(Photo by perky-psycho.tumblr.com)
Since the third season of The 100 has come to an end, I would like to acknowledge the many positive achievements of the Clexa fandom. As season three progressed and arguably became more problematic and controversial, the Clexa fandom took it upon themselves to speak out against the media’s misrepresentation and underrepresentation of the LGBT community and other diverse groups. They used their anger and sadness to make a difference and to make their voices be heard. In a very short time, they started the strongest fan-driven movement I have ever seen.
Their outcry was sparked in early March when The 100’s fan-favorite character, Lexa, a strong, complex lesbian character, was killed by a stray bullet, thereby fulfilling the harmful, overused “bury your gays” and “dead-lesbian” tropes. The 100, a show that claimed to be different and reassured fans that they were progressive, not only baited them and begged for their trust, but also betrayed and hurt them.
It was so hard to log onto tumblr immediately after Lexa’s death to see such a lack of enthusiasm which was rarely seen following an episode of The 100. A site that was always filled with excited fans, who collectively shared their love of the show, their well-developed theories, their humor, and their analyses of their favorite characters, was replaced by sad, defeated fans. A place of comfort became a place of pain.
Thankfully, a few days later, the Clexa fandom set out to make a difference by bringing attention to the harmful tropes in the media.
Firstly, one of their largest and most inspiring accomplishments was their donations made to The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to the suicide prevention of young members of the LGBTQ community. As of today, almost three months since their donations started, the fans raised $132,117, surpassing their goal of $130,700. The money raised is a direct result of the fans themselves and should not be mistaken as contributions made by or on behalf of the show itself.
In addition, most fans also stopped watching and supporting The 100 and quickly took their fight to twitter, trending meaningful topics worldwide every Thursday while an episode of The 100 aired. These trends, including “LGBT fans deserve better” and “Minorities are not disposable”, not only addressing the limited representations of the LGBT community but also the unequal, poor treatment of diverse groups in general. Their determination was unstoppable, also resulting in the beloved Clexa ship winning both the Zimbio and E!online TV couple polls, beating out countless other popular TV couples. Their powerful movement, accomplishments, and call for a change in the way diversity is portrayed in the media quickly caught the attention of various news and media outlets worldwide.
Recently, the “LGBT Viewers Deserve Better” movement increased their visibility by buying billboards in Los Angeles that display messages about unequal representations in the media.
In March 2017, an amazing convention called “ClexaCon” will be held in Las Vegas to celebrate the beautiful characters that make up the inspiring Clexa ship, the actresses that brought it to life, and the fans themselves, recognizing their passion and accomplishments. Not only is that incredibly exciting, but it is also impressive and amazing that their passion and influence have grown and spread so much.
I have been a part of numerous fandoms in the past few years, but none of them are as passionate, determined, and inspirational as the Clexa fans. Whenever I read about another one of their accomplishments, I’m even more in awe. They have sparked a powerful conversation and have educated so many people, including myself, about harmful tropes and the mistreatment of the LGBT community, bringing attention to an overlooked issue in the media. They turned their pain and sadness into positivity.
So, thank you to the Clexa fandom and everyone who helped their cause. They have been noticed and I’m constantly impressed and proud of what they have accomplished. I’m honored to be a part of the fandom.
Their movement is inspiring, strong, resilient, and powerful.
They showed us just how important and motivated fans can be. They continue to be heard and they are still making a difference.
Their fight is not over.