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.