Saving LGBTQ TV characters one Lexa Pledge at a time
A little more forethought, some consideration, and a commitment to the LGBT characters they write about: this is the Lexa Pledge that some people behind the TV shows we watch are willing to make.
The Lexa Pledge is a both a response to the current state of LGBTQ representation in media as well as backlash over the spate of recent deaths of LGBTQ TV characters.
In particular, the deaths of lesbian characters in TV shows like The 100 and Vampire Diaries drove LGBTQ fans to organize into what is now called the LGBT Fans Deserve Better movement.
Because of this, a number of television writers and producers have joined the movement in creating the Pledge to the LGBTQ Fandom, also known as the Lexa Pledge.
What is the Lexa Pledge?
Named for the lesbian character killed in The 100, the Lexa Pledge is supposed show that LGBT stories matter even while pushing for real change in the quality of LGBTQ representation in the media.
The pledge was created by the people behind the Canadian show Saving Hope: co-executive producer and writer Noelle Carbone, as well as producer Sonia Hosko and producer/director/writer Michelle Mama.
Leskru Fundraiser creator Gina Tass was also involved in the creation of the 7-point pledge. The Leskru, an alliance of LGBTQ fans, worked with The Trevor Project in raising funds to help provide suicide-prevention services to LBQTQ youth.
“We admit that it took us a little while to truly understand the outpouring of criticism being directed at the shows in question– series we love that have showrunners we respect,” the group said.
“But, after much discussion and much debate, we believe that every writing room can learn something from this extraordinary and revolutionary movement,” they said.
The Points of the Lexa Pledge
The seven points of the Lexa Pledge range from showcasing positive story lines for queer characters to refusing to kill them so as to push the plot of a straight character.
Moreover the creators of the pledge acknowledged how toxic the “Bury your gays” trope has been in TV and movies, affecting the greater LGBTQ community and in particular the queer youth.
Some have expressed worries about how the pledge could restrict showrunners’ and TV writers’ creative freedom in creating stories.
However, others have pointed out that this isn’t about how the pledge would affect their story-telling but rather, to make them consider how tell a story “that serves the character in the best way possible.”
Support for the Lexa Pledge
Currently, there are 15 signatories for the Lexa pledge. These include writers and producers of Rookie Blue and The Catch like Sherry White and Ellen Vanstone.