rowan-blanchard

Girl Meets World's Rowan Blanchard Calls for LGBT Representation on Show

Girl Meets World star Rowan Blanchard says it is “very important” to her, having very recently identified herself as queer, that there be LGBT representation on her Disney Channel series.

Over the weekend — and on the heels of penning the first-person piece “Sorry, Not Sorry: How I Quit Apologizing for Existing” for Rookie Magazine — the 14-year-old Blanchard explained in a series of tweets how though she has “only ever liked boys,” she didn’t want to label herself as “straight gay whateva.”

“[O]pen to liking any gender in [the] future is why I identify as queer,” she said.

As she fielded an array of reactions from the Twitterverse for her honesty, the actress said she “would really be here” for any LGBT representation on Girl Meets World, making clear that “being queer to me just means not putting a label on sexuality — just existing.”

Girl Meets World in its first two seasons has tackled weighty topics such as gender equality and Asperger’s syndrome.

Do you think Blanchard will get her wish? As GMW heads to high school in Season 3, is the time right?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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96 Comments
  1. Lucifer says:

    As a gay person, I can’t stand the word queer and people who keep trying to make it happen. It’s a regressive term just like “people of color” that lumps everyone into one group to indulge in identity politics on a higher level. If she or others don’t want to label themselves, calling herself queer sure seems like using a label.

    • Mike says:

      How exactly is she supposed to communicate the idea of what she considers herself then? Sign language? Grunting? Smoke signals?

      I get it, I do. Kneejerk reaction to the term. But the key to stopping people from using certain words to hurt is to TAKE those words and make them your own. She explained what she meant by the term, so getting annoyed or upset now, at the people that ARE ON YOUR SIDE, is patently ridiculous.

      • Shaun says:

        Should call herself undecided :D

        • A fan of TV says:

          I believe the word she leans on most heavily – existing – is appropriate, too. Let’s focus on the message as opposed to picking apart the words, can we please?

        • A person says:

          queer literally means questioning, you should learn what you are talking about before you talk.

      • How about she doesn’t communicate it? Who cares what a 14 year old girl thinks? A few years from now she’ll get red in the face thinking about that weird thing she said when she was 14 and had no idea what she was talking about.

        • Annie says:

          I do. The world *should* care about what 14 year old girls think. They are people with experiences and thoughts and opinions. We have to value that

        • A fan of TV says:

          Ugh if you do not care what a 14-year-old has to say, as your statement implies, why comment so negatively about her and her statement?

        • TV Gord says:

          Other girls around her age probably do. I’m also interested, because I like to have an idea what the teens in my life are dealing with. It’s all a part of having an open mind.

      • aplwrites says:

        It is a little backwards that she starts off by saying she doesn’t want to label herself and ultimately does anyways.

        • Fido says:

          Well when your not sure what to say might as well make it vague and dumb. Don’t label me I’ll do that myself lol

          • aplwrites says:

            She is still a 14 year old girl, and obviously still discovering who she is. I honestly wish she had kept this a private matter, because she is still a kid and having strangers make a myriad of comments on your sexuality can not be healthy. I wish twitter didn’t exist and I am glad I have stayed away thus far.

    • Spence says:

      As a gay youth who was luckily raised without a negative stigma around the word, I believe that queer is a freeing and positively ambiguous word. With human sexuality being so broad and on such a huge spectrum, having a word that can describe someone in a way without marking them that forever is valid and liberating. The word “queer” is important because society still can’t grasp that someone can be bisexual or pansexual or asexual, not to mention the plethora of other sexualities. Moreso, some individuals can’t even determine where they fit for many years. Identifying as queer allows a person to be accepted into the LGBTQIA+ community without nailing down a definitive sexuality- if there is one. I won’t speak to using “people of color”, as I am a white man, but as an avid black lives matter supporter, I’ve found that that is a term that non-white people prefer, so that is what I will continue to use until told otherwise.

      In relation to the actual article, I’m proud of her for supporting more representation and advocating for it on Disney.

    • We need to remember that she is a 14 year old girl. When I was 14 I struggled to figure out who I was. I felt queer or odd. I believe she is using queer as a verb/noun. She doesn’t know who she is yet. When I was her age I experimented with labeling myself. Today some of those words are considered taboo. When we are young, we have a lot of things to decide. Sometimes we say things that will only make sense to another teen. I’m looking forward to watching this smart young lady learn who she really is. She will grow into being a great roll model if she has the right support.

