ClexaCon 2017: Lexa’s Flame Reignites in a Fandom

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LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 03: A digital artwork dedicated to the character Lexa from ‘The 100’ television series is displayed during ClexaCon 2017 convention at Bally’s Las Vegas on March 3, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

You see, people watch television for all sorts of reasons- to see themselves in a character, to get lost in a story, to escape the pain or fear or anger that they’re currently living with. No matter the reason, there are a certain few who watch it and find more than just all of that. They find their purpose. They find themselves, and they find the people who they were missing all along.

"“I didn’t realize how much I hide myself, hold back opinions, or lessen myself in front of people until I was surrounded by people where I didn’t need to worry about that anymore. It’s lit a fire in me to do more, that I won’t let the world dampen now.” –@marciedefeo “ClexaCon felt like a level playing field compared to day to day work and life interactions. There was an inherent understanding that is sometimes a barrier to conversation with acquaintances or even friends. One of not knowing if the slightest detail with a pronoun will make you the subject of gossip, ridicule, or worse. One of listening to someone’s whole story, but not entirely telling your own. The safety of the space was incredible. We were all here to talk about or not talk about the same things. Everyday work/life interactions sometimes feel for me like speaking with an invisible translator to conform my wording to the match the audience. It felt so freeing to be direct with perfect strangers and get right to the heart of the matter. Small talk became big talk so quickly and easily and it was incredibly liberating to be able to share so much with so many people. For anyone in our community to feel this way in only one place, one weekend, once a year is totally unacceptable and this underscores to me one of the many reasons why representation matters. We have to grow the safe spaces until the ‘safe’ qualifier is a foregone conclusion.” –@imcooperkins “Sometimes, you should just jump in and do the things that terrify you because otherwise, you might miss out on some of the best moments of your life.” –@Myriad_13"

I could write an entire book about the time in between March 3, 2016 and March 3, 2017, about how my world flipped upside down, about how I found people who could finally realign it, about how I found a community that finally made sense. We could all describe the emotional roller coaster ride we’ve been on for the past year, but it’s the emotions that came during ClexaCon that are the ones worth mentioning. It’s the acceptance we sought, the family we met, the fire we left with, and the faithful and undeniable knowledge that we’ll meet again.

"“Fandom has had significant impact on my life this year. I found community, I found friends, and I found a family. The beautiful souls that make up all of these have changed and saved my life. After years of feeling alone, this year I finally feel like I belong. I feel loved and cared for. My ClexaCon journey fueled greater bonds with these friends and newfound family in the months that led up to the convention. The idea of ClexaCon brought us together to fangirl and talk about representation and above all be there for one another. It was with the individuals in ‘Kru’ that I opened about myself more so and with more ease than I have with anyone else. I was greeted with nothing but support. I have grown so much thanks encouragement to be myself. I’ve never felt safer.” –@kindnesskru “As someone who spent most of their younger years being incredibly shy, up until the point where I never spoke until I was spoken to – ClexaCon felt like the way the world should feel. Inviting and freeing. I spent the whole event feeling like I could talk to anyone about anything and I would genuinely be accepted for who I am. So thank you ClexaCon, for creating that space for me, and for everyone else who went. I could never repay the favour, but you’ve inspired me to damn well try.” –@matchbox_sized via tumblr"

In the words of the Commander, “Sometimes you have to concede a battle to win the war.” Lexa’s death was our battle, better representation on television is our war, and our fight has just begun.

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Your flame is lit. Now what will you do with it?