You can count on one hand the number of asexual romantic relationships on TV. So, when Everything’s Gonna Be Okay gave us Matilda and Drea, we had to stop and take notice.
Matilda and Drea started out as a couple in a sexual relationship. But when Matilda realizes she’s heterosexual, she decides to end things with Drea.
Turns out, Drea isn’t sexually attracted to Matilda either. She identifies as homo-romantic asexual. In other words, she’s romantically attracted to people of the same sex, but not sexually attracted to anyone. [Learn more about asexuality here]
The two decide to continue a romantic relationship while still giving Matilda the opportunity to have sex with men on the side.
There are so many great things about this plot. Perhaps most noteworthy is the fact that they not only have an asexual character but one who identifies as homo-romantic, giving viewers a chance to learn about the relationship between sexuality and romanticism. Because, as you may have realized by now, your sexual preferences and your romantic preferences aren’t necessarily the same.
As Drea explains to Nicholas,
“For some asexuals, for me, the same romantic feelings are still there. Like, when I meet someone, I get this excited feeling in my chest and I can’t stop thinking them. But sex just isn’t involved.”
Drea’s chat with Nicholas provides a space for discussion around asexuality, a topic that’s often forgotten about when talking about the LGBTQIA community.
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay also shows a possible avenue for romantic asexual people who want to be in relationships.
There have only been two noteworthy asexual romantic relationships on TV in the past. One was in BoJack Horseman between Todd and Yolanda. But the two eventually realized they were only together because they were both asexual, and thus, not a sustainable relationship.
The other is between Sheldon and Amy in The Big Bang Theory. But since the show never explicitly uses the word “asexual” to describe Sheldon, I personally don’t count it as much of a win.
Everyone deserves to see themselves represented onscreen, whether you’re romantic asexual, aromantic asexual, or you identify otherwise. Everything’s Gonna Be Okay is giving people a chance to see themselves represented on screen, possibly for the first time, and to feel validated in their identity.
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay has truly been a beacon for representation. In an industry that so often gets it wrong, EGBO is one of the few shows that actually gets it right.
As far as neurodiversity goes, the show features two autistic characters and both are actually played by actors on the spectrum, Kayla Cromer and Lillian Carrier. Lillian, who plays Drea, also acts as an autism consultant on the show.
The series has also recently introduced a deaf character, played by deaf actor CJ Jones. In just a few shorts episodes, the show has already featured scenes where the characters communicate via ASL, a beautiful language rarely showcased on mainstream TV.
It’s really amazing how easy and natural EGBO makes representation seem, especially when many other shows are failing so spectacularly at it. It just proves, as most of us already knew, that it’s actually not that hard. You just have to try.