Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (Aug. 1, 2008)

After 47 years on the air, British soap opera Coronation Street is finally going to add a lesbian character, according to News of the World. (Thanks to AE reader Hopeless_Savage for the tip!)

First broadcast in 1960, Coronation Street, aka Corrie, is set on a fictional street in the fictional town of Weatherfield in Greater Manchester, England. “Corrie lags behind on issues of race and gender," said a source at Granada Television, the show’s production company.

Indeed, Corrie has been a bit slow on the uptake — although minority characters appeared on the show sporadically through the years, the first regular non-white family, the Desai family, did not join the show until 1999. The show’s first gay character appeared a few years later in 2003, when Todd Grimshaw (Bruno Langley) began his coming-out process. He has since left the show, but Corrie does still have a gay character in the flamboyant Sean Tully (Anthony Cotton), who is in a relationship with another man. (Read more about the gay men of Corrie on

The cast of Coronation Street at the British Soap Awards in 2007

Photo credit: Ben Stansall/Getty Images

The show’s producers had originally intended for the character Violet Wilson (Jenny Platt), a barmaid, to be a lesbian when she joined the cast in 2004, but that idea was soon abandoned. The source explained: “Violet was pinpointed as the one character they could take down that route but they went cold on the idea and cast her as straight. It does seem ridiculous it has never been explored on Corrie but that’s all about to change.”

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about American TV, it’s that soap operas are the most conservative type of programming you can find on television, so it’s not that surprising that British soaps are similarly behind the times. But at least Corrie‘s producers seem to understand that now. "Executives want to create a soap which is representative of society in 2008 and they are acutely aware they need more gay characters,” said the source.

Personally, I’ve always thought that lesbian characters would be perfect for soaps — I mean, think of the possibilities! The town’s resident playgirl leaves her unbelievably beautiful fiancée at the altar. A tawdry love affair erupts between a high-powered female executive and her sexy handydyke. After stealing millions in a poker heist, a formerly rich heiress lands in jail and falls for her diamond-in-the-rough butch cellmate.

Oh, wait — that show already exists!

The gossip about Veronicas band member Jess Origliasso and lesbian Australian MTV VJ Ruby Rose continues this week as more photos surfaced of the two getting real snuggly in Sydney. Perez Hilton has even noticed and has declared that
"They’re like the Australian LezLo and saMANtha!" (Ooh, Perez, way to slip a butch-bashing joke in there — that’s so inclusive of you.)

But the news isn’t only on the gossip sites; even MSN has taken to reporting sightings from various "sources" who have encountered the pair out at clubs together.

Maybe I’ve been working at too long, because I don’t really see why this is such big news. A rock star from an all-female band is hooking up with an openly gay MTV VJ — is that actually surprising?

You know what would really floor me? If the media stopped covering this with a dripping layer of Girls Gone Wild salaciousness. That’ll be the day!

— by Malinda Lo

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