For the Love of Fandom: Bierasure and #LGBTFansDeserveBetter

ClarkeSB
Note: This post talks about biphobia
 and bierasure  and gives examples. Please ensure that if this may be triggering for you, you have a support system in place. Additionally, this post contains spoilers through episode 307 of The 100 and discusses plots points from other shows including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Walking Dead.

Fandom is beautiful. Fandom is inspiring. Fandom creates community and art and extends a concept from a world inside of a television show to a world inside all of us. There is little better than experiencing people truly immerse themselves in and enjoy something, and when you feel the same way, taking part. But to be included in something right up to the point everyone loved it, then not considered when it is time to come together and heal is a lonely and at times traumatic experience. Which is why the response to a character death on The 100, leading to the LGBT Fans Deserve Better campaign and trending hashtag , is so troubling. Though the concept is one that needs to be taken seriously, in practice the movement (which, in true fandom fashion, goes beyond just the source campaign and into daily life) has left out whole sections of the LGBT community.

At this time, the main focus of the movement is the loss of our Heda Lexa, an exceptional lesbian character killed by a bullet meant for her lover, lead character and Bisexual cisgender woman Clarke Griffin, from the dystopian future-based CW show The 100. I want to join the communal mourning in the death of a beloved queer woman character. I want to talk about the show’s LGBT representation, its triumphs and its failures. But my attempts to do so have left me in a position with few options. One is to focus on a single part of myself—the fan that would like to read thinkpieces and reflect on the show—and let bierasure and biphobia go, swallowing the hurt this causes me and allowing the possibility of harm for other Bisexual people to remain unabated. Another is to speak up and take the time and energy to educate others, exposing myself to the negative feedback that often results when calling out others for oppressive behavior. Regardless of what I say or do, discrimination against bi people in the larger conversation around this issue is likely to continue.

The Bi+ community often has different considerations than the LGBT community as a whole. We make up the largest percentage of the LGBT community, including  40% of LGBT people of color and (though not mutually exclusive) 50% of trans individuals. Although studies show the bi community is in even more in need of support than gays and lesbians, we barely receive any funding from the LGBTQ pool to address our specific needs. Bisexual people experience discrimination from both in and outside of the LGBT community.

The discrimination we face also translates into the television medium. In the counting of the queers in GLAAD’s “Where We Are On TV” report for the 2015-16 season, though Bisexuals are the largest group in the LGB community, we make up only 20% of the LGB primetime characters. Just three percent of those are male and none are trans. The report also notes that these characters often “fall into dangerous stereotypes about bisexual people.” There is no wrong way to be Bisexual—but if most of the reflections we see of Bisexuality on television are duplicitous murderers, cheaters, and liars, there’s a problem. Consistently negative portrayals of bisexuality are damaging to the Bi+ community. Directly, we see only one way to be Bisexual reflected back to us. Over time, we face discrimination and rejection from society because we are not seen as people and the spectrum that entails.

StillBisexualWhich is why a character such as Clarke Griffin is so impactful—for both me as an individual and the Bi+ community as a whole. Clarke Griffin is the first Bisexual lead on a CW show, and one of the first Bisexual leads on network television. The partner site to LGBT Fans Deserve Better, We Deserved Better, provides a very clear rundown of the controversy surrounding the show and the choices made around it. As explored there, The 100, and in particular showrunner Jason Rothenberg, heartily patted itself on the back for having an LGBT lead. And as I mentioned in the piece I wrote before episode 307, “Clarke Griffin, Bisexual: CWs The 100 and Dystopian Future at Its Finest”: “This stable sexuality is occurring in a pop culture landscape where we are so accustomed to the temporary titillating queerness of sweeps week, so often confined to the purpose of getting ratings as opposed to genuine character shaping.” So when Rothenberg confirmed that Clarke Griffin is Bisexua,l my little Bisexual, scifi loving heart was over the moon.

