Forums: War Room Including Korrasami Orientation
Note: This thread has been unedited for 1509 days. It is considered archived – the discussion is over. Do not edit this thread unless it really needs a response.
This discussion is closed. The result of this discussion was:
No specific labels regarding sexuality will be used apart from the general "LGBT".
Please do not edit this discussion.

Because of my profession dealing with real life clients in anguish over this subject, I feel strongly moved to open this discussion.

A lot of the points I wish to make I've made several times in Thread:1300215. I'll start with this post, linking rather than restating it.

I wish to challenge the wisdom of stating that Korra and/or Asami are "Bisexual" when there is *nothing* to say either are. If I could find a way to contact them, I'd challenge Bryke if *they* understand what makes a bisexual person bisexual, and would attempt to challenge them on that. Basically: would they ever write a story where Korra and/or Asami ever willingly involve themselves in relationship(s) with men ever again.

I routinely deal with individuals especially young, as well as their friends and family, who have… simplistic …understanding of the complexities of not just sexual orientation, but sexual identity. They are often not mutually inclusive. And this is especially turbulent for teens. They need to be assured that first attempts at expected heteronormal dating will NOT pigeonhole their eventual determination of their sexual identity and orientation as "bisexual" when they will never *willingly* want to be with the opposite gender ever again. And their friends and families need to understand and accept this as well.

To include on this wikia that Korra and/or Asami are bisexual when 1) it was not mentioned, 2) a gross oversimplification of the determination of sexual orientation vs sexual identity, and 3) reached by incorrect and fallacious reasoning solely based on the fact "they were attracted to Mako". This is misleading for real life visitors going through their own youthful turbulent emergent sexuality and will ADD to their confusion and drama.

If I could open a dialog with Bryke, I would cover these same points and strive to ensure they also understand that IF K&A are bisexual, it has to be despite their having dated Mako, not because they dated Mako.

For now, there is simply no reason why the word "bisexual" needs to used in the mainspace articles. Not when *not* using it will not affect the message that currently Korra and Asami are in love and together.

Love Robin (wallcontribs) 10:31, December 27, 2014 (UTC)

