As if it could ever be a question, hell yes, Xena: Warrior Princess inspires me. It inspires me to do the best I can with what I have, paired with heart and dedication, and maybe, just maybe, people will fall in love with my work despite its flaws. It inspires me to create stories full of all sorts of people: all ages, all genders, all sexual orientations, all skin colors, all abilities. It inspires me to embrace the absurd and the goofy, the psychedelic and the tantric. It inspires me to say fuck genre, I’m going to write a horror story and then have it be connected to a campy drag show. How? Does it matter? No, it does not. The world is not just one brand – it’s a host of multitudes of ways to tell stories, and sometimes the best way to express an idea is through song, or a comic, or an epic poem (I will not write poetry, which is more of a promise to myself than anything else – believe me, I’ve tried, and it was … bad).
But most of all, Xena inspires me to take risks. Lucy Lawless kissed Karen Dior, a drag queen who had just recently been diagnosed with AIDS, which was a major thing back in the mid- to late-90s because people still weren’t quite sure how the virus spread. The showrunners constantly cast people of color in major speaking roles (Gina Torres, Jay Laga’aia, Galyn Görg, Jacqueline Kim, Bobby Hosea, etc.) and seemed to make a point to place women in positions of power (Boudica, Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Ephiny, etc.). Were they perfect? Oh, of course not. There is plenty of criticism on the show online (seriously, just google it), but I feel like they were trying to be more daring than they did in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. And I honestly feel like they succeeded more than they failed there.
And I made it … almost a week late, but still! Through all the mental health issues, crappy sleep cycles, school work, and work work, I did it! About which I feel Xena would be proud of me, so I am happy with what I have been able to do. And now off to watch the finale of WandaVision!
Art Credit: Varese Sarabande