When Rothenberg’s deliberate actions around the lesbian character Lexa amounted to queerbaiting, it was devastating for many reasons. The only primetime science fiction show with a Bisexual lead currently on the air caused members of the LGBT community so much pain. This goes beyond the decision to write in tropes—tropes that echo a decision on Buffy the Vampire Slayer to kill off a beloved lesbian character. Tara was killed with a bullet meant for the main character. The sole purpose? To make her paramour, a character whose Bisexuality was erased, a temporary Big Bad. As described by Variety’s Chief TV Critic Maureen Ryan, prior to Lexa’s midseason death Jason Rothenberg invited fans to The 100’s notoriously secretive set. Delighted fans shared pictures of Alycia Debnam-Carey (Lexa) on set and in costume for the season three finale. The trope that LGBT characters don’t survive is very real (succinctly and erasively referred to as “Bury Your Gays”.) This was among the factors LGBT fans considered before getting our hopes up. Rothenberg made it clear that even though the actor was cast as a lead on another show Lexa would be returning to The 100 for Season 3. So fans were open when a lesbian character with a consistently foreshadowed death was photographed at the end of another season. Then, midseason, Lexa died with no promise of return.

Among the tidal waves of reaction, LGBT Fans Deserve Better was born. When Rothenberg broke his silence weeks later, he said he’d “been listening, reading everything [he] could” to “try to understand” the fan reaction. He went on to tease that Lexa just might come back. This leads me to believe he has not truly understood the problem. He both acknowledged the queerbaiting phenomenon and the fact he had been accused of it, then potentially did it again in the same interview. His continued defense of a color- and sexuality-blind future does nothing to address the fact that the show is being consumed right now. The break in weeks of radio silence about the character’s death and the fan reaction to it can be summarized as a defensive and somewhat dismissive “Yes, But.”

So what do I, and Bisexual fans like me, do? Can we continue to watch the show? Can we enjoy the positive benefits of the rare reflection of ourselves in a well-rounded character like Clarke? If I don’t boycott the show, am I being a traitor to the LGBT community at large?

In the name of the loss of such an exceptional character, an ongoing campaign that is constantly growing on the back of a shared worldwide sentiment that ‘LGBT fans deserve better” was founded to raise money for Trevor Project, which provides suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth. (Donate here.) To date the campaign has raised almost to $60,000 in support of queer youth, and the ongoing campaign shows no signs of slowing. It is not clear how much LGBT Fans Deserve Better and the fundraising campaign overlap as they cross promote without explicit distinction. The donation campaign was founded by a group named Leskru, self described as “the united clan of LGBTQ/supporters/allies named in true Grounder honor.” An excellent name for a lesbian fandom. Though like Huffington Post Gay Voices (now Queer Voices) before it, the nome de plume is not as reflective of the LGBT community as, say, Queerkru would be. LGBT Fans Deserve Better’s mission states “Members and allies of the LGBT community are demanding that TV and media stop introducing queer characters only to consistently kill them in senseless and shocking ways.” Both sites reference that the show has “failed to reinforce the positive aspects of the minority it has CHOSEN to depict.”

ClarkeBiDotOrgQuoteThis statement reads like the show failed in all parts to reinforce positive aspects of the LGBT community. But it hasn’t. It has shown a consistent depiction of a well-rounded Bisexual lead. An entire character arc has been dedicated to learning to live with a disability. Besides Clarke, there are three other known queer characters currently on the show. There are many aspects to how the show considers, and at times does not consider, race. The 100 does have some well rounded non-white characters. But the show still has far to go regarding treatment of people of color. That the show did not do right by the white able-bodied cisgender lesbian character is clear, but certainly the show has failed the LGBT community in more than just that way. There are no trans and/or nonbinary characters. In the episode Bitter Harvest, a male couple (Bryan and Miller) chastely hug when saying goodbye. This is a stark contrast to the normally passionate interactions from this group teens whose quest for survival does not damper their allosexual lusts. This is reflective of both the sexualization of queer women and the rejection of the sexuality of queer men, both in service of the patriarchy. Up until the mere seconds between Clarke and Lexa’s long-awaited rendezvous and the bullet that hits Lexa at her very core, women were allowed to have sex without judgement. There is a large portion of the LGBT community—women who date other genders—who watched as an entire female character was introduced, underdeveloped, and then killed off purely to motivate a male character, Bellamy’s, decision to pledge allegiance to a new leader.

