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Seychelle Gabriel addresses The Legend of Korra's lesbian romance, Korrasami fandom

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Mar 17, 2018

The SXSW Conference is an incredible time for genre fans, and Fangrrls was tearing it up, bouncing from special event activations to the world premiere of Ready Player One and A Quiet Place to super-powered panels and interviews with the cast and directors of a big batch of exciting upcoming films. For this fangrrl, it was a special thrill to sit down with the cast of Blood Fest, because it meant meeting Seychelle Gabriel, who gave voice to The Legend of Korra's rebellious industrialist, Asami Sato.

Over the course of four seasons, The Legend of Korra found plenty of opportunities to spin romance amid its overarching story of saving the world. But as the series went on, fans began to root for the show's titular heroine Korra not to end up with dashing dude Mako. Instead, a deep love blossomed between Korra and Asami. Shippers went wild for "Korrasami" and began creating fan art and fan fiction, imagining a world where the two would end up together. These fans rejoiced over the final moment of the series finale as Korra and Asami held hands journeying into the Spirit World together. It wasn't the kiss fans were craving, but it was a powerful moment for shippers and LGBTQA+ representation nonetheless.

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The show ended, but not their story. The Legend of Korra: Turf War comics pick up with the two girlfriends on a romantic vacation and gave fans what they'd been waiting for: an official Korrasami kiss.  With all this in mind, I asked Gabrielle if she's been keeping up with the comics and the fan art that Korrasami has inspired. "Yeah," she answered, "I read the first one [Turf Wars: Part One] and I loved it. And I loved the whole experience of Korra coming out to her parents. And how they're supportive but they're protective, which ends up becoming offensive in a way." 

In the comic, Korra's parents are happy about her relationship with Asami. But they urge her to keep from going public with it, warning, "Not everyone will be so accepting." This spurs a rift between her and her parents and begins a thoughtful coming-out arc. "I think it just seemed so realistic to me," Gabrielle said. "I loved that." 

"And the Korrasami art is endlessly amazing to me," she marveled. "I think Janet [Varney, who voiced Korra] in February every day [posted on Twitter] a different Korrasami art piece by a different fan or whatever. And that was really cool to see."

 "It's just this beautiful thing that remains probably the highlight of my career at this point," Gabrielle said. She noted it's been an honor to see the impact Korrasami has had on fans, which is apparent in the fan art, Reddit threads, and comic cons. "That it's helped them with their journey and their sexuality and all of that," she said, "it's just so cool."

Legend of Korra: Turf Wars: Part One and Two are available now. Part Three will be available August 14.