Media Feature More Diverse Representations of Lesbian Couples Than Gay Couples

At first it was just an observation: The media feature more diverse representations of lesbian love, and I thought they were underrated compared with representations of gay love. And although gay white men account for most media images of the LGBT community, lesbian interracial couples and couples of color have achieved mainstream representation, and they've been better portrayed than their gay counterparts. Perhaps because I thought I wasn't as well-versed in lesbian cinema as I am in gay cinema, I didn't realize just how many movies and TV series I'd seen featuring in-depth and diverse portrayals of lesbian romance.

As humans we have a tendency to care most about people who look like us and come from the same backgrounds or social groups as us. It's human nature, and I'm no different. Growing up, I tended to care about images of black people. Now that I'm out and proud, I have a tendency to care about images of gay men, especially gay men of color, but I'm gaining knowledge of multiculturalism, and I see the relationships between groups from different cultures and different struggles and triumphs. Within the LGBT community, I see how lesbian images have been more progressive, even in critically acclaimed cinema like The Women of Brewster Place (1989), Set It Off (1996) and Frida (2002). They've related to the multiculturalism of the world through love and relationships.

With the new ABC Family drama The Fosters, which features an interracial lesbian couple raising a multi-ethnic group of children, premiering this summer, and given that we're currently observing Women's History Month, I thought to put together a slideshow highlighting 10 beautiful, diverse media representations of lesbian interracial couples and couples of color, each one unique. Although the slideshow features some cat fights and intense lovemaking, these portrayals of lesbian relationships are mainly about passion and true love.



'The Watermelon Woman' (1996)
Cheryl Dunye plays Cheryl, a young, black lesbian working in a video store and directing a documentary that follows the life of a black actress from the 1930s who was limited to stereotypical roles and was known as "The Watermelon Woman." Cheryl discovers that the actress' name was Fae Richards and that she was a lesbian who had had an affair with her white female director. Like her subject, Cheryl begins a relationship with a white woman, Diana, played by Guinevere Turner. The Watermelon Woman was the first film known to have been directed by a black lesbian. It is both ironic in its storytelling and groundbreaking in its subject matter.



'The L Word' (2004-2009) (NSFW Clip)
The L Word was a trailblazer in its portrayal of lesbian relationships and love, just as Queer as Folk was for gay relationships. One of its main cast members is Jennifer Beals, who plays Bette Porter, a biracial lesbian who seems to be really into her long-term partner Tina (Laurel Holloman) in this NSFW clip. It's a Showtime series, so of course there's intense lovemaking.



'I Can't Think Straight' (2008)
This tale follows Tala (Lisa Ray), a lesbian Jordanian of Palestinian descent who is preparing for marriage in London -- that is, until she meets Leyla (Sheetal Sheth), a British woman of Indian descent, and they fall in love with one another. The two actresses also starred in another lesbian-themed film, The World Unseen, by the same director, Shamim Sarif.



'Pariah' (2011)
Although Pariah is mainly a coming-of-age tale about a young, black lesbian discovering and expressing her identity, there's a young-love story featured in the film as well. In this clip, Alike (Adepero Oduye) and her love interest Bina (Aasha Davis) make puppy love look so cute, portraying black-on-black lesbianism in a way not yet seen



'Grey's Anatomy' (2005 To Present)
Grey's Anatomy is known for taking dramatic twists and turns. It's also known for its diverse cast. Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) is a Hispanic, bisexual orthopedic surgeon, and Dr. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) is a white, lesbian pediatric surgeon. Their relationship takes a dramatic turn in Season 9, when Arizona loses her leg in a plane crash, and in turn, Callie loses her mind dealing with the post-traumatic stress. Check out the clip to watch how their relationship unravels and comes back together. This is what I call depth to interracial LGBT relationships.

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