Boobs on Your Tube: “Grey’s Anatomy” Wishes Us All a Smoochy Queer Holigay!

Have y’all noticed how many straight people have shown up in our comments these last few weeks? I think I summoned them here on accident by writing about Sex and the City. They keep yelling about “WHO CARES that everyone on this show is gay now!” And, like, obviously you do, Bonnie, or you wouldn’t have taken the time to click through and comment. But thanks for the traffic anyway!

Anyway, basically everyone really is gay on And Just Like That. Also on the recap front this week, Kayla wrote about Yellowjackets and Carmen wrote about the season finale of Twenties. Xoai made a watchlist for trans people who need a smile this holigay season. I wrote about Wheel of Time‘s big canonical gaymos and also reviewed Christmas Is Canceled, in which Mona Vanderwaal dates Dermot Mulroney and there’s a gay BFF.

We also rolled out several end of year lists!

+ Autostraddle’s Favorite and Least Favorite Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans TV Characters of 2021

+ Autostraddle’s Favorite Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer TV Couples of 2021

+ The Best Lesbian Movies of 2021

+ And, because you asked, Riese made you a list of all these lesbian Christmas movies coming out this year, and the few from years before!

Notes from the TV Team:

+ On Station 19, Maya and Carina did Toys for Tots and also told the firehouse they’re going to be trying for a baby. I was going to write a whole blurb, but look at all of this week’s content! We have a lot to catch up on! — Carmen

+ Last week, on S.W.A.T.‘s midseason finale, Chris Alonso took center stage as the team worked to rescue an undocumented woman, kidnapped by the gangs she thought she’d escaped in Honduras. Chris tries to ease tensions with Mama Pina, a woman providing safe harbor for refugees, and butts heads with Deacon when he gets too accusatory. The entire episode — from the emotional confrontation with Deacon to the physical, close combat fight scenes — put Lina Esco to the test…and she rose to meet the challenge. — Natalie

+ Reminder: this Sunday on TNT, Claws kicks off its fourth and final season. Come for Quiet Ann’s queer storyline, stay for Niecy Nash in her amazing jumpsuits. — Natalie

Grey’s Anatomy 1808: “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”

Written by Carmen

Kai and Amelia touch foreheads

Dr. Kai Bartley walked their sexy self into Grey’s this season and right away I knew they had the potential to be a Shondaland romance legend. First of all, they have that perfect McDreamy hair (you know the look), they have perfect broad shoulders that makes them almost look gangly and geeky (so, approachable) but also incredibly hot, they nerd out for science (a requirement of Grey’s), and when they talk to Amelia Shepherd, every single effiing time it sounds like velvet.

Ok so now that you have your official primer, let’s talk about how we got here. Dr. Bartley is a research lead on the groundbreaking Parkinson’s trial that has brought Meredith out of Seattle and into Minnesota, on paper so she can save lives, but in reality so she could reunite with my favorite post-Derek love interest, Scott Speedman. Of course Parkinson’s means nerves and as it so happens Meredith knows a once-in-a-generation world class neurosurgeon who shares her cereal in the morning, so she brings Amelia along. And Amelia and Hot Doctor Kai (sorry, that’s their name, I cannot help it) have been flirting over beakers and burners and test tubes ever since.

Also — critical intel if you haven’t been following along in the later years of Season 29 Million of my favorite soap opera. Amelia casually came out as bisexual back in Season 15 while riding in a cab with Teddy. She also told Link, the father of her child, that under no circumstances is she marrying him because he’s very kind and loving but also the idea of domestic life terrifies her, so please stop asking. Hot Doctor Kai, errr Dr. Bartley, is the first reoccurring non-binary character in the show’s history, played by E.R. Fightmaster. Ok so you are caught up —

Dr. Bartley is in Seattle this week because they had to move the Parkinson’s trial out of Minnesota now that Meredith’s love life has been established and set up. Things get hairy and I forgot to mention that the stress of surgery stresses Dr. Bartley out, so that’s why they are a researcher. But Amelia comes outside of the hospital to meet them in the parking lot.

