When I first started watching the The Wire it was very difficult to pay attention to it. I found it hard to watch because it’s not a fast paced show; it’s a lot of small details that you need to focus on to understand all the characters and their motives. With that being said around episode four it got easier for me to understand what was going on and being said. So now I’m a little more interested in plot and the characters themselves. One major thing from this show that sticks out to me is how they integrate homosexuality into their characters.
The first character that we are introduced to is Detective Kima Greggs, an African-
American lesbian who is sent to work with this drug unit.
She is a tough, smart, hard-working officer who is quite frankly a bad-ass. She decides early on to come out to the men in her unit, so that she can avoid any of the awkward advances that she anticipates from her male coworkers. These men instead of making jokes about her being a woman or being a lesbian respect her and know that her work in the unit is invaluable. At work she’s seen as being one of the guys. Off duty we see her more compassionate and valuable side with her partner Cheryl. As the audience we get to see how these two encourage each other and push each other to accomplish the goals they have set out.
The second character that we meet is Omar Little. Omar is a man of the streets that even if they want him dead, they respect him. He has his signature facial scar, shot gun, and when they hear him whistling “The Farmer in the Dell” they all run away. Omar is an openly gay African-American man who is seen to be very affectionate with his partner, Brandon. When it comes to Omar and Brandon’s relationship there seems to be more judgment by their respective peers. The Barksdale Organization had a few choice words that they called him after they robbed the stash house. Unfortunately by episode six Brandon had been tortured and then killed for not giving up Omar’s location. Watching Omar identify his body definitely shows you how much he cared for him and how upset he truly was by it. Even Brandon’s last act of defiance was an act of love for Omar not giving up his location. Their relationship on the show was short but it made a strong impact on viewers.
I think that the opinioness said it best when she described these characters and how they added to the show. These characters give this show an added depth and understanding that I think was needed at this time. Now on tv homosexual couples are more common and adored by fans. But for The Wire they made a statement that breaks stereotypes of sexuality, gender, and race with just these two characters.