Carmilla star Natasha Negovanlis is on a mission to normalise queer relationships

Natasha Negovanlis, the pansexual star of supernatural YouTube series Carmilla, tells PinkNews that she’s still coming to terms with her status as a queer icon as she took to the stage at ClexaCon in London.

On the mystery fantasy show where Negovanlis made her name, she played vampire Carmilla Karnstein, who’s initially introduced as the self-involved nemesis of Elise Bauman’s main character Laura Hollis, but quickly becomes her love interest.

Carmilla was a huge success, running for three seasons—or four, if you count season zero—and 123 episodes, being turned into a film, attracting tens of millions of views and spawning countless fan videos chronicling Carmilla and Laura’s romance, like all good on-screen relationships do in the modern age.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Actresses Natasha Negovanlis (L) and Elise Bauman attend VH1's 5th Annual Streamy Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on Thursday, September 17, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions)

Negovanlis and her Carmilla co-star, Elise Bauman (Mike Windle/Getty)

This show was different to most, though. It placed a same-sex relationship at its heart without going down the well-trodden path of turning their story into a tragedy, without treating their attraction as unusual, and without making them the only queer characters in the series.

But despite being part of Carmilla and Laura—or Hollstein, if you want to use their ship name—Negovanlis told PinkNews: “It still baffles my mind that I am considered an icon to anyone, to be honest… especially when I am at home in sweatpants, with zit cream on my face!”

Nevertheless, despite admitting on Twitter that “I too struggle with feeling like I’m not #QueerEnough to speak on #QueerIssues sometimes,” she’s right at the forefront of the fight for queer inclusion.

Negovanlis, seen here in her new YouTube show CLAIREvoyant, is fighting for queer inclusion (natvanlis/instagram)

Since The Carmilla Movie came out a year ago, the 28-year-old Canadian actress has played queer characters in another film, Freelancers Anonymous, and a YouTube dramedy she co-created, called CLAIREvoyant.

“I definitely feel an inherent responsibility to do right by my LGBTQ+ family, as well as other marginalised communities,” she said, adding that the pressure she puts on herself in this area means “I can be really hard on myself sometimes.

“I still have so much to learn, and often make mistakes, but I am also really grateful to be growing into this position and for such a wonderful fandom who teaches me more and more every day.”

It seems she’s doing a good job, both through her acting and her social media presence, which she leverages to boost other LGBT+ creators and actors, and spread the good word about the way to treat same-sex relationships.

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