In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicles, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
Endings are scary. Because endings mean that something we’ve loved for years will no longer be around, giving us new content to consume, appreciate, and treasure. But just because something is done, that doesn’t mean everything we’ve experienced along the way disappears. It’s still there. That’s how we feel about Supergirl, the relationship lovingly referred to as Dansen, and particularly one-half of that power couple in Azie Tesfai.
Fangirlish got a chance to speak with Tesfai herself about what’s to come in the series finale of Supergirl, her thoughts on Dansen, the fan reaction to the photos that were dropped by the CW, and how much this role means to her and to those who have never seen themselves in the media they consume.
First up, Dansen aka Kelly Olsen and Alex Danvers, the latter played by Chyler Leigh. They’ve just brought a child home and are working on building a family of their own. A wedding is the next logical step in a relationship that Tesfai and Leigh have been very protective of from the very start.
“It was very important to Chyler and I both, and it was constant conversations before we shot anything, of how we felt,” Tesfai explained about the wedding and her character’s relationship before adding, “And constant conversations with our writers and calling them and we were very protective over their relationship. So I feel really relieved that the fans feel good about how it’s come across this year with these two characters and with the wedding.”
At the end of the day, it was important to Tesfai that the relationship between Kelly and Alex be aspirational to fans, as a means of showing them what they could have and how the possibilities are endless. “The way they communicate and the way that they love each other is so healthy and so beautiful. And I think providing that exactly in media and on television and showing a love like that is hopeful.”
With a big wedding also comes a big fight scene, something practically traditional on the CW. And while Tesfai couldn’t tell us whether the fight happens before the wedding, during, or after, she was able to say that it’s going to be a fight like none we’ve ever seen before.
“A lot of old cast members that are fan favorites come back. And they’re at the wedding and we have an epic fight scene with superheroes we’ve never seen together, fighting together. Most excitedly for me, both Guardians fight together for the first time ever. It’s a lot. It’s an action-packed finale with a lot of heart as well.”
Two Guardians fighting together to save the day and rescue their family? Yes, please. Because seeing two Black superheroes in the media we consume, coming together to do good in the world, it’s the kind of representation we deserve to see all the time without anyone questioning if we’re just ticking a box instead of telling a story of organic representation.
The love Kelly holds for Alex is organic. The way Kelly puts on that superhero suit is organic. And the fact young kids will see themselves in both Guardians is the kind of organic representation we hope to see more of and want to support with every fiber of our beings.
When asked about how Tesfai feels knowing there are children that look up to her, her response was immediate and full of tears. “It’s a dream come true and I don’t take it lightly. I never saw anyone that looked like me growing up on television or in media. And it affected so much of my self-worth as a young girl. I think it’s so important and there’s something about being a superhero, the strength and the power to fight for yourself and others.”
Tesfai is also very aware that she’s not the only Black superhero out there right now. The CW’s Naomi, starring Kaci Walfall, is coming soon. And Marvel’s Eternals is receiving tons of buzz from people who feel seen by those like Lauren Ridloff‘s Makkari and Brian Tyree Henry‘s Phastos.
“Everyone deserves to see themselves as a superhero. And they get to have that person and then the doll that looks like them. Being something that you love and that resembles you, it affects you so deeply in your day-to-day life, especially young kids. I feel excited to be part of this time now where it is happening in such an exciting way and that I hope this is just the beginning.”
Supergirl‘s series finale airs tonight at 8/7c on The CW.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)