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Is Your Queer Female Character Good Representation?

Courtesy of Netflix

Even though it’s been many years since gay ladies started showing up in media, some creators still aren’t sure how to properly represent us.

From killing lesbians to greedy bisexuals, it seems few know how to accurately represent queer women. However, there’s a few simple ways to make sure a character is good representation.

Does she die?

While this is debatable as good rep, it probably best to stay away from burying your gays, considering gay women count for a disproportionate number of TV deaths.

If she’s bi, does she cheat on her partner?

Both bisexual men and women have long been portrayed as cheaters, for the sole reason that they are attracted to more than one gender. They aren’t more promiscuous because of their sexuality.

If she’s a lesbian, does she sleep with a man?

Also known as a lesbian with an exception, this one can be especially harmful because it invalidates being lesbian. One example would be Neika Hobbs: the lesbian professor who’s “gay except when she’s with Troy.” It furthers the belief lesbianism can be “fixed” with the right man.

Is she written in simply for a plot twist?

If the character only serves the purpose of being a plot twist, chances are she’s not going to be well-portrayed. Include queer women because their stories matter, not because you’d think they would be cool plot devices.

As a lesbian TV viewer, it’s difficult to find characters who truly represent me. And when I do, these characters are killed off. I understand that part of representation is having negative portrayals too, but I’m sick and tired of the same tropes.

Is it so bad to ask for good rep when the majority of my representation is problematic?

What do you think?

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