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Fans give Wynonna Earp the thumbs up: Katherine Barrell, star of the supernatural Western horror series, thanks them.

Canadian actor Katherine Barrell has always been an ally, but her relationship with the LGBTQ community became a lot more personal when she stepped into the boots of Officer Nicole Haught, the fan-favorite lesbian cop on the SyFy show Wynonna Earp. "Getting to know fans, hearing their stories, getting fan mail and letters with people privately coming out to me and saying 'You're the first person I've told,' or 'You inspired me to talk to my family'--I think it's a massive difference," says Barrell. Clearly, she means a lot to her fans, but the experience has been profound for her as well. "Being able to have such a direct effect on people has been amazing and a huge privilege. Just being able to directly talk to the people that the show is helping, and changing aspects of their lives--I think for the better."

Wynonna Earp has made a huge impact on queer fans, who have been rightfully guarding their hearts in the wake of the Bury Your Gays trend. When Nicole Haught was shot in the chest at the end of Season 1, fans were relived and delighted that she was wearing a bulletproof vest and would live to fight another day, and to flash them her dimpled smile.

Not only does Barrell star in the TV show Wynonna Earp, her character, and likeness, have been added to the comic book spin-off as well. Seeing herself immortalized in the comics was a real trip. "It was crazy. I mean, that was like next level for me. Even more than being on TV. Because, as an actor, I've seen myself on TV already, but I think to be in a comic book is something really special and really different. To see yourself essentially being portrayed as a superhero, in a way, is really crazy and beautiful. It took some adjusting, for sure."

Being the face of one of television's most popular lesbian characters has changed Barrell's life significantly in the past year. "Just having people be so passionate about the show. We have the best fans. I mean, they petitioned SyFy for a Season 2--that's how amazing our fans are. They pretty much got our show renewed. It's been such a wonderful thing to be a part of, and so many actors go their entire careers without ever getting close to anything like this experience. I'm really lucky."

And to all you Nicole Haught cosplayers out there: Keep it up. Barrell is overjoyed about seeing you wearing her Purgatory police uniform. "The detail and the time people put into their costumes is just so wonderful and so cool," she says. "I'm still kind of baffled that we are where we are, and it hasn't even been a year. It's just, like, where are we going to go from here?"

If you ask fans, the sky's the limit for Katherine Barrell and Wynonna Earp. Filming for Season 2 is underway, and fans are on the edge of their seats when it comes to Nicole and Waverly, or WayHaught, as they are also known. When we last saw Waverly, she had been infected with a touch of the old evil. What does this mean for the couple? Guess you'll have to tune in to the show this spring, Earpers.

Katherine Barrell will appear at ClexaCon in Las Vegas, March 3-5. (clexacon.com)

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Author:Piccoli, Dana
Publication:Curve
Date:Feb 1, 2017
Words:570
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