Amelia takes Dr. Bartley through a guided meditation to help calm their anxiety, which is so gay and so hot (it also mirrors their very first hot scene together, when Dr. Bartley offered the same skill set to Amelia over the phone. Is it gay to flirt using therapy? Yes, we established already that it is.) Then Hot Doctor Kai holds Amelia’s face in their hands.

Then the music swells, just like it loves to do on Shondaland.

Then Amelia leans in to their hands, turning her face ever so slightly.

The breath mingles between them. Kai puts their hands around Amelia’s waist, bringing them closer together.

And then they kiss in what has to be, easily, one of the most beautiful, long held, simply epic kisses in the show’s history (which is saying a lot, since it is two gazillion years old).

Whew. I can’t wait for winter break to be over!

The Sex Lives of College Girls 109-110: “Cheating” and “The Truth”

Written by Natalie

Kimberly and Leighton hold hands on Leighton's bed.

After excluding Alicia from her brother’s birthday party, Leighton shows up at her apartment to make amends. She apologizes with a grocery store cake and suggests a getaway — an overnight trip to somewhere that they can be themselves — for them both. Alicia agrees and selects a quaint B&B for them…a decision that Leighton promptly nixes to get them into a swanky hotel. Alicia would complain but, once they’re in the room, she notices the bed and realizes that’s all they truly need. They kiss, quickly begin to undress and collapse on the bed. Alicia climbs on top, kisses down Leighton’s body and slides her hand into her pants.

After christening the bed, Alicia and Leighton wrap themselves in the hotel’s robes and try to figure out what to do next. Alicia snaps a selfie and posts it to Instagram but when Leighton spots it (and her expensive YSL purse in the background), she insists that Alicia take the picture down. Alicia’s taken aback by Leighton’s reaction and assures her that she’s being ridiculous. But once Bela likes the photo, Leighton demands that Alicia it down. Alicia acquiesces but the interaction taints the getaway’s entire mood.

“I think we need to end this,” Alicia admits, “I can’t keep dating someone this closeted. I can’t keep sneaking around. I feel like you’re bringing me back in the closet with you, I’ve already been through this…I can’t go backward.”

Leighton wonders where that leaves her; she’s not ready to come out yet. Alicia understands but pushes Leighton to understand what a difficult situation that creates for her. She urges Leighton to come out, recalling what a liberating experience it was for her, but Leighton refuses. She doesn’t want to announce to the world what type of people she sleeps with, nor does she want that to define her. Alicia insists that it doesn’t have to be that way but Leighton is convinced that coming out will effect how she acts, speaks, dresses and the things she does…and she doesn’t want that. She likes herself, Leighton insists, but as Alicia listens, she realizes the gay “cliché” Leighton’s describing is her. Alicia admits she really likes Leighton but draws a line in the sand: that if Leighton can’t be out with her, they can’t be together.

“Then I guess we’re done,” Leighton answers, doing her best to avoid crying in front of Alicia. When she returns to campus, Leighton learns that her brother still hasn’t made things right with her roommate, Kimberly, and she rushes over to tell Nico’s girlfriend that her brother cheated on her. The blowback is immediate: Nico confronts his sister about ratting him out to his girlfriend. He claims Leighton doesn’t understand because she’s never dated anyone seriously. Leighton deflects but, in the wake of her break-up, Nico’s barb stings.

What also stings? Seeing Alicia back on the apps so soon after their break-up but now seeking exclusively “no closeted girls.” Leighton stops by Alicia’s apartment after a party and admits that she misses her. Alicia confesses that she misses Leighton too but she’s unmoved from her position: she wants to move on and thinks Leighton should too.

Alicia’s pronouncement finally cracks Leighton’s tough exterior and she begins to mourn her first real relationship. Kimberly catches Leighton crying in their room and gets her to admit what’s going on. Kimberly’s taken aback by the reveal that Leighton was in a relationship but quickly pivots to being a supportive friend: if this guy’s too stupid to recognize what a catch Leighton is, it’s his loss. Hearing the wrong pronouns come from Kimberly — of all people, given the lies she’s had to endure from Leighton’s brother — pushes Leighton to share her truth.

