Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

MOMBIAN Parenting on 'The L Word: Generation Q'
by Dana Rudolph
2020-02-05

This article shared 5257 times since Wed Feb 5, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The L Word: Generation Q, the sequel to the groundbreaking queer television drama The L Word, just ended its first season on Showtime.

There is much to praise about the new show, including more varied representation in many dimensions of identity. Here, I want to explore the parenting storylines of both series to see what they might tell us about the changing representation of LGBTQ parents.

The main parenting storyline of the original series, which ran from 2004 to 2009, centered on characters Bette ( Jennifer Beals ) and Tina ( Laurel Holloman ). In Season One, they go through various antics while searching for a sperm donor—an overused trope among shows that depicted two-woman couples in the mid-2000s. Fast forward through some break-ups and reunions, and they have baby Angie in Season Two.

We see only a few storylines related to Angie, however, notably one in which her moms try to get her into an elite preschool by showing that they're the most diverse family vying for the spot. ( That same storyline was used by ABC's Modern Family two years later for gay dads Mitchell and Cameron and their daughter Lily. ) In a later season, too, Bette and Tina try to adopt, but this falls through.

Character Helena Peabody ( Rachel Shelley ) also had children, but they didn't live with her and played a minimal part in the show.

About transgender character Max's ( Daniela Sea ) pregnancy, the less said, the better. While a trans man being pregnant could make a fine storyline, this one was handled clunkily and only served to underscore the character's otherness.

Shane ( Katherine Moennig ) also acts for several episodes as guardian of her nine-year-old half-brother Shay. We see Shane struggle with that responsibility, though, and Shay eventually goes back to live with their father.

The new show has brought parenting even more fully into more characters' lives, as all of the returning cast members are now dealing with children in some fashion. ( Minor spoilers for the season follow. ) The new cast also includes Angie ( Jordan Hull ), now 16, with storylines of her own. Bette and Tina, though no longer together, are both very involved in her life. We find out, too, that Angie has a crush on her best friend Jordi—a sign that we're moving beyond fear of perpetuating the myth that LGBTQ parents will create LGBTQ kids. Statistically, some of us will have them, though, and that's just fine.

We also see Alice ( Leisha Hailey ), also from the original series, now in a relationship with Nat ( Stephanie Allynne, a real-life queer mom ), who is sharing custody of her two kids with her ex. Alice tries to learn parenting skills like dealing with a sick child or packing snacks for a swim meet, while also figuring out how she fits into the family.

And Shane, who struggled in the original show to balance her guardianship responsibilities with the freedom she wanted in her life, is facing the same struggle again because her ex-wife Quiara, who wants to reunite, is pregnant. Shane must decide whether to help her parent.

Shane is hesitant, but after advising Angie on her relationship with Jordi, sees that there's something rewarding about parenting. She says she'll do it. After Quiara's first ultrasound, however, Shane is afraid that she isn't feeling the deep emotions a prospective parent should. Quiara wisely advises, "You'll feel exactly what you're supposed to feel on your own time." That's as good a piece of parenting advice as I've ever heard.

Parenting wisdom among the show's melodrama shouldn't surprise viewers. New showrunner and co-executive producer Marja-Lewis Ryan and her wife had a baby last year, and original showrunner and LW:GQ co-executive producer Ilene Chaiken is a mom as well.

While LW:GQ will never be focused on parenting in the same way as, say, Modern Family or The Fosters, Freeform's 2013-18 drama about a two-mom couple and their five kids, it feels natural that several of the LW:GQ characters have or want kids or are trying to decide if they do. Advances in acceptance, legal protections, and reproductive technologies have made it increasingly easy for queer people to become parents ( even as we recognize that out LGBTQ parents have existed for decades and our full history goes back, arguably, to Sappho ). And a 2019 study by Family Equality has shown that 63 percent of LGBTQ millennials—the "Generation Q" of the show's title—are considering starting or growing their families.

The show's writers recognize this shift. In the season finale, real-life writer and professor Roxane Gay guest stars as herself, being interviewed by Alice on her talk show. Alice asks her, "Can you be a bad queer?" referencing Gay's book Bad Feminist, which calls for broadening what "feminist" means to include those who may not adhere to some perfect ideal. Gay answers, "Historically, in the queer community, we've tried to resist heteronormative ideas. And, so, these days, to be a bad queer is probably to want a wife and two kids and a picket fence."

We see the tension of that in Shane, the least conformist of the three original characters, as she grapples with whether she can be a parent and still be herself. Yet Bette and Alice are also parents. Are they "bad queers"? Hardly.

