What Alan Cumming’s role as a gay lead means for mainstream TV

Blog note 1: Jude 1:7 …Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Emphasis added).

Romans 1:18-32 (Emphasis added.)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

End of blog note 1.

Blog note 2: Genesis 1:27… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Emphasis added).

Genesis 5:2… Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. (Emphasis added).

Genesis 6:19… And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. (Emphasis added).

Genesis 7:9… There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah. (Emphasis added).

Genesis 7:16… And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in. (Emphasis added).

Matthew 19:4… And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female. (Emphasis added).

Mark 10:6… But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. (Emphasis added).

The above Bible verses (KJV) clearly indicate that God created humans to be either male or female. The Bible doesn’t say anything about a “Gender X” or “Fluid Gender” or “Call Yourself A Different Gender as the Mood Fits”, etc. There are males and females. The Bible does NOT give any prophecy or indication that human beings (in flesh form) will ever “transition” from one gender into another, or experience “back and forth gender fluidity.” PERIOD! I pray for these poor souls who have somehow been deceived into thinking that they are something they are not. By rejecting who you are, you are rejecting any notion of how God intended you to be. This a form of rebellion against how God created a person to be. It’s true, none of us chose to be either male or female, however, it is not for us to decide. God made each of us, male and female, according to his plan and purpose. I am not condemning these people, but know that they are missing out on God’s plan for them while they are in this state of confusion, denial or rebellion.

End of blog note 2.

What Alan Cumming’s role as a gay lead means for mainstream TV

In Instinct, the actor plays a spy-author-professor-detective whose sexuality is both irrelevant and groundbreaking

The Guardian. Jake Nevins Mon 26 Mar 2018 06.00 EDT. Last modified on Wed 11 Apr 2018 11.56 EDT

It is hard to believe, given the wellspring of queer-centric entertainment we’ve been graced with over the last few years, that Alan Cumming’s character in the new police procedural Instinct is the first openly gay lead of an American broadcast drama, ever. Even with Oscar plaudits for Moonlight and Call Me by Your Name, with shows like Transparent, Looking and reboots of Will & Grace and Queer Eye, progress has remained slow in the mainstream.

In truth, the vacancy has gone pretty much unnoticed. One can find quality television in so many places that the cautious incrementalism with which the major US networks approach inclusion and diversity has become more or less a moot point. But still, since broadcast television is in many ways a reflection of what Instinct showrunner Michael Rauch refers to as “corporate apprehension”, Cumming’s character is certainly a step forward.

In it he plays Dylan Reinhardt, a brilliant and quick-witted CIA operative-turned-college professor who studies abnormal behavior and published a Gladwellian best-seller called Freaks, about psychopaths, murderers and others on the fringes of society. One imagines Reinhardt’s own experience as a gay man allowed him to empathize with his subject’s sense of isolation, but no such reckoning is revealed. In what’s either a refreshing surprise or a kind of equivocation, his sexuality is mostly irrelevant, surfacing only in brief, domestic scenes with his husband Andy or offhand remarks to Lizzie, the intrepid cop with whom Dylan partners up to solve various heinous crimes in New York City.

On one hand, it’s nice to see a queer character on TV whose sexual preference doesn’t define them. After all, Instinct (adapted from James Patterson’s book Murder Games) is a standard law enforcement procedural and thus most of the storylines involve the mechanisms of crime-solving and psychology-probing. On the other, the fact that Reinhardt’s sexuality bears so imperceptibly on the show will inevitably fan the flames of those who accuse CBS of fashioning the character in a way that’s conservative and palatable to its audience.

With that, Instinct is in a bit of a catch-22, in that the show seems to want to pat itself on the back for featuring the first gay network lead while also making the character’s sexuality subordinate, and justifiably so, to his other qualities and responsibilities. “While I hope that some viewers do talk about Dylan’s sexuality, I’d like him to be judged by his virtues, flaws and quirks, not by who he loves,” wrote Rauch in a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter. “The success of every good TV show is built on the strength of the characters, and how dimensional and relatable they are.”

Thanks to Alan Cumming, who brings to the character boundless personality and panache, Reinhardt is a new kind of TV sleuth: he invokes Lady Gaga in a college lecture, wears a colorful rotation of sweater vests, and approaches the job with cheerful, professorial determination. Outright mentions of his sexuality, though, are sparse, at least in the show’s first three episodes. “Most times when we see gay characters on American TV, their gayness is the prime thing,” Cumming, who’s openly bisexual, told THR. “And [being gay] is also the fourth or fifth most interesting thing about this character.”

As a result, Reinhardt’s sexuality seems to matter more in network television’s greater, institutional firmament than it does in the actual show. Depending on how you look at it, this is either progress or passivity.

But with visibility, of course, comes the question of its varying gradients. Gay people have been straining to be seen and, now that we’re finally in front of the camera, rightfully want to be seen in totality. Therefore, films like Call Me by Your Name and Love, Simon have fielded criticisms of sanitization, as members of the LGBT community regard their portrayals of gay men and gay romance to be too conservative, drawn with an eye toward what straight audiences will stomach. And naturally, more flamboyant depictions of homosexuality run the risk of being caricature-like and borderline farcical, evincing a rather thin and stereotypical notion of queerness. Somewhere in the middle of these poles is Cumming’s Reinhardt, who seems perfectly at ease with himself, even if questions of identity don’t really surface.

But the fact remains that, for so long, Cumming’s character would have been a set piece in a crime show just like this one, consigned to the mostly ancillary, thankless task of delivering slick punchlines once or twice an episode. Without question, Cumming belongs here, at center stage, using cartomancy to solve crimes and chafing at feckless coroners. In that, there’s something worth celebrating.

This article was amended on Tuesday 27 March 2018. We mistakenly wrote that Alan Cumming was gay while he is actually bisexual. This has been corrected.

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