Supergirl’s sister came out on this weeks episode of The CW’s Supergirl and left audiences with all the feels. The second season of the action-packed comic book based television series has done more than entertain — it’s been representing queer women in a refreshing new way.
Though the show centers on Girl of Steel Kara Denvers (Melissa Benoist), it’s her sister Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) that has been touching the hearts of LGBTQ+ viewers (and has them reaching for the tissues).
While Supergirl has established itself as a show with strong female leads and a series that supports female relationships — the current season has proved it’s also a program that represents LGBTQ+ women well in addition to the basic feminist themes.
In a multi-episode story arch, audiences were invited to the character development of Supergirl’s sister, Alex Danvers, an engineer in the Department of Extra-Normal Operations — who grapples with the feelings she develops for lesbian detective Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima). From the initial meeting to the interactions that follow, viewers were able to watch the emotional journey unfold onscreen.
It was during episode six of the second season that this beautiful coming out story reached a climax when Alex gave voice to the feelings she was experiencing and revealed them to her sister, Kara during a walk. Of course, with Supergirl being the Girl of Steel with a heart of gold, she received the information well and promised her sister she was not alone.
The interesting plot risk Supergirl took was in the rejection of affections that happened when Alex kissed Maggie. While some shows gloss over the coming out stage (or just don’t set screen time aside to showcase it), Supergirl gave their queer character the space and scenes to go through it.
While shows like Orphan Black and The 100 gave audiences new-gay characters, the episodic nature of these programs couldn’t afford time to explore the emotionality of what it meant to cross over from a heteronormative lifestyle to a queer one. These shows opted to focus less on the sexuality and social ramifications, which were fine — but Supergirl has offered representation to queer women who come out and don’t necessarily get their ‘happy ships’ so quickly after their sexual awakening.
The realistic LGBT representation that Supergirl has given audiences has resonated with many of its viewers:
K so Alex Danvers probably has the most honest, real coming out story on television. pic.twitter.com/wCXiKuHEYT
— Who is Sofia Rojas (@SofiaRojasOne7) November 15, 2016
— my majesty (@fangxrlparrilla) November 15, 2016
— Popculture8 (@rantazmo1) November 8, 2016
This year has been a tough one for queer representation with the bury your gays trope being overused, LGBT representation has been a hot topic of discussion in the entertainment industry. While we understand how important representation always is, it seems the folks with power in mainstream film and television are finally starting to kind of get it.
We praise Supergirl on its queer women representation today — and hope we can celebrate more important choices in the future.
Image credit: The CW/Tumblr/beautyandthemess/waverlyyearp