The L Word fans are still mourning the loss of Dana Fairbanks to breast cancer, but the show’s creator Ilene Chaiken maintained that although she regrets killing Dana, the storyline was one that needed to be told. There is still not enough information known about lesbians and breast cancer. A recent report done by the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation cites:
“…in every location surveyed, lesbians reported lower rates of mammography, colonoscopy, and Pap smears than their heterosexual counterparts. Part of the problem is that lesbians are less likely to have adequate health insurance coverage than heterosexual women, as most employers do not offer coverage for unmarried domestic partners. However, even when cost is not a factor, previous or feared negative responses from health care providers frequently keep too many lesbians from seeking routine screenings.”
To help encourage all women (queer women included!), Erin Daniels has joined up with This is Mamming for their Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign. Watch this video to see Erin and a few other friends (Jillian Bell of Workaholics and Edi Patterson of the Groundlings) explain mamming.
AfterEllen.com: So many L Word fans were sad to see your character die from breast cancer on the show. What do you hope they took away from that storyline?
Erin Daniels: It was a sad day for me too, I loved Dana. But the take away is to live life to its fullest. I wish that Dana had survived, if only to show that there are a great many breast cancer survivors. That it’s challenging in a physical and spiritual level to deal with this disease, but we need to stick together as family, friends and women to make progress in our fight against it.
AE: Why is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so important to you?
ED: Because like almost everyone reading this, I’m sure, it has touched my friends and family. And I want to see it end.
AE: How did you get involved with This is Mamming?
ED: My husband runs a production company called Dirty Robber, who works with the amazing folks who put together the campaign. And they asked me to be a part of it. So, nepotism, I guess? But it’s also a cause that I’ve been fighting for since The L Word, for obvious reasons. So maybe it was reverse nepotism? Frankly, I heard they were making #mamming, and I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. I think funny can be powerful.
AE: Do you have any advice for getting a great #mamming photo?
ED: Yeah… Just do it. And have fun with those mams!
AE: In January it will have been 10 years since The L Word premiered. How has your life changed since then?
ED: Immensely. I’m married now with two young kids. My world has done a 180 in the best way possible.
AE: Do you still get recognized from the show on a regular basis? Do you keep in touch with any of your old co-stars?
ED: I do still get recognized. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving. And yes, I see lots of the cast from time to time, but I hang out with Kate (Moennig) all the time. She has become one of my closest friends, and was one of the greatest gifts that the show brought to me.
AE: What else are you working on coming up that fans can look forward to?
ED: I’ve got a little kickstarter scripted pilot, that I did with some friends at Authentic TV, called Project Moonbase. It’s a mockumentary style show, like the real world but in space. Yes, that’s what I said. I’ll be asking for help with that one in the near future, k? Other than that, I’m just now getting back in the game now that my daughter is one, so we’ll have to see what comes along!