When I was trying to figure out what to write about for this blog post, I honestly was stumped. I have a hard time looking past the surface entertainment of a television show and seeing the deeper topics and ideas that these expose audiences to. So it got me thinking about what makes Supergirl so important? Is it because it’s a part of the comic book world and has a huge fan base. Is it the feminist plot lines, and how it shows the strength and talent that can be found in many types of women? Maybe, but the main thing that stuck out to me was what the show is doing for the LGBTQ community.
In the middle of season two, Alex Danvers came out as lesbian which was a huge deal for many fans of the show. Normally, audiences don’t see these kinds of stories in comic book and superhero television because of the traditional target audience of these types of shows, but this show has really been helping to bring both gender and sexual diversity to mainstream television. Because of it, Supergirl has had a very positive impact, and Alex’s story of acceptance and growth has resonated with so many viewers. Actress Chyler Leigh who portrays Alex has even shared some of the many responses that she has had because of this. “Fans in their thirties and forties have told her that watching her helped them ‘put the pieces of the puzzle together,’ to the extent that Alex’s dialogue has given them a model of what to say and expect in their own coming out.” What’s even more amazing is that Leigh is using her platform to not only bring diversity to the television screen, but also to help build a community and support system around the fans of this character.
In addition to this, it was announced earlier this year that Supergirl would introduce its first ever transgender character to the show in the upcoming fourth season. This comes at a time when transgender actors and actresses are not really receiving as much recognition as they deserve, and they are having to fight to get acting jobs. Because of shows like Supergirl, we have started to see much more gender and sexual diversity on screen. It will only continue to get better as they keep on creating that space and supporting the actors and actresses as they work towards creating a more diverse and accepting television landscape.