I am too fucking old for this.
It would seem that there have been ‘contracts’ taken out on lesbian characters currently on television, and ‘They’ (aka the Television Conglomerate of the Free World) are killing them off, one-by-one, in the most ‘trope’ ways possible. There have been eight lesbian deaths on television since the beginning of the year, and this is only March!
Did the Television and Media executives have a secret meeting to discuss this? In my mind, I see a room filled with straight, white males of varying ages, wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth, saying, “Well, they’re allowed to marry now, something’s gone wrong, it has to be the way we’ve been representing them. They’ve become too happy, too self-assured, we must do whatever it takes to break them and push them back down.”
“I know what to do,” speaks up one. “First, let’s kill them all off.”
“Yes,” says another. “This all started when we put them in our shows and movies, when we made them seem ‘almost human.'”
“You’re right,” another joins in. “None of this would be happening if we hadn’t been so kind to them, letting them think they’re worthy of existing in our world. Let’s do this. Let’s kill the ones that are there, and then, if we must have them in our shows, we will only show them as ‘defective’ and ‘sick.’ You know, the way it used to be.”
“Agreed,” shouts the group. Unanimously.
So, here we are. Again.
How do we counter this? I love your passion, I really do, but we can all ‘tweet’ until we’re blue in the face, we’ll have a few more articles written by several more International papers, maybe several ‘world-wide’ magazines, but to what end? After a few weeks, when the furor dies down, well, there it is. It is no longer ‘newsworthy,’ it is no longer a ‘hot topic,’ and everyone moves on. Back to ‘business as usual,’ until another lesbian buys a bullet, or an arrow, or a car crash, stabbing, poisoning, fall while rock-climbing…then the process repeats itself and here-we-go-again.
What if we stage letter-writing campaigns to the advertisers? Boycott their products? Do you think they honestly care? Has anyone heard Proctor & Gamble make any statement siding with us? Do you think they’ll shed real tears if you tell them you can live without their Tide laundry detergent? Has any other national or international corporation come out on our side, expressed their condolences or spoken against the manipulative and hateful behavior that’s come from the networks-in-question, or the ill will from those who believe that because we’ve been ‘represented,’ we have no reason to complain?
Of course not. It would be ‘bad for business.’ They ‘could’ lose consumers from the ‘other side,’ the Million Mother-whatevers, the majority of their market share. It could lead to ‘burnt bridges’ with the Media Conglomerate itself, where ‘They’ could diminish a company’s ability to advertise, or, possibly, force them to pay higher costs as punishment for their support.
So, where do we go?
First, let me propose this: turn off your TVs. Don’t watch ANYTHING. No shows, no news, no weather, nothing. Granted, it won’t do a damn thing to their ratings because you are not their primary audience. The point is, you are not going to find anything worthwhile for yourself there, nothing that will make you feel good so…just…STOP. Hell, unplug the damn thing.
Secondly, go online. Everything you could possibly want or need is there. There are some great websites out there, in every flavor you can imagine. If you have to watch something, YouTube has some pretty good series going on that deserve more viewers (looking at you, CARMILLA), and you can actually tailor your searches to your own ‘likes.’ Anything you want, I’m pretty sure you’ll find it, or something close to it. Or, seriously, start your own show. I’ve seen some pretty cool stuff from people who have no association with Mass Media Conglomerates doing some really neat things out of their own kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, garages, shot with an iPhone.
Read a f*cking book. Use your own imagination. You’d be surprised at what your mind can conjure on its own. There are a lot of great books out there, with all kinds of people in them. That’s what PUBLIC LIBRARIES are for! Thank you, Ben Franklin! Free books!
Write a book. Write your own story, with your own characters tailored to you and your goofy crew. You don’t have to be perfect, just get the words down to start, share them with your friends. Hell, write fan fiction and put that on the web. Who knows, maybe someone’ll share your story with a friend, who shares with another friend, who shares with someone in the ‘business’ and suddenly, you’re talking to editors and oh, hell, how far can this go!
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The point I’m trying to make is that they, the ‘mainstream media brokers,’ don’t care about us. They never have. We are not their ‘target demographic.’ We have little-to-no representation in the offices and on the sets. While those from our ranks that are there do what they can to help our cause, their jobs are their livelihoods. They are not likely to go toe-to-toe with the showrunner about minority representation and storylines without cutting their own throats in the process, with the threat of ‘never working in this town again’ from someone who could do just that, in the insular little swamp that is ‘Hollywood.’
I am heartbroken, not just for myself, but for all those young and younger people out there who’ve been manipulated for ratings, been lied to, cheated, then cast off by showrunners and media executives who didn’t give ‘a good goddamn‘ about the people they used and abused to further their own objectives and careers. Don’t give them the opportunity to do it to you again.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me every damn time we play and I’ll quit your sorry ass. I know you don’t care, but I will not be hurt by you again.
I will not watch you perpetuate the myth that ANYONE WHO IS NOT straight, white and male, between the ages of eighteen and thirty-six, deserves a ‘less-than’ world, a ‘less-than’ ending to their story.
You can take that to the bank.