Clexa is named after two queer female characters, Clarke and Lexa, from the American tv show CW's The 100. Fans fell in love as their unique dynamic progressed, portraying two strong women in positions of leadership.
Following the aggressive promotion of Lexa's sudden death only 64 seconds after their love scene, episode 307 devastated queer fans to their breaking point. In response, they mobilized for positive representation using a variety of methods - ranging from purchasing billboards displayed in downtown LA to leading a massive boycott of the show's remaining episodes. Fans and their allies have since raised almost $175,000 towards suicide prevention through The Trevor Project with the help of LGBT Fans Deserve Better.
These billboard photos (excluding the bottom left) were taken by visual artist Jackelyn Santiago.
The 2015/2016 TV season alone had managed to kill off an unprecedented number of queer women characters belonging to an already underrepresented community. This further perpetuated what is now commonly referred to as the "Bury Your Gays" (BYG) trope.
The BYG trope is one of many that plague our community, carrying with it the implication that queer life is somehow inherently tragic, comical, or deviant. It begs the question: what is the history behind this literary trope? What role does profit play in the decision-making process for baiting the queer community and disposing of LGBTQ+ characters so easily?
While developing this documentary, we've asked ourselves: how does the current state of our political climate influence our call for more positive media representation? Just how important is it that we have queer media as a form of entertainment and self-care?
We believe that storytelling comes with an immense responsibility. It is an essential tool to not only provide escape for young and older people alike struggling with their own identity, but it also provides new ways of thinking for broader audiences by opening a door into the diversity of today's culture.
At the center of storytelling lies exposure, education, and empathy. Positive representation has the capacity to both empower and validate the experiences of those who are marginalized as well as those in the process of developing their queer and trans identities.
If done well and with authenticity, it also has the potential to reconcile someone’s fear of difference and diversity—which is a crucial message now more than ever.
"...for my whole life I have seen similar endings to a lesbian story—or even the suggestion of one—over and over and over again. I had mistakenly thought that this time, this time, it might be different. Nope.. Growing up in a small town in the bible belt, there was absolutely no one for me to talk to about being different and certainly no 'shero' I could look up to or want to emulate. That there were two characters in a popular television show that were strong, intelligent, powerful women who lead their people and fell in love with one another was an astonishing amount of progress to someone like me." — Anonymous