If you don't get what #LGBTFansDeserveBetter is about, please read:
To anyone thinking we’re a bunch of whining obsessed fans who should get over a fictional character’s death and focus on ‘real-world’ issues:
- My ignorant male friend with an incredibly heteronormative mindset began not only tolerating, but actively supporting gays after watching Hannibal; he is an avid fan, and Hannibal/Will pairing made sense to him and ‘opened his eyes on a lot of things’, his words. He is as straight as an arrow and remains that.
- My male cousin stopped seeing lesbians as highly sexualized objects after watching The Fosters (at my insistence); he also now advocates for adoption, and finally sees gay couples, particularly women-loving-women, as valid families.
- A girl I know considered herself ‘progressive’ and ‘for gay rights’ and at the same time allowed herself such remarks as “every girl is bisexual. It’s our nature” and “experimenting is fun” and “yeah, I mean, girls are beautiful and all but you’ll want a real family by the time you’re thirty” and my personal favorite “I am not against gays and lesbians! You just don’t need to show it to the public, you know? You don’t touch us and we don’t touch you.” She got into Faking It because of Shane The Sassy Gay Friend. Just last month, we met up and she apologized for saying everything she’s ever said.
- I was helping out a local theater with their sound two years ago, and the lead was Muslim and very homophobic (not saying all Muslims are homophobic, but that was the reason she used.) There also was a bisexual actor with love for crossdressing, and needless to say she had trouble accepting him. He wasn’t fully out, but the cast knew. Now, she loves musicals, and someone recommended she watch Rent. And then she watched Glee. Year after, on premier night of his play, she brought a giant bouquet of flowers and gave it to him, saying that he “should never change”. There were a lot of tears and laughter that night.
Consider it cheesy, but this is what impact media representation has. Representation paves way for acceptance and tolerance (even Glee). Even the most close-minded of people can turn on the show, become engrossed, and see past the character’s sexuality and fall in love with them. And then, after falling in love with said character, those people realize that their sexuality doesn’t define them; that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans people are not walking personifications of evil; that there is much more to them than who they love. That they are the same people with same jobs and same dreams and they bleed the same and cry the same and laugh the same. Now , riddle me this: since when fighting for tolerance and acceptance and safety for a marginalized community isn’t a ‘real-world’ issue?
That’s why representation matters. That’s why Lexa mattered. That is why we are angry. Not because our ship sank. Not because Lexa was a cool chick with a sword. Not because we had a collective lady-boner for her. Maybe, years from now, a young straight woman would have walked up to her lesbian friend and said: ‘hey. I get it now. And I’m sorry. And I’ll try to do better.’ But the damage is done. And now, that same young straight woman might walk up to her lesbian friend and say: ‘hey. It’s just a phase. You need to meet a real man. Or just keep your “love” behind closed doors.’ Because all she saw was a lesbian being killed off and a guy getting a girl. I already discussed this whole situation with my straight friends. That’s exactly what they think. That’s the kind of message they are getting.
Don’t invalidate our feelings, please. Don’t downplay our cause. We stopped talking about a ship a long time ago: why do you, some Bellarke fans and some Bellamy stans and oh God, AfterEllen?! keep making it about Clexa? I am
not attacking you. I just genuinely want you to understand where we are coming from. Sometimes it seems like you just don’t want to listen. But I beg you to try and open up your minds at least a little bit and look at the bigger picture.