When I was a kid, like many many others, I was bullied. I was bullied because I was an easy target and my appearance didn't help; I had short curly hair that I didn't know how to handle (I still don't, but that's cool now I guess), I had a big gap in my front teeth, I was an introvert - extremely shy and had a phobia of speaking in front of people, and of course , my parents were separating (and that was something that kids loved to mock apparently). I would go back home from school with a very low self-esteem, until I started watching this woman kick ass on screen.
Xena the warrior princess, will forever be one of those who saved me (the other is my mother). I would watch this beautiful, wild, fierce warrior destroy everything that dared to be in her way; assassins, sexist men, and even the greek Gods. Watching her be her glorious unapologetic self, made me stronger. It felt like I had someone to talk to. She also taught me that love comes in various shapes, and that it's OK to be different. I loved Xena from the bottom of my heart, and until this very day she remains my favourite character and TV show. The show dared to delve into many subjects that were still considered a taboo at the time.
When Xena ended I cried. My mother who knew how much I loved her, and that I had no one around me who shared my interest to talk to, hugged me while I cried and listened to me talk about Xena for hours.
representation in art, on screen and off screen is literally a life saver. I will forever be thankful to Lucy Lawless, Xena the Warrior Princess and my mother for making me a better person.