This single-issue, erasive presentation is reflected in the coverage of the movement. The analysis has been riddled with the very familiar but no less damaging tendency to use “gay and lesbian” or “gay” as a synonym for LGBT or queer. When reading reactions to the character death, the focus is often on Lexa, which is understandable since she is who we are mourning. But though the words “lesbian” and “queer” are littered throughout, these articles often reference Clarke in passing and rarely if ever say “Bisexual.” Bisexuality is becoming greater in the public consciousness, but use of the term Bisexual when talking about the queerness of a show or in reference to the character is still uncommon.

In the Buzzfeed post “How ‘The 100’ Sparked An LGBTQ Revolution” Lexa is not only noted as queer, but also as a female character that was a “a tough cookie, a talented fighter, and a brilliant leader” that no one “rebelled against…solely because of her gender.” The post then went on to say that “When Lexa died, audiences had no other shows or characters to turn to get their fix,” or “simply put, there is no character like Lexa on television right now.” Counterpoint: there is a character like Lexa on television right now. She is a queer woman who is tough. She has lead an entire community to victory in many battles. Her name is Clarke Griffin and she is the main character of the SAME SHOW. I’ve seen this sentiment repeated over and over, and not only is it bierasive but it also sends the message that Bisexuality is not queer enough. Though bi people are often left to identify with gay or lesbian characters when in search of queer representation, monosexuals will not do the same.”

Since season one, the show has been laying the groundwork for a romantic entanglement between Clarke and a male character on the show. An entire fandom is dedicated to this pairing. Since Lexa’s death, I have seen the same view repeated: “Clarke becoming involved with Bellamy would be so disappointing.” This sentiment is focused on the fact that Bellamy is a man. Saying that Clarke being with a man is a bad thing because he is a man—no matter the context—is biphobic.

Fans have created some beautiful ways for us to process our grief, including a whole new character. I hope to join in this groundbreaking jump ‘ship. But just as The Walking Dead franchise is no stranger to representation issues, please don’t disparage those who still harbor a cautious but continued love for The 100. And one last gentle reminder: the LGBT community is not a monolith. Consider us all when you refer to us or speak on our behalf. Because LGBT fans deserve better—we all do.

Update: Showrunner Jason Rothenberg has released a personal statement “The Life and Death of Lexa” in which he addresses concerns presented in response to the interview referenced in this post.

Note: In the original writing of this piece, I noted The 100 follows the “In the Future Humans Will Be One Race” trope. This trope, in both concept and very often in execution, can be harmful. I also stated in the same sentence “but people of color are not treated as interchangeable or disposable.” In a post written 11 months before this one, tumblr user Mahima reviews the many reasons this and similar statements are false. Mahima calls for The 100 to consider its treatment of people of color on the show, noting “representation does not correlate with a lack of racism.” This piece, about bierasure, is about erasure of our identities. It is meant to highlight the many layers of representation the show offers, both its successes and failures. It is imperative not to erase the experiences of people of color when speaking about The 100 and representation, including and especially LGBT representation. Why were the main mountain men, those whose names we knew, the privileged few on the hill, mostly white? The character of Wells was written off the show in season one, leading to the character’s death. But the first death of a named character didn’t need to be a young black man. Furthermore, he didn’t need to die at the hands of a white child because she was told to kill her demons. Is Monty asexual representation? If so, why hasn’t the show been talking about this as a part of their LGBT representation? If this is true, why did they choose an Asian male for this representation? These and more are among the conversations and concerns around race and representation on The 100.

SB Swartz
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SB Swartz is an author covering inclusive wellness, lgbt family, and reflections of our world as seen on tv. She’s a proud member of the #StillBisexual campaign, working to dispel the myth that bisexuals don't stay bisexual. Her home is filled with Battlestar Galactica posters, her husband, and their troublemaking cats. She adores them all.

Follow SB Swartz on Twitter @cosmostep and check out her workshop at sbswartz.tumblr.com.




  • Alice

    Thank you so much for this. Finally someone is seeing the true side of what is happening.

