10 things we learned from the Best Lesbian TV Summer Ever

 
 

6) Netflix is the future

Orange Is the New Black cast

Orange Is the New Black rocked our world this summer. It featured lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters of all shapes and sizes and color and ethnicities. It featured sexy sexy lesbian sex. And it did it all without the interference of Broadcast Standards and Practices. So, suck on that, Parents Television Council! OITNB is already working on production for the second season, and now that House of Cards has snagged Emmy nominations and legitimized Netflix’s original series production, we can look forward to even more fresh Netflix shows in the years to come.

7) Pat Robertson is the past

The Foster's Teri Polo and Sherri Saum

It delights us to no end that the most lesbian friendly network on television was founded by religious nutjob Pat Robertson. ABC Family was originally an extension of his Christian TV ministry, and in fact the network is still contractually obligated to air his show, The 700 Club, as long as it is being produced, but his homophobic ramblings come on in the middle of the night, while primetime is devoted to Emily and Paige and Shana and Lena and Stef. Pat Robertson’s shelf life has expired.

8) Subtext still hits us in the feels

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We may be in the middle of the biggest lesbian TV character boom in history, but our roots with subtext go deep. There’s an argument that subtext hurts our chances at maintext, but obviously that’s not true. When Rizzoli & Isles premiered, there were four lesbians on summer TV. That number has grown exponentially alongside non-canon fandom. As long as two female characters have chemistry on-screen, there are going to be fanfics and fanvids and photo manips and hopes and prayers of/for that couple. Fandom’s sandbox is as deep as it is wide. Subtext is always going to play a role in the pop culture conversation.

9) Jenny Schecter actually can be redeemed

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Perhaps the most surprising development of the Best Lesbian TV Summer Ever was the fact that Mia Kirshner returned to our screens playing a bisexual character — and we adored her. In fact, we were even rooting for her against Jaime Murray. We’re even still holding out hope that Kenya’s death on Defiance was some kind of Stahma Tarr masterplan hoax. Wonders truly never cease!

10) We’ve come a long way, baby

Pretty Little Liars Paige Emily

But we’ve still got a long way to go. Queer women are still wildly underrepresented on television, despite our recent gains. When losing four characters really makes a difference in visibility, we know we’ve got a lot of work left to do. And even though Orange Is the New Black came through with a really diverse cast, most queer women we see on our TVs are thin, thin, thin and white, white, white and femme, femme, femme. Quantity is one concern, but we also need to be vigilant in our pursuit of quality and diversity.

What did you think about this summer of TV?

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