Perception of the L word’s

First Words

Our nature consists in motion; complete rest is death.
- Blaise Pascal

In my research for this paper two things became apparent. For one, the discussion of the transgender body - whether it is based on real-life or fictional characters - seems to somehow always go hand in hand with an analysis of the space it moves in. The reason for this may be that transgenders walk a thin line when exposing themselves. Their very nature poses a threat to the gender binary and evokes unpleasant questions about identity. For the other, The L Word's Moira/Max Sweeney (Daniela Sea) seems to be the only televised long-term case study of a transgender character. In other words, though transgender characters have been subject to several feature films and big-screen movies, there is hardly any material that explores the process of identity formation of a transgender character over a longer period of time.

In this paper I want to examine how the rural background of Moira/Max is perceived on the show and how hir identity is constructed and deconstructed by hirself and the characters s/he interacts with. In doing so, I want to show that the established picture of the rural area ironically ends up bearing more resemblance of the urban society Moira/Max finds hirself in when hir gender identity is thoroughly challenged by an admittedly bizarre storyline.

In my denotation of the character I will try to move symmetrical to the character's development on the show. In method I will try to combine the examinations of queer theorists and research on real-life transgenders.

Establishing the L Wor(l)d

The L Word is a one-hour television drama that was originally aired on the cable network Showtime (2004-2009). The show ran for six seasons and focuses on the lives and relationships of a group of (mainly) lesbian friends located in West Hollywood, California.

Following the development of niche programming in the early 2000s, where "the niche priorities of the Cable Era ... transitioned into the more-specialized personal-usage market model of the Digital Era"[1] The L Word targets a lesbian audience.

Central to the show are Bette Porter (Jennifer Beals), successful in the art business, and her on-and-off partner Tina Kennard (Laurel Holloman), who works in the movie industry, as well as screenwriter Jenny Schecter (Mia Kirshner), television and radio host Alice Pieszecki (Leisha Hailey), and many more that will not appear in this paper. Except for Alice, who is bisexual, all of the characters just listed are gay, answering to the calls of many scholars of queer studies to portray homosexual characters on television without using them to stabilize heterosexual normativity.[2] Paradoxically The L Word drew most of its criticism from this premise. As Jennifer Reed examines, "most of the critique emphasizes the apparent heteronormativity of the show, which is illustrated, in part, through the conventional femininity of the cast and their typical gender-conforming feminine bodies, clothing, and hairstyles, along with the upper-middle-class, white centered lives that they live."[3] This criticism appears not to take into account the increasing diversification of the main characters from the beginning of the second season on, which concerns not just race, class, and gender (identity), but especially differing political attitudes and relationship views. These are interwoven into the main storylines, breaking with the existing accumulation of norms within the group.

At the beginning of season three the character Moira Sweeney (Daniela Sea) is introduced. Escaping small town life, self-identified butch Moira comes to L.A. with Jenny. On their trip to the city they encounter several homophobic incidents. It is thus communicated early on, that the rural area is something to be escaped from. When Moira is introduced to Jenny's friends, her gender identity and lower-class background clash with the group. As the group discusses Moira's otherness, Bette points out that "She comes from a place where you have to define yourself as either/or. It's probably just the only language she has."[4] Again, as we see here, the rural is depicted as confining and unsophisticated, which stands in opposition to the liberal urban progression. Judith Halberstam points out that "rural and small-town queer life is generally mythologized by urban queers as sad and lonely, or else rural queers might be thought of as 'stuck' in a place that they would leave if they only could."[5] The characters as well as the show seem to reflect this view. It works as a device for the buildup of Moira's character: Reed notes that Moira is established "as a real foreigner in the land of The L Word lesbians."[6] Only a few episodes into the season the audience learns what this foreign characteristic of Moira actually consists of when she discovers that she is transgender. Lucas C. Crawford criticizes the story as being "far from innovative"[7] because it links the process of coming out as transgender to moving to the city. Indeed Moira/Max admits to having contemplated the idea of living as the other sex ever since s/he was little.[8] Hir stone-butch identity suggests though, that s/he had already adapted a gender identity that stood in opposition to the binary norms of her environment before s/he entered the urban space. The fact that Moira/Max makes the aforementioned statement when s/he is surrounded by other transgender characters reflects a phenomenon of real-life transgenders: "Most commonly, the triggering event for acceptance of an identity comes when ... the individual encounters others who serve as symbols for available identities."[9] Put differently, when coming out as transgender, it is important to have role models. For Moira/Max this encounter is essential not because s/he learns of the possibility of transgenderism - this surely isn't new to hir - but because s/he sees it happening in real flesh. Moira adopts the name Max and starts taking black-market testosterone. The relationship with Jenny, who actively encouraged the transition, ultimately fails because of her sexual orientation. Max gets a job as an IT-specialist thus financially aligning him to the other characters. At work he passes as a man, successfully at first due to his male appearance. Though he does look androgynous, his goatee seems to be the qualifying factor that enables him to pass. In her research on transgender politics Katrina Roen notes that it is significantly easier for female-to-male (FTM) transgenders to pass as their self-identified sex than it is for male-to-females (MTF). Interpreting the statements of one of her survey participants, she points out that "the presence of his beard appeared to enable him to pass as a man in a variety of social contexts."[10] This seems to be the case for Max. His facial hair becomes a crucial symbol of his inner evolution and outward demonstration of his gender identity as we will see in the following episode analysis.

