Queer representation takes centre stage in Netflix's The Sandman

The newly released series is full of queer characters, from the bisexual occult detective Johanna Constantine, to the scheming non-binary character Desire.

Sandman character Desire smiling.

As I was a big fan of the comic book series, and I knew that writer Neil Gaiman was heavily involved, I was really looking forward to Netflix’s The Sandman series.

As Gaiman is an LGBTQ+ ally, I expected some queer representation but was actually quite surprised by the level of it (though I wouldn’t have been as surprised if I’d known that Allan Heinberg was involved with the development and is the showrunner).

The supporting cast is full of queer characters. Although, with The Sandman, both the comic and the series, there are levels of supporting characters as the Sandman and the rest of the Endless are used as vehicles for telling the stories of ordinary people and, so far, a lot of them are queer stories.

A good example is episode 5 ’24/7′ which is set in a diner. The characters could be seen as supporting players but the entire episode is largely about them. And if future seasons happen, you may see some of them again. We have queer actors in the supporting cast like John Cameron Mitchel as Hal Carter and Stephen Fry as the mysterious Gilbert! (Note: I could be missing some queer actors from my list).

Not only that, some of the larger players are queer. There’s the bisexual occult detective Johanna Constantine (Jenna Coleman) who Dream seeks out to assist him. Then there’s the escaped nightmare the Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook), who might be considered the major villain of the series, who, according to Boyd, has a buffet of queer lovers.


However, my favourite of the bunch has to be the non-binary Desire. They are the younger sibling of Dream and the personification of desire. They are a scheming character that, in this season, only gets so much screen time but actor Mason Alexander Park, who you may know from Hedwig And The Angry Inch, steals every scene. It is not surprising as they grew up reading the comics and actually have a tattoo of Desire. Not only that, they actively sook the role! Conclusion? The series left me desiring more.


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