I Got 99 Problems but Brooklyn Nine-Nine Ain’t One

I Got 99 Problems but Brooklyn Nine-Nine Ain’t One

Disclosure. I don’t really watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine very much. When I do happen to watch it, I enjoy it, but I don’t always remember to do so. I don’t know why, because I really do like it, but I’ve been very tetchy about comedy and cop shows lately.

I feel like I know a lot about the show, however, because of Tumblr.

Diversity Normality Matters

If you google “Brooklyn 99 diversity” you’ll see dozens of articles talking about how amazingly progressive and diverse the show is. They don’t self-congratulate themselves for the work they do, while still tackling subjects as difficult as police violence. They have the ‘normal’ diverse characters (female detectives, jewish male lead, black boss, sensitive macho man), but then they take the extra step and have the sensitive macho man be black. And the boss? He’s gay. Two women are Latinx. It goes on and on.

They very simply, very quiet, address the reality of the world and remind us “Hey, we’re not all homogenous.”

And Then …

On December 5th, the 99th episode aired, and the show didn’t pull punches.

Rosa Diaz came out as bisexual.

If you’ve only seen Tumblr, you’d have assumed she already was bi (or a lesbian). She wears a leather jacket, she’s secretive, she loves puppies, she has a soft side and a big knife. She basically codes as queer. But she’d never said anything, one way or the other.

Rosa: I'm dating a woman

Queer Actors

What makes this, to me, more amazing is that Rosa’s played by an openly bisexual actor: Stephanie Beatriz.

Watching more and more queer actors get to play queer characters is delightful. Seeing The Ray and Citizen Cold (yes, Leo Snart) be queer men played by queer men, warmed the cockles of my withered heart. And having Stephanie Beatriz be able to play a bisexual latinx detective is just one more thing that gives me hope for 2018.

Television is again pushing us to normalize the world we see as the world we watch on TV.

About Mika A. Epstein

Mika has been deep in fandom since she could say 'Trekkie.' With decades experience in running fansites, developing software, and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.
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