Doctor Who News Frontios

Published on November 8th, 2013 | by Rebecca Crockett

Davison: I’m A Gay Icon, Thanks To Doctor Who

Is the Doctor a gay icon?

In the last 8 years of the show’s history, the topic of the Doctor’s sexual identity is one that has come up more and more often. Most recently, Fifth Doctor Peter Davison spoke to Radio Times about the apparent lack of any sexual identity in the character of the Doctor and how he feels that had the show included more elements of romance and sexual tension during his tenure at the controls of the TARDIS, it would have been “easier to write a better [female] character”

Now we have some of his thoughts on the show’s gay fan base.

I’m not sure if I wasn’t a gay icon, actually…

Doctor Who does have – and all power to it – quite a big gay following. I don’t know if that’s because he’s a bit of an outsider I don’t know what that particular appeal is, but in terms of the fans that you meet along the way, as well as the straight ones there’s a gay fandom, so that’s fun.

In those days it was more difficult to be in that situation and I think the Doctor was something [gay people] could latch on to, as a slightly odd and out of place and not-quite-accepted character, and that had great appeal for them.

Having a character who suffers from the same struggles you face in your own life is what makes stories go from good to great and what really touches us. When those struggles are vastly different from what other people go through, finding someone or something to connect to is even harder and something to be cherished.

As a show that started out life as something meant to be educational, if one person is helped, then it’s done its job.

Kasterborous’ own James Lomond discussed all of what Davison had to say in a recent commentary.

(via Radio Times.)


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About the Author


Rebecca is new to the Who world, having only recently watched the entire new series in a span of 8 days. She is no stranger to sci-fi though, being a life long Trekkie and has vague memories of seeing the 4th Doctor on US television as a child. When not watching, reading, blogging, or talking about Doctor Who, she is a fan of pop culture and loves movies and books so much she has to keep a list of both so she doesn't forget any of them. She also likes to make attempts at various forms of art including photography and painting. Rebecca is currently working her way through as many classic serials and as many books related to the show that she can find and wishes she could have been with the Doctor and Amy when they met Van Gogh.

9 Responses to Davison: I’m A Gay Icon, Thanks To Doctor Who

  1. avatar adipoos says:

    I think that pretty much sums it up for me. Something about the Doctor’s out-of-place differentness appealed to how I felt in the 70s / 80s when I knew I wasn’t the same as other people but didn’t quite have the language or the confidence to even come properly out to myself about it. Does that make him an actual ‘gay icon’? Well as there doesn’t seem to be a consensus about what that *actually* means, then by all means why not add him to the list!

  2. avatar John Miller says:

    I think the distinction needs to be made between someone who is pro-freedom of sexual orientation and anti-homophobic, and someone is who is a “gay icon”.

    Does the Doctor tolerate everyone’s sexuality, and treat everyone equally? Yes. Does the Doctor have non-heterosexual friends? Yes. Is there any hint whatsoever that the Doctor himself may be gay? No.

    So, the Doctor may be a positive role model in that he would never discriminate against anyone because of their sexual orientation, and hates things like homophobia, but I wouldn’t call him a “gay icon”.

    • avatar Francis Cave says:

      Surely by that you are implying for someone to be a “gay icon” they themselves are or may be Gay.

      From the many “Icon” names which come to mind none of them are actually gay themselves!

    • avatar Bob James says:

      I think the term applies insofar as the Doctor, even amongst his own people is very much viewed as an “outsider”. If one removes the specific sexual context, the example is still applicable. The Doctor, who he is, and what he does, is not “wrong”, but because he is perceived as “different”, and ” not normal” the stigma is present. There’s a challenge to the status quo, that has nothing to do with right or wrong, but is construed as such because of the prevailing majority view. As the LGBT community faces challenges, that in the end, have far less to do with “sex”, and far more to do with identity, the Doctor can and does stand as an example of someone who challenges that status quo, which needs to happen and should happen. This issue has far, far more to do than merely what people do with their genitalia.

  3. avatar dr jon says:

    The dr is a icon in every walk of life, what ever sexuality or colour creed religion or background you have it doe’s not matter if you watch and admire the show the doctor is their hero.

  4. avatar stlshawn says:

    The world of the 1981 Middle America was filled with machismo left over from earlier times, a bit of 70′s Allan Alda style “sensitive male”, and lots of “Captain Guts and Glory” in the theaters. So the fact that that the Dr had no sexual advances to his companions was surely an oddity.

    I kinda miss the days (that seem to be coming back with Clara) when there was no real sexual or romantic overtones to our favorite time lord. I feel it’s a better challenge to the writers to create something like that than to go with the love story idea.

  5. avatar TonyS says:

    If Peter Davison wants to talk about being a gay icon, I suggest he looks back at his appearance in “The Tomorrow People”!

  6. avatar Rick714 says:

    I think it’s a lot simpler than ll that. The show is huge and has a huge fan base, so of course a section of that fan base would be gay. Gay people can just like a show because it’s a really good show, not because there’s any intrinsic gay meaning there.

  7. avatar paolosammut says:

    Surely the Doctor is an alien and cannot really be interested in males or females of our species. He might as well fancy a cabbage or the yeast on a brewery. I feel that everyones sexuality is there own personal business and lets care for people not sexuality. However Doctor who is about heroism, fighting evil and bloody good science fiction with nothing to do with sexuality.

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