Representation matters. I have written about this before when it was about representation of race in the media, but representation of different sexualities is also very important. I have always noticed the lack of good representation of any sexuality that are not heterosexual, but after watching an episode of “The 100” on CW, this last Thursday, I saw a common trope being used that truly upset the LGBTQ+ community. If you are not caught up to the current episode of season 3 of “The 100″ I suggest you don’t read this because it contains spoilers.
No don’t get me wrong there have been a few good queer (I don’t mean this as a slur, this is just the umbrella term for anyone that is not a cis heterosexual person) characters that had great representation on shows and movies, but it is very far and in between. For example, I thought the show “The 100” was going to be this revolutionary change of both ethnic and LGBTQ+ representation. On the show they have one of the first lead bisexual female on a Science fiction show. On top of that they have multiple people of color (POC) and a few other confirmed gay characters.
When Tumblr got wind of this show and found out there was a badass Commander that is a lesbian (easily my favorite character on TV right now and is the picture above this post) and was the love interest to the main lead, the show exploded. (That is the reason why I started to really get into the show). The ratings shot up and the shows creator realized the characters impact on this marginalized community. Between season 2 and 3 the shows creator hyped up and raved about this wlw (women who love women) couple and spoke several times about his love for these characters and their relationship and how the audience should trust him to provide a story that they would be happy about. But then episode 307 happened.
Right after the wlw couple finally got together and believed love was not weakness, the next scene they killed the lesbian character, because they were in love (how ironic). You might be thinking well ‘its just a show’ or ‘people die in post apocalyptic shows, why is this different?’ well when it is an overused lesbian trope it gets tiring. In countless shows and movies that actually show a queer character as soon as they have sex or get together they immediately kill off the lesbian or end in tragedy (Buffy, Lost and Delirious, and so many others). This trope would not have been so bad if the show creator didn’t try to reassure his audience that this was different. That they could finally trust in someone to accurately portray them on screen. But after watching that episode it was clear to me that he capitalized on his sudden fan base and queer baited them to keep his ratings.
To me this is disgusting. I know that I would be upset, if finally I had one good asexual character on TV. There isn’t any positive asexual representation on TV or movies, so if I finally got a great-developed character that just happened to be asexual, I would be ecstatic and latch on to that character so fast. If the writers and creators loved this character, I would be so invested. But if they destroyed the character in a cheap way I would be heartbroken and angry.
It is different when you do not see yourself anywhere. You feel alone or feel like you cannot get your own happy ending. Just think about that message “The 100” gave young queer kids. It told them that they would never get a happy ending. I saw a lot of people broken and depressed over this episode (I was too), but I want them to know that they matter and they can have whatever ending they want in their lives. The picture might be skewed now, but trust me a change is coming and we will see ourselves positively on the screen one day. Now someone write a funny, black, asexual girl as a lead in something and don’t kill her please.