Summary of “Fan perspectives of queer representation in DC's Legends of Tomorrow on Tumblr and AO3” by Rachel Marks.

How do fans engage with the source material when there’s already canonical queer representation?

Rachel Marks looks at the fandoms for the DC Comics TV shows (like Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), which have been including queer characters since 2014 when the characters Sara Lance and Nyssa al Ghul shared a kiss in Arrow. Read the whole article for free, which is in the newest issue of the open access journal, Transformative Works and Cultures: “Fan perspectives of queer representation in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on Tumblr and AO3.”

Marks finds:

– Fans generally appreciate and care about queer representation in Legends, but they often overlook representation of people of color. For instance, pairings with characters of color get less attention.

– Canon queer pairings get the most attention, but noncanonical pairings are still common.

“In sum, Legends fans show their appreciation for canon queer representation in television by frequently featuring canonically queer characters in their posts, highlighting the positive qualities of those characters and their relationships. Fans appreciate seeing multiple LGBT characters represented on television and get enjoyment out of seeing same-sex couples being couples on screen. However, this is not all they focus on when blogging or writing fic about their favorite characters or ships. Fans want to enjoy viewing canonically queer couples and queer characters on television, but they also want to enjoy alternative interpretations in which noncanonical ships are read for their subtextual elements. Fans simultaneously enjoy watching and creating content about a show that has canonical queer representation, while continuing the queer fan tradition of forming their own interpretations of queer characters and relationships.”

– Rachel Marks
“Fan perspectives of queer representation in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on Tumblr and AO3,” by Rachel Marks
Tagged on: