So I’ve seen a few posts questioning why it’s always Eddie in fics that struggles (sometimes negatively) with his sexuality or experiences internalised homophobia, some of which vague that it’s hateful towards the character or follows the ‘trend’ of victimising/babying Buck. There are also posts I’ve seen that reference the same, but in relation to the actual show and the handling of Buddie or mlm relationships with Buck and Eddie in canon.
So I’m going to do what I did with my post about Eddie’s reactions (or lack thereof) being in character, and lay it out as factually as I can.
It is more in-character for Eddie to be the one to struggle or to have a difficult sexuality journey than it is for Buck.
Even the show, in not so many words, has said the same thing. We’ve already seen Buck in several scenarios where his sexuality is questioned, assumed or vaguely referenced, and in none of them does he have a negative or overtly reactive response.
Buck’s sexuality was outright assumed, twice, to his face. In the first instance with the Christmas Elf Lady he was openly confused but ultimately shrugged it off with a smile and compliment. In the scene with TK we see him react a little more expressively, but with no obvious negativity or unhappiness. Poor baby was just confused that his bid for friendship was being taken as flirting, explicitly by a homosexual male.
Eddie, however, has several character factors that would point towards a choppier journey with realising he isn’t heterosexual. To name a few:
His (explicitly stated and referenced) past relationships, love interests and current love interest are all female, although the same can be said for Buck.
On the subject of Buck; Eddie also isn’t shown to have any real friendships with men (or women) outside of the 118, and none as close-knit as Buck. Eddie also doesn’t behave with his male peers (such as Bobby, Chimney and Albert) the way he behaves with Buck. Contrary to this, Buck is referenced up until recently to have been a very social person outside of the 118, even thus far as to live with several other men prior to moving into Abby’s and then into his own apartment.
Eddie was brought up in a heavily Latino/Latinx family and lifestyle and presumably, community. It’s common for Latino/Latinx communities to expect men to comply with the ‘macho family man’ archetype, and there are multiple resources from Latino/Latinx people that review the toxic masculinity of the communities and culture. We see a reflection of this in Carlos from 911: Lonestar, where his family is accepting but in a dismissive way, so much so that he makes the decision to introduce his boyfriend as a work friend.
He served in the military. Now the military is notorious for being the most homophobic ‘gay for the stay’ community you’ll ever encounter. It’s kind of fine to jerk each other off behind the craft building while thinking of your wives, but if someone comes out as gay they could be outcast, given a vaguely or outright homophobic nickname and face the age old ‘you’re gay so you’re a predator/risk’ type of treatment. (I’m not saying everyone and every base is like this, but again there are plenty of resources available that document the institutional homophobia in military spaces.) In worst cases gay/bi+ men are bullied or forced out of the barracks, beaten or killed.
Canon extensively implies that Eddie is straight. We don’t get the same vagueing and hinting/joking that we do with Buck. The closest we’ve come is the livestream where several comments mentioned him and Buck as a couple, but we don’t see Eddie react to these or even potentially notice them. Every time crushes or love interests are explicitly presented to/for Eddie, they’re female. Ignoring any possible meta about camera and behaviour choices, Eddie is depicted exactly the same as the other heterosexual male characters of the show, such as Bobby and Chimney. Contrastingly, Buck is the only one who receives explicit reference to or vagueing towards his sexuality and relationships, especially with Eddie.
Relating to the point above; if Eddie is a closeted bi/pan/demi/gay+ man, then he’s lived as a straight man for years and it would be a colossal change for him to come out. It would mean coming out to his family (assuming he hasn’t already, and to the family that already thinks he can’t function without a wife), his friends and peers, it would mean dealing with the change in perception of him from his peers and adjusting various aspects of his life; not least, talking to Christopher about it too.
In Season 3 and 4 we also see Eddie struggle with moving on from Shannon, and I think it’s plausible that Eddie would feel it’s some kind of betrayal to her. Eddie would likely wonder if his sexuality aided to the collapse of their marriage and would likely also wonder about the impact it had on their chances of reconnecting and his relationships with Buck and Shannon, if Buddie is the pathway to Eddie’s sexuality exploration.
Now I’m not saying Eddie would go off-the-rails homophobic in the instance that he was put in a situation like the ones Buck has been in, but Eddie would definitely be in-character to have some form of mild crisis, fear or doubt about explicitly realising he’s attracted to a man.
Eddie would quite literally have to question his entire existence and past and explore this new part of his identity, whereas from what we’ve seen on screen thus far it’s far more likely that Buck is open to or has already considered his own sexuality. Buck is also easier going about new parts of his identity, which the show depicts through his ‘Buck 1.0′ style self-developments.
Also; it is perfectly plausible for someone to be completely fine with other people being LGBT+ but to struggle with a change or discovery of their own sexuality. Again, the LGBT+ community is full of stories, most notably the Reddit thread about the man who realised he wasn’t homophobic; just jealous. Eddie’s immediate acceptable of Hen and Michael does not necessarily equate to immediate acceptable of his own sexuality.
When people consistently write Eddie as the one to have a sexuality reckoning, it’s not out of hate for the character or out of the desire to whump/baby Buck. It’s just in line with the character. Similarly, if the show does decide to go ahead with Buddie or to reveal Eddie as not heterosexual, please don’t lash out or criticize if they depict him struggling with it or taking a long time to adjust/accept it. Similar to healing, the journey of sexuality exploration is not always linear. Michael’s character is an excellent example of this, paralleled by Charles from Why Women Kill.
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