Why Lena Dunham needs to put a lesbian character on “Girls”


The second season of Lena Dunham’s hit series Girls saw the highs and lows of Hannah Horvath. In her world as a 20-something Brooklynite trying to make a living as a writer, she makes a pass at some attractive, rich man and has a several-night sleepover at his place, and the possibility of a Wednesday night rave and shirt-trade could lead to exceptional epiphanies, or just result in the worst hangover ever.

The season unraveled into one lingering question: Will Hannah be OK in Season Three? Her chronic OCD returned in the midst of writing an e-book. Whether due to the sheer stress, or the pompous publisher who’s manning her deadlines, the raucousness of her on-and-off boyfriend Adam, or her friendships with Marnie, Jessa, and Shosh, Hannah lost Hannah.


This is why I propose Dunham, the brains behind the HBO series that has all of us bopping to Icona Pop, adds something fresh and crucial to Girls—some one who will ride in on a rainbow to save the voice of our generation from Googling about the stuff that gets up and around the sides of condoms—the tried-and-true lesbian character. There was chatter here at AfterEllen back in 2012 when Lena mentioned there would be more lesbian plotlines, and a very minor Season 1 character of Tako, so, bring it, Dunham!

This could be Hannah’s silvery gay lining. She’s been stuck in a bubble of all-male bosses who’ve made her feel sexualized, small, dumb, unworthy of success, and in over her head. Imagine a cutting-edge power dyke in a three-piece Bette Porter suit—sexy, scary and sharp. She takes Hannah in under her wing and shows her the ropes. Maybe Hannah is her mini-me, (minus being into boy-girl sex.) They like the same feminist literature, the same breed of dog; they take their coffee the same. Power Dyke Boss doesn’t discriminate against Hannah’s rompers—they’d look chic with a blazer anyway. Point blank: Get Hannah a lez boss, it would look so good on the Girls resume.

Interestingly, among the many guest stars slated to appear in Season3 The Huffington Post reported in May  that Jennifer Westfeldt of Kissing Jessica Stein will join the cast. Call me crazy, but this is the most perfect situation ever. I officially vote Westfeldt for role of sexy boss.

Now, in case it’s all too good to be true—that Hannah shouldn’t be in a position just yet where she’s “making it,” there’s the mystifying new-lesbian-friend route. Consider the friends in Hannah’s circle, and let’s banish the idea that they’re any version of the Sex and the City quartet. Marnie is heinous. She’s self-involved, unaware, and her kind-of lover Charlie’s character is so not returning to Girls. Hannah pretty much hides under her bed when Marnie comes to check on her in the Season 2 finale, leaving us to wonder if anything is to be salvaged of this rocky friendship. Jessa is a traveling gypsy; she is a stardust woman on the move—as she should be. But, man, that voicemail Hannah left her really makes me think she needs her.


I appreciate Hannah’s friendship with Jessa because the two can take a bath together like old pals, even when they aren’t caught up on each other’s drama. Shosh is Hannah’s last strong bet at a decent, reliable friend who will be at her door with rom-coms and bagels. Shosh’s just broken up with Ray. She’s into bold moves. (Bellman in the mailroom, anyone?) So, it wouldn’t seem completely irregular for Shosh to maybe end up at—say, an underground queer dance party where she and Hannah meet the Coolest Lez in New York City—also known as any half-sane lesbian with style, confidence and the desire to  hang with Shosh and Hannah, her new straight besties.

I’m not saying a new lesbian friend is the answer to all of Hannah’s issues. There’s criteria: She can’t be Shosh’s experimental dive into uncharted waters after her Ray-breakup, and she really shouldn’t be a sexy romp for Hannah to make her forget about counting things. Really, she should just be that quirky-cute girl in glasses that Charlie had working for him at his now-defunct app headquarters. She totally sent off my gaydar. This friend can’t be a lesbian crutch with a four-episode arc. She’s the friend who can throw a decent Orange Is the New Black viewing party and be witty and charming, or, she can be a total wreck who can’t help but be a complete brooding mess, and looks so great when she’s angry in her leather jacket.


As a last resort, if no lesbians in the Brooklyn metro area are available, there’s always the Sapphic Rehab Bond. We were all tipped off back in March (we being the collective followers of the show who pick up on everything) that Season Three might find Hannah (or possibly even Adam, but it’s a toss-up) checking into rehab. Hoards of news-outlets picked up on a Facebook casting call that, according to The Atlantic Wire, was seeking “well-dressed rehab patients.” Maybe Hannah will meet a tailored lesbian in rehab!

This could work. Hannah is rooming with some dark chick from the Midwest who listens to L7 and Bikini Kill, idolizes Jenny Schecter, sneaks out to smoke cigs, all the while entrusting upon Hannah her deepest secrets. Alternatively, she could even be Hannah’s therapist—a crone with long white hair who lights sage, talks about the Lavender Menace and gives Hannah the speech of her life. I prefer this lesbian connection the most, because she could be Hannah’s perfect mentor. I’m also secretly a fan of this notion that after Hannah gets back to the big city, she and her Sapphic Rehab Bond stay in touch via some kind of Felicity-like tape-recording swap where they give advice and monologue about relationships.

One thing’s for sure: Hannah doesn’t need a trip to Dinah Shore for a rowdy weekend of margaritas and boy-banishing. She doesn’t need a lap dance. She doesn’t need to rethink her sexuality (I mean, unless she wants to!) The inclusion of a lesbian character is not the cure-all for debilitating and serious OCD, dealing with boys, dysfunctional parents, or exhausted friendships.


But, Girls is missing the cherry on top of their delectable ice cream sundae: A bad ass lesbian who comes into Hannah’s life to help her out when she needs a legit bang trim, let’s her know when her lust for Adam is bordering redundant, will take her to a killer party, and ignite essential Season 3 fun. Most importantly, she’ll dance with Hannah to a Robyn song—because this lesbian made all the moves.

Girls Season 3 will premiere January 2014 on HBO.

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