Asked why Lexa’s death led to such an uprising, the organisers of ClexaCon responded: “It is always difficult to pinpoint what spurs a movement at a given time and place. Social media and fandoms most certainly had a vital role to play. If the internet of today existed when Tara was killed on Buffy, or when Xena was killed off at the end of that series, it seems likely that this revolution would have started a lot sooner. Lexa was a beloved character, and the feelings of shock and loss the community experienced were likely just the tipping point – when the queer community finally had enough of the ‘bury your gays’ trope and decided to do something about it.”
On the surface of it, ClexaCon looks like just another fan convention. There are meet and greets with special guests, panel discussions, a film festival and a cosplay contest. Except ClexaCon is different. This year’s guests included actors Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi (whose character in Person of Interest was controversially killed around the same time as Lexa), Katherine Barrell and Dominique Provost-Chalkley (from Wynonna Earp), and Elise Bauman and Natasha Negovanlis (from the web series Carmilla) – all of whom play queer characters on TV.
Unlike most fan conventions, however, wider issues are discussed at ClexaCon, with the conversation at this year’s event turning to how fans can not only love what they watch but become involved, writing and shaping their own stories. “At most conventions you’re hard-pressed to find actresses and content that are LGBTQ-friendly, let alone geared specifically toward LGBTQ+ audiences,” say the organisers. Andras hosts a workshop about writing “damn good TV for women”, and there are others on speed pitching and developing ideas for film, TV, streaming and print.