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These Filmmakers Are Fed Up With How TV Kills Off Queer Characters

“If you’re a queer woman, chances are you underwent a great loss this year,” filmmaker Cole Santiago tells us, observing at the tombstone of the [*SPOILER ALERT even though I’m pretty sure we all binge-watched OITNB already*] late, great Poussey Washington. She adds that, in 2016 alone, 18 female queer characters have been killed off on television.

Indeed, the “Bury Your Gays” trope has been a particular topic of conversation this year, following not only the aforementioned death of Poussey, but also the controversial death of The 100‘s Lexa. Fans’ disappointment and frustration over the character’s death even prompted the series showrunner and executive producer, Jason Rothenberg, to publish an open letter, assuring viewers that “burying, baiting or hurting anyone was never our intention. It’s not who I am.”

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Credit: CW

This ongoing theme of unhappy endings (and, you know, death) for queer characters also prompted Autostraddle to release a comprehensive set of infographics detailing queer representation in media, with a focus on lesbian and bisexual television characters. Take a look; it’s worth your time.

And while there have been queer female characters on television (Remezcla has a pretty thorough list), there are few series ABOUT these characters. They rarely get the A story, and even more rarely “get the girl” at the end.

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Credit: ABC

And, thus, Vida.

Vida‘s team is unique in media–a female cast and crew, most of whom are Latinx–and the story they have to tell is an innately personal one. “Growing up as a closeted teenager,” Santiago explains on the project’s Seed & Spark page, “too scared to reach out, the only safe route to better understand my feelings came in the form of film and television.” The project, conceived as a short film and potential pilot, follows Vida, a quiet 17-year-old girl dealing with a roommate who wants to become Instagram famous. Vida’s life is uprooted by “a Courtney Love-obsessed lesbian vampire” and… I mean, that’s all I need to know to want to tune in.

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Credit: WB

Vida‘s fundraising page keeps things nicely on-theme, with fundraising goals named after popular queer (or queered, in some cases) characters. For example, if you pitch in 50 bucks, you reach Drusilla level, and a member of the crew will be slimed with a bucket of blood in your honor, with video proof. Mwahaha!

Take a look at Vida‘s teaser video, below, and help #ressurectourgays:

This Woman Proves Racism Stems From Pure Ignorance

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This Woman Proves Racism Stems From Pure Ignorance

This right here is what’s wrong with the world. People acting out of spite and hate towards a different race. Judging someone without knowing them . “You, your kind give the brown people a bad name” first off, my mother is legal in the United States. My father has worked hard in the oil rigs so my mother can raise her children and give us a very privileged life. They always pay their taxes and have had absolutely no government help. They have taught us to help people and to work hard to earn the life we want. My parents have sacrificed so much so much for us and it breaks my heart the way they get treated because of their broken English. I know they can speak english. And I know my mother understood every single word they said. But how can you respond to that when you see your child crying because he doesn’t understand why they are saying that. What do you do when your 6 year old grand daughter is so scared she can’t stop crying in the car. They say the way you treat people speaks more about your character and who YOU are as a person. These women are a disgrace to humanity over all. America is a diverse country. And that’s what makes it such a wonderful place to be a part of. We are all human beings trying to survive. Remember that next time you are trying to bring yourself up by putting someone down.

Posted by Wendy Flores on Monday, August 1, 2016

“This right here is what’s wrong with the world.”

Wendy Flores said it best: “This right here is what’s wrong with the world.” Wendy was in a parking lot with her family in Grand Junction, Colo., when another woman started attacking her mom with racial slurs. The woman began with, “Your kind. You’re the ones who give brown people a bad name.” Wendy’s mom remained calm. When she told her family in Spanish that she had the right to record what’s happening, the woman snapped back “speak English b*tch!” She continued “Down with Mexicans who don’t learn the language of the world.” Wendy’s brother then began crying and pleading their mom to stop recording and the video ends.

Here’s what Wendy wrote on her Facebook page:

“This right here is what’s wrong with the world. People acting out of spite and hate towards a different race. Judging someone without knowing them . “You, your kind give the brown people a bad name” first off, my mother is legal in the United States. My father has worked hard in the oil rigs so my mother can raise her children and give us a very privileged life. They always pay their taxes and have had absolutely no government help. They have taught us to help people and to work hard to earn the life we want. My parents have sacrificed so much so much for us and it breaks my heart the way they get treated because of their broken English. I know they can speak english. And I know my mother understood every single word they said. But how can you respond to that when you see your child crying because he doesn’t understand why they are saying that. What do you do when your 6 year old grand daughter is so scared she can’t stop crying in the car. They say the way you treat people speaks more about your character and who YOU are as a person. These women are a disgrace to humanity over all. America is a diverse country. And that’s what makes it such a wonderful place to be a part of. We are all human beings trying to survive. Remember that next time you are trying to bring yourself up by putting someone down.”

As for English being “the language of the world” Ummmm… I’ll just drop this here:

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Credit: alsintl

Yes, that’s Spanish coming in at a strong #2, ahead of “the language of the world.”

mitú has reached out to Wendy and her family for comment.

READ: Watch this Latina Mom Defend Herself after Being Told Not to Speak Spanish

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