Hey Folks. Let’s talk about story for a minute. There is a TV show that has a strong fandom – not gonna name names. But, basically, their finale was bad storytelling. Promises to the viewer unfilled and such. Out of Character moments. Whatever. I’ll write about that some time when I want to talk about those craft issues.
It had a worse problem, in my eyes. The show did harm. An LGBTQI character finally stepped into their truth, declared their love, and was promptly killed. A deaf character who was a bad ass was blinked out of existence; name not spoken again. A traumatized suicidal character who expected to die young – well, he figured out he could learn to live and maybe love himself – well, he promptly died. In exactly the way he predicted.
That, friends, is terrible representation. Harmful representation. After years of questionable to harmful representation.
(Don’t tell me they didn’t mean in because if there is one thing I know – Harm outweighs intent. We deal with harm in this house).
We are storytellers. Representation matters. It matters so much. Bad representation harms. Like, harms real people. Real readers. Real viewers.
So, now, my point. The young fans of this show – who are hurting – and sharing that hurt all over the Twitter and probably other social media that I’m too old to know about – and grieving. This is what bad representation does. It hurts real people. Kids. Young people. They are in pain. They are asking questions. Wanting answers. Sharing their pain.
BUT – Do you know what those young people have done? They have started fundraisers for The Trevor Project, NAMI, Together We Rise for kids in Foster Care, and now are urging people to give to the National Association of the Deaf (they can’t make a fundraiser there) – these are in honor of the characters in the show they felt were misrepresented and because they want to turn sorrow into action.
They have now raised over $45K in about 48 hours for these organizations.
They have provided a space for thousands of people, hurting, like them to share their experience, strength and hope. They are testifying truth – sharing from the heart about why they are moved to take action so others are not hurt like they have been.
I just want to share my awe and I want you to see these heroes. They shouldn’t have to do this – their elders should be better. But they are doing it. Read some of their shares. Honor their testimony. Throw some financial support if you can.
Representation matters because people matter.
National Association of the Deaf (no specific fundraiser, but it is in honor of the character Eileen)
National Alliance on Mental Illness – Dean Winchester is Love
The Trevor Project – The Castiel Project
Together We Rise – The Sam Winchester Project
For Random Acts – The Jack Kline Project