  • Austin loves Lexa

    As a bisexual agender, I agree with some of this article but not entirely. The thing I do not agree with is the fact that you’re saying the reason we don’t want Clarke with Bellamy is because we are biphobic. That is incorrect; the reason we don’t want her with Bellamy is because the relationship would be one based on abuse. Bellamy emotionally abused Clarke in 3×05 and you can not convince me otherwise due to the fact that I have personally experienced emotional abuse similar to this. Then he proceeded to handcuff Clarke and hold her against her will all because it’s what Bellamy believed was right. Since day one on the ground, Bellamy has degraded Clarke just based on her status on The Ark. Had Finn and Wells not been there, Bellamy would’ve let Clarke fall into the pit while attempting to save Jasper. Emotional abuse is just as severe as physical abuse.

    I liked Finn and Clarke’s relationship in season 1 and I wouldn’t mind Clarke ending up with a man but it’s that fact of her being in a relationship with someone who treats her with the same respect that Lexa had. I would prefer Clarke to end up with a woman due to the fact that there are so few f/f canon relationships that do get a happy ending.

    You may not agree but I’m only saying from my experiences and personal opinions based on what I’ve seen and collected from other viewers of the show. Again, I agree that bierasure is a thing and I would love to see more bisexual characters on television but for now, we work with what we have and hope that Jason doesn’t decide to kill off Clarke too.

  • gallifreyankhaleesi

    I’m a bi woman and I think it’s unfair to hate on the lgbt fans deserve better movement. I have not once felt erased or mistreated. I don’t see why as a bi woman, I shouldn’t care about a lesbian character being killed or a ff ship ending. There are mf ships everywhere, the media doesn’t need another one. Ff ships on the other hand are rare. Clarke is representation. We all know that. Clarke being in a relationship with a man would not be representation. She would be rep but the relationship wouldn’t be. Clexa was an lgbt ship. Clarke/any guy wouldn’t be. IMO there’s nothing wrong with wanting an endgame ff ship. It isn’t biphobic to want a bi character to end up with a woman for once since it rarely happens. Also, the movement is bigger than lexa. We’re fighting for better lgbt rep in general and if you have a problem with that then I don’t know what to say.

  • Lex

    Thank you for this article. “it also sends the message that Bisexuality is not queer enough” – this sums up my entire experience in the 100 fandom since Lexa’s death. Bisexual representation doesn’t seem to be taken as seriously, nor as necessary, even though as you pointed out, there are fewer bisexual characters on television than there are gay/lesbian characters. Bisexuality doesn’t seem to be given the same importance by supposed allies, either. Clarke’s importance is almost NEVER discussed in these articles that brand themselves as fighting for LGBT. And whenever I voiced my concern over this, I’ve been completely shut down.

  • Gaby

    Lexa kidnap Clarke and also hold her against her will, but you didn’t complain about that. Lexa also abused Clarke emotionally by betraying her and forcing her into killing more than 500 people. But again no one complain about that.

    It’s funny that Bellamy is the only one that get call for doing almost the same thing that Lexa died.

  • Gaby

    As a bi woc agreed with all of this.

  • Lex

    “Clarke being in a relationship with a man would not be representation.” But it would be. For starters, how many well-written bisexual female characters do you know? Ones who aren’t stereotyped, ones whose sexuality is treated with respect, and who is given proper attention? They’re INCREDIBLY rare. I can only count two on television right now–Callie Torres and Clarke Griffin. And from past shows, I’m drawing a blank. I’m currently watching House, where Thirteen is outspokenly bi, but her sexual orientation is usually only brought up to be stereotyped or mocked. Perhaps I’ve just missed out on a lot of great bi characters, but I HAVE watched a ton of TV and so far, Callie and Clarke are the only two I consider to be good representation. Callie will very likely end up with a woman; Clarke… no idea.

    “She would be rep but the relationship wouldn’t be.” This is one of my major issues as a bi woman. I know a lot of bisexual people have been told they couldn’t bring their opposite sex partners to Pride events (hasn’t happened to me, thankfully, but I know it’s pervasive enough). We’re often seen as untrustworthy if we’ve dated the opposite sex. We’re often seen as “just faking it” if we’re with the opposite sex, or if we end up married to the opposite sex we’re often questioned as thought none of it was even real (see Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood after marrying men). Bisexual people are often very excluded from the LGBT community itself because of all of this, it’s a known problem. Not only are we discriminated against from general society, but we’re discriminated against by the our own community.

