We make awesome shirts by, for and about awesome women. We envision a world where girls and women have an even playing field to achieve their dreams. We give back to nonprofits making the world a better place for girls and women.
Earlier this weekend we sat down to write a blog post about our two new shirts for a couple of shows we love. We wrote a draft and batted around some ideas, planning to send it to you all on Monday.
Then Sunday morning we woke up to the shattering news from Orlando.
At Fangirl Shirts, we are devastated about the tragedy in Orlando where 50 people lost their lives to gun violence, and more were injured and traumatized in what was supposed to be a safe space for LGBTQ people. We feel such sorrow, grief and anger about this, and about every mass shooting.
The causes of gun violence in the United States are many, but there is a simple solution to help reduce it: common sense gun safety laws. In the USA, it’s been extraordinarily difficult to pass laws that would save lives because the gun lobby and the NRA have a stranglehold on elected officials.
We want to do something to help. We love Wynonna Earp, a show in which the central character is a woman and her gun. The gun is named Peacemaker, and originally belonged to her great-grandfather Wyatt Earp. Wynonna accidentally shot her father with Peacemaker when she was a child, and she’s been dealing with the aftermath for most of her life. As an adult, she uses Peacemaker to kill demons, but continues to wrestle with her reaction to it. The show is a supernatural show that treats its characters and themes with maturity. That’s why we loved the idea of turning the name Peacemaker into a pride flag, and emphasizing that the name truly means “one who makes peace.” May we all make peace and work together to create a world free of gun violence.
There’s a new show in town, fangirls and fanbros, and it has rocked our world! We’re talking about Wynonna Earp, a new show created for TV by our favorite TV writer and beloved person Emily Andras. Before we say anything else about it: if you’re not watching it yet, go catch up (it’s airing on Syfy in the USA, CHCH in Canada, or you can buy it on Amazon Video or iTunes) because:
It’s awesome, first and foremost
This post contains spoilers
Also: we’re a T-shirt company with a mission (making the world a better and more equal place for girls and women), so we won’t bury the lede – we have new shirts and gear inspired by Wynonna Earp. They’re available until May 26 – get yours today!
Wynonna Earp is everything that has been missing from our TV lives. We love TV shows with strong women characters. Strong means a lot of things – it can mean a physically strong badass lady who catches and dispatches the bad guys and girls, but that’s not all. Strength is expressed in a variety of ways – through being vulnerable, being open to change, and by being supportive of your friends and loved ones.
That sums up Wynonna Earp, the title character. She is invested with demon-killing powers on her 27th birthday when she becomes the heir to her great-grandfather, Wyatt Earp’s legacy and inherits Peacemaker, his demon-killing gun. Thanks to her newly acquired superpowers, she can kick some demon ass. She rides a motorcycle, can drink most people under the table, and you don’t want to mess with her.
But Wynonna carries some serious guilt from horribly traumatic events that happened in her childhood. She was sent away to juvenile detention, and consequently, her younger sister Waverly Earp was left to fend for herself in a small town, bearing the burden and stigma of her family’s tumultuous history. When Wynonna returns to her hometown of Purgatory, Alberta, it’s to a sister who has grown up without her and in some ways apart from her, suspicious townfolk who remember Wynonna’s chaotic behavior as a young teenager, and a bunch of resurrected Revenants that she has to put down.
While Wynonna was away, Waverly lived with her aunt and uncle and had to forge her own path. Even now, in her early twenties, she still has a lot to figure out about what kind of life she wants to have, and who she is. That’s refreshing to see on TV – not everyone has it all figured out early on, and learning that we don’t have to live our lives to make other people happy or to meet expectations they have for you is a rare and wonderful thing to represent. Facing changes bravely and with honesty is another kind of important strength.
There’s another character in the show, Officer Nicole Haught, who will have an important role to play both in the story and in Waverly’s journey of self-discovery. In the seventh episode of the series, some of her backstory was revealed through a night spent hanging out with Wynonna. There has been much buzz about a possible budding relationship between Nicole and Waverly, but she’s not just a love interest – she’s also a complex character in her own right.
If you follow TV news, then you probably heard that there was a big flap about CBS’ passing on a pilot of Nancy Drew, with one executive apparently saying that it skewed #TooFemale. Amid this, Wynonna Earp has been boldly telling a story week by week that centers around strong female characters in both lead and supporting roles. Read this blog post for a really incredible exploration of how Wynonna Earp is beginning to feel like a safe space for queer characters.
