Hooray! Representation!

“Hooray! Representation!” by Mika Babineau (2017, 18×24 inches, Acrylic on stretched canvas)

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Gather round kiddos, and let me tell you all about how important Todd Chavez from the Netflix show Bojack Horseman is to me.

Do you know what one of the most frustrating things about being ace is? Since asexual people have such little visibility, it’s easy to go a large portion of your life not even knowing that it’s a thing you can be! Not knowing that there are other people like you. Other totally normal, not broken-feeling people who are asexual. Yet, how could you know it’s a thing you can be when there is zero education and zero media representation about asexuality. There’s nothing about it in school textbooks. There’s nobody on TV who normalizes that thing just by existing. Nobody to say “Hey! I’m this thing, so you can be this thing too!” Nope, instead you have to figure it out by stumbling across this thing by chance on the internet, and be like “Whaaaat??? Asexuality is a thing?? Finally my whole life makes sense?”

This is where Todd comes in. By the time I got around to watching Bojack Horseman I was comfortable with being ace, I knew who I was, and I was educated on the many issues and struggles that asexuals face. In season three, Todd explores his experience with relationships, past and present, and his feeling echo so many dozens of other stores I’ve read about and heard in the ace community. He doesn’t feel straight, but he doesn’t think he’s gay either. Todd is grasping, trying to figure out who he even is. When Todd finally finds the words to describe himself, he says, “I think I might be nothing”. I cried. I cried a whole lot. It was so honest, so real to how ace people start to come to terms with who they are. And though the writers were yet to use the “A” word, it seemed we finally got the representation we desperately needed. Finally, a character to educate people and shed a light on so many people who are questioning their own experiences in the same way.

Then, in season four, it got even better. Todd’s ace journey – finally coming to terms with who he is – is something I had yearned to see with all my heart and soul. Think of all the people who now know what asexuality is, both asexuals and allosexuals alike. A popular show had a character say “I’m asexual” and wow was that something I needed to hear. Todd is an amazing, lovable character who just happens to be ace, and it is wonderful. I’m so glad he exists. I just hope we are able to see other great characters who happen to be ace in other things in the future. Representation matters.