Best. Lesbian. Decade. Ever. (2000 – 2009)


Cherry Jones and Brooke Shields play lesbians in What Makes a Family
Out actress Cherry Jones starred with Brooke Shields in the Lifetime TV movie What Makes a Family. Directed by Maggie Greenwald and executive produced by Whoopi Goldberg, was based on the true story of a Florida lesbian mother’s fight to maintain custody of her child after the death of her partner. (In real life, the lesbian mother happily won her custody battle in 1989.)

Mainland China’s first lesbian feature film premieres
China’s Fish and Elephant
premiered, becoming the first lesbian-themed mainland film. Also, the
first Beijing Gay and Lesbian Film Festival debuts at Beijing

Melissa Etheridge publishes her memoir
Melissa Etheridge published her memoir The Truth Is… My Life in Love and Music, which included mention of ex-girlfriend Cypher’s alleged tryst with kd lang.

Kissing Jessica Stein is released
This romantic comedy with a twist (heretofore straight Jessica Stein answers a personal ad placed by, gasp, a woman!) starred Jennifer Westfeldt as the neurotic title character and Heather Juergensen as
her very patient girlfriend, Helen. The movie broke ground by
generating positive images and discussion of bisexuality, and by
introducing the term "sexy-ugly" into the vernacular.

Lost and Delirious is released
Joining the long tradition of tormented, suicidal teen lesbians in pop culture, Lost and Delirious featured Piper Perabo as an edgy babydyke who goes off the rails when her girlfriend disavows their relationship. Mischa Barton co-starred as the sullen roommate, forced to bear witness to their lesbian drama.

Bella Books is founded in 2001
Lesbian fiction
finds a new wave of growth and popularity in this decade, due in large
part to the efforts of independent lesbian publishing companies. Bella Books is founded in 2001, Bold Strokes Books
later makes its debut in 2004, as does the Golden Crown Literary
Society, a literary and educational organization focused on lesbian

Tammy Lynn Michaels is outed by her girlfriend
The former star of Popular is outed by girlfriend Melissa Etheridge in an interview with People Magazine. That’s one way to do it! 

Ellen DeGeneres’s short-lived sitcom The Ellen Show debuts on CBS
Ellen DeGeneres’s sitcom "The Ellen Show," (co-created by comic, and future lesbian, Carol Leifer) and co-starring Cloris Leachman as Ellen’s mom, debuts on CBS but is cancelled after only one season.

ER gets very gay
ER gets very gay, as Dr. Kerry Weaver (played by Laura Innes) struggles to come to terms with her sexuality and falls in love with staff psychiatrist Kim Legaspi (played by Elizabeth Mitchell), who eventually dumps her because of Weaver’s own internalized homophobia. Later, we meet Kerry’s new love interest, firefighter Lt. Sandy Lopez (played by Lisa Vidal) the first Latina lesbian primary or secondary character on a TV series.

by Karman Kregloe

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