TV’s Negative Portrayal of Pregnant Lesbians Continues


Jennifer Beals (left) and Laurel Holloman

In The L Word, too, baby-making does not
exactly seem conducive to happy relationships. During the first season, Bette
and Tina repeatedly fight over donors and other pregnancy-related issues, and
shortly after Tina’s miscarriage, Bette cheats on her and they break up.

In Queer as Folk,
Melanie (Michelle Clunie) cheats on Lindsay (Thea Gill) just after she has baby
Gus, largely because Melanie feels rejected by Lindsay and excluded by Brian
(Gus’ biological father) from her role as Gus’ second parent. Lindsay then
later cheats on Melanie with a man while Melanie is pregnant with their
daughter. These are not exactly encouraging story lines for a pregnant lesbian.

Michelle Clunie (left) and Thea Gill

Back on The L Word, after her breakup with Bette, Tina uses the residual stored sperm
to get pregnant without Bette’s knowledge. The trend of lesbians not informing
their partners about their attempts to get pregnant — thus leading to
disastrous results — is followed not only in Satisfaction and The L Word but also on Cashmere

In Cashmere Mafia, Caitlin (Bonnie
Somerville) is only just starting to explore her attraction to Alicia when the
prospect of sperm looms. After only a few minutes of screen time together that
center more on Caitlin’s confusion over her sexuality than on the developing
relationship with Alicia, in Episode 4 Caitlin meets Alicia’s friends at a
lesbian bridal shower.

Lourdes Benedicto (left)
and Bonnie Somerville

Alicia comments
that she is constantly going to bridal or baby showers, and the first thing Alicia’s
friends ask Caitlin is when they’re thinking of starting a family, followed by,
“Where will you get your sperm from?” Caitlin, who is startled and
discomfited by this question, retreats to the bathroom, where she meets a man
who asks for her phone number — and she gives it to him.

In the
next episode, Alicia tells Caitlin that she is three months pregnant: “My
ex and I had been trying for a while, and after we split up I was still in such
a place of wanting a child I tried one last time.” Once again we have a
lesbian who fails to communicate with her partner — whether it be her ex or
current girlfriend — about her pregnancy.

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