We close out Pride Week at Eleventh Stack with a guest post from Tobin, of Shelving and Stack Services here at Main. You can read more about her–and the rest of the writing team–here.
Seeing the title Lost Girl for a television program might invoke images of pixies, pirates, and adolescents escaping the inevitabilities of adulthood boredom, but you would be incorrect. If you are anything like me, after discovering what this show is all about you might breathe a sigh and say, “Finally, my people [on the small screen]”. I do not mean faeries, monsters, or pleather-clad mischief makers; I am referring to bisexual folks (characters), and those portrayed in a more favorable, if not downright complex, light to boot. There is much to love about this show, but it is not perfect either.
Lost Girl, for the uninitiated, is an urban fantasy series about a defiant succubus, Bo, (whose sexual identity is literally bound to the survival of her being) as she tries to make heads and tails of herself, the world of the Fae, and where she belongs within it. It is similar to a toned down version of True Blood, but with deliciously cheesy banter, more non-monogamy, and baddies that could give Buffy a run for her stakes. Our bi and rather amorous protagonist, Bo, comes into this world of mythic proportions merely by chance, but it leads her on a path of self-discovery that carries the plot from season to season like life experiences carry any one of us from year to year.
Given the plethora of rather negative portrayals of bisexuals in media, and animosity or rejection from our own communities, Lost Girl is a much welcomed form of queer representation, even for prime time entertainment. Bo is a multi-dimensional character who has genuine feelings toward those close to her, some more so than others, but she also makes mistakes or does not have the words to properly express her feelings at a time of interpersonal conflict. Who has not been through similar situations at least a few times? The relationships formed within the show certainly traverse a spectrum of “traditional” to “who-knew-that-was-even-possible?!”, but the bottom line always comes down to respecting the choices of your friends, even if you do not like them.
With that said, we can hope for better than Lost Girl. I maintain it is one of the most sex positive shows on air, and certainly one many of us bi folks can sink our teeth into, but it does have its pitfalls. Sexual clichés of bisexual women are not common, but certainly rear their eye-roll-inducing heads from time to time. There is also the issue of the season three opener in which the episode played out with the “deceptive transsexual” theme. Arguments can be made for that, but the bottom line is it was very unnecessary and downright offensive.
Steps can be taken to create more authentic portrayals of queer and minority characters in the media, and Lost Girl is a step in the right direction for bisexual characters, but we have a long way to go. Seeing more LGBTQ people behinds the scenes and taking the reins of production, outside of LGBTQ specific networks, is inevitable. I, for one, look forward to the type of programming viewers might be able to enjoy when that happens. Showing support, or voicing criticisms, is another valuable step to changing the face of entertainment and equality. It also never hurts to write your own stories and put them out into the world for others to experience, even identify with quite strongly.
In the spirit of LGBTQ Pride Month, our stories are relevant to the whole of humanity, and within the world of Lost Girl each character contributes to the diversity of the fantasy world in which it takes place. Be authentic, love fully, and kick a little butt when times get tough.
Happy LGBTQ Pride, everyone!
This concludes our first-ever themed post week! Have a suggestion for a future series of themed posts? E-mail us at eleventhstack at carnegielibrary dot org.