Home' LOTL : October 2006 Contents 3
IT’S RAINING FEMMES – AND OTHER LESBIAN MYTHS
It’s been a big few weeks for lesbians in media. Camped out in the US for an extended sojourn I seem
to get the full glare of media developments and lesbian visibility looks as though it’s on the resurgence.
But is this anything new? Let’s have a look:
Ellen will host the 2007 Academy Awards; let’s see if she puts a Sapphic spin on her commentary or
keeps it as sexless as her Emmy-winning talk show. Rosie O’Donnell successfully debuted as the new
co-host on The View, openly discussing her wife Kelli: bravo Rosie, let’s hope the ratings serve you
well. Alanis Morissette wants more TV airtime as a lesbian – what a funny jagged little married to a man
pill she is! There are also lesbians appearing in America’s Next Top Model (move over Jenny Shimizu,
it’s about time we had another out supermodel), and the upcoming season of The Amazing Race.
There will be lesbian moments in Weeds, and a US remake of the UK lesbian-centred series Bad Girls
Is in the works.
All this kind of ties in with this issue’s focus on the svelte and slippery topic of lesbian femmes. While
our screens are heavily populated with femmes, in real life they’re more elusive than butches. But in TV
land, it’s the butches that are hard to come by. We’ve all been waiting with bated breath to see if The L
Word producer Ilene Chaiken allows any bois into her chic neighbourhood and in season 3, available on
DVD this month, she does! Turn to page 17 to meet Daniela Sea. Move over, Shane.
But what happens to TV’s surplus of femmes? Is there life for any of The L Word lovelies after the
show? Yes, but in strange and possibly insidious incarnations. Jenny (Mia Kirshner) has gone on to
play the murdered Beth Short in new film The Black Dahlia. Short, an aspiring actress of the 1940s
was found brutally murdered in a real life case that remains unsolved. In the partly fictional screen
retelling of this noirest of noir stories, Kirshner plays Short as bisexual, sharing her brief screen time with
Hilary Swank, also playing bisexual. Whether Short was bisexual in real life or not, it seems that male
directors, in this case Brian De Palma, can’t resist the allure of “forbidden sexuality” when telling a tale
of transgression in Tinseltown. Interesting that Kirshner should take the role, invoking again the tragic,
self-harming aspects of Jenny. And more interesting still that k.d. lang has a cameo in a lesbian bar
singing ‘Love For Sale’.
That’s enough about make believe lesbians. I’d like to welcome all the real life lesbians holding this
issue of LOTL in their hot little hands. For the first time ever we have one national issue of the magazine
which can be found easily in every major city in Australia. You see, we’re working on a little project of
lesbian visibility ourselves.
Where do all the femmes go? The
L Word’s Mia Kirshner plays a
tragic bisexual again, this time in
the new movie The Black Dahlia.
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