Tina Kakadelis
YA Author

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Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

@ Supergirl: We Were All Rooting for You

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So some of the Supergirl cast has decided to continue to wreak havoc on my life and it's like I'm living the damn Wall Street bull thing all over again. I don't want to talk about this. I truly don't, but they keep doing dumb shit. So here we are. We'll start first with the apology from the guy who was wildly yelling in the video. There were two apologies that came an hour apart from each other. The first one kind of feels like he's trying to make himself out to be the victim. The second one is better, but he still wrote the first one and saw no problem with how he presented himself.

First of all, BRO! You don't get to pull the victim card when you were the instigator. Second of all, here's a wild concept: maybe straight people don't get to have the final say in whether their actions can be considered homophobic or anti-gay in any way.

Let me drop some knowledge on ya. Homophobia's definition doesn't begin and end with your opinion on whether or not LGBT people should have equal rights. Homophobia isn't just slurs and violent actions. It's smaller things, too. It's saying "Meet my gay friend Tina" or "You look nice, but I'm not hitting on you or anything." It's calling it "gay marriage" instead of just marriage. It's the fact that a dude I barely knew had the audacity to ask me how lesbians have sex as casually he asked me about my favorite movie. (His favorite movie is Pulp Fiction, so that gives you a glimpse into the type of human he is.) Gay people's sex lives aren't small talk and you don't have the right to just ask about their personal lives because they're different from yours. It's these day to day things that make LGBT people feel othered.

Newsflash: you can have gay friends and still be homophobic. Just like you can have black friends and still be racist. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

When a person from a minority that you are not a part of tells you your actions hurt the feelings of a large group of people from that minority, you don't get to say they're wrong. You just don't have the right. That's the moment where you say you're sorry and ask for an explanation of how you hurt the community. You sincerely apologize, learn, and move forward. That's it. When a marginalized community let's you know your actions weren't right, you shut up and listen.

Which brings us to the dude who played James. Mehcad is black, so when he says he understands being marginalized he's right to an extent, but the way LGBT people are marginalized is different than the way black people are marginalized. I'm not about to stand up and try to say that because I'm gay I also know what it's like to be black. That's insane. I don't. I have no idea. So, Mehcad, you do know what it's like to be a black man living in America, but you don't know what it's like to be part of the LGBT community.

He starts off by talking about the great track record the whole cast has with LGBT issues, so of course they couldn't be homophobic. This is like taking a test and you get this one question wrong and you go to the professor and you're like "bro I got that question right on every practice test so can't you just trust that I know how to do it?" Um, well, no, because when the time came, you didn't do it right. That's the crucial moment. Not when you're giving controlled interviews that you've rehearsed a million times. No. It's when you're relaxed and messing around and you let it slip that maybe you do think this is a wildly ridiculous concept.

Don't try to tell me they would've reacted this way if this was a non-canon straight relationship. Never in the world of straight people has a relationship been beyond the realm of possibility when it comes to TV. Dan and Blair on Gossip Girl dated, for god's sake. That alone is proof that nothing is off limits.

know this wouldn't have happened if it was a straight couple because I can almost guarantee you that if Lena Luthor was a dude and their scenes played out exactly the same way, they'd be a couple by now. The writers would be priding themselves on writing such an interesting storyline about a conflicted boy from a troubled family who just wants to make a name for himself outside of his xenophobic family. Saint of National City, Kara Danvers, would fall in love with him because she understands what it's like to have an enormous weight on your shoulders all while wanting to be your own person. You know why they'd be a couple? Because that's a damn compelling storyline. It's the story they tried to write with Mon-el.

See, that's the difference. If Lena was a dude, they'd be together. Hands down. If Lena's just Lena, the thought of them being together is absurd. Somehow not even worth fathoming. Yes, Kara and Lena have both dated dudes on the show, but there's this wild thing called bisexuality that's totally real and valid. (Also, Supergirl's canon first kiss in the comic books was Poison Ivy, so I don't wanna hear it.)

Then, the guy who plays J'onn J'onnz threw his two cents in and said no one meant it as mean and it was blown out of proportion and they were tired after all their interviews. I'm going to liken that excuse to when people say "I was drunk."

Great. Being drunk or being tired doesn't excuse your behavior. You know what happens when I drink? I try to Google cute moms in baseball hats. I don't suddenly turn into someone who says racist stuff. No! Drunk me just wants to look at cute moms in baseball hats, eat animal style fries from In-n-Out, and watch The Great British Bake Off. Granted, my motor and grammar skills greatly decrease when I drink, but my human decency doesn't change. When I'm tired, I just get super disoriented and forget things. Who you are inherently as a person doesn't change, so being tired is not an excuse.

There's this Louis C.K. quote that I really like that goes, "When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don't get to decide you didn't."

Shut up, listen, learn, and say you're sorry.

What the cast is missing when they say the fans are blowing this out of proportion is how important media and pop culture are to LGBT people. It's not hard to find stories of people who learned how to love themselves by seeing LGBT characters on TV. Kids who are watching this could be living in the closet in homes where coming out would be disastrous. Where it could lead to abuse or becoming homeless. A lot of times, kids take solace in these fictional worlds and see them as proof that the world could be better. That there's a world where they can be loved wholly and unconditionally.

And that's why people are upset and people are mad. Because it's not as simple as a fictional relationship. It never was. POP CULTURE WILL NEVER EXIST IN A VACUUM. LGBT people on TV are often the first time young LGBT kids see someone who identifies like them. Real or not. Sometimes they create their own storylines within the canon because that helps them with their own feelings.

Maybe, in this instance, the fans related more to Kara or Lena as characters, so they started telling stories with those two at the forefront. These stories help people. They bring together communities of people just like them on the Internet. It may not seem like much to straight people, but when you grow up feeling like you're the only person in the entire world who feels this way and then you find this immense community who are just like you, it literally saves lives. These lost and lonely kids discover, maybe for the first time, that they aren't weird for feeling these things. And until the day comes when no LGBT kids are thrown out of their homes and we reach true equality, these safe online spaces and fictional characters are incredibly important.

All this really stings for me because Supergirl was a show I watched because I genuinely liked it. If you read this blog, you know how rare that is. Not only do I shit talk a lot of shows, I also watch a lot of shows just because there's LGBT representation. This was a show I liked because their first season was so unashamedly feminist. Yeah, it had some problems, but it was good. So, hearing the cast be hard-headed in their apologies, or lack thereof, bums me out.

I'm not asking the cast to be perfect. No one is, but I am asking them to be better. Yes, this is not as egregious as using outright using homophobic slurs, but it is still alienating and it still hurts LGBT people. It doesn't matter if it wasn't the worst thing they could've done, it was still bad. And they don't get to stand there and say it wasn't. One mistake or momentary lapse of judgment doesn't define a person's character, but how they act afterward does.

And it looks like Jeremy Jordan is on the right path.