    So to say that Clarke dating a man wouldn’t be representation is extremely hurtful to me as a bi woman. Because this is a huge problem for me with the LGBT community. Those comments make me feel excluded, they make me feel like a large part of my identity “isn’t queer enough” like the article said. Yes, F/F is much rarer than M/F, there’s no doubt about it. But that’s just one perspective; f/f (or m/m) vs m/f. But from a bisexual p.o.v., I honestly can’t recall a single well-written bisexual female character who has dated both men and women, where both were treated equally, and where she has ended up with a man. There’s a HUGE gaping hole for all bisexual representation, including this. Part of bisexual representation is the need to be taken seriously no matter WHO you date or end up with, and this narrative of “she has to end up with a woman for it to mean something” completely takes away from that.

  • cor leonis

    As a bisexual woman, who actually was part of creating the LGBT Fans Deserve Better movement, and website, I have to say that you are completely missing the point. You are making this about bi-erasure (which is a very real and serious issue, that i personally deal with every day too) but it very much isn’t. Lexa’s death, but more than that, the circumstances leading up to and following her death both on the show and behind the screens have been very problematic and an “attack” at all of us in the LGBT community, not just lesbians (btw, the name leskru comes from a specific message board, and it is not queerkru or whatever, because it has been a chosen name for that group of fans for months before Lexa’s death so again, do not make this into a question that it isn’t).
    Lexa dying, the whole baiting leading up to it, the whole handling of the entire thing has been incredibly shitty, and while yes, Clarke is an amazing character, and an amazing representation for bisexual people, and yes, there are other MINOR queer characters on the show (Niylah was literally beat up right after sleeping with Clarke, BECAUSE of her too, but let’s not get into that) you can’t just list all the shitty and problematic things the show has done and then say ‘oh but it’s worth it because the main character is a bi woman’ (who btw will most likely end up with the main dude like in Every. Single. TV. Show. Ever. but never mind) Clarke is amazing, and we are thankful for the writers to have created her, and the clexa relationship, but just because you are thankful to your parents for raising you, it doesn’t mean you have to take all their shit and never criticize them, if they do stuff that hurts you.
    This, this whole uproar, movement, and everything is not about bi erasure. It’s about making people, who treat us, all of us in the LGBT community, like shit, realize what they are doing. Yes, Clarke Griffin is still awesome. But they still pimped out the relationship for a year, only to have them have 70 seconds of happiness before Lexa was killed. They still did all those shitty things and yes, in my opinion at least, you shouldn’t support the show anymore, if you want to fight for us as a community.

    And again, I am saying that as a bisexual woman myself, saying that Clarke getting it on with Bellamy, is not biphobic. Yes, of course Clarke would be a bisexual if she ended up with a man, but I am sorry, yet another bisexual character, who ends up with a dude (which we always do on tv, except Bo) is not the same representation that clexa ending up together would have been. Clexa, one bisexual and one lesbian woman together, in an epic love story would have been incredibly special, and main chick getting it on with main dude, even if she was with women before, is still cliche. There are real life bisexuals having their identities erased, because they are dating men (or women, that happens just the same), but I don’t think we have to argue long, that bisexual women who have a short relationship with women, and then end up with a man are a lot more common on tv, than the other way around. Clarke would be a bisexual, of course, but the story would be disappointing, from story reasons too, and representation reasons as well.

  • Lex

    “(who btw will most likely end up with the main dude like in Every. Single. TV. Show. Ever. but never mind)” Where? How is that “every single tv show ever”? Can you name me even 5 bisexual characters that are as complex and non-stereotyped as Clarke? Where are all these bisexual ladies y’all talk about who all end up with men on every tv show? I’ve never found them.

  • Amber

    If I’m being honest, the last 10-15 years of so I’ve seen more and more bi women have another female as their primary love interest than having a male as their primary love interest.

