Message from TV and movies: Teen lesbians aren't really lesbian?

In one TV show, and one movie, both of which are fairly recent, a girl identifies as lesbian, but ends up having a boyfriend, apparently having discovered that she was just acting gay or pretending to be gay or something. I don’t want to say what they are, because even saying the title would be kind of a spoiler. Here’s a black box: The TV show is Joan of Arcadia (Grace and Luke) and the movie is Mean Girls (Janis and Kevin) Anyway, I know that’s only two things, which is a pretty small sample size, but is this part of something bigger? Do producers like to show this kind of thing because a lot of girls can relate to it? Is it just a coincidence? What’s the deal?

As far as I can remember, Grace in Joan of Arcadia wasn’t gay: Luke thought she was (and thought that he was gay for having a crush on her) because she wasn’t a girly-girl, and seemed to hate him. I didn’t think she ever identified as gay, however we didn’t get halfway through the second season in NZ - another poseter might be able to give you more details

Come to think of it, you’re right. I remember being unsure for a really long time and then thinking “Okay, yeah, she is.” But I don’t remember what caused me to think that, and you very well could be right about that.

However, in Mean Girls Janis and Damian kiss at Spring Fling, and are suddenly extremely disgusted. Which I believe we’re supposed to assume means they didn’t enjoy it because they’re both gay, but of course, it’s also entirely possible that she simply isn’t attracted to him. And Janis’ line, “Maybe it’s because I have a big LESbian crush on you!” could be interpreted as “You know what? Yeah. I’m a lesbian. So what?” or it could be “Yeah, right, Regina. I’m a lesbian. Sure, that’s the reason all this happened. Clearly. Seriously, Regina, you’re just stupid.”

But still, it seems like guys on screen are either gay or straight, and it’s pretty simple, but not so much with girls. Or am I crazy?

Personally, I would attribute it to either one script writer trying to work “teh ghey” into the plot, only to have it taken away by a supervisor, or another writer, and/or an honest attempt to explore homosexuality in an episode, but be able to go back to status quo at the end.

And, know that I read it over more, I realize that this line of thinking would not apply to a movie. D’oh. Well then, perhaps it is simply an application of the old concept that no one can really be gay in films, just confused.

There is a little Canadian TV show called Alienated, about a family that is constantly being abducted by aliens. The teenage daughter is gay, and some of the tension between her and her father revolve around his assumption that it was the aliens who made her a lesbian. From a purely voyouristic, straight male perspective, the making out scenes they have had on that show have me torn between the “Lesbians aren’t for show” and “Damn! That is hot!”

All in all it is a damn funny show, cleverly written, and almost completely unknown.

I think Evan Rachel Wood’s character on Once and Again was realized she was gay in the last few episodes of the last season. And her romantic interest was played by Mischa Barton. Unfortunately, the series was cancelled before the story line was developed much further.

Maybe it’s because it’s trendy for teenage girls to experiment with other girls. A lot of them do it just for show, not because they are actually gay.

Another example would be Mischa Barton’s character on the OC. She went gay for a few episodes and then went back to guys.

I could well be wrong, but I think that “college lesbians” is a common stereotype even in the lesbian community; “college gay guy” is not. I’ve known at least one gay man who fell madly in love with a woman and married her (much to his own humiliation and chagrin–he was all Act Up! before this happened), but it seems much more common, as Indygrrl said, for adolescent girls to experiment with the lesbian identifier than for adolescent guys to experiment with the gay guy identifier.


… which is so frustrating, because it was one of the best storylines the show ever had. Evan’s such a talented actress, and portrayed Jessie’s confusion and ultimate bravery beautifully.

I have long complained of the bait-and-switch that I feel television plays with tomboy characters. I’m not trying to conflate tomboy-ness with lesbianism, but I already believe that there is a pattern of television attempting to plant the idea that a young girl’s rebellion against her gender role is something she will grow out of. They present a tomboy character that a tomboy can identify with, and in the run of the series the character ends up embracing traditional femininity – dresses and make up, dating boys, ect. I have suspected since I was a child that not only did this amount to the character selling out, but it was a subtle cue to girls who identified with the character that they too should sell out. Now that I am older, and more skeptical of this kind of teliological conspiracy theory, I don’t suppose any more that it is an organized intentional effort, but I would still argue that there’s some kind of meaningful emergent narrative that undercuts the individual girl’s testimony about her own sexuality.

Or am I smoking the crack?

Didn’t Claire on “Six Feet Under” try having a girlfriend for awhile?

I’m suddenly reminded of an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where some guy had a jacket that made any girls around him fall madly and obsessively in love with him. One of the characters had by this point become rather much a dedicated lesbian, and when it was pointed out to her that she was a lesbian and he was a guy, her solution wasn’t to become straight for him, but rather to try and cast a magic spell to make him a woman :smiley:

I know this is so wrong to ask, but I can’t help myself. Indygrrl, would you happen to have any stories you’d like to share?

Raguleader wrote:

The funny thing is that Willow had been passionately in love with two men before she met Tara. Yet, when she and Tara began what was surely the love of their lives, it was suddenly and mysteriously anathema to suggest that she was anything other than totally gay. Well, they did have an episode in which she has to deal with her residual feelings for Oz. They didn’t try to retcon it and suggest that her feelings for and enjoyment of making out with Xander and Oz weren’t real, but they did insistently use the word ‘lesbian’ whenever they discussed Willow’s sexuality because apparently the love that dare not speak its name is now ‘bisexual.’