I used to have a friend who called me the Queer Stalker. In my closet years, I desperately consumed any and all pop culture I could find that had any queer in it at all. But one lovely byproduct of living an out life this year has been: I no longer love everything with lesbian content by default! And now that I think about it, I’ve got a few issues with some of the shows and content I clung to so hard back in the day. Let’s explore, shall we?
1. Everyone on The L Word was a textbook narcissist.
Having (obviously) watched the entire run of The L Word three times throughout my twenties, I think I can finally say this with confidence: Everyone on The L Word was completely insufferable and self-absorbed. I think that entire show was actually one of Dante’s circles of Hell, the one where you can never escape Ilene Chaiken’s egomaniacal version of West Hollywood. Seriously, think about it: did a single one of those characters ever spend more than a nanosecond thinking about anybody else? Besides maybe Dana, may she rest in peace. Max and Kit and Lara Perkins were sweeties too. But everyone else pretty much had no soul. I’m right about this — give it another watch, you’ll see.
2. Willow and Kennedy were a sweet couple.
I know, this is an answer to a really, really old debate. Like fifteen years ago old. But remember after Joss killed Tara and everyone was so sad, but we eventually forgave him because he’s Joss, and then along came potential slayer Kennedy, who had a tongue piercing and partook in end-of-the-world sex with Willow, and everyone was all pissed off about it because they were still mourning Tara?
Well, guess what: I liked Willow and Kennedy together. After years of casting sweet soft spells in Ren Faire dresses with Tara, it was nice to have a little get-up-and-go (clad in suspenders, no less) in Willow’s life.
3. Imagine Me & You was miscast.
2005 was quite a year for me. It was the first year I admitted to myself that I might be, well, something queerish. And when Imagine Me & You came out, I loved it as the next baby gay. But let’s face it: even in their gloriously cozy color-coordinated sweaters, Piper Perabo and Lean Headley never really managed to act like (future) lovers. There was no flame of desire there, only the promise of sweet, friendly companionship. Even the “after” shot had them cuddling asexually on a park bench like a PSA about lesbian bed death.
I say it was miscast, but to be fair, I don’t know if it was the actresses, the direction, or the time period — maybe Saturday Morning Coffee Date was 2005’s allusion to lesbian sex. But the bottom line, for me, is here: falling in love isn’t just about companionship. It’s also about finding that person who can make you shudder by just whispering in your ear. And I just didn’t see that represented — even in an innocent, butterflies-in-the-stomach, PG-13 way — in this movie.
4. Maya was a terrible first girlfriend for Emily Fields.
Maybe it’s because Bianca Lawson has now been playing teenagers on television for over 15 years (who remembers Kendra-the-Accent-Slayer?) but I could never get into Maya as a coming-out girlfriend for Emily on Pretty Little Liars. Even though she was written as a sweetheart, the sly, calculated way she seduced Emily seemed out of place for high school, and she never managed to smile with her eyes. Also: who gets sent to wilderness rehab for pot, anyway?
5. Autostraddle headlines are alphabet soup.
I so want to like Autostraddle. But in their rush to strike a young, irreverent tone, their content can be really green and uneven. There’s nowhere this is more apparent than in their headlines. Half the time, it’s difficult to even make sense of them — they read like the random collection of phrases that typing tests throw in to slow you down. For example:
- Autostraddle Writers Share Their WEEK TWO Masters Of Sex Cure Month Experience Journals
- NSFW Lesbosexy Sunday Is Wearing Your Underwear
- Also.Also.Also: Science Has Good News for You Assholes Who Curse and Other Stories We Missed
- Things I Read That I Love #162: I Suspect That Everyone I Know Might Reject Me At Any Moment