2007 Visibility Awards


WINNER (tie): Papi (Janina Gavankar), The L Word (Showtime)

Although actress Janina Gavankar did the best with
what she was handed, her character was nothing short of disastrous. From her
crudely stereotypical name and the over-the-top use of slang, to the fact that
the character was played by a non-Latina actress, to the parade of bad hats
and lack of any meaningful story line, the character of Papi was the epitome of
writers trying too hard. The L Word deserves praise for its continuing
attempts to explore the diversity of the LGBT community — it is one of the most racially diverse shows on television, and includes the
only regular FTM character — but this particular effort backfired because
Papi was more of a caricature than a character.

WINNER (tie) Crutch (Heather Matarazzo), Exes & Ohs (Logo)

Virtually everything about Exes & Ohs‘ struggling
musician character annoys us, starting with her name. Her music is terrible
(and only occasionally in a good way), her sanctimonious speeches are tiresome,
and her scenes are almost always a frustrating disruption of the story lines on
the show that we actually care about. (On the other hand, we do give Matarazzo, who is openly gay, kudos for also playing gay. But that doesn’t make up for the bad singing!)

RUNNER-UP: Julia Mallory (Laura Allen), Dirt (FX)

A high-profile actress constantly dodging the tabloids, Dirt‘s
Julia wasn’t really bisexual as much as a straight junkie who slept with her
drug dealer (Carly Pope) in order to keep the drug supply coming,
but that’s the problem — bisexuality is too often equated with
drugs, crime and promiscuity on TV or film, and this character didn’t do anything
to challenge that stereotype. Of course, everyone on this show looked bad, but
there are plenty of other shows that portray heterosexual women in a positive
or at least neutral light, and very, very few that do so for bi women.


WINNER: Alice (Leisha Hailey) and Tasha (Rose Rollins), The L

What makes Alice and Tasha so appealing as a couple is their differences. Aside
from the obvious one (race), they disagree frequently on topics like the war
in Iraq, being closeted, and class issues. This translated into a realistic
dynamic that stood in sharp contrast to the less believable relationships between
some of the other characters on the show (like, say, Alice and Phyllis). It
has also made them one of the most popular couples on the series — at
least for now.

RUNNER-UP: Miranda (Meera Syal) and Min (Fenella Woolgar), Jekyll
(BBC America)

Although they were supporting characters in BBC America’s modern take on
the classic tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Miranda and Min ended up being
pivotal to the unfolding of the plot, and the lesbian couple’s low-key
bickering provided some much-needed comic relief.

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