The star of everyone’s new favourite post-apocalyptic show has once again shown support for the queer community
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY HBO
HBO’s video game-to-screen adaptation of The Last Of Us became an instant success upon release and has already been renewed for a second season. The show has already become a favourite among many LGBTQIA viewers for its nuanced and triumphant queer storytelling.
Episode three introduced viewers to Bill and Frank (Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett) who, amid a devastating pandemic, manage to live a long life together full of love and joy before going out on their own terms. It was impactful to see how the episode subverted the “Bury Your Gays” trope.
Episode seven is predominantly made up of a flashback, which follows the tragic love story of the show’s protagonist Ellie (Bella Ramsey) who is in love with her best friend, Riley (Storm Reid). So rare is it, with the rise of the “Cancel Your Gays” trend, that a show featuring a leading lesbian character gets a renewal announcement. Suffice it so say, we can’t get enough of Ellie and her character is a win for the gays.
Pedro Pascal who plays Ellie’s protector and father figure, Joel, has been an outspoken ally for the LGBTQIA community over the years. From the way he celebrates and supports his transgender sister, Lux Pascal, to the posts he makes on social media during Pride month and beyond. His The Last Of Us co-star Bella, who recently publicly addressed her non-binary identity, has spoken about working with Pedro and the conversations they had on gender and sexuality: “And they weren’t always deep: they could be funny and humorous, the whole spectrum. We were just very honest and open with each other.”
A video clip is currently going viral on social media shows Pedro being asked by a reporter about the legitimacy of the queer storylines being shown on The Last Of Us. “Can I ask: what do you say to the people who don’t want to see the LGBT character love stories?” the reporter asks Pedro as he moves away from his car. His reply is firm and simple: “They do!”
In another clip, when Pedro returns to his car he is continued to be asked questions on the topic. “Why is it so important that LGBTQ+ characters are on TV shows?” He is blunter as he responds: “I think you’re asking the question because you know why it’s so important.” The camera person persists, asking “Can you tell me why?” To which Pedro says: “You should know why.”
“you should know why” pic.twitter.com/ORuo4SiWZl— Pedro Pascal Daily (@pascalarchive) March 6, 2023
On 6 March, Pedro posted three pictures of a Progress Pride flag on Instagram and quoted Bob Dylan in the caption writing: “The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind. #LGBTQIA”. Many believe the post is in response to the alarming rise of anti-LGBTQIA legislation and attack on trans rights that is taking place in the US right now.
In a world where it can be terrifying to be queer or trans, I’m incredibly grateful that we have shows like The Last Of Us telling us that queer love is beautiful, and celebrities like Pedro using their platform to celebrate the LGBTQIA community.
The Last Of Us is released Sundays on HBO in the US and on Mondays in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.