(Guest post by Sarah)
This was written straight after the last Leah episode, with anger being a major driving force. I haven’t really edited it, so apologies for errors and many strong feelings…
Let me present a theory here.
Holby and The Powers That Be create this fantastically flawed and gut-wrenchingly real lesbian called Bernie Wolfe and they are going to be all about Representation! But here’s the twist, Bernie is a representation and all the shit they put her through, they put us through and they know it. The way they show they feel about her, shows how they feel about us.
Awkward coming out after years of suppression that causes shame and family strife? That’s right lesbians, you should be ashamed and you don’t deserve a happy family life.
Shite communicator meaning we can make it all Bernie’s fault?That’s right – it’s all your fault lesbians, everything that goes wrong in your life, all of it.
Your girlfriend is depressed, let’s tease you with the idea that she may throw herself off the roof (and then when you find her she laughs in your face over your concern) – that’s right lesbians, the dead lesbian trope lives! Psych, we let her live! Sorry we let you think she might die for three months due to that trailer, but hey she lives, aren’t we representing well?
No Bernie, you’re not family (followed by more condescension from her girlfriend, partner, love of her life (see we can’t be bad people, look at what we let them call each other) – right again you dykes, you don’t qualify as family!
Girlfriend breaks up with you even though you would give up everything to be with her – that’s it, you’re not enough, you pathetic butch (because we obviously perceive this as a negative word) no matter what you do, people will move on (and cheat, because you’re not enough, and because, yes that trope about promiscuous bisexuals has not been used enough.)
Don’t believe us, how about in the next episode, set one day after said breakup, the ex-girlfriend is super happy, not only that, she flirts with the woman (child) she cheated on you with and accepts lingerie from her and calls her gorgeous because that is totally appropriate.
See we actually hate you Bernie (that means you, all lesbians, especially this looking for good rep after tears of nothing but negative tropes being perpetuated. Suckers!) and now we get to finally show that by treating you like shit and moving on. Sorry for baiting you for months, for teasing a possible wedding, for stringing you all along, but you were good for ratings and good for street cred with Diva but we’re done with you now and have no intention of giving you a happy ending.
(Obviously some words do not reflect my sentiments, just those who run the show. I’m just really salty and feel like I was wooed and then used and abused and I’m peeved it took me so long to see how homophobic these people are).
An addendum to my post storyline thoughts:
As someone who was just coming to terms with their sexuality, Berena was a fantastic journey to watch in real time. And then it wasn’t. The baiting and the foilers and all the leading on was atrocious. They knew what they were doing and they knew what it would lead to. I don’t mind that the relationship ended, but I do mind the manner in which the relationship was handled, and moreso how the advertising and exploitation of it (and us) was handled. They touted representation but in hindsight they were teasing us and using us, and it leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth, and it taints all that came before. I don’t hold them accountable for actresses’ schedules and I understand it’s tricky to work around, but I do hold them accountable for a messy, trope-perpetuating storyline that caused so much harm. I do hold them accountable for the disdain they have shown towards people’s genuine heartache since the storyline came to a close. I mourn the relationship and I mourn the allies I thought we had, and I will be very wary of getting that emotionally involved in any storyline again.
One Reply to “Testimony: Many strong feelings”
You just put into words exactly how I feel. I have written and spoken a lot about this but I have never been able to articulate what you just did. Thank you Sarah