Oh hey, lesbian! Dead. Another lesbian! Villain. Oh my god, look, another one! Cheater.
Ah, lesbians. What a beautiful and collective and cooperative and loving and kind community. Yet, you probably don’t know that, because you’ve been watching a lot of TV and movies, and let’s be honest, 90% of canonically lesbian women either end up dead or something not good.
Now, I’m not trying to sideline the GBTQIA of the LGBTQIA community. But seriously, I don’t think any marginalized community representation in pop culture has ever gotten a worse representation than lesbians. It has gotten so bad that there are literally tropes about lesbians, and many of them are nothing good.
Let’s have a list, shall we? There is the Dead Lesbian Syndrome, which pretty much means what it says; Sweeps Weeks Lesbians, where heterosexual females just pretend to be gay to attract attention; Schoolgirl Lesbians, where the girls are in all-girls school and that naturally means they have to be gay, but only while they’re in school; Lesbians Who Never Say They’re Lesbians, where they just “don’t like labels; and Lesbianism Drives One Mad, where the girls are crazy because they’re gay, go figure.
Of course, these are not the only tropes surrounding lesbians in pop culture. As a matter of fact, there are so much more, and if I were to talk about all of them, we’d be here all day.
We see gay men on TV getting great treatment and almost no mistreatment, like Kurt and Blaine from Glee and Magnus and Alec from Shadowhunters. But when it comes to lesbians, well, the same cannot be said. Realistically, lesbians are just as human as any one of us. They have jobs, they have families, they have children, they have love, and most importantly, they have happy endings.
And yet, writers and producers don’t seem to get the hint. Instead, they write lesbians to attract viewers from the queer community, and once they’ve gained enough traction with the viewers, they disappoint us by not giving the ladies their happy endings. This is queerbaiting, and it is more than unacceptable. Honestly, these ladies just want to have breakfast and scissor one another and be happy.
They deserve that.
And more than anything, the lesbian community deserves that. They don’t need to be told that they will be shunned by the community being what they are. They don’t need to be told that one way or another, they’re gonna end up dead, because guess what? We are all dying.
It’s almost as if pop culture moguls are trying to brainwash us into thinking that lesbians are bad and evil. Oh, come on, it’s the 21st-century, get in line!
Now, let’s get away from that very depressing rant of mine, and raise our glasses the existing lesbian characters who are inspirational and strong and definitely do not need men to save their butts.
Alex Danvers, Supergirl
If you guys watch Grey’s Anatomy and the finale of Season Eight is not the most painful episode ever, you are lying, because Lexie Grey is a precious baby who deserves to be protected at all costs. Still, the good thing is that she was reincarnated in Alex Danvers, a badass secret agent who works for an alien protection agency and is also a lesbian! To be honest, Supergirl has turned into somewhat of a shit show and it’s not even in its third season yet, because CW ruins everything. But still, out of so many coming out arcs on TV and movies, Alex Danvers’ has to be one of the most realistic ones. And well, she’s actually quite happy now, so there’s that. But Supergirl is still a thing, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Santana Lopez, Glee
Glee pretty much made up my entire child- and teenagehood, but it still ruined my life, because what the hell were those seasons after season three? Like, what? Be that as it may, Glee is not called the gayest show ever for no reason at all, and one of those reasons is the iconic Latina lesbian, Santana Lopez. She’s one mean girl, and she knows it, but she’s also a human and she loves her wife very, very much. Her coming out arc was painful and stupid, because she was literally outed by a white male (Did I mention I hate Finn Hudson? Because I really do). Nevertheless, she got her happy ending, which is pretty much a diamond in pop culture right now. So cheers to that!
Arizona Robbins, Grey’s Anatomy
The one and only paediatrics surgeon who commute via roller skates. Honestly, she’s intelligent and optimistic and overall the best. One of the things I did not like about her storyline was that she cheated, but then again, she also lost a leg, so…
Nicole Haught, Wynonna Earp
Why aren’t you guys watching Wynonna Earp yet? Like, what are you waiting for? What is wrong with you? Watch it for the badass women and the tolerable men and the very hot lesbian. Nicole Haught is my child, and I’m not just saying that because my name is Nicole as well. But look at her with the red hair and the smug look and the police uniform and the hat. Look at her. Also, she got shot and she didn’t die.
Lexa kom Trikru, The 100
Ah, Lexa, the character who revolutionized the protest movement against the Bury Your Gays trope and many more trope. Lexa was one of the most beloved character on TV, and she gave so many people so much hope, just for being a literal queen at her age and being more than capable of separating feeling from duty. And then Jason Rothenberg went ahead and killed her. Honestly, how is this show still a thing?