After this canonical expression of Lexa’s homosexuality, fans began to ask Rothenberg to confirm Lexa’s sexual orientation, even though such labels are not permitted in canon. Why were fans so insistent on a label? With so little representation in the media, queer women constantly search for any possible representation, and they engage in subtextual femslash to make up for this lack of canon representation. Thus, when asked by a fan whether Lexa was a lesbian, Rothenberg tweeted, “That’s what we’d call her in the real world. In #the100 we just call her HEDA [Commander]” (Twitter, @JRothenbergTV, July 28, 2015).
This example illustrates the struggle between the dystopian world of The 100, the utopian ideals set by the producers, and the struggle for positive queer representation sought by fans of the show. The 100′s utopian premise falls short when fans and producers on social media sites cannot avoid the imperative to put labels on supposedly labelless characters.Serafini, Victoria. 2017. “Bisexual Erasure in Queer Sci-Fi ‘Utopias.'” In “Queer Female Fandom,” edited by Julie Levin Russo and Eve Ng, special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 24. http://dx.doi.org/10.3983/twc.2017.1001.
Bisexual erasure in queer sci-fi “utopias”