Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth
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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

Maybe Wednesday Addams Is Gay. Maybe Her Suitors Are Just Boring!

Our goth Chicana could turn out to be a fellow traveler in Season 2 of Netflix's Wednesday, but let's at least give her some interesting boys to choose from.

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Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, Percy Hynes White as Xavier Thorpe in episode 101 of Wednesday.
Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, Percy Hynes White as Xavier Thorpe in episode 101 of Wednesday.
Photo: Vlad Cioplea/Netflix

I happen to think Jenna Ortega’s Wednesday Addams is straight, but apparently I’m in the minority.

Let me back up: In the new hit Netflix series directed by Tim Burton—aptly called Wednesday—the mysterious and spooky teen is shipped off to a boarding school for “outcasts” (read: vampires, werewolves, sirens, gorgons, etc.) that’s nestled in an idyllic Vermont town full of normies. (She got kicked out of her old school in New Jersey for releasing piranhas into the pool and de-balling a bully.) While at Nevermore Academy, a psychic student Xavier Thorpe becomes infatuated with Wednesday, as does a townie barista named Tyler Galpin—launching a love triangle (sort of) between a truly fascinating girl and two handsome but milquetoast white guys. Without giving out too many spoilers, Wednesday pretty much just tolerates their advances, leading many fans of the show to speculate that she is gay and ship her potential partnership with the only character with a personality to match her own: her roommate, werewolf Enid Sinclair.

I, a noted gay who would love to claim Wednesday as my own, think the evidence to support this theory falls short. Again: While Wednesday is a deeply dynamic, bad-ass character with whip-smart one-liners and a myriad of fascinating hobbies, skills and interests, the boys pursuing her have personalities as interesting as a wet saltine cracker.

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It’s true that Wednesday and Enid do have a fun friendship and opposites-attract thing going on. The bubbly, earnest Enid wants Wednesday to hang out and be social and get on Instagram! Wednesday cares about Enid but thinks all over the aforementioned things are stupid and just wants to be left alone! While the fancams of Wenclair are cute and well-watched (nearly 800 million views and counting on TikTok), all I see is a straight girl who’s incredibly bored by the boys around her and just wants to solve a goddamned mystery about her ancestors in peace.

Wednesday. Hunter Doohan as Tyler Galpin in episode 104 of Wednesday. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Hunter Doohan as Tyler Galpin in episode 104 of Wednesday.
Photo: COURTESY OF NETFLIX
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Sure, it’s small-minded and weird in a boarding school of outcasts that they’re aren’t more overt gays, but that is fine. It’s a fictional Netflix show—not Congress. Representation is important, but it’s not the worst thing that a fantasy show doesn’t include explicitly referenced queer characters. Also! These are teens! Teens, like all people, come out at their own time. Some people know at 4; some people know at 44. There’s literally always next season.

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair in episode 102 of Wednesday.
Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair in episode 102 of Wednesday.
Photo: VLAD CIOPLEA/NETFLIX
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I’d also encourage people to see Enid and Wednesday as having a friendship where they actually talk about their problems, apologize, grow and evolve. Maybe that does mean one or both of them will be queer—but having any kind of healthy-adjacent relationship where she thinks about another person’s feelings is a massive step forward for Wednesday’s titular girl.

Ortega, the young actress who plays Wednesday, addressed the gay question in an interview with Gayety this week. “I think because she’s a badass. She’s cool, she’s got a nice sense of style, but she’s somebody who embraces her differences and isn’t out to please anybody,” Ortega said. “I feel like that’s a really, really powerful thing to see. I feel like people want to see powerful women with powerful women.”

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Sadly, being a gay icon is not the same as being gay. Louder for the people in the back: BEING A GAY ICON DOES NOT MAKE YOU GAY. It just makes you beloved by the gay people (men) who dictate a lot of gay culture.

Something I always struggle with as a queer consumer of culture—both professionally and just as a girl sitting on my couch—is grasping for queerness. It’s so boring to be begging for straight characters to be gay, especially in a show about and for teens. Young people are still figuring themselves out—even if they are outcasts. I’m really just begging these writers to write more interesting male characters in Season 2.