-2010 12:40 »

But this still does not mention anything about homosexuality. I think it will make for a great episode with Bender crossin the "flesh" barrier. But he has already done it with Lucy!
Svip

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« Reply #3 on: 06-27-2010 12:44 »

Given how it is a 'parody' of Proposition 8 in California (which would have legalised gay marriage), I am going to say, 'yeah, this is a topic of homosexuality'.

Basically, in Futurama, 'robosexuality' has replaced the taboo of homosexuality.  I think it is more a joke than a willingness to touch the subject.
wu_konguk

Urban Legend
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« Reply #4 on: 06-27-2010 12:44 »

Perhaps not not any of the main characters but there is Randy and his friend on the ark.

Other than that Zapp has certainly shown some homosexual tendancies. Also at a stretch Leegola and Gynagalarical.
Svip

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« Reply #5 on: 06-27-2010 12:47 »

No, Zapp is not gay.  There are tonnes of essays debunking that theory.
Dorsal Axe

Bending Unit
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« Reply #6 on: 06-27-2010 12:52 »

Bender: "Do the Bender! Do the Bender!"
Randy Munchnik: "Noooo thank you!"
i_c_weiner

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« Reply #7 on: 06-27-2010 12:53 »
« Last Edit on: 06-27-2010 12:59 »

To Human Resources this should go?


Also, the "Zapp has homosexual tendencies" vibe you're getting is not Zapp being a homosexual. It's called "being in the navy".

As Svip said, Proposition Infinity is Futurama's way to talk about homosexuality, with robosexuality being the analogue. This is them getting into the subject. By using an analogue, it allows the staff to say things that they normally can't say with such a touchy subject. It also allows you to see both sides of the conversation through the window of 1000 years without being hit over the head that this is today's issue. Futurama does this all the time.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #8 on: 06-27-2010 13:16 »

Given how it is a 'parody' of Proposition 8 in California (which would have legalised gay marriage), I am going to say, 'yeah, this is a topic of homosexuality'.


Actually (to get geekily political for a second), not exactly.  The California legislature or supreme court, I believe, had already effectively legalized gay marriage, so it was legal there for a short period of time.  Prop 8, which passed, basically repealed that legality and made it illegal again. 

That said, you're right.  The episode is obviously going to be about homosexuality and gay marriage even if it never mentions the issue outright.  It's metaphorical.

Also, if it helps for your conversation, SweetZombieJesus, one scene about homosexuality that jumps out to me is the "gaydar" discussion in "Love's Labour Lost in Space."
SweetZombieJesus

Bending Unit
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« Reply #9 on: 06-27-2010 13:32 »

Well put Svip and DoTheBartman. ("Just as well; I think he comes from a dimension that's big on musical theatre.")

Of course there are the mentions of Robo-sexuality right in the first 5 minutes of epidoe one, and then being "romo" in 30% Iron Chef... But my focus was more on curiousity towards why there are no homosexual characters in the show, or even more satirical comments about it. I not once thought that the writers would shy away from the topic, so this has always interested me.

I suppose this new episode will be great, can't wait!
Svip

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« Reply #10 on: 06-27-2010 13:51 »

Randy isn't gay?
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #11 on: 06-27-2010 15:05 »

"There are parts of the Bible I like, and parts I don't like!"

Also, that beach bully in When Aliens Attack was gay. Either that or he wanted an excuse not to go on a date with Leela.
KurtPikachu2001

Urban Legend
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« Reply #12 on: 06-27-2010 18:47 »

Zoidberg seems to be a little effemanite.  Zapp isn't.   In Rebirth when Bender was dancing and saying, "Do the Bender" a guy came up to him and said "No I don't want to"!  Is another example of a homosexual reference. 
Svip

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« Reply #13 on: 06-27-2010 18:50 »

You mean Randy?
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #14 on: 06-27-2010 19:01 »

The Professor has shown indications of bisexuality before. I'd say it's not something that they avoid, but it's not something they pick out much either. It's like religion, just one of those lifestyle choices people have.
Svip

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« Reply #15 on: 06-27-2010 19:05 »

Did you just say homosexuality is a choice?
Nutmeg1729

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« Reply #16 on: 06-27-2010 19:09 »

In the future it might be.
totalnerd undercanada

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« Reply #17 on: 06-27-2010 19:14 »

Did you just say homosexuality is a choice?

Totally not what I meant. Stop trying to stir shit up.
canned eggs

Space Pope
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« Reply #18 on: 06-27-2010 20:57 »

There's also Enos. 

"You ever think you're just going with girls 'cause you're supposed to?"
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #19 on: 06-27-2010 21:43 »

I don't get why thinking homosexuality is a choice is such an 'evil' viewpoint to be honest. Two of my best friends are gay and they're adamamnt that the cause for their homosexuality is psychological rather than biological. And to be fair, you can how that'd make sense from their upbringing.

