In my seventh year of life, on Halloween morning, I pushed aside orange streamers to find that Dracula was driving my school bus. As I bolted back across my yard screaming at my sister to get off the bus — “It’s a trick! It’s a trick!” — I recognized an incontrovertible truth about myself: I am a coward.
Lesbians have long been portrayed as psychotic, axe-wielding sociopaths, so I’m sure there are a lot of purposefully terrifying lesbian TV moments; I just don’t know about any of them. I make my girlfriend answer the door on Halloween. I do not even watch scary movie previews. The sound of Robert Stack‘s voice is enough to keep me awake for days.
Therefore, this is a list of the most unintentionally scary lesbian and bisexual TV moments — the ones that send a shiver up your spine, make your blood run cold or, at the very least, cause you to throw something at the television.
These moments are innocuous at first glance, like orange streamers hanging from a door — but what’s inside is so much more sinister than a public-school bus driver.
11) South of Nowhere: Paula Carlin interprets the Torah.
Homophobic Christians working from the first five books of the Old Testament are a terrifying lot. The Pentateuch is God’s tedious instruction manual for a select group of people, and it contains punishment instructions for offenses like growing two kinds of crops in the same field, or wearing polyblend fiber.
When Paula Carlin walks into her daughter’s room to find her milling around in her bra with notorious homosexual Ashley Davies, the Christian goes bananas. First, she shouts at Spencer to make it leave! But when she realizes the homosexual can hear and speak to her, she takes God’s 7,000-year-old laws into her own hands.
Grabbing Ashley by the hair, Paula drags her from her house; we can’t see where they’re going. Is it going to be a simple matter of exile? Is she going to force her to the outskirts of Nowhere? Or, is Paul Carlin going to gather the elders from the neighborhood and stone the homosexual at the end of the street? Don’t look back, Ashley, you might turn to salt!
10) The O.C.: Marissa Cooper falls for a girl.
The sage lesbians among us watched with trepidation as The O.C. introduced its lesbian storyline. If ever there was a character to trust with your heart, it was not Marissa Cooper. Her special gift was destroying the souls of the people with whom she had relationships. Ask Ryan Atwood. Or that crazy Oliver.
Our biggest fear was that Marissa’s foray into lesbianism was nothing more than a ratings stunt. And it was, so we were right, which isn’t unusual, but also proves that when we say be afraid, you should really be afraid.