August 26, 2022

First Kill: Lesbian Representation and Cancelled Media

First Kill: Lesbian Representation and Cancelled Media

Netflix’s First Kill spins the ‘lesbian vampire’ trope with Juliette, a shy high schooler who happens to be a vampire, who falls in love with new girl Calliope, who happens to be a monster hunter.

Sapphic vampires & monster hunters.

What more could you want?

The show thrilled fans, with 48.8 million hours viewed in its first full week. That's over 3x as many views as Heartstopper in its first week, at 14.5 million hours.

It’s a wonderfully cheesy teen drama – a genre vastly underrepresented among TV shows with lesbian protagonists.

But to the dismay of many, Netflix cancelled it within just two weeks of its release.

It comes as the next in a series of cancelled shows with lesbian heroines.  This includes "I am Not Okay with This", "Gentleman Jack", "The Wilds", and many more.

First Kill is so popular for many reasons. For one, it's unique in that it’s a lesbian story not centred around "coming out" or homophobia. Both families wholeheartedly accept their queer daughters.

Cal, the vampire slayer, also brings Black lesbian representation.

This cancellation is extremely disappointing, but not surprising.

Niamh O’Toole of Gay Times says, “In order for a film or TV show about lesbians to be palatable and considered worthy by the mainstream, it typically has to be either historical or sad – or both.”

O’Toole adds,

“This expectation that stories about lesbians always need to be serious, gut-wrenching works of art means that often we miss out on the kind of stories that you can just relish after a long day at work, school or university.”

Representation in media is great for all queer people, especially when queer women are represented joyfully, rather than through stereotypes or tragic tropes.

We deserve representation.

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