“Chasing Life” adds a lesbian character


I don’t know how, but at 27 years old, I find myself watching more ABC Family shows than I did as a teenager, when I was their actual target audience. The most recent being Chasing Life. And I’m here to tell you why you should be watching with me. (Besides the obvious: Any show is more fun when we watch it together.)

Chasing Life is about a young woman, April Carver, figuring out life in the real world. She’s a 20-something reporter for the Boston Post, starting at the very bottom and working her way up, dodging obstacles like an office romance and competitive coworkers. She has obstacles at home, too; she lives with her mother, grandmother, and younger sister, who are all still recovering from the loss of April’s father a year prior to the show’s onset. But April has one obstacle that’s bigger even than having a therapist mother who asks her for online dating advice: She has cancer. Leukemia, to be exact. And just to make things a little more complicated for the poor girl, she was diagnosed and is being treated by her estranged uncle.

The show is a nice balance of witty and heavy. April is bold and fun and quick, but can wrench your heart out of your chest with a single look. Like all the other ABC Family shows I watch, it goes from filling my heart right up to breaking it in seconds flat.


So, like all the other ABC Family shows I watch, I was holding out hope for a queer lady character. Pretty Little Liars and The Fosters had lesbians right from the start, and other shows like Twisted and Switched at Birth threw in a lesbian character eventually, so I felt like my optimism was well-founded.

My gaydar first perked up when one of April’s coworkers was giving her the third degree about her previous sexual encounters. After grilling her on men she’s slept with, she asks April how many women she’s slept with. April gives her the eyebrow and the woman responds with a shrug, saying she’s slept with five women herself. Sadly that was the end of that. Actually, it wasn’t that sad, she was kind of aggressive. But I was afraid that it would be the end of ladies-who-like-ladies for a while.

But then, come episode four, in she walked, the bonafide queer character I had been waiting for. Actress Gracie Dzienny plaus Greer (which I had to research thoroughly because I was SO SURE that couldn’t have been what they said…but it’s a real name!) and she is one of April’s sister Brenna’s classmates.

CL intro-2Pretty Little Lesbian.

When she’s first introduced, she is met with an eye roll from the rebellious Brenna (played by Haley Ramm). Greer approaches Brenna, all bubblegum smiles, and tells her that they have a project to work on, and that they need to get together ASAP. Brenna is ambivalent, and putting up a little extra resistance because she’s with a boy she thinks is badass, but Greer eventually gets her to agree to a study date. Brenna’s friend makes a flirty comment about Greer after she leaves, but Brenna scoffs and tells him to cool his jets, because Greer is a lesbian. He makes a gross comment because his jets are the opposite of cool and elicits a scoff from Brenna and an eye roll from me.

CL intro-3This is Brenna. Hi, Brenna!

At first I couldn’t tell if that was just Brenna trying to get her boytoy to stop lusting over another girl, but when her study date with Greer takes them to a high-stakes tennis match (winner does the other’s history homework for all eternity), Greer calls herself a lesbian. Brenna makes a comment on her being so damn smiley all the time, and Greer retorts that the angry lesbian stereotype is so last season. This gets a real, big, genuine smile out of the generally-kind-of-sulky Brenna, and the two get all adorable with each other.

CL intro-4The song during the tennis match was about secret crushes, soooo…

This moment set my gaydar pinging all over the place. It looks like Greer will be sticking around for a little while; the ABC Family hashtag during their tennis scene was #GreerandBrenna and you know those hashtags are always Very Serious and Totally On Point and never anything like #Aprilsbruise… The Chasing Life official Twitter was also retweeting a lot of people saying they would ship Greer and Brenna during that scene, which could be a good sign. So that means I’ll be keeping an eye on these two crazy kids and recapping the show to keep you updated on any lesbian activity (and/or bisexual activity).

If Brenna does end up having something with Greer, I’m curious as to how they’ll play it. Her family seems pretty chill; her mom’s a down-to-earth psychologist who I imagine would rather her “play tennis” with a girl than sneak out or ditch school. And Brenna’s social life is hardly on April’s list of things to worry about, but she would also probably rather pick up Brenna after a date with a girl than pick her up drunk at a stranger’s house in the middle of the night. The question is, how will BRENNA handle it, if she ends up with feelings for Greer? Only time will tell!

Have you been watching Chasing Life? What do you think of Brenna and Greer?

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