March Roundup – LGBT Fans Deserve Better, New Features, More Statistics

March Roundup – LGBT Fans Deserve Better, New Features, More Statistics

We’ve kicked things back into high gear. Or higher gear. Following Autostraddle’s post of 65 dead lesbians (which quickly went to 148), and the 29 who got happy endings, the number of characters to add to this site skyrocketed. And we were inspired to keep adding more and more shows and more and more characters.

We actually have an in-house help doc (thanks to WP Help) to keep track of it. Sort of. It’s depression central around here…

New Characters and Shows

In March we’ve added the following:

  • 74 new shows
  • 199 new characters

We added all the ‘happy ending’ people first, and we have about 78 left from the 148 dead list. It takes forever because as we add each dead character, we’re trying to add all the ones who lived. And I don’t know if you knew this, but trying to figure out who’s a lesbian is hard without a database like this one! Also translating German is confusing. Hollyoaks gave me a headache.

We now have a number of transgender characters listed split as FTM and MTF, as well as one non-binary. Our feeling is that if, at any one point in time, the character identified as female, then they should be added. That’s why the straight tag was moved from a trope to it’s own taxonomy. Our Character Editor gives us options for gender identity and sexual orientation. I tried to use the ‘best’ terms I could.

New Features

Why do we want to track all this? We’ve gotten the stats page up and running with startling graphics (the ‘death’ column is a pretty big middle finger…), sorted out the new theme (it’s better on mobile), and packed even more information onto every page. The clichés have icons like runner for ‘Freakout sex with a guy.’ They’re meant to be a little humorous.

News In General

On the news front, the internet hit critical mass with lesbian deaths, thanks in part to the tragic and senseless death of Lexa on The 100, and Denise on The Walking Dead. How big is this? Mainstream news has picked it up and companies like Maybelline have stopped sponsoring The 100. We did it, kids, but we need to keep going. As Dorothy Snarker put it in an IndieWire article:

Entertainment is not consumed in a vacuum. Particularly for LGBT people, who represent a minority population, television might be the only place where the larger straight world sees (or more likely realizes they see) us. So then how we are portrayed is integral to how we are perceived. If all people see is our tragedy, why would they ever think about our happiness? That then reinforces, in some people’s minds, that living as an LGBT person is an inherently unhappy experience. So then, there must be something wrong with us.

Nothing is wrong with us at all.

The birth of sites like LGBT Fans Deserve Better is a sign of how the times are changing.

What’s Next?

At least 78 more characters need to be added. Then all our other lists we’ve collected have to be reviewed. Then we need to figure out a better way for people to submit corrections and additions. We have a suggestions box, simplified down considerably, and any suggestions are welcome!

About Mika A. Epstein

Mika has been deep in fandom since she could say 'Trekkie.' With decades experience in running fansites, developing software, and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife and their cats in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.
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