“It wasn’t a guy, it was a girl. I’m gay,” Leighton admits.

Surprised both by the news and by the fact that Leighton told her, Kimberly tells Leighton that she’s proud of her. But whatever relief Leighton’s supposed to feel by coming out, alludes her and, instead, she breaks down in Kimberly’s arms.

“I don’t want to be like this,” Leighton cries. “Really, it’s terrifying. I don’t want my whole life to change.”

“I get it…coming out seems really scary…but I think the only way you can be happy is if you’re yourself,” Kimberly assures her.

Final Thoughts on TSLOCG‘s first season:

– I highly recommend Reneé Rapp’s interview at Vulture where she talks about the personal impact of showcasing Leighton’s internalized homophobia.
– If you’re looking for something to fill that Bold Type sized hole in your heart, The Sex Lives of College Girls may well fit the bill.
– If you’re hoping that this would be the Mindy Kaling show that finally deals with race in an open and authentic way, this ain’t it. The show did however have black affinity housing so that feels like a small step in the right direction.
– Has there ever been a female character on television that wears blazers and ties as often as Bela who wasn’t gay? Feels like false advertising, TBH.
– Lauren ‘Lolo’ Spencer’s Jocelyn is an absolute scene stealer. More of her in TSLOCG‘s second season, please!

Hightown 208: “Houston, We Have a Problem”

Written by Natalie

Jackie holds Daisy's cat, Ollie-Bollie, as she watches Frankie and his henchman leave.

Jackie wakes up to Daisy’s cat staring at her, as if it’s plotting her murder or saying, “find out what happened to my human”…I’m not sure which. Ray questions whether the previous night’s rants were the byproduct of her drunkenness but Jackie assures him that she was telling the truth: Daisy is dead. She plans to tell Alan and get homicide on the case. Ray encourages her to do some more investigating to confirm her hunch. But first, he advises, maybe she should go to a meeting.

“Meetings don’t help me, doing my job helps me,” Jackie answers, dismissing Rayn’s suggestion outright. She meets Donna between classes at the local community college and asks if she’s seen Daisy at Xavier’s. Donna can’t recall seeing Daisy or Jorge since before Thanksgiving. With one confirmation, Jackie goes out to seek another: she approaches Daisy’s daughter, Valentina, about the last time she talked to her mother. Valentina confirms that she last heard from her mom last Tuesday, despite a promise to join the family for Thanksgiving. Despite being certain that her hutch about Daisy is right, she lies to the little girl and assures her that her mom will be back soon.

Jackie heads back to Ray’s to share the news about Daisy’s fate. She’s completely undone by the confirmation (and withdrawal) and Ray offers up a solution: finally taking down Frankie Cuevas. He shares the info he got from Renee — Frankie’s fiancée who destroyed Ray’s life in the first season — about Charmaine’s upcoming trip to New York to bring back carfentanyl. Jackie promises to act on the intel if she gets to talk to Renee about Daisy after the operation is over. Ray acquiesces but stops Jackie from taking his intel to Alan, knowing the Sergeant will see his fingerprints all over it. Jackie goes to Leslie instead and though, she also sees Ray’s fingerprints all over his intel, she relents and invites Jackie inside to plan their stakeout.

The next day, while they’re waiting for Charmaine’s flight, Jackie offers Leslie a surprising apology for being “too spun out.” She admits that Leslie became a substitute for her other addictions but assures her that she’s fine now. Leslie accepts the apology and the pair settle in to await a plane that never comes. Frustrated and embarrassed by the tip that never materializes, Leslie drops Jackie off in a huff and promises to talk about Daisy tomorrow at the office. Jackie takes her frustration out on Ray, who insists that Renee didn’t know Frankie wasn’t going show up. Jackie insists on talking to Renee who, ultimately, has nothing to offer, and afterwards, realizes that Ray set her up. She pushes him for an explanation and Ray admits that he’s worked out a deal with the brass to get his job back if he can get Frankie and his NY connect for the State Police.

