Released on Netflix on Oct. 9, “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” spinoff of the original “Haunting of Hill House,” hit horror-lovers hard. Being one myself, I was ecstatic to sit down to watch it, and, embarrassingly enough, I finished the show in only three days. I found that I was not actually obsessed with the show itself, though, but a relationship built across the nine episodes – a queer love story.
As a gay woman, I constantly look for positive representation of myself in the media. I appreciated “Love, Simon” as much as the next teenager did, but after the Hulu spinoff “Love, Victor” was released, I was annoyed to say the least. I started asking myself where the other queer women, especially queer women of color, were.
“The Haunting of Bly Manor” is one of the greatest media representations of love between two women that I have seen. It feels organic, kind, and most importantly, is not in any way solely focused on the physical relationship between the characters, Dani (Victoria Pedretti) and Jamie (Amelia Eve). The unnecessary focus on the physical relationships between two female, queer characters in the media only further enables the disgusting fetishization of an identity. Nora Eikner (11), co-leader of the St. Mary’s GSA said, “A lot of female relationships are seen with the focus away from the deep emotional connections … there is such a different tone for gay men, like I’ve seen a lot more representation for them. And even with bisexuality – where is the positive and normalized representation for all of the LGBTQ community?”
It carefully shows the questioning and coming-out process and the psychological effects that it can have on queer folk. The creators, however, do create a sort of U-haul mentality in Dani and Jami – playing on an old lesbian stereotype in which two women commit earlier in a relationship than a heteronormative couple would; however, I think it is very appropriate to the strong emotional connection that the two make throughout the show.
Hopefully by exemplifying what love at its core looks like, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is a step in the right direction. In an interview with E! Magazine, Eve said, “[Dani and Jamie] complemented one another so well. What felt so lovely in this story is that it didn’t matter that they were two women, it was that they were two human beings that connected in that way.”
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