I was obviously lying when I told myself I wouldn’t cry when Orphan Black was ending. I tried to convince myself that all the material is available online – the episodes, the interviews, the ask OBs, etc. All I would have to do was rewatch. But I am so sad. And, oh my god I am going to miss Orphan Black so much. And this is my attempt at a tribute to the show.
I stumbled upon Orphan Black through Tumblr. Through the hundreds of GIFs and the ‘Ask OBs’ that I would see on my dashboard. I watched the very first episode on my iPhone 4s, then, eight months later I carried on. I was hooked.
As cliché as this is going to sound, here goes: Orphan Black has changed my life in so many ways. It has given me so much courage to be myself. To accept all my quirks, my eccentricities, my everything. Orphan Black has made me understand that sometimes things can get really bad – be it in terms of a job, my writing, my reading, anxiety, relationships, my weight, and that is okay – it doesn’t make me useless if I don’t have it all figured out.
As a feminist and budding journalist, I have always tried my best to stand up against injustices – whether it is through writing about them or talking about them. Orphan Black has shown me that it is worth the fight. I have to fight for a better world. I have to fight against injustices – even though they may not be happening to me. I have to make a better world for the generations to come. Make a difference – however little. Through the show, I am encouraged to work hard, to chase my dreams of becoming a journalist, to do my homework. No matter what, it is all worthy. And if I fail, it is okay as long as I keep trying. As long as I don’t let failure – however it presents it self – win.
Through Orphan Black I have learned and unlearned many things. I have unlearned what I have been taught about my body, and believe me when I say that the show has given me the strength to reclaim my body. I recently got my first tattoo, and the whole experience of claiming this body as my own was so empowering. I have started to let my body hair grow – without shame – and as a desi woman, we are shamed for having bodily hair as though something as natural as hair is criminal. I am working on losing weight. I got three new piercings. I coloured my hair. I wear what I want. And it is all because I have reclaimed my body, which Orphan Black has given me the confidence to do. I am so thankful.
The whole nature v/s nurture aspect of the show has made me be more understanding of people. It has helped me accept myself, accept others, and to understand that we are who we are because of what we went through, but we have the power to change where we are going. And it is through unity that we can reach much further. And that’s where the sisterhood of the show comes in. The show has shown me such vast amounts of sisterhood, that me, a twenty-something Indian-Kenyan girl has felt the impact and power of it. Sisterhood is so important. Unity is so important. Understanding one another is so important. Especially when are fighting against something.
My sexuality has been something I have fought with. I used to spend days crying, wishing I was ‘normal’. But when I saw Cosima, and when Cosima said her sexuality is not the most interesting thing about her. And when I saw how badass she is, I learned that indeed, my sexuality is not the most interesting thing about me. It is just a normal part of me. It is not my sole defining factor, and do you know how liberating it was for me to learn that? To just understand that I love who I love and why should it be such a big deal. Honestly, thank you.
One of the most beautiful things about the show is the characters. They are not perfect. They are not always ‘strong’. They have breaking points. Just like us. They go through heartbreak, they go through a downward spiral, they smoke weed, they drink, they fight, they cry, they have normal human experiences. Just like us. Which is why the characters are so relatable. Which is why I am so attached to them. I see myself in them. I see them in myself. And that is so beautiful. So to Sarah, Rachel, Helena, Cosima, Alison, Beth, Mika, Krystal, Felix, Kira, Mrs. S., Delphine, Art, Donnie, Charlotte, Scott, Ira, Mark. All of you. Thank you.
The cast, oh the cast. Tatiana Maslany has made me believe in myself. She is so real in terms of how she is. She does not conform to societal expectations. She is so kind. And so damn hardworking, and enough thank-yous are not enough for her. Kathryn Alexandre. Thank you for your hard-work. Thank you for the kindness. Evelyne Brochu. Jordan Gavaris. Maria Doyle Kennedy. Kristian Bruun. Kevin Hanchard. The creators. John and Graeme, you have changed my life.
And Clone Club. Oh my god, Clone Club. I have found so much solidarity in Clone Club. I have met the kindest, funniest, smartest, loveliest people because of the show. I love you guys. This fandom has been one of the most accepting, encouraging, loving, fun, funny, kind, brilliant and beautiful fandom. I love you. And Orphan Crack videos. And all the fan art. The fan testimonies. Just everything.
Lastly, I want to add that I know from a broader prospect the show is about clones, about fighting those in power, about gaining freedom, about all that. But I have related it to a much deeper perspective. My goal in life is to fight for the rights of people. To fight injustices. To fight the patriarchy. And I do that through my writing and the stories I cover. And in a more deeper perspective that is exactly what the show is doing. So whether I am fighting against violence against women, or racism, or casteism, or homophobia, or any form of discrimination I know that I can apply the strength, the perseverance of Orphan Black to help me understand the fight is worth it.
Orphan Black has changed my life. Orphan Black has saved me. Orphan Black has shown me so much love and care. And I do not know if this is a good enough tribute, but I am so thankful each and every day for the show.
P.S.: I got my own clone tag number it is: 709F36
Thank you, Orphan Black.
Farewell, Orphan Black.