The Lesbian Shipping List You Didn’t Know You Needed this Summer

So, I’ve said before that we are living in a golden age for seeing women who love women on our TV screens, but part of the reason for that is that the media has historically had (and in many ways continues to have) a pretty low bar for diversity.

As a result, many beloved shows are left without a main character that is LGBTQ+ (c’mon, it’s 2017) and many fans choose to address this through shipping, where you pair up two people who should really be together.

This list are some of my five favorite ships that I will be obsessing over this summer.
JJ and Emily – Criminal Minds

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Where do I even start with these badass crime fighters? Over the past ten seasons (roughly), we’ve seen JJ and Emily prove their love for each other time and time again.

I mean, when Emily had to fake her own death, in order to escape a terrorist who she’d helped to expose, JJ whisked her off to Paris and set her up with forged papers to ensure that Emily would be safe until the team neutralized the threat. Not the “we’ll always have Paris” that you dream of.

Out of the whole team, JJ and Unit Chief Hotch were the only ones who knew that Emily was safe in Europe, and JJ maintained her “anonymous” contact with Emily via an online Scrabble app because she couldn’t not talk to her.

A personal bugbear that I have with Criminal Minds is, in addition to not having any LGBTQ+ main characters, they queer-bait us by revealing that Spencer was supposed to be bi and that Paget Brewster (who plays Emily) was once asked how she felt about her character dating a woman and, despite agreeing, no one ever mentioned it again.


Jess and Cece – New Girl



Cece is the straight-talking, no-nonsense, number-one supporter of Jess, who goes so far as to threaten Jess’s new roommates that she’ll “crazy-murder” them if anything happens to Jess. This provides a stark contrast to Jess’s nice-as-pie personality, but you know what they say, opposites attract.

These two ladies are willing to go to bat for each other time and time again, whether that’s encouraging the other to go back and get her GED or get her belongings back from an ex and it’s that ceaseless devotion that earns them a place on this list.


Olivia and Alex – Law and Order SVU


While Olivia Benson has been paired with many fantastic ladies over the past 18 years, in part because Mariska Hargitay is the longest-serving actress on the show, no pairing is more special to me than that of Olivia and Alex.


Both strong, independent women who don’t take shit from anybody, Alex and Olivia quickly became a strong fanon pairing and although the relationship isn’t canon, this ship has been recognized by the actors, writers, and producers of SVU who may have put a little lesbian-bait in later seasons.


Leslie and Ann – Parks and Recreation



A friend once told me that she thought we were like Leslie and Ann but I don’t think she meant it like this.

Leslie loves Ann so much that she consistently chooses to work with her over the rest of her colleagues, compliments her constantly, and invents all of these cutesy nicknames for Ann, like “You beautiful tropical fish”, “you poetic noble land mermaid”, and “you beautiful, talented musk-ox”.

While Ann is a little less forthcoming with her love for Leslie, you can still see it in the way she stands by her (girl)friend at all times, whether it’s at work, with her family, or when facing the public.


Jane and Maura – Rizzoli and Isles

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I think that many of you are familiar with this ship already; I mean Rizzoli and Isles had so much Sapphic subtext that AfterEllen ran a whole series of recaps despite the fact that none of the main female characters was anything but canonly straight.

I mean, have you seen those two looking at each other? Have you?


As with Law and Order SVU, the producers are very aware of the ship and made an effort to place more lesbian bait into the show in the later season; Jane and Maura even went undercover as a couple.


What did you think of these ships? Who’s your favorite non-canon pairing that I mentioned? Who’s your favorite ship overall?

Let me know in the comments below.