So we’re less than a week away from Darth Cheeto taking office and I just want to remind everyone: you do NOT have to respect him. Don’t let anyone tell you different. There is a law that forbids you from making threats on the President’s life, but there is NO law that forces you to call him “‘Mr. President” or forbids you from calling him a jackass. Speaking out against the government is a right protected under the 1st Amendment.
“Bonjour bitches!” The first words Zoë Rivas ever spoke on Degrassi. It was then that I was hooked. This character was going to be something special, but I never imagined just how much I would grow to love her.
The beginning of season 13, Zoë is Gatsby Garcia, she is ready to experience high school for the first time, and she’s ready to explore the perception of high school that West Drive taught her. Zoë is jealous, catty and narcissistic, but underneath all of that, she is starved for someone to love her. Who is the real Zoë Rivas?
Zoë’s time on Degrassi has seen her date and be rejected by Miles, date and be rejected by Drew, be sexually assaulted by Luke and Neil, we discover she dealt with substance abuse, she nearly attempts suicide, is vindicated in the wake of her assault, is the madam of a Degrassi nude ring, we began to see her true self thanks in large part to Grace, she is rejected by Grace, finds herself repressing her homosexuality by self harm, and finally she accepts who she really is, embracing it and truly rocking it! Damn, this girl has been through the wringer.
Many people will tell me to let Gracevas go, and while it has taken me awhile, because well, I held so dearly to Don’t Look Back, I respect both Zoë’s and Grace’s sexualities, in canon DNC Zoë is a lesbian, and Grace is straight, and queerbaiting aside, I utterly respect both of these characters sexualities, as we all should. I will, however, always hold onto the notion that the first person that ever saw Zoë for Zoë was Grace, and that can never be taken away. We wouldn’t have the confident Zoë we know in DNC 3 if it had not been for Grace. The majority of DLB Zoë and Grace were seen as friends, and it was through their friendship that we began to see a softer side to Zoë, she for the first time saw, and believed that she was more than the sum of her parts. Gracevas was and is rooted in a strong friendship, and that’s truly wonderful. Zoë and Grace will never be, and I’ve accepted this, but they do and will always love one another. This friendship, albeit unorthodox, is engaging.
Rasha is good for Zoë. I say this as a once HUGE Gracevas shipper. I’ll never get Gracevas the way that I wanted them, but Rasha is a fine alternative. She, because the rest of the school now sees it too, because hell, Zoë actually won an election voted on by her peers, sees the real Zoë and actually genuinely likes her. It was also important that Rasha was the first to express her feelings, Zoë was so clouded by the thinking that she was just falling for another straight girl, that Rasha being vocal about her feelings and sexuality was what Zoë needed to hear.
Love or hate Zoë Rivas, we all need to admit that she is an absolutely extraordinary character, and honestly maybe the most developed character Degrassi has ever given us. She’s bits of Paige Michalchuk, parts of Fiona Coyne, and a dash of Holly J. Sinclair, but above all Zoë is now unapologetically Zoë Rivas. #ProtectZoëRivas.