Spanish TV Embraces Lesbian Relationships

 
 

Another Cuatro drama, CuestiĆ³n de Sexo (Question of Sex), about a family that includes 18-year-old Sofía (Ana Fernández), introduced a romantic relationship between Sofia and her friend Daniela (Paula Cancio) when the show returned for its third season earlier this year.

Sofia and Daniela on CuestiĆ³n de Sex

Unfortunately, the series was canceled a few weeks ago due to low ratings — but another LGBT-inclusive series is bound to come along any day now.

It’s not just the quantity of lesbian/bi storylines on Spanish TV that’s impressive, it’s the quality.

Although these lesbian storylines and relationships are subject to the same bouts of bad writing and plot holes that occasionally afflict all storylines on TV (Hospital Central in particular has suffered from this in the last few seasons), and the writers always seem to find a way to have both bisexual and lesbian characters end up sleeping with men at some point, the lesbian couples are usually shown with equal (or almost equal) sensitivity and passion to the other storylines on the series.

Although there are still Spaniards who don’t approve of showing lesbian relationships on TV, in general, Spanish audiences have grown so accustomed to LGBT characters that they aren’t really greeted with complaints or fanfare by the media or viewers anymore.

"The majority of people today don’t see a ‘lesbian couple,’ only a couple," says Rogue.

The Spanish actresses playing lesbian/bi roles are regularly featured in and interviewed by mainstream Spanish publications about their characters and the future of their relationships, with minimal "what’s it like to kiss a girl?" types of questions.

And not only is it not seen as a bad career move for actresses to play gay on Spanish TV, it can be a good one, as Marián Aguilera noted in a recent interview when she said, "Before, my character was featured very little … now Silvia is getting more of a leading role because of her relationship with Pepa."

Laura Sanchez and Marián Aguilera of Los Hombres de Paco

There’s an added benefit for queer viewers to the proliferation of lesbian couples on national Spanish TV shows, says Rogue: "the ability to talk with your straight friends not only about ‘their’ favorite couples but ‘yours’ too, because now it’s ‘their’ couple, too."

Special thanks to Sandra Showtime at EurOut.org, Rogue at Lesbicanarias.es, and AfterEllen.com reader Joana for the research help!

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