Little Boy Blue (Season Four, Episode Ten)

In the prior episode, Max gets a phone call from his sister Maggie, whom he identifies as the only member of his family that knows of his transition. She tells him that their mother died and asks him not to come home because of his new appearance. Encouraged by his intern Grace (Simone Bailly), who offers to join him on his trip, he decides to go anyway to say goodbye to his mother.

Max's storyline in "Little Boy Blue" is dramatically intertwined with three other storylines of the episode. I will examine those only briefly and point out how they relate to his scenes.

In the opening sequence, which is continued after the opening credits, one of the show's characters convinces another to bet the money she gained playing poker in Las Vegas on a horse race.

The scene blends over to Max and Grace who are walking towards the house of Max's family. The theme of personal gamble is continued as Max is uncertain of his family's reaction to him. Suspense creating camera work ensues. Max tells Grace about his and his sisters' relationship when they were little. The camera moves behind the two as they make their way to the door, positioning the viewer in Max's back and cuts to a frontal view as they walk up the steps. Max tells her that he has been estranged from his family for years and the camera cuts from showing the front view of the two to a long shot, showing two small figures contrasting to the big figure of the house. This indicates the distance between Max and his family and works to clarify Max's feeling of isolation in respect to his family. Max rings the bell but before someone opens the door the scene cuts, further increasing suspense for the viewer.

The following scene evolves around Bette and her new girlfriend Jody, who is deaf. They talk about the introductory dinner Bette is planning and are interrupted by an affair of Jody's. A fight in rapid sign language ensues. Bette stands by missing most of it. Again a tone is set for the following scene featuring Max. This time it's the theme of different ways of communicating, which are deeply rooted in the very nature of different beings, and how they can lead to a lack of understanding for one another. The scene cuts to Max and Grace who are now inside the house and sitting on a sofa. Opposite them is Maggie. The camera slowly moves towards the group as they talk. In the opening line of the scene Maggie greets him "I'm happy to see you, Max."[11] By calling him by his male name she indicates that she is aware and accepting of his gender identity. The conversation moves to Max's father whom he describes by stating "when we were growing up, he was always ranting on and on about WAPs, queers, niggers, faggots. I mean, you name it and he had a word for it. ... He's ignorant. And he's sheltered. And he's afraid of anything that's different from him."[12] This puts reason behind Max's characterization early on in the show as described by Jennifer Reed: "What is communicated early on is that Moira has carved out a self within the terms of a conservative, unabashedly straight world in which she seems to have no community of her own."[13] This world is represented by the father. Max is aware of this and quickly distances himself from wanting to discuss him. This indicates that the image Max holds of his father works as a constant that works as a stabilizing factor in his self-identification. Maggie challenges his view by stating that "he's not a bad guy."[14] She then goes on to ask why Max didn't tell their mother of his transition. He states that he didn't think she could handle it to which she responds "you don't know that. You just assume that everyone will hate you."[15] Maggie implies that the restrictive nature of the rural world is a two way street, that communicating one's desire will eventually lead to acceptance but that Max's has not explored this possibility. Max is about to respond to this but the conversation is interrupted by the entrance of the father, Bon, and Sioban, their other sister. The scene cuts before any reaction can unfold. The viewer is left in a heightened state of suspense. Maggie's statement has opened up room for development other than Max's description of his father implied.