      • A person says:

        I don’t think you understand what queer means, she knows she is unsure and just doesn’t want to put a label on her sexuality if she’s not sure of it, and that’s what queer literally means.

        • queer
          kwir/
          adjective
          1.
          strange; odd.
          “she had a queer feeling that they were being watched”
          synonyms: odd, strange, unusual, funny, peculiar, curious, bizarre, weird, uncanny, freakish, eerie, unnatural; More
          verbinformal
          1.
          spoil or ruin (an agreement, event, or situation).
          “Reg didn’t want someone meddling and queering the deal at the last minute”

    • Annie says:

      Both queer and ‘people of colour’ are respectable and non-oppressive terms to signify people and groups of people who exist outside of the dominant norm and therefor experience oppression.

      • John j says:

        Sorry to break it to you but everyone experiences oppression at one time or another. It is not exclusive to one race or gender.

        • Ron says:

          Yes, but we’re discussing those outside of the dominant hegemonic norm in society–those who are generally “othered.” And those Others (i.e., people of color, those of queer identity, etc.) are oppressed way more.

        • Annie says:

          And neither are the terms ‘queer’ or ‘people of colour’ exclusive to *one* group of people. Both are umbrella terms necessary for discussion to happen, but there is other groups within those terms.
          .
          And some people/groups will experience oppression more than others. I will never experience oppression due to race because I am white. I will experience oppression because I am a woman. One doesn’t negate the other and it’s not about comparing oppressions, it’s about understanding that identity and oppression are connected and always in flux

          • Lucifer says:

            “I will never experience oppression due to race because I am white.”

            I’m pretty sure white people living in or even traveling through predominately black or muslim neighborhoods will strongly disagree with you.

    • tim says:

      it is what pepole do not realise only a small bunch of pepole lable ether pepole, and they are not worth listening to, the show even says this be who you are. rowan is letting ether pepole change who she is. if she would just lisen to pepole who care about her, and the kids who learn from the show, and the adults who woud say go rowan go these pepole would not lable her, they would say rowan do not lisen to them. listen to the pepole who care. we think you are a wonderfull girl noone can play riley like you can. even w day and un woman, inpresive.

  2. Mark says:

    Get it, girl!

  3. Chet Baker says:

    Disney should have canned that show last season now its nothing but a poorly written SJW soapbox lead by a child who parrots all the things she gets told to say.

  4. Okay dude says:

    She’ll probably be vilified for that comment, when she shouldn’t be. Neither should she be praised.
    Really, she shouldn’t even have to say it. If we live in a society where people can love and marry people of the same sex so freely that it doesn’t stir controversy when an actor confesses to not being bound by societal expectations of sexual identity, will it really be all that bad?
    Is it really too much to ask?

  5. Annie says:

    She’s such a remarkable role model for her age group. I’m so impressed with her.

  6. Dogmeat says:

    Yawn…. who is she ?

  7. Drew says:

    This is just like that episode where she decides to become the queen of the nerds! Y’know… The one where she isn’t really a nerd but realizes that if she becomes something special to them, they will accept her as one of their own!
    .
    She says that she doesn’t want a label, but she really does. She wants to prove that she is open and accepting of others, so she is trying to put herself in their group. It is a classic teenager thing to do, and not just with sexuality. People do it with racial issues or religious issues all the time. It’s just a shame that it is happening in such a public way. Now there are a thousand headlines as her “coming out” as… nothing in particular.

  8. Jared says:

    Although I applaud someone like Rowan, who is talented and has this amazing platform with Disney Channel and Girl Meets World to spread love and tolerance to millions of young people, but not putting a label on your sexuality is one thing especially for any young person but calling yourself “queer” is definitely not the right wording.

  9. Chris says:

    Isn’t identifying herself as queer similar as Rachel Dolezal identifying herself as black?

  10. Ann says:

    If this girl were a true LGBTQ advocate, she wouldn’t be calling herself “queer.” Does she even understands what the word means and where that comes from? The “Q” stands for questioning, not queer, which is, apparently, an offensive term. It shows how little she knows of the group she seems to be advocating for. With that said, is she trying to ruin her show? It’s perfectly fine the way it is. It’s Disney Channel, not Bravo.

    • Gern Blanston says:

      Since when does the Q stand for questioning and not queer? I am genuinely asking as I have never heard that. I just Googled it to see what I was missing and I see the Q standing for questioning in some articles, but not nearly as much standing for queer.

