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

2002

The Wire debuts on HBO
HBO’s new series The Wire debuted in the summer of 2002 and featured a lesbian detective played by African-American/Korean-American actress Sonja Sohn.

HBO’s Soul Food makes Eva a recurring character
Showtime’s African-American ensemble drama Soul Food introduced a black lesbian character, Eva, in a single episode of the previous season, and made her a recurring character in 2002. Soul Food teased us with the possibility of a relationship between her and one of the regular characters on the series, but, ultimately, it never went anywhere.

Sarah Warn founds AfterEllen.com
Clearly bored and with too much free time on her hands, Sarah Warn decides to launch a little lesbian entertainment website.

ABC airs the first kiss between lesbian/bisexual teenage characters on Once and Again
ABC aired the first kiss between lesbian/bisexual teenage characters on Once and Again, Jessie (Evan Rachel Wood) and her best friend Katie (Mischa Barton).
At the time, it’s only the fourth instance of a primary character in a
television drama being developed into a lesbian character during the
lifetime of the show (the other three are Bianca on All My Children, Willow on Buffy, and Dr. Kerry Weaver on ER). There is no negative advertising impact and only one ABC affiliate (in Virginia) refuses to air the episode. 

Frida is released
Salma Hayek produced and starred in the feature film about the legendary Mexican bisexual painter Frida Kahlo, which included a memorable tango danced by Hayek and Ashley Judd.

The BBC production of Tipping the Velvet premieres
The novel by out author Sarah Waters gets the BBC treatment, and the resulting miniseries (starring Rachael Stirling and Keeley Hawes) becomes an instant lesbian classic.

Rosie comes out, leaves The Rosie O’Donnell Show
Two months before departing her Emmy Award-winning daytime talk show, the "Queen of Nice" announced "I’m a dyke" while onstage at a charity fundraiser and was then interviewed by Diane Sawyer on Primetime Thursday in hopes of drawing attention to Florida’s ban on gay adoption. That same year, O’Donnell also played a lesbian mom on Will & Grace and published her memoir, Find Me.

Opera singers (and real life couple) Beth Clayton and Patricia Racette come out
Opera singers Beth Clayton and Patricia Racette came out professionally in an article in Opera News in 2002.

Melanie Lowe appears on Idol in South Africa
Singer Melanie Lowe rose to fame after an appearance on the South African American Idol-type show Idol. In 2009, she officially comes out as a lesbian in 2009).

Buffy the Vampire Slayer introduces Kennedy
Buffy introduced a lesbian character, Kennedy (played by actress Iyari Limon), which brought the total number of Latina lesbian/bi characters on TV ever (at that time) to two. 

Here! TV launches
The first U.S. television network targeting the LGBT community begins broadcasting.

The Hours is released
Michael Cunningham‘s novel The Hours (based on Virginia Woolf‘s Mrs. Dalloway) is turned into a feature film starring Nicole Kidman as bisexual writer Woolf, Julianne Moore as despondent 1950′s housewife Laura Brown and Meryl Streep as Greenwich Village lesbian Clarissa Vaughan. Kidman nabs a Best Actress Oscar for her role.

by Karman Kregloe

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