Guillermo What We Do in the Shadows

How ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Handled Guillermo’s Coming Out

He's my sweet cheese, my good-time boy.

What We Do in the Shadows is easily one of the best shows on television right now. The new episodes shine a bright light every week into an otherwise dark world. All the characters are unique, fun, and beloved by fans. It’s hard to pick a favorite amongst the group. I mean Laszlo and Nadja are goals, for sure. But Guillermo de la Cruz holds a special place in my heart. Played by Harvey Guillén, Guillermo’s love of vampires started when he watched 1994’s Interview with the Vampire (same because all of us are actually Guillermo).

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After becoming the familiar of vampire Nandor the Relentless, Guillermo eventually found out about his Van Helsing vampire hunter DNA and upgraded his role in the house to bodyguard. In a house full of ancient killers, unassuming Guillermo is the most badass. So far, season 4 shows Guillermo really growing into his own skin and episode seven beautifully let him live his truth when he came out to his family.

Mamma Mia!

The episode, entitled “Pine Barrens” was peak WWDITS. Laszlo, Nandor, Baby Colin Robinson, and Sean go off on a boy’s weekend where they end up fighting the Jersey Devil, because of course they did. Back at the mansion, Guillermo and Nadja both thought they had the house to themselves and planned separate events for the occasion. Nadja had a sloppy girls’ night watching Mamma Mia. Guillermo, thinking no vampires were around, planned a special dinner for his family.

Guillermo realized his mistake when Nadja unexpectedly walked into the dinner party and set his vampire-hunting family on edge. It was only then that it occurred to Guillermo that his family would share his vampire hunting instincts. He pretends that Nadja is his girlfriend, but that ruse is soon revealed when his grandmother pulls him to the side to warn him that she’s a vampire. Soon Guillermo has to block his family from trying to stake Nadja. To distract them, he admits he lives with vampires, wants to become a vampire, and that Nadja isn’t his girlfriend because he is gay.

Familia es Familia

Most coming-out stories in modern television shows or movies include high levels of drama and negativity. Of course, WWDITS played it differently. Instead of tears and shock, his family admitted they already knew he was gay and accepted him (although they were a little upset about the vampire part of the confession). Guillermo’s cousin, who had ripped on him throughout the episode, even showed his support. The whole family hugged in a beautiful moment of love.

In a piece written for Esquire, Harvey Gullién said Guillermo’s coming-out story mirrored his own. Growing up, he struggled with the traditional Mexican culture ideal of what being a man or son meant. If you were gay, it was like you shamed your family. When neighborhood kids threw rocks at Gullién and called him “mariposa” (the word means butterfly but is used as a homophobic slur), he found acceptance with his mother.

Gullién wrote: “‘Que importa lo que digan‘ (who cares what they say) she said. ‘Mariposas are beautiful.’ She wiped my tears away, and suddenly I felt like I wasn’t alone in this. Those kids may not have accepted me, but the people who mattered the most always did.”

WWDITS has always been low-key queer with their sexually fluid vampires and hinting at Guillermo’s sexuality throughout the series. But it was refreshing to let him come out on his terms. Thank you WWDITS for being wonderful. Thank you, Harvey Gullién/Guillermo for being beautiful and amazing. So, now that Guillermo is out, can we get that slow-burn Nandor/Guillermo romance on the fast track?

(featured image: FX)


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Author
D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.