      • Ann says:

        I can’t speak authoritatively, but I think the Q used to stand for “queer”, but it’s being changed to “questioning,” which is how she is using the term queer. However, historically, queer hasn’t ever been used to mean “undecided.” Queer simply means gay. And to a generation of people perhaps in their mid-30’s and older, “queer” is seen as an offensive term. I think a lot of LGBT group have heard the voices of their older generational counterpart and are changing the “Q”.

      • Makayla says:

        Queer is synonymous with questioning, they mean the same thing, so I don’t know what that person was talking about.

    • ? says:

      I haven’t seen “queer” used as a pejorative in years. I’m pretty sure it’s in the process of becoming a proudly accepted descriptor by the gay community rather than one that inflicts hurt. I can’t speak with authority about the subject, but I see it on fliers and stuff advertising events all over SF, so how hurtful can it be?

      • E says:

        That’s probably because you haven’t left your American bubble much. In the UK, for example, a lot of gay people I know (myself included) don’t like the term, because of its history as a pejorative and the shadow that still casts. It’s considered a super un-PC word; no-one would choose to say it – not gay people, and certainly not straight people.

        Unfortunately it seems like America’s decided it’s the A-OK word and we all have to get on board. Obviously, the less power we all give words the better, but… I wish it would stop making me bristle and feel uncomfortable whenever I read it.

    • Shouldn’t we use QUILTBAG anyway now?

    • Kit says:

      There are 2 Qs in the “full” (evolving) alphabet – i.e. LGBTTIQQ2SA – one is Queer, one is Questioning.

  11. Ram510 says:

    But why, why is this being made into such a huge deal.

    Looks like this little girl is starting to become quite the diva already

    • Gage says:

      Thank you! Fame has definitely gone to this girl’s head. Media has her thinking she’s a feminist queen but she’s a parrot only out for Instagram likes and attention.

  12. jj says:

    I support LGB but not T.

  13. dr freedom says:

    This world is a crap hole

  14. cuius says:

    As feared, Disney strikes again, Miley Cyrus 2

    • Okay dude says:

      Most people fear sickness and poverty while you fear actresses being true to themselves. Huh.

      • Ram510 says:

        Is this her being her true self or is this the result of too much game and money too young and the beginnings of becoming a spoiled rotten diva. Makes you wonder…

    • James says:

      You’re right. It’s another actress attempting to break down societal gender/sexuality norms. It offends me to even think about how the thousands of young, impressionable children who are questioning there gender and sexuality might feel about having people who represent them talking about how they are feeling is valid, and having people that can inspire them. It’s horrible.

    • Unicorn says:

      Rowan shocked me with the decision she has made. I thought that she would be a good girl forever but let’s see what will happen in ten years…

  15. Reesa Green says:

    Think about teenage vernacular. In today’s slang, queer means ‘sexually odd’. It is no longer an insult. It’s now how a teen says ‘unsure’.
    The term ‘gay’ originated as a synonym for naughty & a derogatory version of uninhabited.

    • Annie says:

      wow does it *not* mean “sexually odd”. The term queer means non-heteronormative. And there’s nothing odd or deviant about being queer

  16. Unicorn says:

    I love this show, but its Disney Channel. Plus representation of Riley being queer wouldn’t make sense since the Matthews family is obviously Christian. I was not at all expecting this from Rowan. She never seemed like that type of person and it wouldn’t make sense for Riley to be queer.

    • Cam says:

      How would that not make sense?

      It’s not like Christians have magical baby making parts that prevent them from having LGBT children.

    • Kit says:

      There are many Christians who identify as queer. The Episcopal Church, UCC, and MCC all welcome them (and have as much claim of being the “right” Christian as any other Christian). There’s also a site called the Gay Christian Network.

    • Simon says:

      Stupidest comment ever, like EVER

  17. Grace M says:

    Queer? If she’s gay, bisexual or whatever, why not just say so? I thought “Queer” was an offensive term these days?

    • Annie says:

      It’s not. Most LGBTQIA communities (especially younger ones) have accepted it as the default all-inclusive term. It’s easier to use/say than the acronym and more applicable to more people. It’s the default term used in activist circles as well as in academic language. While there will be some regional preferences for the term (as well as with older people) it’s generally understood as being non offensive.
      .
      Plus, she’s 14 and probably highly involved online where the term ‘queer’ would be used in a positive way.

