October 7, 1996

What do Seinfeld, Friends and Mad About You all have in common?
They are all comedies.
More importantly, they all have real, live lesbian characters.

Oddly enough, none of these women look like the majority of lesbians I've seen but no matter. We are IN. Hollywood has passed judgment upon our lifestyle and deemed it ... palatable.

I know there have been lesbian characters in TV for a long time but never in such numbers. "Spot The Lesbian" has become a game with my girlfriend and I. In the last 30 seconds of a Dave's World the other day and I spotted one. The Shadow Steven's character asked this tall, thin, long-haired brunette out and she declined because she had to go to her WIFE'S birthday party. Oh, did I mention this scene took place poolside? She, naturally, had on a very small bikini and she walked like a hooker?

Our lifestyle is by no means being schlepped off as a site gag in the last minute of these shows. We are taking prominent roles! Seinfeld had not one but TWO lesbians in a few episodes. George bumped into his old girlfriend in a video store and found that she had "turned gay". The old girlfriend's new girlfriend was a confirmed lesbian. You knew that because she was dressed in the classic Anne Hall fashion we all so enjoy and can afford. The confirmed lesbian, who had NEVER even dated a man, ended up with the hot banana's for Kramer. Hilarity ensued. Don't worry... George's old girlfriend became his fiancé and then died of glue poisoning while sealing their wedding invitation.

Not all lesbians die or "go straight" in TV land today. Sometimes they have babies. Friends has a pair of mother lesbians and has dealt with some heavy issues, like what does mother's milk really taste like? Now, we all know that most lesbians get their babies from sperm banks but not these ladies! They got the sperm the old fashion way! From Ross, the tall goofy looking guy, who was once married to the blond lesbian. Now, in this series, both lesbians dress very nicely, both are thin with long hair, and no one has a tattoo as far as I can tell. I must admit that the blond one's hair is actually just above shoulder length, so I guess she's the butch one (although she did have the baby).

OK, now on to my favorite lesbian couple. Mad About You made Paul's sister gay and her girlfriend is Jaime's gynecologist. Pretty cool. A lesbian looking at Jaime's private bits! And don't think they shirked away from that reference either! Paul's dad made the observation that she had to be a great gyno because she knows something about looking at women! The doctor lesbian is just about the only one of the bunch that I think looks like she could actually be a lesbian. So, in order to stop that line of thinking, they put her in long dresses and huge hair. I recognized the actress from Love and War, the comedy with Jay Thomas and Anne Potts. In that series she was a sports reporter who wore jeans, men's dress shirts with blazers and penny loafers. I guess to stop me from thinking she might be, well, you know, the producers made her Catholic with big hair.

I really do think it's a wonderful thing that Hollywood has found profit in exploiting the novelty of lesbians but I want more. (I always want more.) The TV committee has found a way to neuter the lesbian persona and make sure the American public can handle it. In every case, we are a couple and very feminine looking. This way we aren't a threat to anyone. Women feel safe because we are all married to such nice looking, well-mannered girls and the men are comfortable (with a hint of titillation) because their crank shafts aren't being challenged. What I really want to see is a bald headed, tattooed dyke offer to show Felicia Rashad her newest piercing! I don't want to be greedy though, so I'd settle for a single lesbian with a bad hair cut.


Please send me your comments and suggestions. Email me at lmjimene@ix.netcom.com.

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Copyright, 1997 by Laura Jiménez.