6. Marghe Discovers Herself — Ammonite (1992)
In Nicola Griffith's novel Ammonite, Marghe Taishan comes to the planet GP (known as "Jeep") to work as an anthropologist. She stays to find herself — a task she completes in every way possible.
Jeep itself is a mystery. Colonized centuries before by an expedition ravaged by disease, Jeep now hosts a thriving female-only population. Meanwhile, a recent corporate expedition has also been struck by the virus, which killed every man and many of the women.
Marghe arrives to study the population and to test a vaccine. In the process, she travels across Jeep, puzzling out the women's cultures and herself. Her journey climaxes in the far north as she meets Thenike, a traveler, healer and storyteller.
In this book, subtext is banished. When Marghe falls in love with Thenike, sexual orientation isn't an issue.
The loneliness that can separate all of us falls away.
A morning came that filled their room with streaks of shadow and lemon sun, and birds sang, and women laughed outside their window, but the thing between them had pulled them close and all either heard was the sound of the other’s breath as it moved in the same rhythm as her own.
5. Inara and the Councilor Relax — Firefly (2002)
In the short-lived TV series Firefly, Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin) is a companion — a courtesan whose occupation makes her a member of the aristocracy. Companions choose their own clients and are notoriously picky.
By the time the episode "War Stories" begins, Inara has only been seen with male clients, but then a new client arrives. The mysterious Councilor (Katherine Kendall) is tall, blond and female.
In the privacy of Inara's shuttle, the Councilor tells Inara she just wants to relax and asks Inara not to pretend that she likes her or to put on a show. Inara replies that she usually sees men. When she chooses a woman, Inara adds, it is because the woman is extraordinary.
Inara: One cannot always be oneself in the company of men.
Councilor: Never, actually.
Inara: So no show; let's just enjoy.
Also worth noting are the reactions of the ship's crew to the Councilor's unexpected arrival. They range from the stereotypical lecherousness of gunslinger Jayne to the surprise and delight of the ship's preacher and the admiration of Kaylee, who calls the two women glamorous.