I haven’t posted recently because, as a grad student, sessional tutor, and spoonie, life got busy. But A Big Goddamn Hero just died, and she deserves to be memorialised on every page on the net that keeps the geek flag flying.
When the news broke that Carrie Fisher was dead, I saw it on Twitter. I was working on my laptop, and the tributes poured out so fast, so thick, that my client software couldn’t keep up. It was like trying to read the matrix code. But I didn’t need to read all of them – they all said the same thing: ‘we love you, you made a difference.’
Carrie Fisher was not a pretty girl in a bikini on a movie poster to us. She was our champion. For little girls told that they couldn’t be smart as well as attractive, for femme presenting people told they can’t be heroes, for those with mental health problems and those who are ‘mentally interesting’ as a friend of mine likes to say, for those battling addiction, for older women told they no longer matter, for women who want to see themselves – as they are, and as they want to be – represented in mainstream media. Carrie Fisher was all of this and more. As she said herself ‘ I am doing my best and I am doing some of yours too.’
I cried for at least thirty minutes watching that feed updating. All the tributes to George Michael & Carrie Fisher this week on social media, and destined to be trawled by the mainstream press, show just how important are visible queerness & madness. If you think we cry because we are over invested in movies, because we’re ‘silly fans’, or some bullshit, just try being mad and/or queer in this world. I am crying because of what people like Carrie and George represent to my communities, for their kindness, and our collective need for them – still! They refused to be stigmatised, and they carried on living as they saw fit – with wit, compassion, and wonderful humour.
Goodbye, General Leia Organa, princess of Alderaan. In Loving Memory of Carrie Fisher, author, actor, mental health advocate, and all-round badass; she drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra. You were wonderful. You’re still my hero. I want to be more like you as I grow up.