Friday is a day that All My Children fans are dreading: The end of daytime as we know it. Tomorrow, after 41 years, the ABC run of the classic soap is over.
We may have a recap or two left, depending on what happens with Bianca and Marissa on the last two episodes, but we want to take the opportunity to thank the show for what it did – or at least tried to do – for les/bi women.
Bianca Montgomery is All My Children‘s best-known lesbian, but she wasn’t the first. In 1983, psychiatrist Dr. Lynn Carson (Donna Pescow) revealed her sexual orientation — and became the first LGBT person on an American soap.
Lynn wasn’t a main character and had no love interests that we saw, but her brief storyline was historic nonetheless.
The longest running storyline, featuring our beloved Binx, started in 2000 when Eden Riegel took the role of Bianca, youngest daughter of the mighty Erica Kane (Susan Lucci). Just a few months later, Bianca came out, the first long-standing soap character to do so. Erica did not take the news well, as she recounted on yesterday’s show. Here’s the clip again in case you missed it.
AfterEllen.com has covered Bianca’s every up and down since then. I spent a half day this week reading our posts over the years and found myself reliving the extremes of emotion the storyline has inspired: excitement, frustration, joy and rage. We’ve been FAB’d, Lianca’d, Barfed, BAM’d, Breesed and Minxed.
We’ve been titillated by daytime’s first lesbian kiss and first lesbian wedding…
Then disheartened over betrayal and man-kisses and daytime’s first lesbian divorce.
But Bianca’s very presence on television for so many years has given us a platform for all of those feelings — and a reason to discuss them.
Of course, Bianca would not be the Binx we know and love without the continued presence of Eden Riegel. Her honest, heartfelt portrayal of Bianca for so many years made us fall in love with her as well as her character.
Riegel’s belief in and support of her lesbian fans has been unfailing. In fact, she told Soap Opera Digest that one of the reasons she decided to leave All My Children was that Bianca was getting lost. “The people making the show didn’t really understand what Bianca was about anymore,” she said.
Loyal fans were skeptical, then, when AMC recast Bianca last year, hiring relative unknown Christina Bennett Lind. We needn’t have worried. CBL has brought a unique and renewed energy to Bianca and has made the role her own.
For months after the recast, however, Bianca’s story was romance free. As Lind said, “I was like the asexual lesbian, and there was no sex being had.” But soon after Sarah Glendening took the role of Marissa Tasker, we started seeing sparks of chemistry between Bianca and Marissa.
Within a few months, Minx happened. And when Agnes Nixon and Lorraine Broderick returned to wrap up All My Children for the series finale, Bianca’s storyline got very, very interesting. With such a short development time, Minx has progressed at the speed of a lesbian U-Haul, but we have been delighted with the relationship at every turn. And fans love the interaction with CBL and SG as they have grown to love Minx as much as we do.
The onscreen future of Bianca and Minx remains uncertain, as Prospect Park negotiates with actors to continue AMC online. But in our hearts, we believe that Bianca finally has found love and that Minx will live happily ever after.
Join me in thanking All My Children, along with Eden, Christina and the rest of the cast and share your favorite AMC/Bianca memory. We love you, Binx — and we will miss you.
The last episode of All My Children on ABC airs Friday, September 23 in most markets. The View will have a full hour honoring the series at 11 a.m. ET.