Autostraddle Calendar Girls 2012: The Real L Word’s Francine is June!

Is it just me or is that a banana in your pocket/it getting hot in here? That’s probably because it’s June, but also because we have our next Autostraddle Calendar Girl ready for your hungry eyeballs! Guess who it is? Can you guess? I will give you a hint: if you were watching the Season 2 premiere of The Real L Word last night, you saw her in a scene doing this very photoshoot with Robin Roemer and the Auto-crew. We’re excited for this one, y’all.

Here’s something you need to know before you get to the good stuff:

You can buy our 2011 calendar for $5.
That’s totally a super cheap sale price AND when you buy stuff from us it helps us keep going.

Also, if you missed any previous amazing Calendar videos made by the one and only Kelli Griggs:
Kelli & Ashley are January/February, Luna & Michelle are March and Julie/Brandy and Stacee are April and May.

Some background:

This is Round Three of Autostraddle’s Lesbian Calendar Girls: talented, smart, charismatic, geeky and really-really-good-looking lesbianisty ladies. We make this calendar for you because you all really need to cut it out with your crushes on straight girls, this shit is out of hand, the last thing you need is 12 months of whatever Maxim & FHM come up with. REAL LIVE LESBIANS!

This year we’re going to give you a video every month and just a few teases of what the actual photos will look like, so the Calendar will be chock-full of surprises. Are you excited? WE’RE EXCITED.

Our June lady is Francine Beppu:

Autostraddle Lesbian Calendar Girls Franny Real L Word is June 2012
Robin Roemer, on working with her good friend Francine Beppu:

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Franny, Co-Founder/Director of Business Development at NamiWave, since we worked together at Logo years ago. She’s a sweet girl, a great friend, a savvy business woman, and a really, really good time. After I asked her to be part of our calendar this year, I found out she was going to be a new cast member on The Real L Word. When the show’s production company asked if they could film our shoot, we took every measure to make sure we found a location where they could work with us, made sure the girls involved during that part of the day were ok with possibly being in the background of the show, and did everything we could to accommodate their schedule so they could use our shoot as content.

Sadly, the Network removed from the final edit the one thing we asked in return: exposure for Autostraddle and a credit for using me or my images on air. I’m still happy to have asked the beautiful Francine Beppu to be part of this calendar, because with or without a reality show, she is a fabulous and unique addition to this year’s calendar. I always knew she would make great TV and I’m excited to watch her on this season of The Real L Word.

Photographer Robin Roemer & Stylist Sara Medd

Photographer Robin Roemer & Stylist Sara Medd

Here’s Robin & Sara to explain a bit more about this year’s theme:

The 2012 Autostraddle Calendar is our interpretation of the idea of a “lesbian image” without the traditional presentational definers of gender and sexual identity – when we (literally) strip away clothing, what do our naked selves communicate about who we are?

The 2011 calendar was about solo portraits of women who are brilliant, beautiful and courageous on and off camera; 2012 is about the amazing and vibrant community of queer women.

We sought to do something different this year by creating dramatic scenes and having the models interact with each other. We loved the idea of playing with identity in the form of masks, and the power that comes from choosing what to reveal and what to keep hidden.

Be prepared to see lots of skin this year in the 2012 calendar – but remember that it’s what we choose not to show that sometimes gives the most away.

We photographed a group of beautiful and diverse queer women both poolside and on various studio sets in Los Angeles. We’re excited for the monthly Behind the Scenes videos, where Autostraddlers can meet our sexy and inspiring calendar girls. (This being possible thanks to Videographer/Video Editor Kelli Griggs and Music Supervisor Stacee Coleman).

We hope you enjoy meeting the girls as much as we did!

Thanks to all of the amazing stylists, the production team members, and of course our brave and beautiful models.

