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We've Gone L Word Crazy!

When the 'L Word' hit our screens I became immediately addicted. Not only did I record every single episode - so I could watch it again, and again - and buy the box sets as soon as they hit the shops, but I started to talk about it every time I met with friends. Fortunately, most of my friends are just as obsessed as me so they don't really mind if I rave about Alice's latest storyline, or Shane's new hairstyle. Sometimes we even go as far as having L Word evenings, where we get together to watch latest episodes, or to watch the old ones back to back. I am sure that most of you L Word lovers can relate to our fascination, but what is it that's so good about the L Word that it has the majority of lesbians captivated?

I think that the first thing that's in L Words favour is the fact that it's the first major foray into lesbian drama, on main stream TV. It's not a programme that contains a lesbian scene, or a token lesbian couple; it's a whole show just for us! Finally I and the rest of us can see that we are being recognised as an active group in society; we are not being ignored, or shoved in a corner or labelled "not normal". In fact, I think the L Word enables us to celebrate lesbianism and its increasing acceptance into society.

Secondly, the L Word has me gripped during every single episode because it covers real life issues. My partner and I are seriously considering either having a child, or adopting, and watching the heartfelt struggle of miscarriage for Bette and Tina was truly heart wrenching. Then there's the story line that every single lesbian can relate to and that's Dana's coming out. Her hilarious foray into the world of lesbianism, and her struggle to tell her parents, triggers memories for all of us that have had the strength to come out. It's also packed with mesmerising characters. One person I find truly captivating in the L Word is Shane. I consider her to be one of the untouchable lesbians; a mysterious, strangely attractive woman who hides under a veil of darkness. Mix all of this up into one show and I find myself sitting on the edge of my seat laughing, crying, and shouting at the screen all in one episode! I can't think of a drama that has affected me in this way for decades!

Thirdly and finally, I think we have the L Word to thank for a change of perception in lesbians amongst heterosexual people. When I think of how lesbians have been portrayed on TV, and in the media, in the past it's all stereotypical portrayals of Butch women who strap their breasts down and wear steel-toe capped boots and checker shirts. They have a feminine partner on their arms, and are often outcasts or the down and outs of society. In the L Word the world has been successfully introduced to strong, powerful, feminine lesbians. In fact, in terms of social recognition, I think lipstick lesbians have a lot to thank the L Word for. It really has spring-boarded our leap into the 21st century, and with more and more straight women recognising the power of lesbianism it's, in fact, becoming trendy to be a gay woman.

As you can see, I am a real fan, which is why I am dumbfounded by the minority of lesbians who complain about the programmes content and characters. They are outraged by the fact that the L Word is full of lipstick lesbians and a few sprinklings of butch lesbians who are all rich, busy, people with rich lifestyles and unbelievable bed hopping antics. Well, I have to say that this generally is what TV is all about. I think that the L Word is the lesbian version of Sex and the City. After all, where in that programme do you find ugly, geeky, straight women who couldn't pull a man in a million years? You just don't. The truth is that dramas on TV are full of beautiful women, and if the L word has translated this into beautiful lesbians who are we to complain. I only have to think back a couple of decades when there was little, or no, recognition of the demand for lesbian characters to think myself truly thankful for the L Word.

I wait with baited breath until series three which hits the screens in the US on January 8th 2006!


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