Timeline of Femslash in Canon Sources
|Fandom:||Femslash, History of Femslash Fandom|
|Dates:||1970s - present|
|See also:||Timeline of Yuri Fandom, Timeline of Slashed Sources, Slash Controversies, Slash Tropes|
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The timeline shows the shows, movies, books and video games with large femslash (and lesbian) followings and important dates relating to them.
- Cagney & Lacey, premiered in 1982 after a 1981 pilot, quickly gained a large and dedicated lesbian following, and is cited in Francesca Coppa's A Brief History of Media Fandom as the first lesbian slash fandom.
- In 1984 The Facts of Life begins airing, and inspires queer readings.
- The vampire cop series Forever Knight (1992-6) had two strong female co-stars, Natalie Lambert and Janette DuCharme. Although they only occasionally meet in canon (and, indeed, are both canonically romantically involved with the male protagonist), the term "Nanette" was coined by Patrick Kortner Aiex explicitly to refer to an f/f relationship between the two. The Nanettes faction was formalized in 1996. The Nanettes had a discussion group on One List, Le Cercle des Nanettes, and later a Yahoo Group. There was also a website, Le Chateau des Nanettes, which archived members' fan fiction. Some of this was gen, but much was implicitly or explicitly f/f.
- Babylon 5 aired from 1994-1998 and featured at least one subtext femmeslash pairing: Talia/Ivanova. Little early fanfiction of any sort exists for Babylon 5 show in general because the creator, who was actively interacting with fans online and had requested that none be written. In 1994, a Susan/Talia novel, Catalyst was published.
- Xena: Warrior Princess premiered in 1995. It was the first popular SFF show that featured two female leads who regularly interacted with one another. An active altfic community quickly developed around the show, particularly after the lead characters shared a (confusing) kiss in Season 2.
- March 16, X-Files, the first known f/f fic publicly posted was A Woman's Touch, by Leyla Harrison
- August 28, Sailor Moon airs in the west. Femslash becomes very popular in Sailor Moon, with the main cast being practically all females. The Inner (Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, & Venus) and Outer (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, & Saturn) Senshi are often shipped together, Chibiusa (Sailor Chibi-Moon/Mini-Moon) is often shipped with Sailor Saturn. However the most popular canon femslash pairing is Haruka/Michiru (Uranus/Neptune) - although the English dub of Sailor Moon garnered negative comments for destroying their established relationship - first leaving it unsaid before eventually getting the two to refer to each other as cousins.
- January 13, Season 2 of Xena: Warrior Princess airs the episode "The Xena Scrolls" in which alternate universe versions of the principle characters appeared. This led to a whole subgenre of Xena fanfiction known as uber. It was one of the first incidents of a fandom embracing the AU and is especially notable as many of these AUs/uber fics were later converted into original works that were then published as lesbian romance novels.
- The premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1997 soon led to a large fannish following, including many femslash shippers who saw chemistry between Buffy and fellow slayer Faith.
- The arrival of Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager in 1997 quickly led to an active femslash fandom, pairing her with Captain Janeway and producing large numbers of stories and vids.
- In 1997 or 1998 a single fanvid was created by Katharine Scarritt for the pairing Talia/Ivanova in Babylon 5. A few fans remember the video playing in the Escapade vid show in the 1990s which would make it the first public femmeslash vid, but the surviving playlists are incomplete and only include vids that were released on the official convention tape. Some vidders chose to release their vids on their own tapes and "Ice" can be found on the Media Cannibals Tape #3.
- The X-Files fandom gave rise to femslash, mostly featuring Scully paired with original characters and characters in fandom crossovers. Some examples are at Scully Slash Archive, which was founded in 1998. The earliest date of fic on this archive is 1995 (A Woman's Touch), there are many for 1998 and 1999, and some in 2000-2002.
- Willow, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, began a canon relationship with Tara Maclay in late 1999/early 2000, giving rise to alarge and enthusiastic fandom. See Willow/Tara.
- Bad Girls, a British prison drama that ran from 1999-2006, inspired a large femslash following, partly due to the mostly-female ensemble, and partly because of the numerous canon relationships between women, in particular Helen Stewart and Nikki Wade.
- The large number of female characters in Farscape led to a healthy femslash community, with popular pairings including Chiana/Jool and Chiana/Aeryn, as well as the three-way ship Chiana/Jool/Sikozu.
- May 7, Buffy the Vampire Slayer kills off Tara Maclay with a stray bullet in front of her girlfriend Willow.
