Hungry Like the Wolf

If mass media affects attitudes, MTV’s Teen Wolf may be leading young people to an orientation-blind utopia.

BY Jase Peeples

November 12 2013 4:09 AM ET

Beauties and Beasts:Max and Charlie Carver, twins who play Alpha twins, Aidan and Ethan

You don’t need heightened senses to sniff out the queer appeal of MTV’s Teen Wolf. The basic premise of any werewolf legend — beings who must keep a part of their true nature hidden because society fears them — has enough subtext embedded in it to draw in LGBT fans. But since the supernatural series debuted in 2011, Teen Wolf has moved beyond the realm of allegory and consistently set a new standard for LGBT representation on television.

In the world of Teen Wolf, homophobia is nonexistent. Among the characters on the show, differences in sexuality are accepted with the same ease as differences in eye color, and romance between gay characters is depicted in the same manner as its straight counterpart. Bold choices for a series aimed at a young audience, but it’s a direction show creator Jeff Davis says he was intent on taking from the beginning. “As a gay man myself, I’ve long wanted to see a good representation [of gay characters] on TV,” says Davis.

“One of the most important things to me when we were creating the show was to try to build a world where we weren’t actually talking about coming out and all the problems of homophobia. I wanted it to be an idealized world — one where being gay isn’t just accepted, it’s a part of everyday life.”

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