However, when we come back to the living room-scenery, Max's expectations are met. Confronted with an androgynous young man with a goatee whom they recognize as their former daughter/sister, both Bon and Sioban express their repulsion of his new gender identity. Interestingly, Max does nothing to explain or justify his transition. Taking Maggie's accusation into accord we can reach the conclusion that Max at least partly founds his identity on being an outcast in his family environment. His voyage to the city now doesn't just function as liberation from his oppressed gender identity; it can also be read as a flight from an environment that had to maintain stability in its confining nature in order to be escaped from. This constructed world gets another crack when Sioban says "Mom told me on her deathbed that she thought that you should have been born a boy."[16] She implies here that his identity was in fact acknowledged as right and without active encouragement by Max. Bon visibly reacts to this. Sioban goes on insulting Max and asking him and Grace to leave as the scene ends.

Up until this point, Max's storyline has been interrupted by one other storyline at a time. Between this and the next scene featuring Max, two longer sequences involving the characters in L.A., are shown. The characters of Max's storyline are given more time to develop. When we return to Max, he and Grace are in their Motel room packing. Quite symbolically the Motel is called "Happi Inn" as we learn from the exterior shot. For one, the false diction of the word "happy" foreshadows an unconventional development. It also implies that the outward change of the signifier does not foreclose the inner quality of the signified, thus resembling Max. Bon enters the scene to give him his mother's charm bracelet. After Grace steps outside, Bon's character development becomes apparent: "What Sioban said today... Whenever your mother and I talked about you we ended up fighting and so, after a while we just stopped talking about you. And I... I didn't know that she felt that way about you."[17] Bon is explaining the strained relationship here. It is apparent that he is about to apologize to Max who interrupts the notion pushing a bit further by expressing his wish to go to the funeral. He now brings into play more than just the family. Appearing at the funeral would mean an outing in front of the funeral society, revealing the secret he kept from his family to the social environment of it. Max is clearly aware of this as he brings it forward as his father is moving toward reconciling with him. Max is thus testing the boundaries to see how deep his father's notion goes. When Bon invites him over to the wake at their house he reacts surprised. The scene cuts and Max's storyline is interrupted by three other scenes. This stretch works to help the viewer adjust to the development of the Max/Bon relationship. Max, being far from trusting his father, has seen him taking steps towards recognizing/accepting his identity. When we next see them together, they are standing outside as Bon shows Max the car he has been working on. In this bonding atmosphere, Bon takes his notion of the previous scene one step further: "Let's take it for a ride, son."[18] He not just acknowledging his gender-identity but also confirms their relation by blood. Note that when they met in the living room scene, Bon accused him of "sham[ing his] mother's memory"[19] hereby clearly distancing himself from Max. The latter visibly relaxes after being called "son". But again, before we can see the relationship progress further, Bon is asked inside the house to greet guests. A short scene featuring the group at the racetracks follows, where a bet of 100,000 Dollars is placed. Nearing the climax of the episode, this bet can be seen as an analogy to Max's impending introduction to the society at the wake, where the improved relationship to his father works as the wager. Or so the viewer is set-up to believe.

