Sometimes written as “queerbaiting” or “queer baiting”, queer-baiting is when content creators (e.g. tv, movies, podcasts, etc.) hint at or claim queer subtext, off-screen storylines, or character motivations but never explicitly talk about anything queer in their canonical content. This is often perceived as a move made by decisions makers to want to draw in an LGBTQIA+ audience, but not face any backlash by actually including queerness in their content. This is primarily a modern concept (largely post-2000s) and does not overlay neatly onto earlier media. Queer-baiting is different from queer-coding. The intent or perceived intent with baiting is to garner positive feedback and endorsement. Coding is specifically about demonizing or villainizing characters that pass as queer.
e.g. Jay felt like the film was queer-baiting because the trailer featured a clip outing the protagonist as queer, but in the actual film, it wasn’t mentioned until the last 5 minutes of the movie and was never addressed at all beforehand.
Further reading to gain expanded context:
Queerbaiting | FanLore.org
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