“You know, I always knew you were an asshole. Just never thought you’d be an asshole to me,” Jackie laments before taking Daisy’s cat (in perhaps the funniest scene ever on Hightown) and leaving.

But Jackie’s not done making bad decisions today: she shows up at Alan’s house and tells him that Daisy’s dead and she needs his help. He reminds her that the time to come to him for help is before she launches investigations behind his back. Alan (rightly) chews Jackie out for adopting Ray’s bad habits, even while admitting that she has the potential to be a good cop. Chastened, Jackie drives back to her apartment and who would be waiting for Frankie Cuevas and his muscle. He tries to intimidate her but Jackie’s landlord interrupts and lets Frankie know they’ll see each other soon.

All American 407: “Prom Night”

Written by Natalie

Patience and Coop accept their crowns as Prom Queens.

It’s prom season at Beverly and South Crenshaw and all our favorite couples are getting ready for the big night. Coop’s extra excited about prom: she’s got Patience’s corsage all picked out, the bubbly chilling in the refrigerator and plans set for the afterparty. But, as has been the case so often this season, just as Patience and Coop are devoting some time to their relationship, Amina interrupts and distracts Coop from the pre-prom preparations. Amina is having a “OMG themed Princess tea party” and she needs Coop to save it from her hapless dad. Because if there’s anything that Tamia “Coop” Cooper would know a lot about, it’s princess tea parties.

Patience gives her the okay to Coop to skip their nail appointment but makes her promise not to be late. But not only is she late, Coop changes the location of their prom prep to Preach’s house so she, Patience and Amina can all become princesses together. But as Amina and Patience are working on their makeup, the young girl reflects on the time she spent with her mother. She tells Patience that she misses her mom a lot — “she wasn’t perfect, but she was my mom” — and Patience notes that no one is perfect but we love the people we love anyway. She puts a tiara on Amina’s head and later, they step out, completely done and ready for their respective parties.

Once they get to the prom, Coop and Patience dance and spend time with their friends but, as hot as they look together, it feels the like the warmth between the two is gone. When they’re crowned Prom Queens, neither of them offer any warm words for the other, nor are they affectionate. Maybe they should just stop going to dances, things never go well for them. During the prom, Coop gets text from Preach, documenting Amina’s successsful tea party.

“Patience said Auntie Coop will do anything for the people she loves,” Amina tells her father, after her friends leave. “That’s why I don’t get it…if she loves me, then why’d she kill my mom?”

Guess the secret’s out…so much for Amina being just fine.

4400 108: “The Kaminski Experiment”

Written by Shelli Nicole

Doc and Shanice dance in a candlit abandoned bar made to reflect the 1920s

“So — you just not gon’ acknowledge how cute I made this bar in 2 hours?”

Bill Greene and the government wants to have some of the 4400 go on television to show the world how “normal” they are. They want Shanice, her ex-husband Logan (I think…they need to get that settled lowkey), his new wife, Mariah, and Hayden to go on and pretend to be a happy blended family. They also want a surprise 4400-er to come on that no one has met, and of course our resident smooth-talker, Isaiah. The surprise person is one of the 4400 they have been testing on who has the power to create fire. This is obviously a trap — the government wants him to go on air, get mad and show his power. It would scare the public and trigger the conservatorship papers that some of them signed, giving them just cause to control the 4400 under the guise of keeping everyone safe.

Well — filming goes horribly wrong. While Shanice & Co. are downstairs faking it on TV, Bill is upstairs in his office watching. He’s confused as to why his surprise guest hasn’t made an appearance yet and then guess who breaks into his office? MILDRED! She is back and upset. She uses her powers to throw him around the room until he agrees to free the folks he is testing on — which includes her sister Millicent who we literally have heard nothing of until now. She throws him out the window and everything is caught on camera, and just as Mildred is about to kill him by using her powers to drop a vase on his head, Isaiah runs in and stops her by tackling her.

