Ever since I was a child, even though I wasn’t aware of it, I’ve been searching for a character like Lexa. A strong-willed, fierce, passionate and powerful woman, who just so happened to love a woman. Growing up, it was impossible to find that on the screen and whenever something came even remotely close, it would be snatched away, often in the most traumatic or shocking way possible.
As I got older, it became much easier to distance myself from my expectations, to believe that there would never be someone on the screen that I could truly relate to, who I could see my hopes reflected in. Until Lexa. After her death, I felt a hopelessness that I hadn’t in quite some time and I couldn’t understand why. Then, after a few days, I realized that this character had encompassed everything I’d been looking for since I was a little girl.
To have that so cruelly taken away, to have my emotions toyed with, from the heights of the love scene to the crushing depths of the death scene in mere seconds, was devastating. In that moment, I was that confused child again, I was back to being a teenager filled with fear and doubts, I was a young woman who had been assaulted because of her sexuality, I was a twenty-something being denied a visa to live with her partner simply because she was gay.
The words of the writers and showrunner gave me hope, a hope that I had never allowed myself to feel when it came to media representation and rarely even in life. Through my own experiences consuming television and movies, I knew that lesbians very rarely get a happy ending, or even a decent amount of time to explore their happiness. But this time, I actually believed. And I blamed myself for that naivety in the immediate aftermath of 307, like many others. And then my heart broke to see the outpouring of grief from young queer women online, to see my own hopelessness mirrored in yet another generation.
We should not be blaming ourselves. We should not have to always prepare ourselves for the worst. We deserve to be happy and we deserve to see that possibility in mainstream media. We deserve hope.