You may have seen the
#FirstTimeISawMe hashtag trending on Twitter lately. It’s not just a Netflix marketing campaign. No, Netflix teamed up with Black Girl Nerds and iOne Digital’s Cassius publication get people to share stories of how they have or haven’t been represented in the media.
Obviously, yes, they started by talking about the Netflix shows that represent them, but it’s so so much more than that. The roundtable discussion Black Girl Nerds had on the subject alone is enough to make a person tear up.
One Day at a Time
Krissy Trujillo filmed a bit with Netflix to talk about the first time she saw herself… On One Day At A Time:
When you see yourself in what you're watching, it's powerful, validating, and sometimes… kinda weird. #FirstTimeISawMe pic.twitter.com/YiK4mkgvcE
— Netflix US (@netflix) August 1, 2017
What about Me?
To be perfectly honest, I’ve never seen all of me on TV. I see my parents when I look at Dharma & Greg and I see my grandmother in the movie Auntie Mame, but me? Well. There are parts of me in Willow, parts of me in Nomi, and parts of me in Santana. But an unapologetic, nerdy, writer/computer geek, sci-fi/fantasy loving, Jewish lesbian?
The closest I get is Amanita, which is really awesome, but I’m not black and there’s really a big difference there. Thanks, America.
That said, I’m okay not seeing all of me. I’m a pretty weird and unique individual. I love that about myself. And not seeing all of me tells me that there’s too much of me to contain in any one single other human. Basically, it reminds me that I’m inimitable. Seeing parts of me all over the TV, in characters like Elena and Greer, in Alex and Arizona, in Holly and Callie, is a good thing.
It’s okay to be too big to be contained in one character, and to see pieces of myself and my story in others. Each time someone new is created, another small part of the myriad bits of me becomes normal.
While the idea for this site was a bit morbid, a way to track good and bad shows for queer women, my ulterior motive was to document representation in general. That is, where are the pieces of me out there? Who are they? Why don’t I see more of me? Am I maybe looking in the wrong place?
By filling in over 1850 characters and 650 shows, we’ve managed to make sense of the insane. We’ve got a functional, sortable, usable database that anyone can visit to help find themselves.
I hope you can find yourself here.