    Some examples at the top of my head are; Grey’s Anatomy, LoK, Buffy (even if it did end with the horrific trope, Willow would continue to have female love interests), Glee, Lost Girl, Faking It and OITNB. I’m struggling to buy this whole “all TV bisexuals are with men!!!” argument because a lot of bi rep (note that most of these shows listed are still on air) are shown to have another woman as their main LI (which isn’t a bad thing at all obviously). The problem with f/f rep relationships on TV is killing them off in overused and dehumanizing tropes. The problem with f/f rep on TV is NOT having a canonically bisexual character showing interest in someone of a different gender. Saying there is something wrong with a bisexual character expressing interest in someone of a different gender or God forbid that it’s “bad representation” for bisexuals IS biphobic. No way around it.

    As for the point of Bellamy and Clarke being cliche, in order to make that argument not only are you erasing Clarke’s sexuality but also Bellamy’s race. Bellamy is the first Filipino lead in CW history, Clarke is the first bisexual lead in CW history. The idea of two characters who literally broke records for representation in the CW somehow being a “cliche” is very confusing. Unless you can direct me to five other TV couples that have a working class Filipino man as a romantic lead and the bisexual female as the lead of the whole show, the “they’re a cliche!!” argument doesn’t stick.

  • Amber

    “That is incorrect; the reason we don’t want her with Bellamy is because the relationship would be one based on abuse. Bellamy emotionally abused Clarke in 3×05 and you can not convince me otherwise due to the fact that I have personally experienced emotional abuse similar to this.”

    In 3×05 he got mad at her for leaving his sister to be killed, for abandoning their people and for continuing to trust Lexa. Keep in mind, Octavia has gotten mad at Clarke for each and every one of these things and no one once referred to Octavia as abusive. If Bellamy is abusive for being upset about that, then so is Octavia and Raven and Abby and Lexa, so is every character who has ever questioned one of Clarke’s decisions (and in a morally ambiguous show you’re going to question people’s decisions).

    “Then he proceeded to handcuff Clarke and hold her against her will all because it’s what Bellamy believed was right.”

    Lexa… literally did the exact same thing only she succeeded and held Clarke against her will for a full week. She was doing what she thought she had to, to protect Clarke. Same as Bellamy. Neither respected her free will and both were wrong for that.

    “Since day one on the ground, Bellamy has degraded Clarke just based on her status on The Ark.”

    He can’t really degrade her for being privileged. In order to degrade someone they have to be below you, BELLAMY was below Clarke in the system of politics on the ark, hence his resentment. Clarke (and Wells) ate better, clothed better and were treated better by the Ark simply because of who they were. It’s called classism. Someone who is from a lower class can’t “degrade” someone from a higher class. That’s like degrading someone for being white or degrading someone for being straight – it’s simply impossible. Bellamy’s previous (justified) resentment toward the ark in season 1 is not proof of him being “abusive” toward Clarke. Again, Octavia also held resentment toward Clarke for her status on the Ark (many characters did – and they were justified) and not once was the word abuse uttered.

    ” Had Finn and Wells not been there, Bellamy would’ve let Clarke fall into the pit while attempting to save Jasper.”

    He hesitated saving her life once when he had known her for 2 days maybe?? Lexa had spent the entire first season sending people to murder Clarke and all her friends and also gave Indra an order in 207 to slaughter Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia and Abby (was only stopped when they saw Lincoln survived). Was that abusive? No. In the first instance she didn’t even know Clarke and in the second instance she had known Clarke for one day and they were not yet allies. Equally, Bellamy and Clarke barely knew each other and were not allies when he hesitated saving her life (which.. he still did and the writers confirmed on their Tumblr that he wouldn’t have been able to drop her hence the reason he didn’t let go).

    “I liked Finn and Clarke’s relationship in season 1 and I wouldn’t mind Clarke ending up with a man but it’s that fact of her being in a relationship with someone who treats her with the same respect that Lexa had.”

    Finn lied to Clarke about having a girlfriend and slept with her without mentioning that he was still in a relationship with someone from the Ark. That’s not really treating her with respect.

