I don’t think I have the words to explain what Lexa from The 100 meant to me. She introduced me to the world of queer female representation not only on television, but in fictional stories in general.
One year ago today, Lexa and Clarke finally showed their feelings for each other and slept together after an entire season of building up their relationship. It was the tender moment fans had been waiting for. But five minutes after this, Lexa was shot by a stray bullet meant for Clarke. One year ago today, I watched online as fans were upset and outraged that Lexa was added to the list “Bury Your Gays” victims, a trope that sees LGBT characters dead in television. I hadn’t watched The 100, but could clearly see how hurt the LGBT audience of the show was, and quickly binge watched it to catch up and understand what had happened. Lexa was the last straw.
I fell in love with Lexa’s character. The 100 had a perfect balance of “her sexuality is a prominent part of the character’s identity” and “this character is more than her sexuality”. Lexa was a young leader of her people; she was strong, brave, fierce, complex, beautiful, and a lesbian character that thousands worldwide in the LGBT community looked up to. Portrayed by Alycia Debnam-Carey, she was brought to life breathtakingly, and with the help of Eliza Taylor, who portrays Clarke, their love story was shown with grace and beauty. Lexa was the character we were looking for, and the representation that we needed. But it was quickly torn away from us in the last 15 minutes of the fateful episode entitled “Thirteen”. All trust that The 100 had created with the fan base was lost in that episode, and it can never be redeemed. There is nothing they can do to take away our heartbreak.
I am constantly amazed by the fan base’s constant motivation and determination to strive for better representation and to end queerbaiting, a term used for when writers try to gain an LGBT audience with little to no intention of accurately showing LGBT characters. Whether it is over $150,000 donated to the LGBT charity The Trevor Project, organising ClexaCon, a convention purely for queer women to celebrate queer female characters, trending worldwide on Twitter, or simply continuing Lexa’s story through fanfiction. We are being heard.
Lexa is ours. Lexa is our hero.
Donate to The Trevor Project in memory of Lexa here.