Neither way has been proven yet, have they? Or am I mistaken?
i_c_weiner

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« Reply #20 on: 06-27-2010 23:20 »

In the future, moral standards are a lot less than they are now. People propose orgies, people are publicly naked, and people have casual sex. It's not surprising that some of the characters show bisexual or homosexual tendencies by today's standards because that's just the way things are in the future. By their standards, they're like straight as an arrow.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #21 on: 06-28-2010 08:23 »
« Last Edit on: 06-28-2010 08:24 »

Did you just say homosexuality is a choice?

Totally not what I meant. Stop trying to stir shit up.

I don't think he was.  Religious zealots use almost the exact same phrasing you did (referring to it as a "lifestyle choice" that they don't agree with), so it tends to raise alarms when someone uses that particular phrase.  I'm sure you did it unintentionally, but it's understandable why someone would raise an eyebrow.

Also, Cyber, it isn't "proven," necessarily, but there is already heavy evidence that there is some sort of genetic cause (or multiple genetic causes) for homosexuality.  For that matter, there has been a fair amount of study of animals that show some sort of homosexual tendency, which seems to indicate it as a natural phenomenon.  
Ricky

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #22 on: 06-28-2010 21:43 »

Damn Chico! One more upgrade and I'll be more lady than you can handle!
totalnerd undercanada

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« Reply #23 on: 06-28-2010 21:49 »

Did you just say homosexuality is a choice?

Totally not what I meant. Stop trying to stir shit up.

I don't think he was. 

The fact that he felt he needed to point it out says that he was. Really, I know him. I know what he's getting at. He's a polemicist.
Svip

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« Reply #24 on: 06-28-2010 23:04 »

Did you just say homosexuality is a choice?

Totally not what I meant. Stop trying to stir shit up.

I don't think he was. 

The fact that he felt he needed to point it out says that he was. Really, I know him. I know what he's getting at. He's a polemicist.

No, I was making a point.  Religion, to many people, is not a lifestyle choice.  Sure, some escape it; but once you have to fight for it, it is no longer like picking what sort of ice cream you prefer.  Much less is sexuality, which genetic.  Since you, I suppose unintentionally, was comparing religion to sexuality, I was calling you out on your flaw.  They are not the same, and should not be treated as such.  But neither are lifestyle choices.  This world is much worse than you think of it.
totalnerd undercanada

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« Reply #25 on: 06-28-2010 23:14 »

I think so poorly of it that I shudder to realise how bad it must actually be.
Nutmeg1729

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« Reply #26 on: 06-28-2010 23:24 »

Sexuality isn't purely genetic, there is a lot that goes into it. Influences, how you're raised, life experiences, and then genetics as well, and of course a whole load of other things that I know I've missed.

Being hetero, bi, or homosexual IS partially a lifestyle choice.
Svip

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« Reply #27 on: 06-28-2010 23:34 »
« Last Edit on: 06-28-2010 23:37 »

Sexuality isn't purely genetic, there is a lot that goes into it. Influences, how you're raised, life experiences, and then genetics as well, and of course a whole load of other things that I know I've missed.

Being hetero, bi, or homosexual IS partially a lifestyle choice.

But you don't keep a religion in the closet?

'Mum, dad, I'm Jewish!'

Edit:  But you are technically incorrect and somewhat correct as well.  Depends on what you consider sexuality to be.  The basics of attractions in instincts is purely genetic and cannot be changed.  However, part of being human is to control instincts, emotions and so on.  You've probably known this by now.  So upbringing also leads to an understanding of what is acceptable and what you should or should not do.

So many people who may be bisexual or even homosexual refuse to give in to their own emotions and such tells themselves what they are.  If you consider that 'choice' to be sexuality, then you are correct.  If you consider that to cloud your real sexuality, which it does not seem you do, then your assertion is incorrect.
Nutmeg1729

Urban Legend
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« Reply #28 on: 06-28-2010 23:43 »

I don't deny that a lot of it is down to a genetic instinct, but as you said, the situations you live through in life are either more likely or less likely to affect that. Myself, I've known about my bisexuality since I was nine years old, but going to an all girls school neither heightened nor dimmed any feelings that I had towards both sexes.

But personal experiences aside, many people only develop feelings towards the opposite sex because of a trauma in life that affects them mentally. I know of a few examples, and I'm not saying that it's commonplace, nor am I disagreeing that the instinct was always there.

But blaming it all on genetics is incorrect.
Svip

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« Reply #29 on: 06-29-2010 00:07 »

Then you are not understanding the debate.  The question is about whether society should be more tolerant towards these differences rather than getting in line and prefer what is the 'norm'.