At the wake we see Max, Bon, Father O'Shea and Connie, who seems to be an old family friend, standing around the buffet. Bon introduces Max and the camera cuts to Connie looking at him. She seems to recognize him as her facial reaction shows shock. Bon moves on to explain that Max is a distant family relative. Max turns away from the scene. As he leaves the room Father O'Shea asks whether Bon has heard from his other daughter, Moira, which he answers in the negative. Again the scene cuts to the racetrack where the race is about to start. The horse they bet on comes in second which means they lost all their money. In many ways this outcome resembles the previous scene at the wake. The wager of 100,000 Dollars is a huge amount of money, too much to bet on a game of luck. To expect Bon to out his son as transgender in an emotional setting like a wake seems equally overestimated. The horse came in second, actually head-to-head with the winner. In the next scene featuring Max and Bon this can be transferred as close enough. "When I saw how Connie reacted I realized that tomorrow should be about mom. Not about me."[20] Max states. He is aware that the revelation of his identity would cause disconcertment, as he has been straight from the beginning of the episode. This raises the question whether Max actually wants to be revealed in his transgender-identity. Patricia Gagne, Richard Tewksbury and Deanna McGaughey note in their survey on identity formation of male-to-female transgenderists "while going out and passing in public may be thought to be different from coming out, it is important to recognize that for the majority of transgenderists, the goal is to be perceived and accepted as a woman, not a transgenderist"[21] Max seems to reflect this view. His transition began only one season before and his self-confidence does not yet seem to be strong enough to withstand a lot of objection. He has demonstrated this at the beginning of the episode, when he let Sioban insult him without standing up for himself. Now situated in a more trusting atmosphere he makes a statement to his father about his identity: "I know who I am. I'm Max Sweeney, who used to be Moira, Bon and Fiona's daughter."[22] He demonstrates a clear stance on his gender politics. While he does admit that a transition has occurred, Max clearly identifies as a man in the present. He does not, however, admit that he is still processing to become a man. Katrina Roen describes a phenomenon that should be pointed out here: There are two different kinds of transgender politics. The neither/both stance in which transformation is openly demonstrated to "seek acceptance for gender transition and gender ambiguity, while [the either/or approach] seeks acceptance for the practice of living as 'the other sex.'"[23] Max seems to identify with the latter; he's trying to pass as a man, and does not see a possibility for this to happen in the society he finds himself in when he comes back to this rural environment. His identity politics, though they can be read to "confirm the enduring power of the binary gender system,"[24] clash with the traditional perception of gender roles - naturally established in opposition to socially achieved - that is rooted in the world he visits. He thus finds himself in a contrasting place of mind which is illustrated in his last scene of the episode. The funeral society is gathered around the casket as Father O'Shea speaks the last word of the sermon. We can see Max standing far off under a tree watching his father step forward to bid farewell to his wife. This separation from the group works in different ways. On the one hand we see that Max again does not try to provoke a reaction. He does not try to physically put himself in the situation of the funeral. Throughout the episode he has claimed to have come to say goodbye to his mother and he does this by watching the funeral from far off. This can, on the other hand, be seen as maintaining a stabilized image of the environment he has previously used to define himself by. When he distances himself from the group he does not seek out any situation that may challenge his image. When Bon and Max look at each other briefly, Max turns around to leave. So even though we have seen father and son reconcile somewhat, in the end the differences between two worlds are upheld and remain mainly unchallenged. Placing Max in the world of his upbringing, which he experienced as restrictive, works mainly as a plot device where the relationship to his father is central. Max does find some satisfaction by having his father recognize him as a man. However, we do not see Max interact with society other than his close relatives, except for one scene where his assumed identity causes shock. The image of the confining rural environment gets some cracks but remains mainly unexplored. Max establishes and demonstrates his gender identity with an uncompromising stance which he maintains until season six. Let's take a look at how he and his environment react when his identity is questioned.

Season Six: He's pregnant, okay?

By the beginning of season six Max has reached what he desired. His physical appearance has become more masculine and his facial hair has increased thus enabling him to wear a full beard. He is in a relationship with a gay man, Tom, and clearly able to pass full-time. In his last consult for his sexual reassignment surgery his life gets turned upside down when he is informed that he's pregnant. Tom convinces him that they could raise the child as two gay dads. As his childbearing becomes more and more visible, his gender identity is continuously challenged by the lesbian group of friends:

Jenny: How is the beautiful mother to be?

Max, shows her the finger

Jenny: What was that for?

Tom: He doesn't like being referred to as mother.[25]

Both Max and Tom defend his gender identity, clearly signaling that Max still takes on the either/or stance. Reed comments on Max that he "ultimately becomes what Halberstam identifies as a 'queer hybrid', an embodiment of ambiguity that is comfortable with the instability of gendered and sexual identities."[26] However, this seems not to be the case when we look at how he first reacts to his pregnancy: He perceives his bodily changes with growing agony, making it clear that he does not want to live in a female body, thus rejecting the aforementioned ambiguity. As the clash in his physical appearance progresses, other members of the group of friends move to identifying him as female in his absence.[27] For them the outward appearance seems to overrule the gender identity, Max has established over the last three seasons. When Tom leaves Max, he becomes overburdened by the situation and reaches a breaking. I will look at this more closely in the following.

Lactose Intolerant (Season Six, Episode Six)

