Living in a country that gets little, if any, LGBT-inclusive TV on our network channels, I came to question my sexuality later on when I was 20. Lexa broke my lesbian seal of sorts, and that winter break I consumed as much queer media as I could. Lexa, Cosima, Nomi and Santana allowed me to hope that I lived in a world where it was normal to like other girls. They let me hope that one day I would be confident enough to come out to my family.
This is the power of good representation on television. To invite these characters into our homes and to have them portrayed positively – this simple act can break barriers and negative stereotypes. But when these characters we identify with are continuously killed, in mourning, pushed aside or “turned straight”, it facilitates the ongoing real life struggle that we face.
Lexa’s death came at a particularly difficult time for my country with regards to LGBT laws. I remembered thinking that if these homophobic politicians had a Lexa growing up, maybe we would be living in a different society. When a character with the potential to change so much dies (in an insulting manner), you question if anything will be be different. The creation of the LGBT Fans Deserve Better movement has given me that hope again.