We’re a T-shirt company with a mission. We make T-shirts that celebrate awesome women characters and the TV shows that bring them to us. We donate a portion of sales to nonprofit organizations working to make the world a better place for girls and women. So both because we love this show and because we want to help spread a message of awesome female empowerment, we’ve made some shirts. We’ve got crewneck, V-neck, hoodies and tank tops. We even have stickers! They’re available until May 26. Go get ’em!
Spoiler alert: if you’re not caught up on The 100, or you plan to watch it but haven’t yet, this post contains spoilers through Season 3, Episode 7.
One of the shows we’ve been watching this year is The 100. It’s an interesting post-apocalyptic genre show that explores themes about how humanity can live on Earth and with each other. It explores how humans fall short, the ways in which we fail each other, asks questions about how far we should go to survive, shows how we are capable of committing stunning atrocities, and illustrates how we sometimes live in moments of beauty to overcome great challenges against all odds.
Like any good TV show, it has really compelling characters. We loved the character of Lexa, the Commander of the Grounders, and the slow buildup of her alliance, friendship, and eventual romance with Clarke. We were shocked and devastated by Lexa’s death from a stray bullet mere seconds after finally consummating her relationship with Clarke in “Thirteen,” which was episode 7 of Season 3.
This is an all-too-familiar trope for LGBT characters in TV shows who finally attain a moment of happiness – they’re often killed right afterward. We’ve seen way too much of it in our TV-viewing lifetimes. It happens so often that it’s referred to as Bury Your Gays, and Dead Lesbian Syndrome. A factor in why this particular death was so devastating is that the show executives had promoted the show as LGBTQ-positive and had proactively sought interaction with and support from the LGBTQ fanbase. Lexa’s death felt like a betrayal of that outreach.
Other people have written great summaries and analysis about this situation so rather than us repeating what they’ve said, go check them out:
Lexa was awesome. She did what no other Commander before her was able to do – unite the 12 clans in peace. She also was able to overcome her pain and trauma from losing Costia, and set aside the teachings of Titus that love was weakness. She opened herself up to loving Clarke, and to changing the brutally pragmatic survival ethos of the Grounders. When she said to Clarke “You were right, Clarke. Life is about more than just surviving,” echoing back Clarke’s words to her, that felt like it was a turning point – both for her personally and for the future of their people. For humanity.
Except, of course, that she died soon afterward.
It hurts that she died the way she did. It also hurts that this tired trope played out yet again right in front of our eyes. It reminded us of countless other pointless deaths of LGBT characters. And it hurt fans of the show who had a complex, strong lesbian role model ripped away from them yet again.
That’s why we felt compelled to make a shirt in tribute to Lexa. We’ll donate 50% of the proceeds from our Lexa Fangirl Shirt to the Leskru fundraiser for The Trevor Project to support Trevor’s crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth. The response from fandom to make something positive from something negative has been amazing to witness and we want to help. We also want to make something for fans to show their undying support for Heda and what she meant to us.
Reshop, Heda. We will continue to fight, in your honor.
Fangirl Shirts gives back to nonprofits who work to make the world a better and more equal place for girls and women. It’s one of the reasons we exist, in addition to making awesome shirts by fangirls, for fangirls.
Last year, you bought shirts. And THAT means that we donated 1% of every shirt sale to nonprofits.
For 2015, we supported two nonprofits in the USA and two in Canada. We chose organizations with both local and international focus. Here’s a little bit about them and why we think they’re awesome.
Girls Who Code – working to close the gender gap in technology and engineering, Girls Who Code runs a Summer Immersion Program to teach girls in the USA to code.
Women’s Sports Foundation – sports and physical activity are important for girls as they grow, and for women to maintain health and strength. The WSF creates leaders by ensuring all girls access to sports, including by advocating for policies and laws ensuring equity.
Because I Am A Girl Canada – girls the world over face unique barriers, and BIIAG Canada works to help girls everywhere have enough to eat, education, and a safe environment. When you invest in girls, the whole world benefits.
Canadian Women’s Foundation – working to stop violence, end poverty, end human trafficking, and to empower girls in Canada, the CWF invests in the strength of women and the dreams of girls.
The deadline to reserve your shirt isSeptember 28, Tuesday, October 20! (We’re doing a second printing!) So place your order today!
Think of how cool it will be to have this shirt to wear to cons where you’ll meet Anna Silk, Zoie Palmer, and other Lost Girl fans. It will look great with leather pants, under a lab coat, or anything else in your wardrobe. It’s crisp, simple black text on a white shirt – because with all the ambiguity and complex relationships on Lost Girl, one thing has always been black and white: Bo and Lauren love each other.