Pop Culture Fix: Brandi Carlile Wants a Lesbian “Golden Girls” (We Deserve)

Brandi Carlile Wants a Lesbian “Golden Girls” (We Deserve)

Brandi Carlile wants a lesbian Golden Girls. Brandi Carlile at the Out100 Celebration at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 9, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Photo by Alberto Rodriguez/Variety via Getty Images

Brandi Carlile received the Icon of the Year award at this year’s Out 100 and while accepting her award, she reflected on a conversation that she’d had recently with soccer legend Abby Wambach and her wife, author Glennon Doyle (I know it’s obvious, but I’m always tickled when the famous lesbians hang out together). In this conversation, she realized that she developed a belief that she would die young. Why? Because there is so little representation of queer elders:

“We don’t have a lesbian Golden Girls, you know what I mean? And I thought about the annals of LGBTQIA+ history and the fact that so few of us are represented in domesticity, in family, and the aged state, and I thought about the fact that the way we identify ourselves is so interwoven into Western pop culture that if we don’t see an old version of us, we don’t think we will love a long life and that’s why nights like tonight make so much of an impact on our family and our community.”

It’s also something that I’ve heard a lot of queer people think about! My favorite reflection aging as a queer person actually came from Roxane Gay a few years ago for her Audacity newsletter. So often when we talk about “representation matters” we aren’t thinking about the nuances of, how many of us have internalized that queerness is for youth? How many examples have any of us seen of queer people getting to age and grow? In community? In love?

Brand Carlilei’s thoughts on this particularly hit home for me because when I was a “baby gay” (and hell, even now) I’d imagine getting married to her “The Story,” a song that also pays tribute to the “lines across my face” and the stories that they tell of the roads we’ve crossed.

Carlile wrapped her speech by going back once again to themes of queer people aging and the circle of life: “To think that I was cutting out pictures of lesbians in power suits as a kid and that I might be that lesbian today in a power suit that some little girl might cut a picture out of me and hang me on her wall and give me a kiss before she goes to sleep”… WHO IS CUTTING ONIONS IN HERE!?!?

Very seriously, congrats to Brandi. And more cheesecake for us all!

Other Queer Pop Culture Stories For Your Day:

+ Billie Eilish Is “Gay & Tired,” Also “Physically Attracted to Women”

+ And on the topic of music, here’s all the gay Grammy nominees in case you missed them.

+ This feels extremely up your alley: Meg Stalter Remixes ‘Silk Chiffon’ for Her MUNA Audition

+ Did you seeTthe Marvels this weekend? If so, may I present you with How The Marvels director Nia DaCosta literally herded cats and also Brie Larson reveals the reality of playing a flying superhero: ‘An eternal wedgie’ 😂 (also if you missed it, here’s more The Marvels coverage from your friendly neighborhood Autostraddle: I’ll Spend This Entire Weekend Thinking About That One Scene From “The Marvels”)

+ “Tracy Chapman’s 1988 hit “Fast Car” continues to collect achievements over three decades after its release. This time, the Country Music Awards crowned the single as Song of the Year on November 8, thanks to Luke Combs’s chart-topping cover.” — Tracy Chapman, You Will Always Be Famous by Zoe Guy for Vulture (congrats to a legend on another win!!)

+ I saw this news over the weekend and even though I despise The Breakfast Club (the radio show where he gave this interview), I adore Black parents loving on their trans kids!!!!! Happy for Marlon and for Kai! Marlon Wayans Supports His Trans Child With ‘Unconditional Love & Acceptance’ (I want you to know going in that Marlon doesn’t 100% nail Kai’s pronouns, but he acknowledges that and models changing in real time. Overall good stuff here.)

+ This is a kind of “inside baseball” about Oscar campaigns that I nerd out for. If it interests you as well Which Oscar Contenders Got the Biggest Boost From the End of the Strike? (Wanna know the answer, here’s a hint: life in plastic it’s fantastic)

+ Speaking of which! Here are All the Shows Returning After the Writers’ and SAG Strikes

+ We Need to Talk About The Morning Show’s Complicated Relationship With Queerness (I did not enjoy The Morning Show’s season three finale, but I did enjoy reading this!)

+ ‘Arcane’: Netflix Sets Season 2 Premiere In 2024

+ ‘The Rookie: Feds’ Canceled at ABC

+ Call it Editor’s Privilege, but if it’s one thing I’m gonna do, it’s remind you to get your tickets for the Beyoncé Movie.

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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 710 articles for us.


  1. i would also love a show a la Golden Girls or SATC that features an ecology of queer women living life over 40. there is such a variety of stories to tell, even if we have to create our own version of what the future looks like. (also i too wanted “the story” to be my wedding song for a while!)

  2. Reading this while listening to Brandi Carlile, thinking about how I first listened to “The Story” on Grey’s Anatomy over 15 years ago, when I didn’t know I was gay, or she was gay… Who is cutting the onions!!!!

    And a big congrats to Tracy Chapman. What an absolute legend.

    Thank you as always Carmen for your reporting!

  3. I dated a girl once – well, one date, she didn’t qualify for a second – who identified as bisexual BECAUSE she couldn’t imagine old women being sexy together. I didn’t much like her.

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