She tries to use her powers to hurt Isaiah but — they are suddenly gone. Isaiah tells her to run so the government doesn’t catch her, but, is this his power starting to surface?

Anyway, Doc wasn’t at or watching the event because he was setting up the abandoned bar to reflect 1920’s Harlem as a surprise date for Shanice (who…doesn’t deserve him but whatever). Earlier he was confused about where they stood (“Is this what dating is in 2021 — no declarations, just vibes?” is the cute Doc question of the week btw), but she just storms in and tells him what happened. She thinks the conservatorships are about to be triggered and Doc signed one so this impacts him. He’s scared but says he wants to worry about all that tomorrow, but for now — he just wants to dance with her.

Also, Also, Keisha was at a grief group telling all her business about breaking up with her GF and fucking Soraya. Like, ma’am, this is an Arbys….

Riverdale 605: “The Jughead Paradox”

Written by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Betty, Archie, and Veronica from Riverdale sipping a milkshake

Sometimes, you become aware you’re living in a parallel universe to a prime universe and you also learn that both universes are at the risk of expanding to the point of collapsing (I was terrible at astronomy in college, but this sounds like reasonable science to me!) so you have to destroy your pocket universe in order to save the main one, but then you realize actually no both universes can continue to exist in harmony with each other if you just find a power source stable and strong enough to fuel both! You know?

And thus ends the five-episode Rivervale experiment, a truly bonkers and delightful chapter of Riverdale. “The Jughead Paradox” is the story’s conclusion and also the 100th episode of the series overall. Here, Riverdale writes its own internal logic for why Jughead is the show’s narrator. As omniscient narrator and a character, he both exists inside and outside of the show’s narrative. It also does the thing I think all 100th episodes should do: catering to fans’ nostalgia via a slew of flashbacks and callbacks!!!!!

Everyone in Rivervale wakes up from shared nightmares they had: Toni and Fangs dreamed of Toni becoming La Llorona. Betty and Archie dreamed of Archie’s Yellowjacketsy blood sacrifice. Reggie and Veronica dreamed of Veronica sending Reggie to hell. And Cheryl and Nana Rose dreamed a triple-timeline lesbian witches love curse body swap tale. So, even within the parallel universe of Rivervale, these stories are…just dreams I guess?

Jughead becomes aware he’s in a parallel universe when walking casually down the halls of Riverdale and seeing people and things who shouldn’t be there. He sees the past high school versions of his friends. And he even sees dead people. In Rivervale, Ethel, Dilton, and even Jason Blossom are all very alive, even though they were killed off in the prime universe. Jughead also encounters…his own dead self. The lines between Rivervale and Riverdale continue to blur when he finds a stack of comics depicting the exact events of Riverdale (the first 95 issues of the comics aka the first 95 episodes of the show), the exact events of Rivervale (comic issues 96 through 100 aka these most recent five episodes), and the exact events of what he’s doing right now…looking at a comic of a comic of a comic of a comic etc. THE VERY SEAMS OF REALITY HAVE COLLAPSED!!!!

Remember in season one when Reggie was played by Ross Butler but then was replaced by Charles Melton due to filming conflicts? Well, Ross Butler shows up here, and there are suddenly TWO REGGIES who try to battle it out to see who is the one true Reggie, which seems very silly, because Veronica’s idea of them just becoming a throuple sounds so much more fun and hot and they should really take her up on that!

P.S. In Rivervale, people don’t stay dead. So even though Cheryl, the Reggies, Jughead, and many other characters “die” in this episode, they all come back. The person who keeps killing people? ARCHIE. He’s this parallel universe’s Big Bad, because he’s doing a bunch of serial kills in hopes that no one will catch onto the fact it’s a parallel universe because he wants Rivervale to keep existing because he thinks it means his dad might come back from the dead one day.

That power source I mentioned before that would be the key to the ongoing existence of both the Riverdale and Rivervale universes? JUGHEAD’S WRITING. Imagination/creation as the opposite of destruction is the only way to keep both worlds going, so Rivervale!Jughead is locked in a bunker indefinitely so he can click-clack at his typewriter and make up his silly little stories, effectively generating enough idk creative juice? to keep both universes afloat.