    There are no 100% healthy relationships on this show because it’s a post apocalyptic show where people are fighting to survive from a day to day basis but some of these examples are not really fair at all (particularly the one that says he was wrong for having resentment over the class gap on the Ark – Bellamy, Octavia and the other characters were completely justified for their anger).

    If we play that game then we could easily make an argument that clexa is abusive (and some have) because Lexa tried to kill Clarke and her friends all throughout season 1 and tried to have Clarke/Abby/Bellamy/Octavia slaughtered in 207 and ordered the death of Clarke’s first love and told Clarke repeatedly that she is weak and tortured one of Clarke’s friends and tried to kill another one of Clarke’s friends behind her back and traded Clarke and everyone Clarke has ever known and loved to be tortured and murdered which ended up prompting Clarke (and Bellamy and Monty) to commit a genocide which resulted in Clarke hating herself and not being able to face her own people to only then be kidnapped by Lexa and held against her will for an entire week in Polis. Or that it’s abusive because Clarke spat in Lexa’s face and told her she would kill her and then actually tried to kill her and told Lexa to kill herself and has manipulated Lexa on multiple occasions. But in order for me (or anyone) to make that argument I have to erase the context, and the context is that it’s a post-apocalyptic arena where you have to do horrific things just to stay alive, even if it means betrayal or kidnapping or murder etc.

    Truth of the matter is, if you want to compare Bellamy and Lexa on who has personally hurt Clarke more – Lexa technically wins. (Nothing will ever hurt Clarke as much as eradicating Mount Weather did – and Lexa had a huge part in that). But that doesn’t make Lexa “bad” for Clarke, it just means that the context of the situations that Lexa and Clarke were in meant that both did things to each other to ensure survival of themselves and their own people.

    Lincoln and Octavia aren’t healthy either (he kidnapped her, she hit him in season 2 to “teach him a lesson”), neither are Kane/Abby (he ordered her public torture in season 2), or Clarke/Finn, Clarke/Bellamy and Clarke/Lexa. All of them have done bad things to each other, that’s kind of the point of the show. Happy endings aren’t common.

  • Amber

    I agree with some aspects of this article but not others. One in particular was the comment about how PoC aren’t disposable on the show. As someone who is a person of color I can assure you 100% the mistreatment of PoC on this show is some of the worst I’ve seen. I do agree with a lot of the other points you made though in regards to the bi erasure in the 100 fandom right now. I can only hope this doesn’t impact the way the writers write Clarke and her love life moving forward.

  • Unhappy

    Hello. As someone that def isn’t straight, I think OP you should just watch the show and not feel bothered by what anyone says. Are you a traitor, no. Should you watch beyond Lexa’s death, of course you should if you want to. Why would anyone need to be allowed by any fan to watch or stop watching the show. It is individual choice, so take yours OP, as and when you please and don’t feel any guilt. I loved Lexa, still do, and no other character, not even Clarke, will replace her for me. I thinks it’s great that Clarke is bi and the face of the show, but she’s not Lexa, so I can’t just substitue her just because some fans want us Lexa fans to shut up and just find a new emotional replacement (like it’s that easy). If Clarke and Bellamy get together, great. That relationship would hve zilch to do with Lexa or her memory, so I don’t care if the writers put Clarke and Bellamy together because that would be something completely separate. What Clexa had was theirs, what Bellarke will have is theirs. Do I care the writers might write Bellarke as more important and powerful than Clexa, well, no, because I would expect this anyway as hetero relationships generally, with the exception of some rare same-sex relationships, tend to be more powerful with the m/f pairing. Society is built on m/f pairings after all, so tv will naturally put in the effort for their biggest target audience. Also in the case of Bellarke, they’d have more time to be built up and stretched out given Clarke and Bellamy are not going to be killed off anytime soon (that would kill the show for good if either lead was dropped).

  • SB Swartz

    Thank you for your response! I’m submitting a correction re: treatment of PoC.

