I returned home from college after graduation in a state of deep depression. I’d left behind an incredible, vibrant, and open-minded city for a small, conservative suburb only three months after I’d finally gained the courage to admit what I’d known for years: that I was bisexual.
My younger sister, whom I had not always gotten along well with, had gotten hooked on this show while I was away; she wanted me to watch it with her. How could I refuse? From the beginning, The 100 was an escape for me. It was fun—sort of campy, but reminiscent of shows I already loved, like Lost. I also enjoyed getting closer to my sister by watching it every night with her on Netflix. We would talk about it incessantly. She knew more than I did, having already watched both seasons, and kept hinting that there was something coming that I would really like.
I knew there was a femslash ship somewhere on this show, but I never dreamed that that was what she meant. Then Bodyguard of Lies happened. And not only was there a femslash ship, it was between the main character—who was bisexual JUST LIKE ME—and a beautiful, powerful leader whose identity as a lesbian wasn’t treated like anything special by anyone in the world of The 100. She just was who she was.
For someone who felt her own identity become a point of discomfort among family members—the few I felt comfortable telling—this was absolutely incredible to see. Equally incredible, my sister confessed that she was a huge Clexa shipper the whole time. I finally felt like someone in my family didn’t think that my sexuality was gross.
I can’t explain how devastating it was to have all of this ripped away. It felt like someone was saying: hope you didn’t get too comfortable, feeling like who you are was okay! Because you still don’t get a happy ending—unless, of course, that ending is with a man. It was exactly the same invalidating statement I already heard reinforced at home: that hopefully, a man would come along and be my happy ending, and this “girl thing” would just pass.
I’ll never forget Lexa. I hear her every time someone says my name—where I live, words that start with an “A” often have that sound dropped. It still makes my stomach bottom out a little, when I hear my mother call ‘Lexa to dinner. I’ll never forget how normal she made me feel, like my sexuality had little bearing on all the things I can still be. And I won’t stop fighting until something like this never happens to anyone else again.