Pride Month Character Spotlight: Charlie Bradbury
Welcome to the first article in our Pride series for the month of June! Each day we will be highlighting a different LGBTQ+ character who we think is a great example of representation, dynamic characterization, and overall badassery.
So of course, we start with Charlie Bradbury.
While Becky was perhaps supposed to be the cheeky insertion of the fandom into the Supernatural universe, it was not until Charlie was brought in that I saw myself in the show. Introduced in season seven, Charlie, played by the phenomenal Felicia Day, is a nerdy, quirky, clever and kick ass young woman. She helps Sam and Dean take down Dick Roman and the leviathans and then continues to be a powerful ally and surrogate little sister to the Winchesters. Additionally, she was just as much of a nerdy fangirl as many of the viewers – with her Princess Leia tattoo, her apartment full of figurines and graphic t-shirts, not only is she an awesome lesbian character, but a great representation of fandom.
In her debut episode, Charlie is required to flirt with a male security guard in order to complete a covert anti-Dick operation. That is when she reveals to Dean that this may be difficult because the guard is “not her type.” With that comment, Charlie became the first explicitly recurring LGBTQ character on Supernatural. Throughout her next six appearances, Charlie is a beacon of representation in the white cis-het male dominated show. Charlie flirts with women and even makes out with a fairy, but these were never the defining moments for her character. She continued to be an excellent coder and hacker, a brave warrior, and a true friend.
Until, like many women on Supernatural and many LGBTQ+ characters in media in general, she was killed off.
It was horrifying. Stabbed by a pseudo-nazi and dumped in a bathtub, Charlie’s death was jarring and unjust. For three years, she became another stain on Supernatural‘s track record of fridging female and LGBTQ+ characters. Until this season, with an Alternate Universe in play, The Powers That Be decided to bring her back.
That’s right, our badass lesbian nerd queen is back, bitches!
Well, not our queen, but from her two appearances so far she seems pretty similar and pretty damn awesome. As of the season 13 finale, AU!Charlie is off road tripping with Rowena, (Ginger Adventures spinoff, anyone?) and I cannot wait to have her back in the mix for next season. And, I certainly hope to see her in a long time relationship sometime in the future.
Do you have a character spotlight suggestion? Leave it in the comments down below!