Jenny decides to throw Max a surprise baby shower in the theme of Willy Wonka. Before he arrives at the party, Jenny upsets several people with her manipulative behavior. The mood is strained when Max enters. He is assigned to sit in a throne, placing him in a somewhat exclusive position, outside the group. They proceed to play baby shower games. Max seems uncomfortable with this and hints that he has not yet established a bond to his child. The conversation shifts to the end of his relationship and he is reminded of his position as a soon-to-be single parent. More subjects that he has avoided up until this point come up: birth plan, episiotomy, c-section, and breast feeding. All of which are in reference to his body, a female body. Jenny adds insult to injury by calling his insistent gender identification selfish. Though one character objects to Jenny's statement, the rest seems to silently agree with her and react relieved when Alice gets up to make a speech. The situation reaches its peak as Alice rambles about responsibility and single-handedly raising a child. Max becomes more and more distressed and starts to hyperventilate. As he gets up, most of the present guests start referring to him a female. No one seems to accept his identity anymore, now that his body is visibly going through something that is unique to the female body. Max breaks down in front of Bette and Tina asking them to adopt his child. The pair declines his plea; meanwhile the other guests are still in commotion and wonder which drugs might help "her". When Jenny states that "you can't give a pregnant lady drugs."[28] Max finally speaks out on the situation stating "He! He's pregnant, okay?"[29] At this point Max has left his throne and is crouched down on the sofa. The throne has been taken by Jenny who has functioned as the - although perceived as inappropriate - mouthpiece for unspoken truth all throughout the shower scene. This is not the only conflicting point of the episode. The scene cuts from the picture of a dismantled pregnant man to him standing naked in his bathroom. He examines his breasts and his beard, proceeds to trim it, and finally applies shaving cream and begins to strip himself of the only physical aspect of his male identity that is left. The character is now entirely deconstructed. He has given up his consistent defense of his gender identity and has succumbed to the pressure of being perceived as a "normal" mother.

There are two problems in the construction of the episode that lead to this conclusion. First: The construction of the baby shower scene, where Max functions mostly as a playing field of the other characters disputes. This thoroughly undermines his storyline and the relationships he has established with the other characters. It also signals that Max is still an outsider, is still foreign to the world surrounding him. Second: the shower scene cuts directly to Max standing in his bathroom, which gives the character no time to develop and therefore makes him shaving his beard seem like a direct reaction to the pressure of the other characters.

Looking at the discussion of the episode "Little Boy Blue" it is astonishing to note that when his identity as a man is challenged, the other characters react in a way that pushes Max back into the gender binary. The urban environment he finds himself in has a stance on his gender that is even more sustaining than the one he experienced in the rural world of his upbringing.

Given that Max is in the end left alone in his standing on his gender identity and that he ultimately rids himself of the remaining physical signals of his male identity, one can draw a surprising line: When Raymond summarizes that the term queer is "politically radical, rejects binary categories (like heterosexual/homosexual), embraces more fluid categories, and tends to be 'universalizing' rather than 'minoritizing'"[30] we have to conclude that Max finds himself in a world that is ultimately un-queer. He tries to adapt a both/neither attitude because of his pregnancy which is harshly rejected. Ultimately his urban environment remains a world of lesbian heteronormativity in which he finds some room to explore his gender identity but not enough to live it fully and unconditionally.

Last Words

For four seasons, the audience of The L Word got to see one of the first FTM transgenders in television history discover, explore and strengthen his gender identity. The struggle with his family, friends, work- and love-life was depicted and the transgender subject thus gained visibility. The previous analysis shows that Max did not only struggle with the environment he expected to struggle with. He tried to establish a life that does not conform to heterosexual or homosexual normativity. Sadly the show came to a very dissatisfying conclusion with his character. What remains though are images of a gender identity that went through emotions most people can relate to: being happily in love, sensing the bitter taste of rejection, feeling disappointed, and being scared in the face of life-challenges. Just like most people, or at least most characters on television.

Bibliography

  • Crawford, Lucas Cassidy. "Transgender without Organs? Mobilizing a Geo-Affective Theory of Gender Modification." In Women's Studies Quarterly (The Feminist Press at the City University of New York) 36, no. 3/4 (2008): 127-143.
  • Edgerton, Gary R. "The Business of America is Show Business: U.S. TV in Global Context - 1992 - Present," in The Columbia History of American Television, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007): 349-489.
  • Gagne, Patricia, Richard Tewksbury, and Deanna McGaughey. "Coming out and Crossing over: Identity Formation and Proclamation in a Transgender Community." In Gender and Society (Sage Publications) 11, no. 4 (1997): 478-508.
  • Halberstam, Judith. In a Queer Time and Place: Transgendered Bodies, Subcultural Lives. (New York: New York University Press, 2005)
  • "Lactose Intolerant." The L Word. Writ. Elisabeth Ziff. Dir. John Stockwell. Produced by Ilene Chaiken and Rose Lam. Showtime. Feb. 2009. Episode.
  • "Leaving Los Angeles." The L Word. Writ. Ilene Chaiken. Dir. Rose Troche. Produced by Ilene Chaiken and Rose Lam. Showtime. Feb. 2009. Episode.
  • "Light My Fire." The L Word. Writ. Cherien Dabis. Dir. Lynne Stopkewich. Produced by Ilene Chaiken and Rose Lam. Showtime. Jan. 2006. Episode.
  • "Little Boy Blue." The L Word. Writ. Elisabeth Ziff. Dir. Karyn Kusama. Produced by Ilene Chaiken and Rose Lam. Showtime. Mar. 2007. Episode.
  • "Lobsters." The L Word. Writ. Ilene Chaiken. Dir. Bronwen Hughes. Produced by Ilene Chaiken and Rose Lam. Showtime. Jan. 2006. Episode.
  • Raymond, Diane "Popular Culture and Queer Representation: A Critical Perspective," in Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text Reader, 2nd ed. Edited by Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 2003): 597-607.
  • Reed, Jennifer "Reading Gender Politics on The L Word: The Moira/Max Transitions" In Journal of Popular Film and Television (Heldref Publications) 37, no. 4 (2009): 169-178.
  • Roen, Katrina "'Either/Or' and 'Both/Neither': Discursive Tensions in Transgender Politics" In Signs (The University of Chicago Press) 27, no. 2 (2002): 501-522.