Which I think…technically leaves the door open for Rivervale and its more fantastical in-world rules to come back anytime, so the Riverdale writers now have that in their back pocket. But I’m mentally struggling with this: Did the events of the past four episodes actually happen/have stakes and consequences in-world for the characters of Rivervale or…were those just dreams the Rivervale versions of these characters had? Because it seems like the latter but if that’s the case…what exactly makes Rivervale the supposedly darker, more twisted, warped version of Riverdale????? I mean I guess magic does exist in-world because dead people are reanimating and whatnot, but why make those four stories dreams if strange things are possible in this parallel universe? AM I OVERTHINKING THINGS? ALSO IS IT JUST ME OR WAS RIVERVALE!BETTY A LITTLE RUDE TO DR. CURDLE? ALSO, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, IF THIS WAS A PARALLEL UNIVERSE WHY NOT MAKE THEM ALL GAY?

Nancy Drew 309: “The Voices in the Frost”

Written by Valerie Anne

nancy drew bess looking bossy

Honestly Bess’s “no new friends” stance is understandable, considering.

This week in Horseshoe bay, Bess is feeling a little wigged out by Temperance stealing her daughter’s face, and is starting to worry that her magic tutor is a bit of a sociopath.

But they don’t really have time to deal with Temperance this week, because Eve has a problem: she’s the main suspect in her boyfriend’s death, but she has no memories of the incident.

Bess doesn’t trust Eve and thinks she’s guilty, but then the Drew Crew realizes that Eve could be having blackouts for the same reason George used to have blackouts. So they set off to find out if Eve is possessed, when they find her in the water. Nick saves her life but when she comes to, she has no idea how she even got outside, let alone in the water.

Nancy does what she does best and sleuths out the truth, and they realize that Eve’s boyfriend’s death was purely an accident, and Eve’s blackouts are trauma responses from the incident that landed Nick in juvie.

Bess apologizes to Eve, and explains that she has a bit of a trust problem, and she didn’t mean to take it out on Eve.

Also this week: George and Nick decide not to get married so they can keep growing side by side instead of becoming codependent vines, Nancy has an idea about how to find the rest of Charity’s soul shards, Bess learns the truth about Temperance, and Ace lands himself on a ghost plane with Historical Society Hannah, who happens to be Nancy’s phantom knocker.

Legacies 409: “I Can’t Be The One To Stop You”

Written by Valerie Anne

Josie and Finch lean in for a kiss

Their goodbye scene made teary but a liiiiittle gremlin voice in the back of my head started humming a hopeful Hosie tune.

This episode was ACTION PACKED so I’m going to leave out a lot of the stuff about the mummified monster-maker who turned out to be a hunky boi and dive right into what our girls were up to.

Hope is stalking around in Aurora’s body, terrified Aurora is hot on her heels, but the truth is Aurora took Hope’s body out to brunch, and is just hanging out with a glass of afternoon wine. Lizzie interrupts and threatens her with the red oak stake until Aurora proves she’s not Hope by missing with Hope’s favorite cantrip spell.

Aurora tells Lizzie who she is, and how Klaus Cask of Amontillado’d her, and takes Lizzie to her basement. Aurora’s idea for stopping hope is less stake-y and more ancient sarcophagus in the ocean but that seems a little dark, even to Lizzie. She sees a potential version of herself reflected in Aurora’s wild eyes and realizes she’s gone too far.

At school, Josie packs a bag and worries about telling Lizzie and Finch about her plan to leave. When she does eventually tell Finch, she’s mad until Josie reveals she bought a ticket for Finch too. She has to go save Hope, away from the pressures and distractions of the Super Squad, and Finch agrees to go with.

Lizzie traps Aurora in the sarcophagus and calls Hope, who shows up lickety split. When it comes down to it, Lizzie can’t kill Hope. As much as she hates to admit it, when she looks at the tribrid before her, she sees family.