Because a lot of the tendency against it (even if legal in the eyes of the state) makes people push for a more 'normalised' sexuality.  No doubt can unrelated personal events always come up, but that should be the only modifiers according to some.

But even modifiers in personal experiences means the influences of others and your genetics have made the choice for you.  The same is true for religion, just not the genetics part.

Free will?  No dice.
Nutmeg1729

Urban Legend
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« Reply #30 on: 06-29-2010 00:10 »

Since relegion is a major part of what defines "the norm", then the two are kind of one and the same just now. The only reason we're attracted to the opposite sex is because nature built us that way, so by definition, essentially, could - or would - you say that homo/bi-sexuality is the result of something gone wrong?

Damn relegion, I don't believe in it, so I don't discuss it. My brain isn't working enough to debate with you svip, I'll put my hands up and admit that!
Svip

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« Reply #31 on: 06-29-2010 00:27 »

You are right that 'homosexuality' is something 'gone wrong', or rather an oddity or a strange mutation.  Since, technically, all humans are mutations, we are all able to suffer some minor defects from normal human mentality and construct.  Nature did not intend some of us to be nearsighted, right?  Another thing 'gone wrong'.

Of course it is in nature's and evolution's intend for us to be as heterosexual as possible.  The survival of the species is the important part of reproduction.  That is how we survive.  So why create two sexes, you ask?  Some species don't have sexes and some species only have the females left.

Well, apparently evolution also has an idea about 'slow down, will ya?'  I mean, we can't just be making babies constantly.  There was also time to survive and gather food.  So sexes were developed to stop the species from just constantly reproducing and go out and do stuff.  Evolution strives for one thing; to survive and to survive as long as possible.  And that means adaption.  And changes of plan.

Humans, much like all other mammals (and many other species) are subject to the same thing.  Which is also additionally why I don't believe we will meet an intelligent alien species that has more than two sexes.  But they may only have one.  Or just the females left.  For you see, a species can survive with only the females, but not with only the males.  Even in human chromosomes are males the oddity.
Zed 85

Space Pope
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« Reply #32 on: 06-29-2010 00:54 »
« Last Edit on: 06-29-2010 01:03 »

I may be blundering in here, marginally drunk, grabbing a poker and stabbing a fire that everyone is quite happy to allow to die out, about to do something that I'm seriously going to regret, and I may even be deviating from the main point, but personally on the topic of sexuality being a lifestyle choice, I believe that sexuality isn't anything to do with lifestyle. I would agree with Nutmeg in saying that a lot of what makes someone have the sexuality they have is defined a lot by upbringing and lifetime experiences, and that there is *some* things that have to be said for genetics. I mean, the matter of what sex I'm most attracted to aside, you can even talk about fetishes. I do have certain fetishes and I realise that I've had them again from a young age too - I can't explain where the hell they've come from and they haven't really been "nurtured" by anyone. There is that "nature vs nurture" debate in Psychology. What I just said may sound like "nature" but I believe that in most cases there's a little bit of both; certainly not one exclusively.

So anyway, I have these fetishes, and some of them are quite embarrassing to admit to. Legal and predominately ethical, I might add, but still there are times I wonder whether I could or should be better off if I didn't have them at all. So what do I do? This is where the only choice comes in, as far as I'm concerned. I can choose to try and suppress these fetishes and deal with any subsequent ramifications of my suppression, or I can accept them and put up with whatever consequences may follow, good or bad. Lots of factors can contribute to my decision - society, family, principles, whatever you want to name. I still start off with the fetishes at the beginning of the equation, and I still leave with them, just in a new light. That's the key issue. It's choice but not an easy one.

Then we come round to lifestyle. Now, let's say that I've accepted these fetishes. What do I do with them? I know of people in my boat who allow their fetishes to dominate their lives - they spend thousands in money on their passion, devote hours of time purely to pursuing that pleasure. Currently I feel that it's highly unlikely that I'll do the same. So, drag myself and another member of the community together into a room - they may have bought all the paraphernalia, I haven't. They may meet others to explore their fetish - I don't. That may change though, who knows? Here and now though, point being is that show us the same stimuli and we're both likely to have a similar reaction.  

It may appear very bold and possibly naive to claim that fetishism is exactly like sexuality (and I'm not) but I do believe there are similarities, chiefly in the difference between having a certain sexuality and/or fetish and then choosing how to live your life accordingly. You can be a woman who wants to shag every man you see, or a man who wants to shag every man you see. Thing is, the woman who's constantly sleeping around starts getting called a slut, partially because it's not the norm, so why should it be any different for the man? It is no different - the man and woman who sleep around make that choice. Their sexuality is irrelevant. Unless of course they are actually nymphomaniacs which is too fuzzy for me right now to deal with.