Notes

  • "Last Words": Title in reference to: "Last Word." The L Word. Writ. Ilene Chaiken. Dir. Ilene Chaiken. Produced by Ilene Chaiken and Rose Lam. Showtime. Mar. 2009. Episode.
  • "Season Six: He's Pregnant, ok?": Quote from "Lactose Intolerant." The L Word. Writ. Elisabeth Ziff. Dir. John Stockwell. Produced by Ilene Chaiken and Rose Lam. Showtime. Feb. 2009. Episode.

Plagiatserklärung

Von Plagiat spricht man, wenn Ideen und Worte anderer als eigene ausgegeben werden. Dabei spielt es keine Rolle, aus welcher Quelle (Buch, Zeitschrift, Zeitung, Internet usw.) die fremden Ideen und Worte stammen, ebenso wenig ob es sich um größere oder kleinere Übernahmen handelt oder ob die Entlehnungen wörtlich oder übersetzt oder sinngemäß sind. Entscheidend ist allein, ob die Quelle angegeben ist oder nicht. Wird sie verschwiegen, liegt ein Plagiat, eine Täuschung vor.

In solchen Fällen kann keine Leistung des Studierenden anerkannt werden: Es wird kein Leistungsnachweis (auch kein Teilnahmeschein) ausgestellt, eine Wiederholung der Arbeit ist nicht möglich und die Lehrveranstaltung wird in der Institutskartei als „nicht bestanden (P)" registriert.

Ich erkläre hiermit, diesen Text zur Kenntnis genommen und in dieser Arbeit kein Plagiat im o.g. Sinne begangen zu haben.

  1. Edgerton, The Business of America is Show Business, 351.
  2. cf. Raymond, Popular Culture and Queer Representation, 99f.
  3. Reed, Reading Gender Politics on The L Word, 170.
  4. The L Word, Lobsters, 2006.
  5. Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place, 36.
  6. Reed, Reading Gender Politics on The L Word, 172.
  7. Crawford, Transgender without Organs, 127.
  8. The L Word, Light My Fire, 2006.
  9. Gagne, Tewksbury, and McGaughey, Coming out and Crossing over, 492f. sic.
  10. Roen, "Either/Or" and "Both/Neither", 513.
  11. The L Word, Little Boy Blue, 2007.
  12. The L Word, Little Boy Blue, 2007.
  13. Reed, Reading Gender Politics on The L Word, 172.
  14. The L Word, Little Boy Blue, 2007.
  15. The L Word, Little Boy Blue, 2007.
  16. The L Word, Little Boy Blue, 2007.
  17. The L Word, Little Boy Blue, 2007.
  18. The L Word, Little Boy Blue, 2007.
  19. The L Word, Little Boy Blue, 2007.
  20. The L Word, Little Boy Blue, 2007.
  21. Gagne, Tewksbury, and McGaughey, Coming out and Crossing over, 498.
  22. The L Word, Little Boy Blue, 2007.
  23. Roen, "Either/Or" and "Both/Neither", 502f.
  24. Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place, 96.
  25. The L Word, Leaving Los Angeles, 2009.
  26. Reed, Reading Gender Politics on The L Word 178.
  27. The L Word, Leaving Los Angeles, 2009.
  28. The L Word, Lactose Intolerant, 2009.
  29. The L Word, Lactose Intolerant, 2009.
  30. Raymond, Popular Culture and Queer Representation, 98.

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