- Harry Potter fandom inspires a great deal of femslash for a variety of pairings. Ginny/Hermione, Fleur/Hermione, Ginny/Luna, Hermione/Pansy and Ginny/Pansy were all popular, with many fans congregating on the hp girlslash LiveJournal community.
- CSI had a sizeable femslash fandom in this decade, particularly after Sofia Curtis joined the cast.
- The Harry Potter Old Lady Smut Brigade, founded in 2004, focused on the adult women of the series, and frequently featured femslash pairing the teachers with each other in various combinations, with Professor McGonagall being perhaps the most popular participant.
- South of Nowhere begins to air and quickly gains a femslash following due to focus on the main lead characters, Spencer and Ashley, exploring their sexuality and relationship together.
- Mass Effect allowed players to create a custom version of the series' protagonist, Commander Shepard, and pressure a romance with 3 other characters. Femshep (the name used to refer to a female Commander Shepard) and Liara T'Soni became a popular femslash ship within the fandom.
- Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn features confirmed lesbian character Heather during part II of the story. Though a minor character, she has several scenes where she flirts with other girls.
- The Devil Wears Prada's film adaptation inspired a large femslash following.
- Following the revival of Doctor Who in 2005, the existing femslash community for that fandom grew. The dw femslash LiveJournal community was founded in 2006 and featured many stories of companions paired in various combinations, with Ace, Romana, Leela, Rose Tyler and Sarah Jane Smith all being popular.
- January 22, Skins season 3 premiered. This series sees the introduction of a new cast; it follows the lives of sixth form students Effy Stonem, Pandora Moon, Thomas Tomone, James Cook, Freddie McClair, JJ Jones, Naomi Campbell, and twin sisters Emily and Katie Fitch. Emily and Naomi's story line explores their relationship together.
- May 19, Glee premiered. Brittany S. Pierce and Santana Lopez mention their relationship in the mid-season finale of season one, but it remained mostly subtextual or shown as a friends-with-benefits type of relationship until episode 15 of season 2, when Santana admitted her love for Brittany out loud. During the first three seasons, the pairing of Rachel Berry and Quinn Fabray also became an extremely popular femslash ship known as Faberry, but did not become canon like Brittana did. Fans of both ships often referred to themselves as Faberrittana shippers.
- Dragon Age: Origins allowed players to create a custom version of the series' protagonist, The Warden, and pressure a romance with 4 other characters. If playing a female Warden then players could romance Leliana, which made them popular in femslash.
- By Act 5 of the webcomic Homestuck, the series' alien troll characters were properly introduced, including Kanaya Maryam. Kanaya's past, though unsuccessful, relationship with fellow troll Vriska Serket and current budding relationship with one of the main human players, Rose Lalonde, made her a popular character within femslash. Rose Lalonde/Kanaya Maryam went to become one of the largest femslash ships within the Homestuck fandom.
- The pairing of Myka Bering/H.G. Wells in Warehouse 13 gained popularity following Jaime Murray's first appearance as Helena in 2010. The pairing gained traction as Helena's further appearances often paired her with Myka, and the friendship they shared became important to both of them.
- Rizzoli & Isles premiered on TNT in July 2010 and the show quickly gained a femslash following, as Rizzoli/Isles was felt to be "practically canon." The show was notorious for queerbaiting.
- October 23 Once Upon a Time begins airing. Emma Swan and Regina Mills gain a prolific and enthusiastic femslash following who have a somewhat tense relationship with the show's production team due to accusations of queer baiting.
- Arizona Robbins and Callie Torres, from Grey's Anatomy, get married in the Season 7 episode "White Wedding." It's the first serious lesbian wedding on mainstream television that occurs between two regular cast members of a show.
- Dragon Age II let the player character Hawke romance several of their party members. Female Hawke and Isabela become one of the more popular femslash pairings, along with Hawke/Merrill.
- Adventure Time pairing Princess Bubblegum/Marceline experienced a large surge in popularity when spoilers emerged for the episode "What Was Missing". Through the lyrics of her song, Marceline suggested that she had romantic feelings for Princess Bubblegum. Princess Bubblegum later revealed that she had kept the T-shirt Marceline had given her, and wore it regularly as a nightgown.
- Mass Effect 3 brought the series trilogy to a close. Liara T'Soni returned as a squad member and if romanced in the first Mass Effect game player could continue this relationship. Samantha Traynor was also introduced as a lesbian and possible romance if playing as a female Commander Shepard.
