TV’s very best depictions of lesbian love relationships
In terms of LGBTQ+ representation, we’re only scratching the service in terms of the content that is available to viewers. While we still have a long way to go in terms of a truly diverse television landscape, things are starting to look better. Yet gay relationships on television can still tend toward men instead of women.
In recent years, however, some of the most tender and open romances on television are lesbians in love. So why not pay tribute to it? Especially since Valentine’s Day looms over us all. Here are the very best depictions of lesbian love on television.
Tara and Willow (Buffy: The Vampire Slayers)
Yes, we’re going to rip off the band-aid and start with two romances that are cut too short because a character dies. Yes, the “bury your gays” trope is frustrating and really needs to be done away with. Even so, the relationship between Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) did perfectly catch the sweetness of falling in love and discovering your sexuality.
Not only that, but Willow and Tara had a good relationship: full of respect and mutual affection. Rather than be a shock value sort of thing, Willow and Tara were just a couple of kids in love. Normalizing it rather than going over the top did a lot to help a generation of young lesbians feel less alone.
Clarke and Lexa (The 100)
Last love story that ends in tragedy on the list. Promise. Would The 100 be as popular without the beloved ship of Clexa? Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) had two very different upbringings in this post-apocalyptic world. Yet the two found each other and worked to understand each other. For a good relationship, writers, it all comes down to that sweet, sweet mutual respect and trust.
To this day fans and Clarke alike were gutted by Lexa’s death, sparking a whole new debate over the “bury your gays” trope and launching the creation of ClexaCon.
Elena and Syd (One Day at a Time)
Elena (Isabella Gomez) and Syd (Sheridan Pierce) are not in a lesbian relationship. Syd identifies as non-binary and thus does feel comfortable being called as someone’s “girlfriend”. Elena, meanwhile, identifies as a lesbian and came out at the end of season one. Even so, there is practically no non-binary representation on TV, not even getting into an NB person in a relationship. We need to talk about these two because they are incredibly cute.
Elena and Syd encapsulate that exhilaration of falling in love for the first time, but also being super awkward about it. They communicate with each other. Elena learns more about what it means to be non-binary through Syd. Plus when she made her Syd-nificant Other that nonbinary heart card? We all swooned and squealed.
Nomi and Amanita (Sense8)
Sense8 was a groundbreaking series for a lot of reasons. One of the best relationships of the entire show was between trans hactivist and blogger Nomi (Jamie Clayton) and her girlfriend Amanita (Freema Agyeman). These two were just so sweetly supportive of each other in the best way possible.
Amanita literally saved Nomi’s life as she struggled with her loneliness following her family’s refusal to accept her trans woman identity. Clayton and Agyeman give some truly complex and nuanced performances within the series. And we just rooted for the couple to get that happy ending they so deserved.
Stef and Lena (The Fosters)
The Fosters was truly an underappreciated series. What can we say about a couple like Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum) Foster? They love each other, respect each other, and act like any other long-term couple with children. Yet, the pair recommit to each other and move past some of the hardest tragedies than anyone can face, such as miscarriage.
If you want one of the most realistic yet warm depictions of a lesbian relationship, especially between an established couple, then look no further than the Fosters.