I'm now too tired and drunk to tie this into something to do with Futurama though unfortunately...
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #33 on: 06-29-2010 04:11 »

I believe fetishes to be completely psychological. I have a lot myself and I know i've also had some since an extremely early age, but your psychology starts from the moment you're born, remember. In fact, it arguably starts earlier.

Honestly, I think homosexuality can at times, be little more than a fetish; but obviously there are hugely varying degrees. The people I'd say are basically dealing with a fetish are those who claim to be bi-curious. Another of my friends claims to be bi-sexual but he also claims that he'd never want a relationship with a man and he couldn't see himself having romantic feelings for a man, it'd all be sexual. This sort of thing, I'd put completely down to psychology.
Then there are the 'true' homosexuals where all evidence points towards a genetic disposition followed by psychology as far as I'm concerned. Like I said, two of my best friends are gay and they both think it's completely psychological, not a shred of genetics in there. The same goes for the vast majority of their gay friends. If anything, I think sexuality is a spectrum and everybody has the potential to go either way, depending on psychological inputs but some people are more likely to go one way or another due to their physical makeup. At the end of the day, who cares? Why is it an issue? It certainly seems to be a much bigger deal in America than it is here due to Christianity's much bigger influence on everyday life there.
I don't really know what my point is so I'm going to stop talking here before risking offending even more people than I probably already have.
i_c_weiner

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« Reply #34 on: 06-29-2010 04:28 »
« Last Edit on: 06-29-2010 04:30 »

Isn't sexual attraction just the amalgamation of one's fetishes? Some men have a thing for huge breasts, others like small breasts. Some view these as fetishes, and they are. However, when combined with other fetishes, such as hair color, eye color, skin tone, etc., they become much more than simple fetishes; it becomes the "type" of person you like.
Nutmeg1729

Urban Legend
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« Reply #35 on: 06-29-2010 08:08 »

More people more closely associate the word fetish with something that might be a little odd sexually. For instance, auto-asphyxiation, feet, eating food off people... there are many things that are considored to be fetishes which I'm sure you all know.

However, in some sense of the word, if you take it just to mean something that you like, and not something that makes you get off sexually in an extreme way, then weiner is right...
Zed 85

Space Pope
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« Reply #36 on: 06-29-2010 09:45 »

Firstly I would like to agree with you, cyber_turnip, about the fact that really sexuality and whatnot really shouldn't be an issue. It's a taboo which is also largely dependent on the society it finds itself in, and although my view is quite slanted I believe it is a subject that we as a people can choose to accept if we really wanted to.

I'll second what Nutmeg says though about the two ways of looking at what is a fetish, though I have to say that I'm talking about the more extreme definition. Adding to what Nutmeg said, there are potentially less sexually orientated fetishes such as clothes-fetishes - being turned on by simply what the person happens to be wearing, either in the bedroom let's say or even just out on the street, almost to the extent that the sex, age and appearance of the person wearing it matters far less. I mean, urgh, without trying to sound too self-indulgent, but if you are familiar with my artwork you may well see I have a thing for women in uniform...
Now I can think about various psychological explanations for that - association with strong female role-models, most of my childhood spent surrounded by the military etc etc BUT I don't get off it sexually at all. I personally would not call it a fetish (in my case at least) though if you were to define fetish as merely something I *like* to see then yes it would be one. Then you get to another subject: I would describe myself as being a Russophile - a lover of Russia and Russian things. Sometimes I explore that or get in touch with that and I may go through a state of euphoria - but not sexually. Is that a fetish..?

This is deviating from the subject matter. Perhaps we could explore this better in Off-Topic?
live4themusic
Poppler
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« Reply #37 on: 06-29-2010 12:28 »

http://www.buzzfeed.com/sarahmorgan/gay-scientists-isolate-christian-gene-d8

Also, in one of the 'movies' Zapp is attracted to one of his soldiers (Leela) who he believes to be a man at the time.

I think there is a learned component to sexuality in additions to a genetic predisposition.

In ancient greece, homosexual activities were considered a normal part of society (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_ancient_Greece)
Does this mean that more ancient Greeks had the homosexual gene? I don't think so. I think the lack of taboo surrounding homosexual activity, or even it's expectation, was what allowed for so many homosexual relationships. Nowadays, there is TONS of homophobia. Even among non-religious men who are completely ok with other peoples' homosexuality, the suggestion that they might have the potential for homosexual behavior if society was structured differently puts them instantly on the defensive ('no dude, I'm not fuckin' gay')

SweetZombieJesus

Bending Unit
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« Reply #38 on: 06-29-2010 13:56 »

I didn't really mean for this to get into a moral debate about homosexuality at all people. Just the references within Futurama and why.
Svip

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« Reply #39 on: 06-29-2010 14:03 »

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