I understand that you're a therapist of some description, however I do fail to see how that applies here—particularly because there is no anguish on the parts of these characters, which is something you stated you deal with.
You say that there is nothing to say that Korra and Asami are bisexual, however, as I stated in another thread, bisexuality is simply the state of being sexually attracted to both men and women. That term applies to both Korra and Asami. They are attracted to each other. You're choosing to make this issue more complicated than it is. Regarding your points, 1) it wasn't mentioned, but neither was homosexuality, thus that point is moot. 2) Why is this being mentioned. Yes, there is a difference between sexual orientation and sexual identity, but that is irrelevant to Korra and Asami and 3) We are a wiki. Whether or not we add to someone's personal confusion is, while sad, also not our problem. We report facts, and the facts state that both Korra and Asami have been attracted to men and women.
To me, it seems as though the way they identify themselves is the issue, when it shouldn't be. For instance, I am biologically female. I have female parts and such. It isn't until I make that decision and say, "No, I'm male," that anything changes. The definition of female applies to me until I decide to label myself otherwise. The same holds true for Korra and Asami. They are bisexual until they state otherwise. Frui (🌹🐝🐝🐝) 12:04, December 27, 2014 (UTC)
While waiting for others to weigh in on the main topic, I'd like to say of your last paragraph that while you are comfortable with your biological and sexual identities and it works for you, what is cut-n-dried for you is nonetheless not as simplistic as that. It is a much much much more complex situation for many. A quick googling of "sexual identity" will allow you to check for yourself.
The rest I hope others will chime in. Love Robin (wallcontribs) 12:48, December 27, 2014 (UTC)
That paragraph was put there simply to make an example. Yes, I am comfortable, and so, it would seem, are Korra and Asami. There's zero evidence to suggest that they see themselves any different to that definition of 'bisexual'. Frui (🌹🐝🐝🐝) 12:58, December 27, 2014 (UTC)
Well, in order to avoid the conflict, why not just avoid the use of the words bisexual and lesbian altogether? Doing so would not mitigate the love that Korra and Asami have for one another and it would leave the question of their orientations up to the users' interpretations. I know, Fruipit, that you see the characters' preferences as cut and dry, but according to Love Robin, who has professional experience in this dilemma, they are not. Even if you do not agree with the ways of determining orientation/identity as Love Robin has outlined, she has made a pretty convincing stance as to why it should not simply be brushed aside by the rest of the community as well. I for one see where's she's coming from and support not using the words lesbian and bisexual for those reasons. More than that, however, I support it because, why have conflict when it isn't needed? I know the wiki's tried and true response to this War Room proposition: "Conflict of opinion is sometimes necessary to come to a proper community decision." True, undeniably true, but in this case, when omitting the words bisexual and lesbian will not at all remove from the fact that Asami and Korra are obviously in love, that conflict is only a needless firestarter. After all, the important thing is that they are in love, no way around it; why make definitions and labels so vital when it isn't? Now, if someone could convince me that the labels are the vital meat of the matter and not the overtly romantic, sexual, beautiful love that they share, then perhaps this discussion would hold some weight in my eyes separate from bickering for bickering's sake. Krazykid51 14:06, December 27, 2014 (UTC)
I'm no professional in therapy or dealing with someone's sexuality, but I would have thought that if you do show romantic feelings for both the same and opposite sex, you would come to the conclusion of bisexuality. Korra and Asami both showed love for Mako before getting with each other and, as Fruipit noted, seem quite comfortable in their relationship, but then again, that has so far only been seen for a minute or two. But as of now, they are together, so in my view, I think they are bisexual. PSUAvatar14 Want to have a word? Katarasprite1Ty Lee KW 14:32, December 27, 2014 (UTC)

I'll weigh in because I got in an edit war of sorts: my point isn't as much about psychology as it is about semantics and sources. I think both the Les and Bi camp would need an explicit source to confirm their position. Neither is confirmed, at the moment. In the mean time, avoid both terms for Korra and Asami. It's okay to call the relationship lesbian/homosexual/same-sex/whatever word you choose. But the participants in the relationship could be either Out of the Closet Lesbian or Bi. Or even Pansexual. --Tupka217 15:12, December 27, 2014 (UTC)

