Television is a powerful medium that changes culture. At least now all current major TV content creators are aware of the Dead Lesbian Trope and the Bury Your Gays Trope. This is a great start. Thank goodness for social media, which is an amazing tool to connect with others all over the world to create social change.
Maybe because I’ve been that suicidal teenager/adult. Maybe because I mentor lgbtq youth and adults who deal with rejection, self loathing, self harm, abusive parents, and suicide ideation. I deal with people who live their lives as “straight” but are scared to come out. It’s okay if they don’t. That’s up to them. I know what they have to lose. I also know what they will gain but everyone decides for themselves. I recognize the judgmental and hypocritical culture we live in. I recognize that we, as human beings judge and behave in hypocritical ways. I recognize that we all are all full of contradictions.
I don’t post every youth we lose to suicide because of bullying about their sexual orientation or gender expression. I don’t post every time a trans person is murdered. I don’t post when parents shoot their children and their loved ones in the head or when people throw boiling water on a gay couple to teach them a lesson. I don’t post about places in the world where it’s illegal to be gay. Where we are stoned to death or thrown off high buildings. I don’t post about the “corrective” rape used against men, women, people, to “fix” them and make them heterosexual.
Partially I don’t post these things every time it happens because everyday there’s something. Partially it’s to spare people the reality of how many of us live. It’s depressing and distressing. I care so much but I am afraid that you don’t. Or you’ll think I’m exaggerating. Or that I should just focus on something else.
Maybe because friends of mine, highs school teacher, counselors, strangers, and many lgbtq people reach out to me for advice and support. We all have our fights and ways we contribute to society. We all have our issues we care about. This is one of mine.
I’ll speak on human rights for as long as there are people being persecuted, oppressed, discriminated, beaten up, set on fire, acid thrown in their face, bodies disregarded and left in dumpsters, alley ways, abandoned buildings, placed in de-gaying camps. facilities, mental hospitals, kicked out on the street to fend for themselves because of who they are and who they love.
Dramatic as it may seem, It is a life or death thing for me.
It is a life or death thing for many. It is about being a compassionate, aware human being thing for me. I wake up this way. A mixture of gratitude mixed with anger and righteousness, laced with hope. Always hope.
It is the siren song of my blood.
It seems I am always fighting. And even if you are not a QUILTBAG person, I know some of you understand what I’m talking about. You are always fighting for your lives. To better your life or those you love. Always fighting and we know the exhaustion that comes from that. I’ve been at it so long, recently I’ve been looking to fight. Preemptively defensive. I don’t particularly like this development but I recognize this is where I am right now.
TV Related: 11 weeks ago today, Lexa (my favorite TV character of all time) was killed in a horrible way.
Less than 90s of screen time, after consummating her relationship with Clarke, this great warrior was killed by a stray bullet meant for Clarke, shot by her father figure, who disapproved of their relationship.
I had seen this almost exact thing 14 years before on BtVs when Tara was killed by a stray bullet.
We continue to see these stories play out on TV. The bigger problem is that we see and live these stories in real life. People killing people for not being straight. Parents killing their children for not being straight. Parents abusing their kids, rejecting their kids, kicking them out on the street.
We live in a world where kids kill themselves because they are not accepted and loved as they are. How can we call ourselves civilized when we live in a world where our children kill themselves? I was one of those queer kids. I will always speak and fight for us. I will always speak out and fight for our children.
The fallout from Lexa’s death has been so much more than I can convey. This fandom has accomplished so much in the past 11 weeks. I am so damn proud to be a part of this movement.
If you are inclined, please consider donating to The Trevor Project.
The Trevor Project serves more than 100,000 LGBTQ youth every year with their life-saving programs that include the Trevor Lifeline, TrevorChat, Ask Trevor and TrevorSpace.