- Faberry from Glee won the E! TV's Top Couple Tournament, after going up against Destiel in the final round. Actress Dianna Agron, who played Quinn Fabray on the show, acknowledged the win on on Twitter.
- Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies featured Aura Blackquill, an antagonistic witness who was embittered and heartbroken after the death of her research partner Metis Cykes, whom she was in love with. Dialogue also implies Metis may have felt the same way, though her feelings were left largely ambiguous due to her being a posthumous character.
- Person of Interest had little to no femslash at first, but after the introduction of Root and Sameen Shaw, Root/Shaw started gaining in popularity. Because Shaw was not introduced as a recurring character until the end of Season 2 and as neither character became a regular until the start of Season 3, the pairing fandom only began being very active in Fall of 2013, though with a lot of encouragement from both the cast and the crew.
- Orange is the New Black premieres on Netflix. Many of the characters in the show are queer women, and fans primarily shipped the Piper Chapman/Alex Vause pairing. After season 4, the fandom became somewhat fractured due to the death of fan favorite lesbian character, Poussey Washington. Her death came at a time where there was already a larger discussion happening online around the Bury Your Gays trope.
- Carmilla, a web series on Youtube based off the novella of the same name, is released and due to the canon nature of the queer relationships present it quickly gains popularity within femslash followings.
- Season 2 of the The 100 introduces Lexa, the commander of the allied Grounder clans, whose pairing with series lead Clarke quickly gives rise a large femslash interest in the show.
- December 19, the series finale of The Legend of Korra confirmed as canon the romantic relationship between Avatar Korra and businesswoman and engineer Asami Sato, as they walked away hand in hand in the final shot of the episode.
- Life is Strange quickly gained a femslash following as the episodic game focused on series protagonist Max Caulfield and her childhood friends Chloe Price as they rekindle their friendship after falling out of touch once Max moved with her parents to Seattle. Pricefield went on to be the juggernaut pairing within the fandom.
- Person of Interest's femslash following skyrocketed after Root and Shaw shared an angst-driven kiss in Season 4.
- Agent Carter gained femslash community interest in the Peggy Carter/Angie Martinelli ship after the initial two-episode premiere. This was largely due to Peggy's decision to move in down the hall from Angie after Edwin Jarvis encouraged her to make connections with people she cared about. The "Cartinelli" ship is now the most popular ship in the fandom, even eclipsing Peggy/Steve.
- February 20, Glee features the wedding of Brittany Pierce and Santana Lopez.
- In the season 1 finale of Steven Universe it was revealed that one of its main characters, Garnet, is the fusion of two two other gems, Ruby and Sapphire, resulting in Garnet being a personification of their love. While the show already had a following that was interested in its queer representation, this finale kick-started the femslash side of the fandom and made Ruby/Sapphire one of its most popular pairings.
- Supergirl series is released and femslash quickly dominated the fandom: Kara/Alex and Kara/Cat ("Supercat") since the pilot was released. As the series progressed and more female characters were introduced, more femslash pairings appeared; namely Kara/Lena, Alex/Astra, Kara/Lucy, and Lucy/Alex.
- Undertale featured a major character, Dr. Alphys, whose crush on the knight Undyne was made very apparent. She and Undyne can go on a date, and are confirmed canon at the end of the game.
- The 100 kills off Lexa with a stray bullet in front of her lover Clarke. It is the latest in a long line of lesbian and bisexual women characters to die in mainstream TV. Fan outrage at yet another canon femslash couple torn apart in what seemed an unnecessary and brutal turn of events led to the LGBT Fans Deserve Better campaign which increased awareness of the prevalence of the trope, and as part of their protest fans raised money for LGBT charities. There is an ongoing boycott of the 100 Season 4 by those who ship Clexa, (Clarke/Lexa), primarily spread through Tumblr, as a form of retribution for Lexa's death.
- Ghostbusters (2016), the third Ghostbusters movie that reboots the series led by a female cast. Many fans speculate that Jillian Holtzmann is a lesbian (due to the actress's own sexuality and interactions with Erin Gilbert; this is confirmed in deleted/extended scenes) and Patty is bisexual (due to her dyed hair colors). Femslash quickly dominated the fandom, with various pairings between the core four appears within the fandom although Holtzmann/Gilbert ("Holtzbert") is the most popular.