PSU…While it may very well prove to be Korra and/or Asami are Bisexual, the fact is that Mako was their first known hetero romantic relationships. IRL what happens with many is that due to Expectation of Heteronormality—usually by nurture and peer pressure but *sometimes* not even the individual themselves know until they try—people, especially Teens try to entertain hetero relationships. Until they don't work.
In fact, what we see of Korra with Mako—which Bryke said they set out to deconstruct—hits all the earmarks of failed hetero-expectancy. Korra, a girl kept sequestered all her life near the south pole, has an attraction to literally the 2nd person her age, and so happens both were also the first guys her age, who were not trying to hurt her (the triad punks). Mako was a pro-bender whom she had been following for a while before meeting him. With heteronormative expectancy, of course she would be attracted to him. She sought out advice, and what Pema gave her worked for her and Tenzin because they had a relationship enough for Pema to know he was her soulmate. Something Korra did not have with Mako. Once Makorra was a thing though, and the rose glasses doffed, they did not work.
While the drama of the major plot was mixed in with it, it nonetheless parallels RL Drama which becomes the excuse for why Hetero-expectant relationships fall apart. What Korra needed from Mako was someone to supportively listen to her. To 'be on her side' ("Whose side are you on!?"). Which a lot of guys have a hard time understanding much less learning to do. That's where other girls come in, and cue Asami. Who may have had similar thoughts and feelings from her experiences with Mako, but was not as clearly focused on.
This is why I picked up on Korrasami so early. It was exactly the same as I deal with in my practice. And yeah, applying it to LoK can be considered "speculative", but it very effectively ended Makorra (despite some amnesia-driven BS mixed in).
That Korra and Asami grew closer instead of *either* expressing an interest in another man—watch Asami with Prince Wu's advances, her stance and attitude was clearly "not interested in men" more than "not interested in you"—and is very common after failed hetero attempts. So while Mako was a vital and valid part of both in their journey to each other, the fact is, having dated him as their first-ever relationships does not factor into if they are Bisexual or not. What *will* is if they are willing to be with men again despite having dated a guy once. Not because they dated a guy once.
And if you try to tell someone you know IRL they are bisexual because they once dated the opposite sex, you just may inflict emotional pain and damage on them. (Advise them to seek a professional.)
Just dropping the terms "bisexual" and even "lesbian" covers the bases of what canon gives us without negatively impacting the message they are now in a loving relationship with each other. Nor will it perpetuate fallacious reasoning as to what constitutes being Bi. --Love Robin (wallcontribs) 16:50, December 27, 2014 (UTC)
Again, I'm far from an expert in these matters. While I personally think there are signs of bisexuality as I believe there was something legitimate between Mako/Korra and Mako/Asami, I also wouldn't protest to not having the labels there at all and just leaving it as saying - on the episode article, for example - that the two are in love with each other, since as you are demonstrating LR, there does appear to be space for questioning what they really are. PSUAvatar14 Want to have a word? Katarasprite1Ty Lee KW 17:02, December 27, 2014 (UTC)
I'm not very interested in this discussion as I don't really care for the outcome either way, but I do want to counter some of the authoritative statements made, especially in regards of the examples that are used to defend a particular point of view.
"what we see of Korra with Mako—which Bryke said they set out to deconstruct—hits all the earmarks of failed hetero-expectancy."
Probably. Though that said, we don't have to turn a blind eye to the fact that it also "hits all the earmarks" of people who realize that while they love each other, their feelings are just not of the workable romance kind and as such they realized that they would never work as a couple.
"watch Asami with Prince Wu's advances, her stance and attitude was clearly "not interested in men" more than "not interested in you""
This is very exaggerated. The facts are that Wu was being a pompous ass at that moment. He was so full of himself and literally declared himself to be a "super human". An attitude like that is unappealing for the majority of people and there is thus no need to label Asami's refusal of him to be her disinterest in men in general. The most logical explanation here would really be that she was not interested in dating a pompous man -which is something entirely different. So can that scene be interpreted as Asami not being interested in men? If you look retroactively with the knowledge that she started a relationship with Korra, then sure, but by doing that, you can insert an awful lot of so called evidence into the scenes. That's pure confirmation bias that we would be doing then. And even if it were true, it is definitely not to the "clearly" level -and that has nothing to do with the rest of us not being trained psychologists. Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 17:08, December 27, 2014 (UTC)
It's speculation either way, so let's avoid the words altogether. --Tupka217 17:16, December 27, 2014 (UTC)

i also think we should avoid using any words that denote their relationship as something specific, per the reasons listed above.

also, LL is correct about what she said on Asami's rejection of Wu - "pompous ass" is a pretty good way to put it. :) Intelligence4 (wallcontribs) 07:22, December 28, 2014 (UTC)

