The L Word: Impacting One Lesbian at a Time

One day when I was getting tea at a local coffee house and living the life of a straight woman, this barista told me something weird. She said, "You remind me of Kate Moennig. You have the same dark look, same eyes, same smile and the same mannerisms as her."


"Kate Moennig. She plays 'Shane' from
'The L Word'. On Showtime? Have you seen that show?"

"Uh, no. I don't have Showtime."

But in the back of my mind, I was slightly panic-stricken. Because as a church-goer, I had seen some e-mail a few years back from one of those Focus On The Family groups trying to rally it's members to write or call Showtime to protest the show about lesbians. I was so grateful that we didn't get premium channels because it helped me to fight the temptation to learn more about other women like me. I didn't know a single other lesbian and it made my straight life so much easier to live in to keep myself ignorant.

I went home and googled Kate Moennig. Hell, I wish I looked like her. But my search took me in an unexpected direction: YouTube. Here was the first video I watched (with subtitles for our French pals):

I realized that there were all kinds of clips from "'The L Word" and I started watching. And watching. And watching. The more I watched, the more I learned. The more I learned, the more my need to be myself surfaced. It just helped to reinforce in my mind that people be out and still have a decent life.

It was so hard for me to be someone that I wasn't. I hate to say it because it would have been great if my first lesbian education was through a personal connection, not a TV show. But I am glad The L Word existed during a time when I needed another nudge towards the closet door.

We are about to see the final season of "The L Word" and it got me to wondering if I was the only one that this show had an impact on. Anyone have any good L Word stories? I'd love to read them.

The final season of "The L Word" will premiere in Showtime on January 18th.


Tina-cious.com said...

I can't think of a better bday present (Jan. 18th is my bday).

Woot Woot!

twoladiesinwaiting said...

Great post. Sometimes I forget that The L Word really does serve a larger purpose than eye candy and a great excuse to get together.

Pugs said...

Wow, Sinnerviewer, it sounds like you & I lived the same closeted life! I'm a recovering straight gal myself and my first introduction to The L Word came from my therapist. When I whispered, "I think I might be gay but I don't know any lesbians to help me figure out if that's true," she told me to go to Blockbuster & rent Season 1 and 2. I haven't always liked the direction that Ilene has taken the show but I'm definitely going to miss it once its over.


Albie said...

This was my first experience too, although I first heard about Lword in a Newsweek article and then fervently avoided it, suspecting the turmoil it would unleash.

and it did.

I saw season 1 in i think 2 days solid. a few years back and have been a fan ever since, even though the situations sometimes make me wince with their ridiculousness. I've met friends by showing up to watch at Lword parties.

It ummm kinda helped me figure out what to do when that came along as well.

The L word will be inextricably linked to my coming out experience.

I only hope that some other show can step up where it left off. They joked in the dialogue that their efforts would impact some "girl out in the midwest." and yep, it did. Lots of us.

Georgia said...

I confess, your situation is pretty much the same as mine.

I'm sixteen, I have a bisexual mother and have always wondered if I was indeed a lesbian.

Somehow I found the L Word and it didn't take me long to fall head over heals in lust with Shane.

Anyway, I thought about, and I thought 'Well, I could be gay, it would explain a lot of things.' So, I continued to watch and it just fell into place and made so much sense.

I've recently started to come out to my friends, but I don't know if I'll ever come out to my parents. Which is sad.