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So Many Of Us Died. Why Is Lexa The One That Gets Held Up?

There's literally reason for why Lexa is treated as the face of the Bury Your Gays trope, I'll explain.

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1. It's because with Lexa wasn't just the death.

It starts with months of queerbaiting.

It starts with the writers making an entire fandom feel safe thinking this time the lesbian wasn't going to die. Jason (showrunner) even told one queer fan (looking at their face, not on the internet) that they were reading too much to think that she's going to die. At this point Lexa was already dead.

They told fans she'd be in the finale just to create a sense that she'd survive (and they went out of their way to do it. they are the type of writers that joke about having a "Spoiler Police" to avoid things being revealed - but somehow this part of the finale everybody could know?)

(just to make it clear: They posted photos of the actress filming the finale - in one pic they were even eating rainbow candy!!! - so people would think she was going to survive. And they never - never - post pictures while they're filming. You can see the pictures and tweets about the queerbaiting here.)

So it wasn't just a death, but this time they made everything to fool the fans about the death.

2. The second reason is how it happened - the scene was a traumatic experience.

Literally. People had panic attacks watching this, and had to deal with other mental health issues for months after the death.

How many of these deaths made the writers share suicide lines on the night it happened?

By the way, one of the people behind ClexaCon had a group inside the clexa fandom to give support to fans dealing with mental health issues.

So different of many others deaths (not all, of course), it had a great emotional impact and this contributed to make people get out of their safe bubble and actually do something.

3. The third reason is that queer characters like Lexa are rare.

Actually, they are rare in general, but the ones who are complex, interesting and receive protagonism?? We can count on our hands the ones like this on tv right now. Lexa is even rare as a white woman, imagine one that is a lesbian too.

So yes, we have many characters dying, but few are the ones we have the chance to create an emotional connection like this and even more in a role like this. So this makes >feeling< her death as worse than some others (not all, of course, and not for everybody).

4. The fourth reason is that, right now, Clexa is the "biggest" wlw ship

(Right now = while this is happening / biggest = more impact/reach).

Name one wlw ship (related to fiction) that in one year trended worldwide on twitter more than 60 tags, won more than 45 polls, end up being the top ship of 2016 on tumblr (above all types of ships and the only wlw on top 10) (the only wlw that appears on the top 20 besides Camren) and is the wlw fic with more kudos on AO3 (the 5th fic in general).

Some of these are fandom things, but behind it are real people - and to do this you need A LOT OF INVESTED REAL PEOPLE. You can't fabricate being the most reblogged/talked ship of all tumblr. And you know what happens when you have a lot of real people talking? They receive attention.

ps: All of this while talking about the Bury Your Gays and representation. Last year after winning the Zimbio poll of Ship of The Year, money was donated for charity because of it. Some of the tags were "307 REASONS TO FIGHT", "MINORITIES ARE NOT DISPOSABLE", "STOP QUEERBAITING 2K16", "DARE TO DEFY TROPES", etc.

5. The fifth reason is that these people actually got together to do something

Via waitingforshow.tumblr.com

The fans tried to organize themselves, faced hell and had to deal with all types of people criticizing their protests about the death (even AfterEllen published an article against it). They got together to raise money for charity, they got together to put billboards out there about LGBT rep, they got together to trend tags and get attention of journalists and writers on twitter, they got together to make a convention for queer women and even more things.

So yes, many people are affect by death of wlw characters and many people do what they can to help and many that aren't even Lexa fans helped, but it's impossible do deny the contribution of this particular group and how this particular character was a catalyst.

6. The sixth reason... why not (x)?

Why not Denise? Where is her fandom? TWD never developed her enough, she deserved better.

Why not Root? As soon as Clexa fans (and many were Sho/ot fans) decided to do something, their fandom didn't allow it. "Not all" of course, but many protected the death, or said she wasn't even really dead, or it wasn't the trope(!).

Why not Poussey? Racism. And also people saying "it isn't the trope", "it was a beautiful lesson"(!) or "but OITNB has more 923823 queer characters, they love the gays, shut up". (but something was actually done about this)

So while in Lexa's case there was general agreement that the death was wrong, this wasn't the case for other fandoms - if there was even a fandom - and people actually fought against who tried to speak about the issue.

Of course, these deaths added to the conversation, especially Denise that died in a big show almost the same way as Lexa and made people stop and think "wait, what they are saying isn't so random..." - but to keep the conversation going you need noise.

And I think all these deaths have something in common that Lexa didn't have: people still liked and protect the show after the death. Which is...

7. The seventh reason: Lexa fans lost their hope on tv and especially on the show.

At least for some time, people didn't have where to go. But even today the Clexa fandom is fan of a ship... but not of a show. And I think this was important to create this different reaction - because people cared/care too much about the shows to protest against it. (or to gain enough validation and not be silenced)

8. So why we didn't have a reaction like this before Lexa?

And there's more reasons there, but what I'm saying isn't that Lexa WAS WORSE or IS BETTER or that THESE OTHER DEATHS DON'T DESERVE RECOGNITION or even that ONLY CLEXA FANS DID ALL OF THIS OR ARE AFFECTED, but that through this year and after her death happened we had not one, but many different factors happening at the same time, that created a specific context that made a specific reaction possible - and this reaction sustained and helped to promote the issue in the media in general.

This is not something I'm saying - this what happened. This is why you see pictures of Lexa when people talk about the Bury Your Gays trope.

This is why even if the death of wlw characters is a paragraph that didn't even mention her on the 30+ pages GLAAD report, almost all the articles about it used a picture of Lexa and talked about it.

This is why it's called ClexaCon not RootCon, this why it's Lexa's face everywhere, this is why even the Autostraddle list of deaths was created after the explosion about her death, not before - even if the Bury Your Gays trope is here for a long time.

And I Love that ClexaCon didn't even have the Clexa actresses and it opened doors to more wlw and other people who care about these issues in general, because this was the goal. But even if it is for everybody, it's a mistake to forget and ignore what happened here. Not even just because Lexa and the fandom deserve recognition, but because it teaches us what we can do and why some things happen.

It isn't a conspiracy to promote Lexa or exclude other characters/fans - it's an actual, massive work that a group of fans has been doing. And no, it's not all intentional and controlled, you can't simply decide what different people across 50+ countries around the world will do or care* about, but fortunately, one of the impacts of what they're doing has been bringing attention to queer representation.

*and even like this the fandom went through hell to try and organize itself, this is where the word "movement" came from

Problems in representation aren't new. People don't fear queer characters dying because Lexa died, they feared Lexa dying because the Bury Your Gays trope already existed. Lexa didn't start the fear.

So why we didn't have a reaction like this before Lexa?

So why we didn't have a reaction like this about other characters?

This is why.

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