TV’s First Lesbian ‘Love Connection’ Airs Tonight and We have an Exclusive Sneak Peak

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Do you remember the popular dating game show “Love Connection?” Whether or not  you watched it will tell your age, but I have no shame in telling you that I was a devoted fan of the show in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and considered it a guilty pleasure. To give you some background, if you’re not familiar, the premise of the show was that a guest would watch three videotaped profiles from three potential love matches, then go on a date with one of them. After the date they would come on the show before a live studio audience, and the audience would get to vote on which love connection candidate they preferred for the guest. If you want a full break down of how it all worked, Wikipedia can help you with that.

What I’m here to tell you is that I would never have dreamed back then that a show that produced 2, 120 heterosexual love connections would one day have a lesbian contestant. Well, fast forward to the present, replace former game show host Chuck Woolery with gayer than life Andy Cohen and bam!  A FOX prime-time game show is going to have its first ever lesbian contestant.

Liz Baxter will make herstory TONIGHT on Fox’s revived version of Love Connection and this is going to be exciting. I spoke with Liz via telephone to ask how she became a contestant, and she divulged that she was very hesitant to go on the show. “I don’t have a background in entertainment at all, and this isn’t something I had ever considered. In fact I thought I might embarrass myself on national television,” she laughed. “I have a corporate job. My family is pretty conservative.”

She says she changed her mind when she reconsidered the opportunity that being on the show would offer, not for her personally, but for lesbian visibility in general. “I want people who may have some pre-conceived idea of what a lesbian looks like that we are not just a stereotyped version of gay. We are a diverse community. When I first came out, I was in my early twenties, and my family was very supportive of me, fortunately. But sure, they still were surprised because I guess I don’t look like what they imagined a lesbian to be.”

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“It can definitely be true,” I remark, “that people still tend to stereotype lesbians when they don’t know very many. And the media can either help or hinder that.”

“Yes, absolutely, And that’s the main reason I wanted to do this, because it’s important for people to see us represented and see that we are just like everyone else.”

“Except we have more fun,” I interject.

(laughing) “For sure.” And it’s also a big deal that this show is airing on FOX, a prime time network that so many people watch, and it’s a historically very conservative network.”

“That’s a very good point. I am eager to see everyone’s reactions. I’m also eager to see who your dates are. Are you able to share anything about who you picked?”

“You’ll have to watch the show to see who I pick, but what I will tell you is the show works a little bit differently than the original Love Connection did. This time we go on all three dates and all three dates appear on the show.”

And here’s an exclusive little teaser for you, AfterEllen readers. Because I love you and I want you to  know what lesbian Froyo tastes like. (I’ve actually had it).

“When the producers chose your three candidates, did they ask you about your preferences? Like do you only want very femme or very butch or tall, or short, or anything like that?”

“They asked me what my general preferences are, yes. And to be honest my preferences aren’t so much about looks as they are qualities. I do tend to date women who lean toward the femme side, but it’s definitely not a deal-breaker. I told them I want someone at least over twenty-five, though. I’m thirty-two, so that’s important.”

“And did they choose well?”

“They absolutely did. They chose three amazing women and I’m happy to have met them all. And one thing I want to point out for people watching the show, is that while I believe its important to represent diversity in the lesbian community, no single show can be expected to represent everyone at all times. But I am proud of what we did and I’m grateful to have been a part of this.”

“So tell me. What are the top three qualities you look for in a woman.”

“Ah, good question. I have to say a sense of humor, first. And then a sense of adventure. I like to travel and experience different cultures, so that’s an important part of compatibility because I’d love to share that with someone. And lastly, someone who can be vulnerable. Because it actually takes a lot of courage to open yourself up to vulnerability, and it’s a quality I admire.”

Liz Baxter hails from Indiana, but recently made Los Angeles her home. She is actively involved in LGBT activism there, and blogs about her experiences of moving to California and being an out lesbian in her corporate job. Watch her make lesbian television herstory tonight at 9 pm EST on FOX.  AfterEllen cannot wait to see who she picks!

Check out Liz Baxter’s blog and stay tuned for a guest post right here on AfterEllen.

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