We hope you love the results and look forward to purchasing your own 2012 calendar later this year in support of the project and of

Your devoted producers,
Robin & Sara
(Photographer & Stylist)

So here it is!
We present the Autostraddle Calendar Girl Behind-the-Scenes video for June:

To find out what happened on Sunday night’s premiere episode, check out Riese’s recap:
Episode 201 – Fresh Start Body Parts!
NSFW! Possibly not safe for a lot of things, really.

Special Note: As of December 2010, the comments on Calendar GIrls posts exist to celebrate women, so any shit-talking will get deleted. Direct concerns about the project or website as a whole can be directed to robin at autostraddle dot com or riese at autostraddle dot com!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Robin specializes in entertainment, lifestyle and portrait photography. She's also a Creative Producer, Director of Photography and co-owner of Scheme Machine Studios LLC, her production company based in Los Angeles. Robin loves shooting for TV and film and has worked with media companies like Legendary Pictures and Viacom. She shot and directed the Pride campaign for Google called #ThisIsFamily. Robin has had the pleasure of working on national campaigns for companies like Dove and Levis, and had the unique opportunity to shoot for non-profits and initiatives such as The Black List, Save the Children, Move to End Violence, Have a Hart Day, and The Clinton Global Initiative. She is most proud of the work she has done with organizations such as The Ad Council and RAINN working on national impact campaigns. Her celebrity roster includes Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, The B-52s, Keri Hilson, JB Smoove, Tegan and Sara, Margaret Cho, The B-52’s, Andreja Pejic, and many more. She was there for Autostraddle’s birth and proudly served as A-Camp co-director for many years.

Robin has written 82 articles for us.


  1. They asked to tag along to our shoot which we would only do in exchange for referencing the site if they used the footage on air since it meant having to go to extra financial and legal lengths to make it happen for them. Also, content in exchange for credit is a pretty common thing on tv… like when people go into stores or bars. This was an even bigger deal for us since it meant spending more time and money and sharing images with them.

    • Really just another example of a large corporation taking advantage in order to produce more content, and in this case, use it with no context.

      • So they promised some super easy stuff and didn’t do it?

        Here are two “real l” words for ifc and magical eves: FUCK YOU.

        And ‘magical eves’ is a horrible name for a company.

        • I just want to emphasize that it wasn’t the production company who removed our mention/credit, it was the network. We love Magical Elves and they were truly awesome to work with! Sorry for any confusion with this.

      • Did you guys sign a heavy clad agreement? I always get things in writing now. Sometimes I even have a lawyer present while I sign it. Ive been bamboozeled by people to many times with people using my photography or my modeling pictures with no intensions of anything in return. Promises dont mean anything now a days. It seems kind of rediculous they couldnt put a tag on a few minutes that said or even explain what it was all about. That doesnt even make sense. That doesnt cost them a damn dime. But newho you guys are doing such a good thing here that I’m sure one day or another your names will be everywhere. And everyone will know autostradle! :)

        • I have a lawyer, yes. We had contracts amended and countless hours and money was spent on trying to right this. I’m not gonna get into it here, its a long story, but we were very cautious. We are just up against a giant who at the end of the day found ways to screw up.

          • yeah I gotcha. Totally get that. That’s unfortunate :/ but hey, great callender right?!!!!!! ;)

  2. That’s total balls that they didn’t do that! That would have been great for the site. :(

    You think it had anything to do with the site’s most popular content (read: TRLW recaps)?

  3. would it help to evan rachel wood

    i dont know how these things work.

  4. happy early birthday to me.

    :( i’m sorry that deal [with the devil(s) ] didn’t pan out.

  5. goddamnit IFC and your ways to mess with my joy of the AS calendar girls!

    i’m not gonna let you ruin it for me by f*cking over my favourite website.

    (i’m now off to pirate TRLW because to watch this i am not paying. it’s my revenge)

    • also cause i’m in europe there’s no other way to watch it.

      but still, revenge..

      • also i don’t have these fancy channels. so you should teach my your piraty ways.

