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Queering the Script

Queering the Script is a new documentary written and directed by Gabrielle Zilkha that explores the effect television has on queer women and vice versa. This is a community that has long been craving representation on screen. From the early days of the internet, queer women have been flocking to message boards to discuss subtext. Online they shared ideas and stories and imagined their favorite TV characters in romantic relationships that otherwise wouldn’t have happened on screen. As the internet evolved and queer female characters became more prevalent on TV, the community got bigger, stronger and more outspoken. The fandom became a force to be reckoned with. This community channeled their energy into all sorts of creative outlets including cosplay, fan art, fan fiction, etc. They traveled to festivals and conventions where they were able to meet their favorite celebrities and bond (and fall in love!) with other queer women. This gave birth to Clexacon, the largest fandom event for LGBTQ+ women and allies.

One of the biggest takeaways from Queering the Script is how queer women have been a driving force in entertainment. They have been outspoken about visibility and representation and this has had a direct effect on storylines and relationships between characters. This has lead to more queer characters on screen. However, there has been an adverse affect of the increase in queer female characters in television. Between 2015 and 2017, over 60 of these characters were killed off. Queer characters are not often the lead protagonists thus easier to kill off and this trend, referred to by the community as Bury Your Gays, had a devastating effect.

Various experts, mostly queer female journalists from a variety of outlets but also fans and TV writers, are interviewed in the documentary. Shows discussed include:

  • The 100
  • Black Lightning
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Carmilla
  • Ellen
  • Glee
  • Jane the Virgin
  • The L Word
  • One Day at a Time
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Orphan Black
  • Person of Interest
  • Riverdale
  • Supergirl
  • Wynonna Earp
  • Xena: Warrior Princess

Queering the Script is an enlightening documentary that shines a much needed spotlight on queer representation. It tackles all sorts of subjects and doesn’t shy away from dealing with hot button issues like body image and racial diversity.

Queering the Script is currently part of Outfest 2019. 

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