- Supergirl Season 2 spoilers are released that one character on the series will be confirmed gay within the new season, fans speculate Alex Danvers and/or Kara Danvers, plus the casting of the comicsverse canon lesbian character Maggie Sawyer. Fans immediately started shipping Maggie with Alex, Kara and other female characters. Season 2 also introduces Lena Luthor - this caused many to also ship her and Kara together as well as with Alex. Season 2 Episode 5 "Crossfire" confirms that Alex is gay and is indeed attracted to Maggie.
- Fire Emblem Fates became the first title in the series with a marriage mechanic to include same-sex options, one of which was a girl named Rhajat for the female player avatar.
- Overwatch saw pairings such as Pharah/Mercy gaining attention due to their compatibility in game play tactics, and Widowmaker/Tracer after both starred in the animated short "Alive." Tracer was later confirmed to be a lesbian in the comic "Reflections" and shown to live with her girlfriend Emily.
- An episode of Once Upon a Time has a True Love's Kiss between two minor female characters (Ruby Lucas/Dorothy Gale).
- Wynonna Earp (TV series) premieres and Wayhaught was immediately popular, and immediately praised for avoiding the bury your gays trope in its first season. (The series has continued to avoid this trope! There was an season 4 episode cliffhanger where Nicole Haught died. The last line of that episode was "I know how this looks, but I'm asking you to trust us". Nicole was revived in the next episode.)
- Power Rangers (2017) is released and is the first blockbuster movie to feature a LGBTQ+ superhero. In part because Trini is canonically gay, Kimberly/Trini (Trimberly) becomes the most popular ship in the fandom.
- The finale of Adventure Time features an on-screen kiss between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline, who are later shown as a cozy couple during a "where are they now" sequence set to the show's ending theme. After years of will-they-or-won't-they romantic tension and a struggle from the showrunners to be allowed to make them canon, fans consider this a major victory.
- In Steven Universe, Ruby and Sapphire have a wedding ceremony, in which they kiss on the lips. Previous kisses had been limited to the cheeks or the forehead.
- Voltron: Legendary Defender's seventh season features a pair of villains, Zethrid and Ezor, who are very close and intimate with one another. Showrunner Lauren Montgomery confirmed they were a couple.
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is released, and allows choice of a male or female protagonist, who can romance a variety of NPCs without gender limitation. Ubisoft states that Kassandra is the canonical protagonist. Many many femslash works featuring Kassandra are created.
- In the seventh and final season of Once Upon a Time, Alice Jones and Robin Mills are a canon couple.
- Killing Eve premieres, attracting a large sapphic following oriented around the femslash ship Villaneve.
- In season two of Riverdale, Cheryl Blossom and Toni Topaz (the ship known as Choni) becomes canon after Toni rescues Cheryl from conversion therapy and kisses her.
- Captain Marvel comes out on March 4 during Women's History Month. Carol Danvers/Maria Rambeau becomes a popular femslash pairing in the MCU fandom.
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses is released worldwide July 26th, featuring five different possible f/f marriage options for the player character: Edelgard von Hresvelg, Dorothea Aranult, Mercedes von Martritz, Lady Rhea, and Sothis. In addition, f/f support pairs such as Dorothea/Petra, Mercedes/Annette, and Catherine/Shamir had paired endings that were marriage in all but name, with the last pair even having Shamir more or less propose to Catherine in their A+ support.
- Gideon the Ninth is released September 10th, the first novel in The Locked Tomb series by Tamsyn Muir. Gideon Nav/Harrowhark Nonagesimus begins to gain traction.
- Terminator: Dark Fate is released Nov 1st in the USA. Dani Ramos/Grace Harper becomes a juggernaut pairing for the fandom, though the femslash potential of ships involving Sarah Connor is also noted by some fans of the movie.
- Dickinson premiered on AppleTV+ and gained a large sapphic following of the main pairing Emisue.
- Happiest Season comes out, "the first same-sex romantic comedy from a major studio."
- Harrow the Ninth is released in August 2020, the second book in the Locked Tomb series - an existing fandom explodes with new readers and fans of the series joining. Additional femslash pairings for the series are explored including Harrowhark Nonagesimus/Ianthe Tridentarius.
- In season 2 of The Owl House, bisexual character Luz Noceda and lesbian character Amity Blight become an official canon couple, making Luz the first queer protagonist in a same-sex relationship on Disney Channel. 
- In the final book of Rainbow Rowell's Carry On series, Any Way the Wind Blows, Agatha Wellbelove develops a working relationship and then more with co-worker and former lacrosse teammate Niamh Brody. The two share a kiss in Agatha's final POV chapter before the epilogue.