As someone who has worked in the entertainment reporting industry for quite a few years now, I’ve seen some incredible moments where queer fandom came together in both joy and tragedy. Just recently, queer fandom made their voices loud and clear in their support for shows like Wynonna Earp, One Day at a Time, and the Juliantina coupling from Amar a Muerte. But queer fans have been working for decades to have their voices heard and their collective power recognized.
In the new documentary, Queering the Script, directed by Gabrielle Zilkha (Stop Calling Me Honey Bunny) and produced by Stephanie Ouaknine (Carmilla), viewers take a ride though the last twenty years in fandom, from Xena Warrior Princess to current shows like Pose and One Day at a Time. Narrated by members of the community (myself included), actors, and creators, you’ll spend time at Xenite Retreat, a summer camp for adults who love Xena, and ClexaCon, the world’s largest con dedicated to queer women in entertainment and their allies.
The doc is humorous and tender at times, but also deeply serious about troubling tropes and topics like the deaths of queer women characters. One of the film’s through lines is the impact of the death of Lexa on The 100, and how the creators and writers made mistakes at every turn, like courting a queer audience just to deliver one of the most egregious “bury your gays” moments in tv history. To his credit, The 100 writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach appears in the film and is candid about the mistakes that were made. The L Word‘s Ilene Chaiken also appears to talk about the impact of her series and how it changed things in regards to visibility for queer women in particular.
Some of the most delightful moments come when fans are just being themselves doing fan things. Nervously getting an autograph from a favorite actor. Finally seeing themselves represented by a character or storyline. Queering the Script really shows the happiness, the pain, the community and most importantly, the love that’s involved with being a fan.