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"Wynonna Earp" Might Just Be The Show Queer Women Have Been Waiting For

BuzzFeed spoke with showrunner Emily Andras about the revolutionary act of not only including queer female representation — but actually letting those queer characters live. Plus, an exclusive clip from this week's episode.

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While 16 queer female characters have already been killed off television shows this year, Syfy's Wynonna Earp is breaking new ground by addressing the "Bury Your Gays" trope head-on and promising its LGBT fandom to do better. So far? It's succeeding.

The series, a Canadian supernatural Western based on a comic of the same name, is nearing the end of its first season on Syfy. But what has a lot of viewers talking is the slowly evolving relationship between the appropriately named sheriff’s deputy Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell) and the title character's younger sister, Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley).

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Fans were hooked from their first interaction, where steadfast and flirtatious Nicole attempts to ask the very nervous and very clumsy Waverly out on a date. Waverly declines — she has a boyfriend, after all — but that doesn’t stop the officer from leaving her card at the bar.

After a queer character was killed off on The 100 earlier this year, sparking backlash from LGBT fans, showrunner Emily Andras felt compelled to go on the record and promise that these ladies were here to stay — at least until the end of this first season.

"We did something really unprecedented, something I've never done ever on a show," Andras told BuzzFeed News on a recent phone call. "Given the year the LGBT community has had, we actually went on the record and made a comment that Nicole and Waverly are alive at the end of the season. ... If you care to get involved with this couple, I just want to let you know — their hearts are still beating by the end of this year."

The Canadian writer and producer, who has never worked on a show without a female protagonist, certainly isn't new to shaping LGBT characters. She was a showrunner on Lost Girl for several seasons, a show that stands among few others in having a happy ending between two queer women.

"When you're portraying a queer relationship, conflict and drama have to come from who the characters are," Andras added. "Their defining trait is not whether they're gay or bisexual."

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"I feel very privileged to be playing a character that’s affecting people so much," Barrell, who often receives art and messages from LGBT fans, told BuzzFeed News.

"It can only get better," Barrell added when asked about representation of queer characters on television. "It has to... The more the fans speak out, they are heard. The massive outpouring of support and loyalty of the fans — why wouldn't you want those fans? Why wouldn't you engage that community and support that community?"

You can catch an exclusive #WayHaught scene from the upcoming episode, which airs Friday at 10 p.m. ET/9 CT on SyFy, right here (spoilers, obviously):

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