Lizzie throws down the stake and Hope smiles at Lizzie and says her humanity is back, so they use the trident to switch Hope and Aurora’s bodies back, Hope saying “panda promise” to prove it’s her. And then Hope reveals that her humanity is NOT on, and burns the stake. Lizzie is SO sure Hope won’t kill her, because she’s had the chance before and spared her friends, but Hope proves her wrong by snapping her neck.

At the bus stop, Josie feels like something is off, not realizing it’s her twintuition. Finch knows Josie has to go, because there will always be another monster to distract her, but Finch also knows now that she has to stay. She has to be alpha to the pack while Jed is injured, and honestly she loves being part of a community who needs her. So they tearfully kiss goodbye as the bus pulls up.

On the bus, Josie gets a vision of Lizzie telling her how much she loves her and that no matter what happens she has to remember that. She says they both have to follow their own plans and see them through, and Josie agrees.

In Aurora’s basement, Lizzie snaps back to life. Hope is surprised, because Lizzie isn’t dead…just hungry. And I am down for this turn of events, especially if it’s a Merge loophole!

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A black biracial, bisexual girl raised in the South, working hard to restore North Carolina's good name. Lover of sports, politics, good TV and Sonia Sotomayor. You can follow her latest rants on Twitter.

Natalie has written 396 articles for us.

Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 548 articles for us.

Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 700 articles for us.


  1. I searched “Kai Bartley” on Autostraddle mere moments before this was posted and was surprised to get no hits! I came back to hit up the contact section to see if their groundbreaking grey’s arc would be covered only to be surprised by this!! I knew y’all wouldn’t let me down with coverage of bisexual Amelia and Grey’s first non-binary doc!! I am so here for this storyline!!!

  2. (it also mirrors their very first hot scene together, when Dr. Bartley offered the same skill set to Amelia over the phone. Is it gay to flirt using therapy? Yes, we established already that it is.)

    video call, too, so while Amelia’s eyes were closed *we* still got to watch Hot Dr Kai’s face as they flirt with her.

  3. So I stopped watching Hightown because I literally don’t care about Jackie or any of the other characters. It’s all doom and gloom too.
    Also, Amelia and Kai are the best part of Grey’s now.

  4. As the only Grey’s Anatomy fan (18 seasons, BABY!) who actually likes Amelia as a character, I actually *screamed* when Amelia and Kai kissed, and not just because E.R. Fightmaster is near the top of my list of queer lust objects.

    Okay, maybe a little bit because of that.

  5. So a question for the room about SLOCG – My gf and I recently watched the final episode, and we had differing views on Leighton’s coming out scene. Admittedly, I was spoiled for it, but I still felt very let down by it. To me, in 2021, that scene is old news. The actress was great, but the script was just so so tired. It’s pretty much the exact wording from when Willow came out to Buffy (same setting too) or from when Paige said to Emily on PLL “If I say the words, if I say I’m gay, everything is going to change”. I guess I just wish that, in 2021, we could have different stories than we got in 2011 and 2001.

    My gf on the other hand, has not seen either Buffy or PLL, and in general she’s watched a lot less queer tv than me. And she LOVED the scene. She was saying it felt really true to life and a thing that actually happens (though that’s not how her own coming out happened).

    I guess I’m trying to figure out if I’m getting cynical and jaded, or if I’m asking for too much from my queer tv, to be different and better than it was 20 years ago? Or maybe she’s the one who’s unaware of the history and how far we’ve come?

    • I can see how you might feel that way. I’ve never seen Buffy or PLL either, and while I think the necessity of coming out stories is definitely a little played out (there are other queer stories to tell, people!) I think SLOCG handled it as well as they could have.

    • Personally I felt that it was true to Leighton’s character and that’s why I liked it. Her whole thing wasn’t thinking being gay was wrong or that people would judge her, she just was worried about her identity being in her sexuality. So her expressing her fear of her life changing was very her.

      With PLL, I felt it was more of a canned fear of coming out and not specific so I do feel like it was different and new in 2021

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