Supergirl has gone even further to address issues facing LGBT people – this time in real life.
The show’s producers had promised last summer that a major character in the universe shared by Supergirl, Arrow and The Flash would come out, and speculation has run rampant ever since.
But in the real world, the hero took to Twitter to address a tweet from a follower who complained that she had to explain homosexuality to her kids.
Without pulling any punches, a Supergirl account responded: “Good, explain to them that love is love and it’s beautiful no matter where you find it and who you find it with.”
The episode that aired last summer in the US finally revealed who was coming out: Supergirl’s older sister Alex, played by Chyler Leigh.
She invited out police detective Maggie (Floriana Lima) for drinks, not realising that she thought it was a date.
After an awkward chat and a quick denial, Alex spent the rest of the episode doing some soul-searching, and by the end of the episode came out to Maggie.
She confessed that she had strived to be perfect in every aspect of her life, but could never seem to manage it in her romantic life.
She thought she didn’t want to be intimate with anyone, but it was this latest episode that sparked her to realise she just didn’t want to be intimate with men.
Fans were quick to jump on social media and praise the episode for the way it handled Alex coming out.
While TV has seen plenty of coming out stories recently, one thing that makes Supergirl’s stand out is that Alex is already an adult, rather than a teenager newly discovering her sexuality.
“After talking to [executive producer] Greg Berlanti and doing some research on my own, anecdotally it seems like people who come out later in life come out because they’ve met someone,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said.
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“There’s a specific person for whom they’ve fallen. The idea that Alex who never really had a strong romantic connection with anybody and had come to dismiss it, and then meets Maggie and has her world turned upside down, it seems like interesting territory to us, that it wasn’t about a young teenager coming to grips with it.
“It was somebody who was an adult and in some ways had more to overcome on an internal level to get to the point where she could recognise that she has these feelings.”
As for what’s ahead, Alex has a new relationship to explore, and some other people to come out to.
“It’s going to be funny, it’s going to be serious, it’s going to be romantic, it’s going to be heartbreaking,” Kreisberg said. “It’s going to be everything that any relationship that you see on TV, no matter what the gender, should and will be.”
Oh, and if you’re worrying this could build up to another instance of the ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope, fear not: “Well, they’re not dying, either of them, so we’re not really thinking about that right now.”
Alex’s coming out comes just after GLAAD released its latest report on LGBT representations in TV, highlighting the fact that there is a record number of LGBT characters on US television.
We rounded up the top eight LGBT shows airing on TV right now, including the likes of Orange Is the New Black and Transparent.
Supergirl is currently airing its second season, and will soon take part in a giant crossover with Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.
It will also enjoy a separate crossover with The Flash that will apparently be musical-themed.