Books, Lady Gaga, Ellen Page and Rachel Bilson Are The Lesbian Future

LESBIAN BOOKS:

Despite what Google Instant tells you, they can exist now, and be moderately popular and receive a level of critical acclaim! As you know, we are obsessed with lesbians and books and especially lesbian books, so this story about how books featuring lesbian themes and characters are becoming more commonly read and less “commerical suicide” warms the cockles of our lesbian hearts more than a thousand baby lesbians playing with baby lesbian kitten lesbians. UK author Val McDermid writes that:

“…even in the late 1990s, when I suggested to my agent a novel with a lesbian theme, she was aghast. “That would be commercial suicide,” she protested. And in my heart, I knew she was right. When I eventually wrote the book – Hostage to Murder, the sixth novel to feature Lindsay Gordon – it was published as a paperback original, buried between two well-promoted and well-marketed hardbacks. That was as recently as 2003.”

Is this something you’ve experienced in your own life? That books with lesbian and bisexual characters are less something you have to hide under your mattress and read obsessively over and over until the spine has collapsed and more something that even your aunt brings on the plane to read? I mean, no one’s saying that Sarah Waters is the new J.K. Rowling, but remember when we wrote about Malinda Lo’s Ash a few months ago? Yeah, that was about lesbian Cinderella, and it was a nominee for the Andre Norton Award, a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Award, a Kirkus Best Young Adult Novel, and a Lambda Literary Award finalist for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult literature, as well as a nominee for best novel at the 2010 Northern California Book Awards. I know, right? Speaking of Sarah Waters, here’s her thoughts on the issue:

“I think there’s been a shift in people’s perceptions of what constitutes British literature in the past few years, so it’s not only lesbian and gay voices that have been welcomed into the mainstream, it’s a range of ethnic voices too,” she told me. “Our books have gone into the mainstream at the same time as novels such as Brick Lane and White Teeth. I think there’s been an opening up of British culture and a relaxing of British society. Our novels have done well at the same time as we’ve made legal gains; civil partnerships have come along. There’s been a bit of a sea change that would have been unimaginable even 10 years ago.”

Replace “Britain” and “British” in that paragraph with “the world” and you get a really optimistic view of people, both as courageous and engaged readers and human beings who you might one day trust to interact with you in a meaningful and real way. Here’s to hoping! (@theindependent)

DARIA:

I’m sorry, but this is awesome: questions from famous people that you probably care about, like Diablo Cody, answered by the woman who was the voice of Daria. Q: Why did Daria jeopardize the most consistent relationship of her adolescence—with Jane Lane, the quintessential soda to her pizza—by stealing her boyfriend Tom? A: Because life is messy? and complicated? and layered? Maybe Daria never expected a guy to be interested in her—until Tom came along? Maybe she sat in the shadows crushing over the unattainable Trent for so long, she was blindsided by Tom’s attention…? Maybe she admired Jane so much—because Jane was socially at ease, better looking, made out with guys, and didn’t have the same hang ups? (@canigetamanwiththat)

LADY GAGA:

A college is finally offering a real course on Lady Gaga: it’s called “GaGa for Gaga: Sex, Gender, and Identity,” and it’s better than whatever you’re taking. The end. (@jezebel)

ELLEN DEGENERES:

If the pictures of her cameo-ing in Richie Rich’s fashion show last week weren’t enough for you, rest easy. With the magic of Photoshop, Ellen Degeneres could theoretically be EVERY MODEL. This insight brought to you by the good people at Best Week Ever. (@bestweekever)

ELLEN PAGE:

LOOK, IT’S ELLEN PAGE BEING A CUTE SUPERHERO. IT’S SUNDAY FUNDAY, I CAN POST WHAT I WANT. (@ontd)

HIMYM:

Things you like! How I Met Your Mother! Neil Patrick Harris! Lesbians! Rachel Bilson will play a lesbian on an episode of HIMYM, and the only details we know are “you will see her kiss a woman” and “Alyson Hannigan.” (@ontopmag)


Before you go! It takes funding to keep this publication by and for queer women and trans people of all genders running every day. We will never put our site behind a paywall because we know how important it is to keep Autostraddle free. But that means we rely on the support of our A+ Members. Still, 99.9% of our readers are not members. A+ membership starts at just $4/month. If you’re able to, will you join A+ and keep Autostraddle here and working for everyone?

Join A+

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1136 articles for us.

20 Comments

  1. Stephanie Lennox

    Hey Rachel, thanks for writing this article! In a bid at shameless self promotion, i’ve just published my first lesbian romance novel which is in E-Book at the moment, and will be available in paperback in October!

    If anyone would like to check it out, please visit: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003YJEUJG

    Thanks!

    Stephanie :)

  2. how i met your mother is sooo gay.

    this sunday is really funday, thank you rachel.

  3. e

    i wish i could read a sara waters novel than beowulf. beowulf is the worst. i hope grendel eats him…

    • Katie

      Don’t fret…I had to read Beowulf in the introductory English survey courses, but by the time I was a junior I had the freedom to take queer lit where I was introduced to sarah waters, djuna barnes, tony kushner, and all the other amazing homolicious writers!

    • wordsmithpai

      You’d probably like it more if you heard it in the original Old English. It’s musical!

  4. RachelwasHere

    The only way for this to be better would be if Ellen Page were playing a lesbian super hero on HIMYM.

    Oh Alyson Hannigan, why are you so adorable?

  5. Katie

    I totally read “HIMYM” as some kind of male acronym similar to “womyn”..until I realized it was an initialism for the TV show. I was like are those woman-identified non-trans men?? TELL ME MORE THIS IS INTERESTING

    • Liz

      I read HIMYM as HYMEN and thought why have I not heard of this show?

  6. Shae

    A girl I used to work with always called me Daria. When I asked her why, she’d always respond with, “You’re a sweet bitch.” She always meant it as a compliment so I let her continue. It eventually caught on.

  7. Fun article Rachel!

    When I was in middle school at first grappling with messy sexual feelings, I would secretly order gay male novels and watch Queer As Folk on mute at midnight. I didn’t know of any lesbian/bisexual themed media, so my closest thing was books and shows with gay male characters.

    As for Daria (which I may or may not have spent an entire weekend watching the complete box set of every season and movie), I appreciated that the character Daria was not a perfect holier than thou individual.

    Lady Gaga! I wish UC Berkeley had offered a course on Lady Gaga, however I did turn in a paper on Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” video for my “Queer Visual Culture” class and get a perfect score, so I’m not too heartbroken.

  8. Pingback: BiFemLounge.Com » Books, Lady Gaga, Ellen Page and Rachel Bilson Are The Lesbian Future – Autostraddle (blog)

  9. Morgan

    i wish ellen page was my lesbian future.

    • Rawrosaur

      and all God’s people said…
      A-men!

  10. I know the woman teaching the Lady Gaga class! We went to college together. I feel like I know a celebrity now (which would only be awesomer if it were ACTUALLY Gaga)!

  11. Pingback: Weekly Link Round Up – The Lesbrary

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!