  18. HB says:

    Why!?!? This is a light hearted clean cut family comedy that has some how found a way to bring a certain charm and thought provoking insight to television that is missing in so many shows. The airwaves are so saturated with LGBT issues references and storylines that it’s become typical routine and expected. The writers directors and actors bring a refreshing look at other problems. In this day not being sure of what you want or the way you want to be just means that you can label yourself as “SU” for Sexually Undecided or even “SV” for Sexually Variable.

    • Derision says:

      Every show requires a gay/lesbian/bbq storyline now, didn’t you know?! Because 5% of the population should control the storylines in every show/movie!!!

  19. KC says:

    Won’t happen on a Disney show. She’ll be “let go” from her contract very soon now. She should have kept her mouth shut!

  20. David4 says:

    I don’t understand why young people now a days want to label everything. There used to be gay / bi / straight and then pansexual and such. I swear I’ve seen and heard teenagers go “I’m a label free, gender fluid, queer” in which they used three labels.

  21. Finna says:

    1. I thought this show was family aimed
    2. I thought Disney was aimed to kids and young adults, Common is Disney and there are still innocent girls and boy in this age (even if it is so few) s out there, isolated from adult topics like the gay community because they are still KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. Why the heck an adult topic like LBGT has to be addressed in a family show, on a family network?

    That does not match at all or fit.

    • Annie says:

      Why is that “family” shows like Disney are allowed to have straight romances but not queer ones? No one bats an eye when kids shows have boys dating girls; that’s considered “age appropriate”. Yet when it’s a gay/queer romance, it’s “adult”. That’s a bit messed up. There are kids who are queer and families who are queer and representation matters. Those kids (and their straight friends) need to see that it’s okay, it’s normal, it’s safe, to be who they are. It’s not “adult” to show gay kids dating other gay kids on tv in the same context that we show straight romances on those shows.

      • Abby says:

        Y does it matter so much I mean people hav accepted u in the world isn’t that enough but it’s another thing instilling in teens and little kids these days it is ok to be whatever ur just confusing them more of who they r I mean no matter what u FEEL there is still genes in ur body saying ur a boy or girl and that is y she uses that word because she is prob truely mixed up with all these things society has told here y can’t people just accept how they were created and not try to change themselves by how they feel? I mean what truely makes people FEEL they’re gay lesbian ect.

  22. Álvaro says:

    ‘Queer’ is even a bigger label than ‘straight gay whateva’

  23. James says:

    Somebody close to her needs to tell her to shut up! Her posts supporting Black Lives Matter, these queer comments, and all her other controversial comments need to stop.

    She is going to damage her career if she keeps making comments and posts like this.

    She should consider herself lucky that at 14 she is the star of a TV show. Otherwise, she is going to alienate the parents of her fans and will start to lose fans and viewers.

    I think the show should focus on Sabrina Carpenter’s character Maya and push Rowan Blanchard’s character Riley to the background.

    • Annie says:

      She should be celebrated and encouraged for speaking up on these issues. She has a national platform and is doing an excellent job at encouraging kids (especially girls) that it’s okay to have opinions, to think about the world and to be who you really are. She may alienate some parents, but they probably suck anyways. If you don’t support racial, gender and sexual equality you probably suck as a human being. She won’t miss those fans. And she’s probably changing the minds of people who are like that. She’s decided to be an activist and use her position to champion for equality. It’s pretty dang badass.

    • Gage says:

      Rowan is,a bratty child with an pretentious attitude who thinks she’s knows everything about the world but has barely touched the surface of it. The media keeps feeding her ego. Too much, too soon.

    • TV Gord says:

      If you think such comments are going to hurt her career, you’re not paying very close attention to the world as it is today.

  24. thatlowegirl says:

    Queer is an accepted “label” in our community. it’s one of those that fall under the “Q” in LGBTQIAPD. i, myself, am pansexual. i called myself “not-straight” for years before i figured myself out. it doesn’t matter what her age, she’s free to explore who she is. if she refuses to label herself as straight because she believes anything is possible, so be it. our motto in the LGBT+ Community is and always will be “Love is Love”. and isn’t that what she’s basically saying?

  25. Kira says:

    I’m so proud that Rowan is so fair-minded and inclusive. She’s far more mature in that respect than the show’s casting directors, writers and producers. I’m baffled at the show’s utter lack of diversity despite taking place more than a decade after Boy Meets World, and in one of the most diverse cities in the country. The powers that be need to take notes from their young star.

