8 Iconic Lines from TV Lesbiandom

  1. “Is this because I’m a lesbian?”

Like Tetris, “Law & Order” (and all its offshoots, particularly “Special Victims Unit” (SVU)) is catnip for women. In 2005, in response to being fired, Assistant District Attorney Serena Southerlyn queried whether it was a result of her sexual orientation. The question was a confusing, total non-sequitur, particularly because nothing about Southerlyn had ever indicated she was gay before that final moment.

Evidently, “Law and Order” wanted to provide a “splashy exit” for actress Elisabeth Röhm, but the line also epitomizes when shows use sexual orientation just for shock value. Nowadays, this line should be used in equally unrelated settings. For example: “We’re out of donuts here at Dunkin Donuts.” “Is it because I’m a lesbian?” Ironically, most lesbians shipped SVU’s ostensibly heterosexual characters Olivia Benson and Alex Cabot instead. Opportunity lost, NBC.



  1. No candles? I brought one. It’s… extra flamey.”

Everyone knew Willow Rosenberg’s OTP was supposed to be Daniel Osbourne (“Oz”) on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” so when Oz came back to Sunnydale, everyone, including Willow’s new secret girlfriend Tara Maclay, assumed they’d get back together. Except, they didn’t. Willow chose Tara, thus spawning a new OTP and a massive shift in the American pop culture landscape as a central character on a major network embarked on a lesbian relationship. Willow’s candle peace offering also culminated in an implied sex scene between Willow and Tara, because back in the day, that’s about as racy as TV could get for lesbian characters. I buy all my candles extra flamey now because that’s how you attract the lesbians.