Tess Gerritsen on the lesbian subculture of “Rizzoli & Isles”


Someone’s coming out on Rizzoli & Isles tonight! That’s what Tess Gerritsen, author of the Rizzoli and Isles mystery novel series tells us, and she’s the one who started it all. While spoilers indicate it isn’t Jane or Maura (sorry!), we spoke with Tess about the subculture that has developed around the show, aka its strong lesbian fanbase.

“When I first began writing the Rizzoli and Isles mystery series, there was no discussion of Jane and Maura being lesbians,” Gerritsen said. “They were strong women showing how women could get the job done in a traditionally male profession.”

“During the first season of the show, when the speculation on AfterEllen and other sites first started, I genuinely had never seen their friendship in that way,” Gerritsen said. “However, everyone sees things from their own perspective. After people started suggesting the lesbian undertones, my perspective changed. Now, my husband and I watch episodes and giggle at the innuendo!”

From tonight’s episode, “Over/Under”

Its hard to deny that the innuendo isn’t hot and keeps lesbians tuning in. However, we always want to make sure we are supporting the right people. So, when I found out that Gerritsen lives in Maine, I had to ask how she voted on the state’s recent gay marriage ballot question.

Without pause, Gerritsen told me about the Political Action Committee (PAC) she created with her husband named Maine Writers for Yes on Question 1. She indicated the PAC raised $6,000 and got over 100 Maine writers to sign their names to two full page newspaper ads in the Bangor and Portland, ME papers the week of the vote. “Equal marriage is something we both support and we wanted to make sure we did our part to help change hearts and minds.”

Gerritsen said she feels, given the undertones of the show, she thinks it could help change hearts and minds as its broadcast into middle America. She said she hopes the show can, including tonight’s episode. Her latest Rizzoli and Isles novel, Last to Die, is available now.

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