I think we should reword our articles so that we don't conclude about either Korra and Asami's identities as either Lesbian or Bisexual. For starters, it's not completely confirmed by the creators that they're both bi. Secondly, a character could be considered a lesbian and have dated men before. That can simply be backed up by statistics— most lesbian women have dated and even slept with men when they thought they were straight.
It's also worth noting that there are people who experience attraction to both men and women who don't use the label bisexual. This includes pansexual people as well as people who choose not to align themselves with any sexuality in general. These identities are every bit as real as "bisexual" and we shouldn't label Korra and Asami bi simply because they've shown attraction to both genders.
Saying they're bi until stated otherwise is simply speculative. There's no concrete proof that either of them are bisexual— save for Bryan's post, yet that doesn't specifically state Korra or Asami are bisexual. They could align themselves with any other label, and we don't know for sure if Asami or Korra's relationships were due to compulsory heterosexuality or not. It's simply not known. To avoid speculating on their identities I would suggest removing sexuality labels all together. Fire Pabu Sprite Ferret 08:08, December 28, 2014 (UTC)
There are two different things at play here. The issue you have brought up, FireFerret, is whether or not they label them to be bi (if they label themselves at all). That also seems to be the point that Love Robin has brought up. However, we don't know that. What we do know is that they have both dated and genuinely, romantically, liked boys and girls, thus fitting the description of bisexual. I maintain that this is what they are until other evidence becomes available. Frui (🌹🐝🐝🐝) 10:00, December 28, 2014 (UTC)
Sexuality is such a complex issue and I do agree with the majority in that labeling Korra and Asami as both bisexual is not cut and dry, especially considering that we only know of two total relationships that the two characters had. Yes, Korra and Asami have demonstrated attraction to both males and females- if there was only one label that applied to that tendency, then the definition of what they are is easy to deduce. This is not the case: sexuality falls within a spectrum and we cannot definitively place a label on these characters given what we know. As one user could interpret Korrasami as a bisexual relationship, another user could see it as a pansexual relationship. It can even be argued that despite engaging in romantic relationships with both males and females, Korra and/or Asami could be predominantly heterosexual, predominantly homosexual, or simply scooted a bit from the extremes (i.e. applying the broadness of the Kinsey scale and the KSOG). All are valid in my opinion, which is why it is best to keep labels off content in general. In any case, it's convention to omit any information that could be subject to disagreement due to insufficient canon explanation, so I don't see why there is a need for controversy when everything can still be covered in the articles without a blatant reference to sexuality. Waterbending emblem Water Spout 10:27, December 28, 2014 (UTC)
@Fruipit, I agree with you that they could be bi, but somebody loving both men and women also could fit the definition of pansexual. It's not simply quite so cut and dry. Again, it's also entirely possible for them to be lesbians who defaulted to heterosexuality. We simply don't know, so I think the least speculative choice would be to abstain from using a term at all. Fire Pabu Sprite Ferret 21:06, December 28, 2014 (UTC)

Ok, I know that Bryan Konietzko didn't literally say that Korra and Asami are bisexual but he did say, "Despite what you might have heard, bisexual people are real!" Why would he say this if Korra and Asami aren't bisexual? He could have said, "Despite what you might have heard, gay people are real!" or "...pansexual people are real!" but he didn't. Bryan specifically said that bisexual people are real and I think that this was his way of saying that Korra and Asami are bisexual.

In regards to heteronormativity; isn't even more speculative to suggest that there's heteronormativity in the Avatar world? Their world is much different from ours with bending, a clear over abundance of platinum, and other things. Who is to say that it is or isn't well accepted to be an LGBT individual in their world? I know that Korrasami was the only same-sex couple shown but we have to remember that a show with a rating of Y7 that is being aired on Nickelodeon is, unfortunately, limited in what they can do with LGBT characters. ShadowZaHedge Korrasami is endgameKorra Sprite-01Asami-chao4 16:53, December 29, 2014 (UTC)