But the definition of "queer" now includes parents as well as those who aren't, by choice or circumstance. It makes sense, then, that even on a queer show that's not "about" parenting, we're seeing more parents and more "everyday" parenting moments. Yes, some of us may want a picket fence—but we can paint it in rainbow colors.

Dana Rudolph is the founder and publisher of Mombian ( mombian.com ), a GLAAD Media Award-winning blog and resource directory for LGBTQ parents.


This article shared 5257 times since Wed Feb 5, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NATIONAL Nebraska measure, Williams Institute, Audre Lorde, journalist dies
2021-02-28
In Nebraska, the Lincoln City Council passed an ordinance that bans licensed mental-health professionals from subjecting LGBTQ youth to the discredited practice of conversion therapy, according to a Trevor Project ...


Gay News

Victory Institute condemns Rand Paul attack on Dr. Rachel Levine, trans youth
2021-02-25
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Institute condemned Senator Rand Paul's transphobic attack on Dr. Rachel Levine during her confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He attacked trans you ...


Gay News

Team USA defends women's soccer title with 6-0 win
2021-02-25
The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team won its fourth SheBelieves Cup on Feb. 24 after a commanding 6-0 victory over Argentina, the Olympic Channel reported. The victory makes the team the first to win back-to-back titles; ...


Gay News

LGBTs rise to 5.6% of U.S. population
2021-02-24
Gallup's latest update on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identification finds 5.6% of U.S. adults identifying as LGBT, according to the organization. The current estimate is up from 4.5% in Gallup's previous update based on 2017 ...


Gay News

WORLD Canadian groups, Moroccan refugee, LGBT+ Rights Ghana, trans heroine
2021-02-21
From $400,000 in funding for a national initiative aimed at expanding two-spirit advocacy, to $239,000 to improve LGBTQ youth housing access in the Prairies, 76 Canadian community groups are being sent nearly $15 million from the ...


Gay News

Court Theatre announces 2021 Southside Youth Fest, platform for teens
2021-02-18
--From a press release - Chicago, IL - Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre, announces Court's 2021 Southside Youth Fest, inviting South Side teens to submit original digi ...


Gay News

National Trust advocates to protect legacy of LGBTQ+ pioneers
2021-02-17
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Trust for Historic Preservation will testify tomorrow before the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission in an attempt to secure a local landmark designation for the San Francisco home of pioneering LGBTQ+ ...


Gay News

WORLD School items, Olympics, Angola law, Dutch senate
2021-02-14
Toronto's Catholic school board reinstated the link to an LGBT support phone line on its website following outrage from the community, according to Yahoo! News, citing The Canadian Press. The school board removed LGBT YouthLine from ...


Gay News

ACLU of Illinois reacts to Auditor General's report on LGBTQ youth in DCFS care
2021-02-10
In response to the Auditor General's report on LGBTQ youth in DCFS care, Ghirlandi Guidetti, Staff Attorney with the ACLU of Illinois made the following statement: "Today's Auditor General's report reveals a sad but unsurprising truth: ...


Gay News

GLAAD: Senators vote against response to riot but introduce anti-trans bill
2021-02-10
--From a press release - Five of the eight senators objecting to Electoral College votes and voting against the second Trump impeachment trial have cosponsored a new bill targeting transgender youth, adding to history of anti-LGBTQ votes and views GLAAD: "More ...


Gay News

WORLD Turkish items, Gibraltar couple, lesbian lawmaker dies, Australia
2021-02-07
In Turkey, four students were arrested over artwork that reportedly depicted LGBT rainbow symbols alongside an image of a sacred Islamic site, the BBC reported. Students at Bogazici University in Istanbul have been protesting against the ...


Gay News

Equality Illinois, Rainbow Cafe, legislators, PPIA reintroduce REACH Act
2021-02-02
Illinois state Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-8), state Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-77), Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA), Equality Illinois and Rainbow Cafe LGBTQ Youth Center held a press conference Feb. 2 ...


Gay News

Indianapolis council condemns conversion therapy; Indiana Stonewall Dems celebrate
2021-02-02
Indiana Stonewall Democrats celebrated the Indianapolis City-County Council and its LGBTQ councillors for passing a proclamation on Feb. 1 that formally condemns "conversion therapy" and the long-term health complications it ...


Gay News

Book helps families with kids discuss gender roles, same gender attraction
2021-01-29
--From a press release - A new book, Pepito Has a Doll, is centered on the experience of a shy young boy who lives with his grandmother. Pepito has only one friend, his doll Lola, until Miguel appears and they begin a joyful adventure together. Bilingual ...


Gay News

GLAAD announces award nominees, Windy City Times receives Barbara Gittings Award
2021-01-28
--From a GLAAD press release - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, announced today the nominees for the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Actress Josie Totah (Peacock's Saved By The Bell), actor and ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.