  • Lex

    Exactly. I haven’t watched most of the shows you listed but Piper Chapman is a good example, I’d forgotten about that show. Every time someone says “the bisexual female character ALWAYS ends up with a man”, for starters, they misleadingly make it sound like there’s tons of examples of bi characters, which is untrue, so we’re already talking about a very small set of examples. There are fewer bi characters (especially male) than gay/lesbian characters by quite a bit, and we all know how few queer characters there are to begin with. But the other problem is that when I ask for examples of all these bi characters who ended up with the opposite sex, they usually refer, vaguely, to “bi” female characters who had some type of relationship/fling/sexual encounter with a woman that got brushed under the rug as “a phase”. Canonically erasing a character’s bisexuality is not bisexual representation, it’s erasure, and promotes a harmful stereotype. Why am I being asked to accept this as representation?

    Characters like Clarke, Callie Torres, and Piper Chapman are incredibly rare. They’re complex, they’re not reduced to their sexual orientation, they’re main characters, and they don’t succumb to harmful stereotypes (from what I remember of OITNB). Piper and Callie will both very likely end up with women. That’s awesome. Clarke ending up with a man would be awesome, too.

    “The idea of two characters who literally broke records for representation in the CW somehow being a “cliche” is very confusing.” EXACTLY.

  • Jala Poppyseed

    As I bisexual woman who is part of the lgbt fans deserve better movement: You are wrong. So wrong.

    Clarke is bad bisexual representation because of Lexa’s death. She had to watch her female lover die, knowing it was her fault. Lexa was killed directly because of her love. It is damaging to send that sort of message to bisexual youth, that they are jinxes and that loving people of the same gender will get those people killed.

    Also, please stop acting like lesbian and bisexual representation are interchangeable. They’re not. They are both tremendously important, but BOTH are needed. And there needs to bisexual characters who are allowed to be in long term relationships (with people of various genders) without their sexualities being erased. And in addition to characters, there also needs to be same gender relationships portrayed on television.

  • Everything’s Ungodly

    It’s deeper than this. Misogyny,

    I like this but I am sadly the ambiguously obnoxious male bisexual from the 1990s and bi men need to confront and be able to embrace and explore the same concept but in the opposite sense because it’s the same thing with us, that men decided that we or out love for women wasn’t real. The curse for us is that any break from the rainbow shackles is shunned as homophobia and on our end, we have to really confront and not back down or allow gay men in any way to divert us from how we get a lot from them. And It seems homophobic but from every fiber of their beings in my experience to this day, gay men as subtley as they can keep alive the social norms that they harmed us with in the past. Socially, AIDS was our fault when the 1st closet case infected his wife. So it’s a different thing.

    I have been the lone bisexual man in many bi women/lesbian Xena fangroups (in high school, the gay community had a specific group that I was the only guy allowed there because my mom was a separatist lesbian and I know and understand lesbian politics. And sadly most of the coming out bi men will initially jump on the “you have it better than us” train and really, at least we get valid love even if it is in the more negative and angry of the two of us. Bi women and lesbians both to even some of the most open minded straight, many bi and especially gay men are not in love to the level of importance to what it means to them in the world to be in love.

    Gay men are misogynist to the core in their “girlfriend” advice and with every bi woman that has dated me, I think they keep one or two max and they are not the “gay BFF type”. Every one angrily and tearfully said to an extent that they are delusional and stopping men from coming out as completely gay and it’s not fair. It’s misogynistic and present in the culture today. Especially with gay men. Who also love to twist us up on the homophobia side of things on every level, The percentages and anytime an article about a curious dude or a dream, the “he’s at least bi” thing or the “he’ll never fullly be able to be faithful to a woman”. remarks came out.

    And I recently stopped that as a friend and got the “I’m her gay bfff barked at me”, And I said, I am bisexual and I know what you are doing and it’s not her, it’s you. “She’s happy and so isn’t he. I don’t know him but you need to grow up”. And he started in with me and I said back, Not only am I bi, every guy and girl I have been with is too. He called me a homophobe and I said that he is and basically thinks we are lowlives too. He started picking stuff up to throw and stuff and I said, I am not going there. And I asked her, “he’s been with or crushed on men he called straight, right?”. He stormed off and was curious as to how I’d know that. I said, they twist it up with homophobia by associating their feminine actions with male homosexuality. He’s a gay homophobe. They’re everywhere. It’s sad.