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Gentleman Jack joins the long list of queer TV shows that deserved better

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Gentleman Jack will not be renewed for a third series – and it feels like a kick in the stomach, to say the least.Starring Suranne Jones as the formidable Anne Lister and Sophie Rundle as her wife Ann Walker, Gentleman Jack was unlike any other queer representation we’ve seen on screen, telling the story of the ‘first modern lesbian’ and her courage to live as herself in a society that demonised just that.In a statement, the US broadcaster said: ‘When we began this journey more than five years ago, we knew the series’ creator Sally Wainwright had a uniquely compelling vision, and it’s been tremendously gratifying to see how Anne Lister’s journey has resonated with viewers.’They added that they are ‘incredibly grateful’ to the cast and crew for ‘bringing Anne and Ann’s story to life’, although it begs the question, if this story was so valued by the production team, why does it seem to have been thrown into the trash as though it meant nothing?Audiences could’ve gained so much from further seasons of Gentleman Jack, which makes its cancellation all the more painful because this isn’t a fictional story – it’s the lives of two very real people.

Further episodes would offer more insight into the reality of living as a lesbian in the 1800s and continue to remind LGBTQ+ people today that queer has always been here.Fans are outraged and heartbroken following the news and rightly so, because a film or a TV show isn’t just a film or a TV show for many LGBTQ+ people – it’s their life.

It becomes a safe haven. It’s a reminder that who we are is not only normal, but it deserves to be celebrated.Watching Gentleman Jack has motivated me to live as my truest self, just like Anne Lister did.

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