The 100 shattered expectations when they revealed that Clarke Griffin was a bisexual female lead. The CW presented not only a new LGBT+ character, but the first representation that came from a lead role. Clarke Griffin is the protagonist on The 100, always the fearless leader that keeps her people safe and just so happens to be queer.
But with the death of her love interest Lexa, there came this idea that Clarke’s representation might somehow get diminished. The thought process that Clarke’s worth as a bisexual lead is somehow only tied to one relationship is not only wrong but also very offensive.
Clarke Griffin was important before, during and after her relationship with Lexa. Just like Lexa meant a lot to the LGBT+ community simply because she existed as the strong warrior that she was, Clarke means a lot as her own person.
Clarke was a strong bisexual female lead when she was with Finn, a man that she was with before we even knew her sexuality. She was important representation when she was with Lexa and when she had a one night stand with Niylah. Clarke Griffin mattered and will continue to matter even when she’s alone, doing the best that she can to make sure no more lives have to be lost while everyone is trying to survive on Earth.
The question of Clarke’s worth as a bisexual character seems to come back to the idea that bisexual women only matter when they are in relationships. Not even in all romantic relationships, but in specific ones with a certain gender. This takes away all the value that character brings to the table based off their own importance as an individual.
Clarke Griffin exists in a universe where people die all the time, and the show itself is premiering alongside a real life movement that’s trying to bring focus to LGBT+ death on TV. So at a time when fans are looking for queer characters that represent them, why is there this need to put Clarke down instead of lifting her up?
Clarke is working hard to keep her people safe, to keep everyone save and she also happens to be queer. She’s a fleshed out lead, one that uplifts what it means to be a woman who is in charge and whose sexuality is just a part of who she is. There isn’t only a spotlight on her love and sex life, but it’s also not shoved aside. Both her role as a leader and as an amazing bisexual female shines through when you watch the show.
She has shown interest in more than one gender and she is a kickass female hero that’s pushing for change. Clarke is constantly protecting her people, making decisions to better those living on the ground and reminding us that there is strength in hope. In the season three finale, Clarke’s words about overcoming pain rang true. She always believes that they can figure out whatever issue is at hand, something that fans can take inspiration from to keep fighting.
So why is her worth in the next season being questioned? Why does her sexuality matter less now that she’s alone? Does her importance really rely on one relationship?
The answer should be very obvious yet for some reason it clearly isn’t.
Clarke’s worth shouldn’t decrease because she might end up with another person, a man, or no one at all. Her value extends beyond her romantic relationships because limiting all that she represents for the sake of one ship, tears away everything that Clarke means to others. She represents a community and her relationships demonstrate that, but that shouldn’t take away from everything she means as a hero in her own right. Forcing her legacy away, not rooting for and supporting her as an individual going forward says a lot more about the lack of importance Clarke has for some people when she is just by herself.
Clarke Griffin has plenty to offer as the bi lead as Season 4 of The 100 approaches, and even though the concept of good representation might be subjective, the character continues to matter and there is no reason to try to erase that.
Good representation means different things to each member in the LGBT+ community, but is erasing the clear worth that Clarke Griffin has the answer? There’s nothing that has to be proven in Season 4 about how much Clarke means as the continued singular main queer lead on The CW. She is alive and she is fighting, which means there needs to be a fight outside of the show to remind people how much Clarke has to offer as her own person.
Clarke shouldn’t be tied down to the unfortunate death of a past lover, because the show is moving forward and the lead still has a plot worth watching. No matter if there’s romance included or none at all, Clarke is fearless and remarkable, something that shines through all of her scenes. There is nothing but hope radiating from her upcoming journey, always transferring that over to those that see themselves in Clarke.
No matter what happens, Clarke always gets back up and keeps fighting for what is right, a great example of representation that is promising and that reminds us to keep going.
Clarke Griffin has more than enough value, and that is worth the acknowledgment as we gear up for the return of The 100. Because no matter what happens in her romantic life, there is a bigger picture when it comes to this character, one that everyone should focus on. There is no doubt that Clarke will continue to do and to be, and it’s that kind of storyline that paves the way for even more bisexual representation, the kind that doesn’t erase who the person is outside of the relationships that they are a part of.
The 100 will return for it’s fourth season February 1st on The CW.