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

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

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":

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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