My love letter to ClexaCon
Full Circle: How One Weekend in Vegas tied together 16 years of coming to terms with my sexuality.
I’m 30 years old. Well, 30 years 9 months and 5 days. I’m also a lesbian. It took a large portion of those 30 years for me to be comfortable with my sexuality, but at some point I was. Sixteen years ago I was being taught that homosexuality was a sin and choice and I was sitting in church pews begging God to fix me. I would have given anything to have been able to choose to be straight. Now? Lonely and single in rural Texas, what would I choose if I could?
I was 14 the first time I remember knowing that I liked girls, liked them in the way I was told would condemn me to hell. I was also 14 the first time I remember seeing a lesbian character on TV. The character was Bianca Montgomery on All My Children, iconically portrayed by Eden Riegel (@edenriegel). That was my life line. For years, I looked forward to nothing more than watching Bianca’s story, especially her relationship with Maggie (@Theehendrickson). It was the only evidence in my life that my feelings might not be something that needed to be cured, that gay people were no less deserving of love.
In my early 20s I heard about a show called South Of Nowhere, at the center of the high school drama was a love triangle between “the pretty new blonde” (@GabyChristian), “the edgy rebel girl” (@Mandy_Musgrave), and the hunky boy next door. At the time I didn’t recognize this as the first time I had really seen bisexuality portrayed, honestly I heard that two pretty girls kissed and was sold. I bought the seasons and binged them as they came out on dvd.
Also in my early 20s I enjoyed the glorious age of YouTube. I would never want for two pretty girls kissing again! I was even finding a community and entertainment specifically for queer women. This period in my life is nostalgically represented by a web series called Brunch With Bridget (@bridgetmcmanus). Here, in Bridget’s bed, is where things start to connect. I’m fairly certain I found the show because of a Bianca and Maggie episode, (between thinking about that episode and the “Spashley” one, I’m laughing so hard right now). Holy fuck, thank you Bridget (how many times have I thanked you in the last week?).
Positive representation never stops being important, neither does pretty girls kissing. Enter Lost Girl. Of course it would take Canada to finally give adult me something to fill the Buffy sized hole in my heart. This show was my introduction into true “shipping” (please don’t do the math to figure out how old I was at this point). My commitment to Lost Girl was what I imagine demonic possession to be like (in a good way). Seriously, I was an accomplished Marine, in charge of peoples lives, government resources, National Security…and I didn’t sleep for like a week because of a fucking EOnline Couples Poll. My fanatic commitment to Lost Girl is owed primarily to two women, Emily “Writer of Scripts, Slayer of Tropes, Mother of Unicorns, and way better than Joss Whedon’s pinky” Andras (@emtothea) and Zoie “Hair Porn, arm porn, humor…porn?” Palmer (@ZoiePalmer). I would have lost sleep for as long as it took on that damn poll because I wanted so badly to thank them, to give them something back, and if showing them the loyalty they had earned from their fans by clicking and refreshing x infinity was how to do it, I would risk never using my index finger again…errrr…maybe not that.
That loyalty to real life hero, Emily Andras, was rewarded last year with a new show, led by a female badass and made whole by the relationship between the feistiest, most midriff showing, adorable little baby gay there ever was, Waverly Earp,(@DominiqueP_C) and the appropriately named Officer Nicole “Dimples” Haught (@KatBarrell). Wynonna Earp (CREATED BY EMILY ANDRAS!) is everything my gay, snarky, feminist heart could want.
Ok, so if anyone made it through my entire gay life story, here’s the point. Last Saturday night I attended an event hosted by ClexaCon with proceeds going to The Tegan and Sara Foundation (@teganandsarafdn), which fights for the rights of LGBTQ girls and women. The name of the event was Cocktails for Change, and while sipping a few Wayhaught Whiskey Sours, I had the chance to speak to EVERY SINGLE incredible woman I mentioned in this long winded account of 16 gay years. From my very first tv crush, the lovely, kind Eden Riegel; to my newest, the captivating, (over 25), will wait in line for her own damn drink, Dominique. “Maggie” aka Liz gave me life advice, The “ pretty new blonde” aka Gaby and “edgy rebel” aka Mandy from SoN became my new best friends, I thanked Bridget for something she did for me over 7 years ago that I never forgot, I stood entranced while “Officer Haught” aka Kat made everyone around her feel special. And I spent most of the weekend feeling an odd sense of pride listening to countless fans echo my own feelings about why the ever humble Emily Andras is such a gift to us. Thanks to every single woman I talked about here, and so many I didn’t, I can say, with 100% certainty, that this is what I would choose. This thing that made me feel so alone when I was younger is now the thing that makes me feel part of this amazing community and I would never give it up.