It’s been four and a half years since The Real L Word first aired on Showtime, and two since it ended its third and final season. Whether you loved the reality show about lesbians or loved to hate it, the women involved were representatives of our community for anyone who might have tuned in for the girl-girl relationship drama and uncensored sex. (Gotta love Showtime.)
We checked in with the show participants to see how life has changed for them since the show, and what they think about the experience when they look back on it now.
The married pair went on to do Vh1’s Couple’s Therapy last year, where they discussed their jealousy issues and Sada’s insecurities based on her father’s violence against his family when she was young. Together they continue to host girl parties like Juicy at Rage in West Hollywood and head up an e-commerce line called Cloth & Justice.
Some other changes for the couple include Whitney’s cutting off her trademark dreads for a much shorter look and Sada switching out that “R” in her name (Sara) for a “D.”
Although Nikki and Jill were married on the show’s first season, California had not yet legalized same-sex marriage. “We just celebrated our fourth unlawfully wedding anniversary,” Nikki said of the couple who were legally married at the Beverly Hills Courthouse on August 1, 2013. “It’s amazing to see how far our country has come, but we still need to fight for marriage equality in all 50 States.”
There have been a lot of changes in their lives since they shared their story, including a move from West Hollywood to the Valley. That move was partly inspired by Jill’s giving birth to their son, Adler.
“He just turned two on October 9th,” Nikki said. “Parenting has, of course, been incredible together and Adler has enriched our lives so much.”
2013 was a difficult year for the family, though, when Nikki was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer.
“I kept it a secret for over seven months until I knew I had no more evidence of disease,” Nikki said. “I just finished treatment this past May.” Adler was only three months old at the time, and Jill’s father passed only a few days after the diagnosis after his own 17 year battle with prostate cancer.
“Needless to say, it’s been a very hard few years, but our son Adler was the bright light that kept us going through it all,” Nikki said. “And I couldn’t have fought as hard as I did without my incredible wife by my side.”
If cameras were following them around today, “they would see a playroom full of toys, baby wipes, diapers and sippy cups,” Nikki said. “Jill and I being Momma and Mommy. Me of course working like a crazy person and being on my directors sets, Jill writing and working in the commercial world in TV and print, attending mommy and me classes with our son, play dates.” Nikki is also on the board of Pink Lotus Petals, a non-profit that helps “underprivileged and uninsured women get screened and follow up surgery and care.”
Although they are happy to have forged friendships with the women they met through the show, Nikki said she doesn’t think she and Jill are “really cut from the reality TV cloth.”
“Initially we participated to change the landscape, to help those struggling to accept themselves, to help parents who were struggling to understand their children, to show a stable and honest relationship,” Nikki said. “I know we succeeded just from the lives we’ve touched and the letters that we still receive from all over the world, and for that alone, we thank The Real L Word for sharing a part of our story.”
Nikki and Jill’s love story was told an in Expedia initiative in 2013, aka the wildest year of their lives.
Follow them: @weissgoldsteins
Known for wearing her sunglasses at night and, well, all of the time, Mikey has been one of the quietest about her reality TV fame since appearing on Season 1. She’s now the CEO and Executive Producer of Endless Road Entertainment, which puts on events and is, of course, a part of L.A. Fashion Week. Although she proposed to girlfriend Raquel on the show, the two split up shortly after.
Follow Mikey: @erLAinc
Raquel has spent her time off-camera “hosting fundraisers, working on political campaigns and consulting for non profits.” She joked that if she was still on a reality show, cameras “wouldn’t see my bra straps hanging out of my T-shirts anymore that’s for sure!” Instead, they’d find her going to church.
“In high school I was the President of the Christian Club, so I’m back on campus teaching a weekly bible study that I started almost 20 years ago,” Raquel said. “Serving in ministry has always been one of my passions so being able to pray for and encourage high school students is one of the highlights of my life.”
Raquel says she’s been single ever since the show ended, though she did run into ex Mikey recently at the grocery store.
“Looking back at the show it was like a really fun and crazy week at Dinah Shore summer camp! And just like summer camp, I will miss it,” she said.
Raquel is glad she participated on the show, saying, “Everything we go through in life can help another person. Our deepest hurts, our greatest disappointments and our happiest times can be the very thing that helps to inspire someone else. I know that the experience has inspired me. I have really grown. I’m really glad I did it and I would do it all over again. I’m really grateful I got the chance to share my story. Ten years ago we all used to religiously watch The L Word. So here’s to forever being a part TV History! God bless you all!”
Follow Raquel: @castanedaraquel