  26. thex says:

    She has only liked boys, but doesn’t know what she’ll decide in the future… so that makes her take the label as queer? Sounds like she’s undecided at best. Good on the media for exploiting the ramblings of a 14 year old young lady. The use of the term queer seems odd to say the least. Ever heard of gay or lesbian? I could care less how any coming of age Disney star labels themselves or who they offend, but does the media have to go into a frenzy every time a teen takes a stand for something they don’t understand? I always thought queer was not a widely excepted label by the gay community. Maybe she’s a fan of the Redskins.

  27. A person says:

    queer literally means questioning, you should learn what you are talking about before you talk.

  28. Casey says:

    Did she mean bisexual? Queer is a homophobic term, isn’t it?

  29. Babybop728 says:

    Girl Meets World tends to raise good topics and then handle them terribly (i.e. telling children to handling bullying themselves instead of getting help). If they do have a storyline about this, I have a feeling it will end up being more offensive than inclusive.

  30. Milford says:

    Wait, guys I’m confused, so is Rowan Blanchard gay, straight or bisexual?

  31. Tony says:

    I dont believe she is queer at all. She made the statement then disappeared for a day. Came back and backtracked with the, I have only ever liked boys comment, a lot of people got pissed, then she added that she would be open to any gender in the future.

    I think this is just ratings bating for GMW, the ratings were bad for season 2, season 3 starts soon. So why not start off with a little scandal on will Disney do a queer episode and draw people in.

    Where are her costars and other Disney stars. Havent seen any of them comment 1 way or another on any of what she has said or does.

    I agree with many comments about other things she talks about. She is 14, dont worry about adult issues, just be 14. She will have a lifetime of hell adult issues to deal with soon enough. Retweeting support for black lives matter, a racist group that promotes hate and killing of cops. Pigs in blanket fry like bacon chants. She only puts down whites and not POC. She doesnt have to put down 1 race to prop up another.

    Her social media used to be cool, then she wrote a paragraph on instagram about feminism and got recognized last year, then her whole social media changed to all this feminism, activism stuff. She found a niche or something now and is running with it.

    I do like her, she wrote some good essays that I think anyone can identify with.

  32. Kirsten says:

    As someone who is transgendered I would love to see this on Disney. I doubt it will ever happen because it is Disney but so often transgender individuals get misrepresented in the media. In Law and Order they are rapists, pedofiles, and murderers. In Pretty Little Liars they are mental patients, In Orange is the New Black she’s more human but she’s still a criminal behind bars. When I was younger I saw nobody who represented how I felt. It made me feel like I was some kind of monster, someone undeserving of love. Ten years after high school and I still wonder where I fit in. Where are normal LGBT people being represented? Just someone EXISTING who also happens to be gay or transgender. Those people are rare to find in media and I thank Rowan Blanchard to bringing that issue to light. To be 14 years old and to be so open and brave is astonishing. Thank you so much and I pray you get your wish on Disney.

  33. tim says:

    this happens when a young peson does not relize only a small portion of pepole lable ether pepole. rowan is paying a tention to the wrong pepole. she should be paying atention to her freinds who care. she is not a queer, she adoped the lable to avoid beening labled. i hope she learns to listen to pepole who come to weday and unwoman. and to maya says be who you are rowan is a wonderfull girl who else can play riley,

  34. tim says:

    it seems to me that she was looking to shed off a lable it did not work all she did is adoped a neher lable worst than the one she had. if they cant find a lable they will make one up. th people who lable are a tiny fraction of the population they are not worth lishening to maya once said listen ti the people who care listen to me im maya. th epopin is i dont know why she does not ignore these people and focus on the what she is doing

  35. tim says:

    it seems to me that she was looking to shed off a lable it did not work. i hope she doent take to much time figuring this out that she she does not lose her career. she so much potental.

  36. Kati says:

    Wow, the corruption’s increased by tenfold over the past few years. It might be best just to turn off the tv all together now. No wonder people like Steve Jobs restricted their children’s intake of the nonsense.

  37. Sure, go for it!

    I honestly don’t like the word queer, because it literally means “strange/off-center” before it had homosexual connotations, so it’s kinda othering.

    But as a bisexual transgender person who has learned what other people think doesn’t matter all that much, I say, sure, go for it!

  38. Ellie says:

    I have never loved reading an article so much. Rilaya will rise. Rilaya is here. Rivas can die in a hole.