The Real L Word: A Mediated Ride to Understanding My Sexuality

The Real L Word: A Mediated Ride to Understanding My Sexuality

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At a very young age, I already knew about my attraction towards women. Around the age of 6 or 7, I wanted to become a boy. No, I am not a transgendered person with a “trapped in the wrong body” issue. The naïve logic behind my childhood desire to be a boy was so that I could get the girls. I wanted to date girls. I was falling madly in love with them – whether they were celebrities, classmates, maids (yes, I remember having a crush on a couple of yayas who worked at our house), strangers or imaginable girlfriends. Often times, when I was alone in my room, I imagined myself as a guy and pretend to talk to, kiss, embrace, (and be intimate with) the girl I’m dating in my head. As I got a bit older, I learned about the existence of lesbians and lesbian relationships. I got the impression that such women were a “disgrace to society” so I denied being one. I still wished I was a man, not a dyke.

These feelings never went away as I entered into the teenage chapter of my life. Like any other self-loathing gay person, I suppressed my feelings and thoughts and tried to pray the gay away. Obviously, it didn’t work. (It never does). I was like this all the way through Elementary, Highschool until sophomore year in College. Then, I stumbled upon the show The Real L Word (TRLW) on the internet. By the grace of the Sapphic Goddess, I’ve seen the light

TRLW means a lot to me because this reality show has made me comfortable in my own skin. Finally, something has pushed me to come to grips with my sexuality. It has empowered me. I found out about the show through Youtube and what really got me all excited about it was the glorious presence of femmes in the show. Most of the cast members in the 1st season do not embody the stereotypical butch lesbians. That has been so refreshing to me because I am a feminine lesbian in bad need of a femme role model(s). When you’re young (and gay, especially), you need someone to look up to, someone who can show you that you too can be special and that you are special because you are you. I don’t have anything against the butch lezzies. It’s great that they can be themselves even when narrow-minded people ridicule them for it. However, like I said, when you’re young, gay and femme, yet you see no one like you around, life can get pretty lonely and confusing. It’s a very shitty place to be in mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and, well, physically. The awesome women on the show have made me realize that I can have a normal life. They have a great sense of style, good careers, loving relationships, break-ups, heartaches, children, fabulous weddings. They cry, laugh, bicker, …. In short, they’re no different from straight folks. They don’t have to be. I don’t have to be. I can still fit my life into society and do whatever it is people do. The only difference is that I want to be with a woman, despite my gender, and I will sure as hell fight for it.

Season 1 got some criticisms from, of all people, the lesbian community. A lot of the backlash were about the excessive partying scenes and sexual scenes that it doesn’t really represent lesbians in a good light. Moreover, the numerous amount of feminine lesbian characters on the show don’t represent the whole spectrum of the lesbian community. I understand where they are cooming from because, personally, I would also like to see some professional lesbians who work in the corporate world, in law or in medicine. However, apparently, that would be very difficult to pull off since cameras wouldn’t be allowed in such workplaces. Most of the cast members work in either the beauty, fashion or entertainment business. Clearly, television eyes are welcome into such industries. Despite such criticisms, a lot of love has been poured onto the show. Hence, Season 2 ensued. They tried to put on some diversity into casting. So, they added lesbians who are Asian, Black and/or butch into the mix, in addition to some old cast members who have been back on the show to continue their storylines. (i.e. Whitney’s seemingly interesting love life)

The 3rd season, which is now on its 7th episode, still features a lot of freaking femme lesbians (hey, I am not complaining, not at all.) This time the show claims that it is going bicoastal. Originally, only the LA lesbian scene has been featured on the show. Now, the New York lesbian scene is going to be as well.Well, there really isn’t any difference other than the fact that some scenes were shot in LA, while others in NY. The lesbians are pretty much the same – they party, drink, smoke, kiss, fight, make love, socialize, work , get engaged, plan the wedding  and whatever it is people do.

The Real L Word cast:

Whitney – This rad chick with dreadlocks is basically the “star” of the show; her charismatic, fun, laid-back and hot (according to some girls) personality gets the ladies and the showmakers/fans’ adoration (S1, 2, 3).

Tracy & Stamie – A couple with 3 kids who are from Stamie’s previous long-term relationship (with a woman) before being with Tracy (S1).

Nikki & Jill – Two of my faves on the show (I aspire to have the kind of life that they have together someday with my future wife); they don’t party, drink and smoke all the damn time like the others do; they don’t have tattoo-filled bodies like the others do too – not that I have any problem with that, just sayin’  (S1).

Mikey – Hardworking butch in the fashion industry (S1).

Rose – Another hardworking, hard-partying femme on the show who shared about her loving yet rocky relationship with her then gf, Natalie (S1).

Natalie – Rose’s ex-gf; shared that her sister and brother are also gay, lovely! 3 gay siblings! (S1).

Sara – Engaged to Whitney (S1, 2, 3).

Romi – One of Whitney’s exes; my 1st season crush; I thought she’s lesbian but then come S3 and it was revealed that she’s bi (S1, 2, 3).

Kelsey – Romi’s gf (S2, 3).

Alyssa – Whitney’s ex-gf/bestfriend; dubbed as the show’s “voice of reason” (S1, 2, 3).

Rachel – Another Whitney ex-gf who’s moved to LA from NY (S2).

Jaq – Another one of Whitney’s tattoed gf (S2).

Kacy & Cori – A loving couple whose story on the show centers on trying to have a baby (S2, 3).

Sajdah – One of the butches on (S2).

Claire – A New Yorker who moved to LA (S2).

Vivian – Claire’s hot Asian girlfriend on (S2); my 2nd season crush.

Francine – Claire’s ex-gf or “other Asian” as Vivian said (S2).

Hunter Valentine – An all-lesbian punk band (S3).

Lauren – Pink-haired femme who owns a (very expensive) jewelry line (S3).

Amanda – Lauren’s BFWB; really cute girl; my 3rd season crush (S3).

There are a lot of other gorgeous and awesome lesbians you can see on the show! Go on and watch TRLW. I know you want to.

I am grateful to those behind and on the show because they have shown me that there is a wide variety of femininity and masculinity across the sapphic community. What matters the most is that you do you. My sexual orientation should not define my tastes, my style, my aspirations and my values in life. Other than that, I am thankful that I got to learn that there is this annual event called the Dinah Shore. I am definitely going to be there someday! My gay life would never be complete without it.

You can catch good, hilarious recaps of the episodes in Afterellen and Autostraddle.


  1. Thanks for sharing! Finally, I’ve read something that I can relate. It is so lonely when your keep your emotions yourself, like no one understands or validates. I got to watch that L World. 🙂

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