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How 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' is changing the game for bisexuality on TV.

Another reason 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' is a must-see.

How 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' is changing the game for bisexuality on TV.

If you only know bisexuality through your TV screen, you probably have a completely warped version of it.

To bisexuals living out here in the real world, I imagine that's been pretty damn frustrating.


GIF via "Flavor of Love."

I'm gay, so I have some understanding of what it feels like for Hollywood to hijack your sexual orientation, twist it into tired TV tropes (hilarious gay BFF, anyone?), and spit them out for the world to see.

But the industry has made strides in depicting gay characters as whole, complex humans. People who are bisexual though? Eh, not as much.

When bi characters actually do appear (it's still too rare), they often reflect stereotypes that range from ridiculous to downright harmful.

From Catherine in "Basic Instinct," who was a promiscuous serial killer...

Subtle, right? GIF via "Basic Instinct."

...to, more recently, Frank Underwood in "House of Cards" — a manipulative megalomaniac whose sexual fluidity is more about asserting power than an identity. Bisexuality hasn't gotten a fair shake.

GIF via "House of Cards."

Don't get me wrong. There's been primetime progress for bisexual characters in recent years on shows like "Grey's Anatomy," and you could argue simply having more roles like Mr. Underwood — a main character who isn't defined by his (bi)sexuality — is a good thing in and of itself.

There's a whole lot of room for improvement though — especially for male characters who are bi. And that's why I am living for "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," a new series on The CW network. The show is a musical comedy, and it's a must-watch for many reasons, but mostly because it's smart, it's refreshing, and most importantly, it's super funny.

I'll admit, I was nervous, at first, when Darryl Whitefeather, a character on "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" kissed another man.

Darryl is an awkward but earnest, middle-aged divorcé with a daughter. So when he kissed another male character on the show, it truly came out of nowhere.

I was excited to see "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" was taking his character in an unexpected direction ... but I was also a bit concerned. Would this new storyline feed into the typical tropes about bisexuality like so many others involving bi characters? Would the writers find a way to kill him off in a random freak accident by the end of the episode? Would Darryl "realize he's gay" by next week?

But in each episode since, Darryl's revelation that he is bisexual (or "both-sexual" as he called it) has neatly avoided falling into any of those traps.

In fact, I'm damn-near over the moon to report that "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" handled his coming out perfectly.

Photo courtesy of The CW, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," used with permission.

Darryl brilliantly comes out to his coworkers through a musical number (which you can watch below), while also shutting down many of the harmful myths that bisexual people are tired of hearing. Honestly, it may be the most impactful (and definitely the least-subtle) takedown of stigma around bisexuality in TV history to date.

The song is called "Getting Bi," and it speaks to all the ways bisexuality has been misrepresented since, like, forever.

Like, the fact that people assume people who are bisexual (especially men) are actually gay, that they're just confused, and that they haven't fully come out of the closet yet (which, of course, is complete bulls**t).

Darryl is pretty clear about what he thinks about that:

GIF via "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."

Or the assumption that bisexuals are naturally more promiscuous than straight or gay folks (which, again, is utter nonsense).

Darryl hits the nail on the head here too:

GIF via "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."

While Darryl, a middle-aged white lawyer, certainly doesn't represent every bi person or their experience, his character's slow discovery and embracing of his own bisexuality is challenging viewers — and the TV industry — to get smarter about sexuality and how it's portrayed in the media.

And it's about damn time.

Representation isn't just for show — it's critical in fighting inequality.

Seeing yourself in the leaders and change-makers around you — whether it's politicians in Washington or big-wigs in Hollywood — is important for everyone, regardless of skin color, sexual orientation, religious faith, or gender. Representation matters in shaping our world, and finally a show gets that (and didn't pull any punches) when it comes to bisexuality.

Check out Darryl's enlightening performance of "Getting Bi":

Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

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"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

via 1POCNews / Twitter

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