Chile’s “No Abras la Puerta” has a lesbian relationship

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It didn’t take long to find an outpouring of fandom for the new lesbian couple portrayed on the 2014 Chilean telenovela, No Abras la Puerta (Don’t Open the Door). Currently being broadcast by TVN, the story centers on Isabel Tobar (Luz Valdivieso), a woman who after suffering abuse from her ex-boyfriend, Juan Pablo, escapes and reinvents herself as a therapist who helps abused women. She finds a stable loving relationship with Tomás, a Kung Fu instructor, but becomes torn between him and a newly rehabilitated Juan Pablo now back in Chile to win back her affection. With all that ex drama you’d think it was the lesbian storyline, but I promise you it’s not.

In a country that is often times conservative, NALP has provided one of the first serious lesbian relationships featured on a Chilean TV show, drawing comparisons to Clara and Marina of Brazil’s Em Familia. In a long-term relationship, Carla (Alejandra Fosalba) and Daniela (Maria Jose Illanes) met as furniture designers. Carla, a gold star lez, is often jealous and possessive of Daniela, this being her first lesbian relationship.

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Lauded as the most realistic portrayal of a lesbian relationship in Chile, the couple’s story arc revolves around them trying to have a baby. Struggling with the complicated process, the show has ignited conversations about acceptance, same-sex adoption and equal rights. While at a fertility clinic, a receptionist asks about their husbands:

Receptionist: There seems to be a misunderstanding.
Daniela: I knew it, Carla. Come on.
Carla: No, no, I want to know. What misunderstanding?
Receptionist: This program is not meant for people like you.

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Also, Carla and Daniela’s recent sex scene drew major attention, many fans taking to Twitter to sing the shows praises. (Here are some loose translations.)

“I appreciate the freedom that @AFosalba @jose_illanes have given ​​this couple. It is appreciated, as it is helps ease the ignorance of many.”

NALP1

“@AFosalba @jose_illanes #NALP claimed lesbian love in all its demands, thanks #TVN who dare show very muted topics”

NALP2

“I think #NALP marked a milestone in Chilean television with that scene @AFosalba and @jose_illanes congratulations!!”

NALP3

The actresses behind the characters have continued to engage their fans on Twitter, stating that they are proud to represent the lesbian community:

“Thank you all for your support and nice comments, we love our beautiful characters.”

NALP4

The show continues to push boundaries through a number of twists and turns that include large sums of cash, car accidents and general intrigue. It’s a must watch for anyone who’s loved Calzona, Tina and Bette or the ladies of Em Familia, or for those of us who have a lot of free time having gotten to the end of Netflix waiting for the new fall lineup.

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