(I forgot I had this in my drafts for a bit, but better late than never!)
Look, nobody’s saying you have to preface every single compliment towards TOH’s queerness with a whole list praising previous shows for their established rep, kneeling and self-flagellating because TOH will never be as worthy, just...
Don’t go out of your way to single out and dunk on previous forms of representation? Obviously it’s perfectly fine to compare and appreciate how things HAVE changed and improved, the progress and upwards climb of things getting better; But faulting the creators themselves for their contributions that came beforehand seems a little disingenuous, especially knowing they DID aim for this and struggle against circumstances that didn’t have later precedents to ease executives’ bigoted minds.
And again, this doesn’t mean you can’t criticize other pieces of media, whose creators DO make such a big deal about how progressive they are, aren’t they the second coming of Stonewall, only to provide the most bare-minimum garbage. You’re still allowed to criticize stuff like THAT, such as Voltron’s queerbaiting, Disney’s First Gay Character, stuff like that.
But believe it or not, there IS a difference between mainstream cishet companies flaunting themselves for brownie points, straining every possible wokeness from just the barest minimum of representation, so they can technically say they’ve provided, without actually committing, and only doing it for the sake of clout;
And independent creators like Rebecca Sugar or Noelle Stevenson, who actually DID risk their careers and were genuinely invested in these queer characters as people, and operated from a position of very little power beneath the networks who controlled them. Compare that to networks and companies who DO have the power and authority to do as they please, who always loudly promise and brag ahead of time unlike those independent queer creators, and then come up laughably short.