        • You don’t have to pirate, there are sites where you can stream the show. I once pirated True Blood, and HBO basically spanked my ass.

  6. Sorry TRLW screwed you over.

    Francine is super hot!

    I couldn’t help but notice that the house where the shoot was at has a whole wall with what looks like old religious pictures on this might be my (gay, lapsed Catholic atheist) dream house. Can I have mine with lesbians included?

    • Yes yes! She IS super hot!

      That place is called Jesus Wall and its a studio in LA. Check it out if you ever need an awesome studio with 500 cats!

  7. I unfortunately do not have Showtime, so I have not seen and cannot watch TRLW, but this whole business with Ilene Chaiken is infuriating me.

    • Where’s the ‘film footage thief’ Jenny Schecter when you need her?! Karmas a bitch but revenge is so much sweeter ;)

    • INORITE?!? I so look forward to these posts every month to see which new scorchingly hot, charming, and fun lesbian(s)* are going to be featured next.

      * = Or Brandy. She’s like our mascot, though. Like, she doesn’t actually play on our team, but she’s still One Of Us and we love her.

  8. ITS ABOUT TIME there’s some asian representation in the L word franchise. i mean really? it’s Los Angeles. and Francine is a hottie= agreed.

    • There was that crazy asian women in the L word. So they had to have a sleepover and stuff.

  9. I think my friends and I are going to start having a “The Real L Word” viewing party (mostly as an excuse to hang out and make dinner with amazing people).


    I promise to promote AS and Robin during the photo shoot scene/every moment I can ever. How would you like this done? I can stick little text boxes on the screen to mimic the way they do it on the show. Or I can casually turn on my computer while saying something like “I have to check my email” and your website is the first page to show up and follow it with “Oh hey everyone, have you ever checked out this magical queer fabulous website full of amazingness?” Or would you like protest signs during the scene with phrases like “No Auto-love for contract breakers!” or “Give credit where credit is due! Auto-straddle is nicer than you!”

    Suggestions are more than welcome.

  10. Hey, bit random – but does anyone know the name of the tomboyish girl laying down on the red sofa with Francine in that pic preview for the cal. Love at fist site, hello!? lol – Thanks :) x

  11. I must say . . . Robin is so fucking adorable I just want to squish her face.

    Also, “I LOVE A BITCH!”

  12. Seriously, Kelli Griggs is an editing master-brain. The video is awesome, per ushe, and I really like Franny — both in person and on the show. I think she’s very genuine and honest and I appreciate this.

  13. For what its worth, I recognized the set from the Autostraddle calender shoots immediately and even mentioned it to my girlfriend. I can’t believe they can get away with brazenly using your images without crediting them onscreen! I know you probably won’t get Shotime to change, but if it makes you feel any better I’ll be visiting your site but probably won’t be watching that trainwreck of a series. ;)

  14. Francine is a RACIST! She wears a CONFEDERATE hat on the show and is PRO SLAVERY! I know she never talks to blacks, but you folks need to STOP SUPPORTING RACIST HATERS!!! Check the show, the Confedrate hat is right there as evidence. You are sick for supporting a racist hater.

    • @_@

      This has to be a joke. Please, no, seriously, why is TRLW like synonymous with racism today.

      • No, I think it is a joke, so that we can continue to make light of racism within the queer community when it actually becomes/is a problem. And that’s my serious opinion. This actually smells like sarcasm.

        So, yeah, TRLW racism trolls are ridiculous, but racism in the queer community is not so ridiculous.

        Robin, let that whip crack! Confederate flags are sensitive when worn by like bikers and when encountered in small rural towns, but yeah, we all know that Franny isn’t a racist.

        Token Black Queer Chica

    • Not ok, Beth. Franny is not a racist… that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. She’s a good friend of ours.

      That symbol on her vintage hat was very common in civil war times on UNION soldier hats, by the way, I just googled it. You may want to try it sometime before you go ranting about shit you know nothing about.

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