Without Mike and Bryan's confirmation, I will maintain that it is valid for the final scene to be interpreted as either a romantic or platonic gesture. If we are citing them to validate the romantic interpretation, we might as well to cite them for Korra and Asami being bisexuals. Otherwise, we are being selective on our cites, hence not encyclopedic. — Hasdi Bravo • 17:31, December 29, 2014 (UTC)
In Brian's long long blog, the word "bisexual" appeared only once, "Bi" not at all, and not other variations of it. That one time was a parenthetical aside comment, which by its nature is often disconnected or tangential to the subject it is attached to. It is definitely not attached in such a way as to be a direct label for Korra and/or Asami; he did not say "Korra and Asami are bisexuals". Whereas he did directly state that Korra and Asami were in a romantic relationship. As I stated above, if I could open a dialogue directly with them (anyone got links to do so?) I'd challenge them if *they* understand what makes a person bisexual, and that "because they dated Mako" is not reason enough. Further what I'd want to know from them is if they would ever have Korra and or Asami willingly in a relationship with men in the future. Cause if not, then whatever their orientation is, it is despite having dated Mako as their first ever relationship(s), not because they dated Mako as their first ever relationship(s).
Not using any sexual orientation labels does not prevent the message they are in a romantic loving relationship with each other.
Just out of curiosity, how long do these War Rooms go before a resolution is made? --Love Robin (wallcontribs) 21:24, December 29, 2014 (UTC)
Discussions end three days after the last post. Majority at the time is what we go with for the decision. PSUAvatar14 Want to have a word? Katarasprite1Ty Lee KW 21:26, December 29, 2014 (UTC)
Usually, War Room discussions are closed three days after the last comment or two weeks after the start of the forum -whichever comes first- in favor of the opinion supported by the majority. Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 21:28, December 29, 2014 (UTC)
"it's convention to omit any information that could be subject to disagreement due to insufficient canon explanation, so I don't see why there is a need for controversy when everything can still be covered in the articles without a blatant reference to sexuality."

I agree. ― Thailog 21:40, December 29, 2014 (UTC)

To me, the simplest explanation is that they're bi. Both have previously displayed interest in the opposite sex, and nothing indicates that they would no longer be attracted to males. Saying they're not bi, to me, comes across as needless nitpicking, since even before Bryke said anything this seemed to be a very clear case of "show, don't tell". If the explicit labeling as lesbian or bisexual or any other sexual orientation is an absolute requirement so we can list them as this or that, in the absence of those labels, I believe it's proper to simply call them LGBT women. Queer might be another option, but admittedly I don't know exactly the correct definition and limits of the word. Omnibender - Talk - Contributions 23:36, December 29, 2014 (UTC)
Well the fact is bi doesn't necessarily mean attracted to both men and women, and they could still be lesbians. It's not a fact so there's no need to act like it is and include it on our articles. We could easily say "LGBT" instead, which is not speculative and still gets the point across that Asami and Korra are not straight. I'm in favor of it over the term "queer" since it has a history of being used as a slur so many members of the LGBT/MOGAI community don't like to use it as a general umbrella term. Fire Pabu Sprite Ferret 03:49, December 30, 2014 (UTC)

i've been reading through this a bit, and it seems just about everyone is in agreement that we shouldn't label them as something specific - can we all not comment anymore so we can pass this? Intelligence4 (wallcontribs) 05:07, December 30, 2014 (UTC)

Just a factual correction to your last statement there, Intelligence4: of the 12 people who voiced their opinion, only 7 were clearly for removed the label, 4 clearly for labeling them as bi, and 1 leaning toward the bi label. So that's far from "just about everyone is in agreement" since it's only a small majority of 2 people. Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 09:20, December 30, 2014 (UTC)
I think the fact that there are varying interpretations of what the creators may or may not have said demonstrates that the fact of "bisexuality" isn't completely established. Assuming that Korra and Asami's relationship is romantic, which I don't think is in dispute, I think that it's impossible to establish whether either still hold any interest in men, so the label is somewhat speculative.
More importantly, however, even assuming that the label wasn't speculative, I'd still argue against including it anywhere. It isn't biographically significant to include whether one adheres to the traditional societal norm of heterosexuality or whether one does not, especially when we don't go around to all the other pages and explicitly note that x, y and z are heterosexual. Including it in itself makes the articles in question anomalies and labels those who are or might be LGBT as something out of the ordinary, an "other" kind of people in society, which they're not. The 888th Avatar (talk) 09:56, December 30, 2014 (UTC)