The AfterEllen.com 2009 Visibility Awards

 
 

BEST VERY SPECIAL LESBIAN EPISODE (AMERICAN)

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi on The Oprah Winfrey Show 11/09/09 (Syndicated)

It was promoted as "An Oprah Show special event" and it truly was, especially in terms of lesbian visibility. Our favorite wives made a memorable appearance on the show, talking about coming out and falling in love, and sharing a video of their wedding day preparations. 

De Rossi even explained the importance of being able to (officially) use the term wife:

It’s a legal stamp of validity. It’s hard to know it feels until it happens. I hope everyone gets to have that feeling. The thing about being a gay couple is that, in the past, you referred to your wife and there was quotation marks around it and people could snicker about it. Now, it’s fact, it’s law — she’s my wife. I get to say she’s my wife and it’s a fact.

We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves.

Runner-up: Parks and Recreation (NBC) "New Haircut" (05/07/09), "Christmas Scandal" (12/10/09)

Why are Leslie and Ann so often presumed to be lovers, and why do we like it so much when this happens?

BEST REALITY TV SERIES WITH LESBIAN/BI CHARACTERS (AMERICAN)

Top Chef (Bravo)

Last year, Top Chef narrowly lost this category to old standard, America’s Next Top Model. But this year it took the top spot, thanks in part to the out contestants on Top Chef: Las Vegas.

While neither of them won, Preeti Mistry (pictured above, left, a 33-year-old Executive Chef for the Bon Appetit Management Company) and Ashley Merriman (a 32-year-old chef at Branzino in Seattle) made a big impression on AfterEllen.com.

And it didn’t hurt that Bravo’s new Top Chef spin-off, Top Chef Masters, featured two out lesbian contestants: Elizabeth Falkner and Anita Lo

As our own Dorothy Snarker notes, "The show has consistently featured gay and lesbian contestants in a non-salacious way that emphasizes their skill and not sexuality. Also, some of them are really cute."

Runner Up: Tabatha’s Salon Takeover (Bravo)

"I have often wished for a cable channel dedicated entirely to shows in which lesbians boss people around. Until that day, however, I am happy to content myself with Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.
The Bravo reality series follows Shear Genius‘ first season fan-favorite Tabatha Coffey as she goes into failing salons and whips the owners into shape. Actually whips them. See, where other people might pull punches, Tabatha Coffey actually rears back and punches twice as hard. In the neck. But only if the stylists really need it." (StuntDouble)

WORST REALITY TV SERIES WITH LESBIAN/BI CHARACTERS (AMERICAN)

A Double Shot at Love with the Ikki Twins (MTV)

Last year, when explaining why we named Double Shot as the "winner" in this same category, we wrote, "Incestuous bisexual twins (who aren’t really bisexual) hooking up with anything that moves? ‘Nuff said."

One year later, we still feel exactly the same way.

StuntDouble tells us, "To explain why A Double Shot was the worst reality series this year — perhaps ever — we don’t have to look any further than MTV’s official description of the show.

12 hot straight guys and 12 sexy lesbians fight for love in an epic battle of the sexes — with a twist. Instead of trying to capture just one heart, they’ll be gunning for beautiful bisexual TWINS!

When you’re getting out-classed by Tila Tequila, it’s time to check yourself. Chances are you’ve already wrecked yourself.

Runner up: The Real World: Cancun (MTV)

"Bisexual predators who want to sleep with their roommates and their boyfriends! Yikes."
(Trish Bendix)

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