Best. Lesbian. Year. Ever. 2006

 
 

APRIL

BISEXUAL RULES
In case you missed it, former Buffy actress Iyari Limon came out as bisexual earlier this week. And she actually has a girlfriend! (A violation of Rule #14 in The Actress’s Guide to Coming Out as Bisexual, which very clearly states that you should only come out as bisexual if you have a boyfriend, and never actually date women, but we’ll forgive her.)

Speaking of openly bisexual women, Leslie was eliminated from America’s Next Top Model this week, but Tiffani is still in the running on Bravo’s Top Chef–and a frontrunner for America’s Bitchiest Chef, if they ever do a spin-off.

TWINS
Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels announced this week that they’re expecting twins this fall. To answer all the obvious questions: Tammy is the one who’s pregnant; they used an anonymous donor from a sperm bank; and yes, this will undoubtedly inspire a sitcom sometime in the near future about lesbians raising twins.

A LESBIAN VIEW
It’s official: Rosie O’Donnell is returning to daytime television as Meredith Vieira’s replacement on the popular ABC morning talk show The View, now in its ninth season. Beginning in September, she’ll join co-hosts Barbara Walters, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Joy Behar, and Star Jones Reynolds in discussing entertainment and pop culture news, interviewing celebrities, and in the case of Marcia Cross, confirming their heterosexuality.

MAY

IF A LESBIAN WINS AN EMMY AND THE CAMERA DOESN’T CUT TO ELLEN’S RESPONSE, DID IT REALLY HAPPEN?
Maile Flanagan By now, everyone knows that Ellen kept up her winning streak at this year’s Daytime Emmys last Friday, but you may not know that another out lesbian won a Daytime Emmy last week, too: Maile Flanagan, who won Outstanding Performer in An Animated Program for the PBS children’s program Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks (yes, that’s really the name of the show).

Flanagan, who does theater in LA and has had roles in Phone Booth, The Station Agent, 61*, and Grey’s Anatomy, thanked her partner Lesa in her acceptance speech, and was promptly invited by Barbara to join The View “if that other lesbian doesn’t work out.”

PRIMETIME MARY
The Vice President’s openly gay daughter Mary Cheney was interviewed by Diane Sawyer on ABC’s Primetime last night about her new memoir, Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That…er, I mean, Now It’s My Turn. In the interview, she talked about working on the 2004 campaign, coming out to her parents, and how she almost left her father’s 2004 campaign because of the Republican Party’s anti-gay policies.

Earlier reports that Dick Cheney accidentally shot his daughter as she was leaving the ABC sound stage have since proven to be erroneous.

THE UPFRONTS ARE COMING! THE UPFRONTS ARE COMING!
This Monday, May 15th, sees the kickoff of the TV networks annual upfront presentations to potential advertisers, which allows us to find out exactly which new shows have been picked up for the fall or mid-season TV schedule, and which current shows will be returning next season. There are lots of cool shows on the horizon, including the CBS sitcom The Class, and NBC’s Heroes, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and the untitled Tina Fey sitcom (I’ll pretty much watch anything Tina does). But there’s not much to root for from a lesbian visibility perspective, besides hoping that Out of Practice gets renewed (which isn’t likely), and that ABC picks up the legal drama previously known as Women in Law, then Sisters in Law, and now High Bar.

Speaking of High Bar, aka Women in Law, former Practice star Kelli Williams mentioned the pilot and her lesbian role in her interview with TV Guide this week:

“I don’t want to stereotype myself, but what I like about this is it’s an office drama more than it’s a legal drama. It’s more about the relationships between these women. And besides, if I’m going to play a lawyer again, I might as well be pregnant and a lesbian. That trumps the others!”

TV needs another pregnant lesbian like it needs another legal drama, but never mind–given the bleak network TV landscape next season, she had me at “lesbian”.

BAD NEWS FOR QUEER WOMEN ON TV, BUT GOOD NEWS FOR LESBIAN THESPIANS
As I discussed at length here yesterday, the networks have finished announcing their schedules for next season, and lesbian and bisexual women are nowhere to be found. Out of Practice was not renewed, the sole new pilot with a regular lesbian character (ABC’s High Bar) was not picked up, and we’re now facing a whole season without any prominent lesbian or bisexual characters on TV, unless or until Cristina comes out on Grey’s Anatomy.

ABC also passed on the untitled comedy co-starring Jane Lynch, and the sitcom Girls on the Bus, co-starring Sara Gilbert, so it looks like the only out (or semi-out) actress in a regular role on primetime network TV next season will be Sarah Paulson in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, who plays a conservative Christian. Yeah, it’s going to be a long season.

In better news, Cherry Jones finally has some competition for the title of Out Actress With the Most Tony Awards! Not one but two openly queer women were nominated in the Lead Actress in a Play category for this year’s Tony’s, which will be awarded on June 11th: Lisa Kron for Well, and Cynthia Nixon for Rabbit Hole. No word on whether either of the women will be asked to join The View.

BIANCA RETURNS
I stand corrected: there is a lesbian on network TV, but only for three weeks. Actress Eden Riegel has temporarily returned the ABC daytime drama All My Children to reprise her role as Pine Valley’s former resident lesbian Bianca, who moved to Paris in early 2004. But don’t get too excited: Bianca’s only back to help her sister Kendall out of a jam, not to have a love life. So, you know, same story, different year.

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