SyFy's Lost Girl is widely regarded as one of the most inclusive shows on television thanks to the strong lesbian and bisexual characters at the center of the story. The main character is Bo, a supernatural heroine who investigates crimes involving other supernatural beings. Because it is held in such high regard in the LGBT community, it was quite a shock to viewers when a recent scene depicted what some are saying was anti-transgender violence.
In the Season 3 premiere, “Caged Fae,” Bo intentionally gets herself imprisoned in a supernatural women’s jail in order to investigate a criminal plot. The jail was run by a tribe of Amazons who were secretly impregnating the prisoners and selling their babies. At the end of the episode, the warden is revealed to be a biologically male shape-shifter, whom Bo “exposes” by kissing her and telling the Amazon guards that the warden has beard stubble. One of the guards immediately grabs the warden’s crotch violently, as the other guards attack the warden and drag her away. After the attack, other characters mention that the warden survived but they refer to her with exclusively male pronouns.
Many fans are saying that the scene was disturbingly similar to real life anti-transgender violence. Whether or not the warden is representative of a real-life transgender person or just a shapeshifter whose gender is not comparable to humans, the attack scene is what is most angering and upsetting fans. Transgendered people are often subject to violence when their biological sex is revealed, and there's a stigma that persists that transgendered people try to "trick" people with perverse intention. Following complaints from viewers and GLAAD, the producers of Lost Girl released a statement on the issue.
"We want to let you know that the Lost Girl writers base all episodic characters off of researched folklore, and that the character of The Warden in the premiere of Season 3 is a character based off the mythological shapeshifter known as the Liderc. The Warden was only intended to represent this mythic being," the statement said. "We did not intend this character to be seen as a transgender person, we apologize if the character was seen as such. We do hope that you accept that no comparison or discrimination toward the transgender community was intended by the depiction of this mythological character. Lost Girl prides itself on being open and accepting to everyone, and are enthusiastic supporters of the GLBT community. We want to encourage a society in which everyone can feel comfortable to express and be who they are without judgment. Equality and a world without labels is important to all of us at the series. We strive to create three dimensional characters, who empower all viewers regardless of sexuality or gender."
GLAAD also responded to the controversy, releasing their own statement. "It’s especially unfortunate that this scene took place on a show with strong bisexual and lesbian lead characters, including the Lost Girl herself, Bo, who began a relationship with a woman in this same episode," the statement said. "Lost Girl has a very loyal fanbase among lesbian and bisexual women, and with good reason, as it’s one of the few shows on television to make their stories the focus rather than supplementary plot, not to mention one featuring well-rounded, out characters. We hope that they will continue to set a good example in future episodes."
[Photo Credit: SyFy]
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