Rosie O’Donnell on ‘Real L Word’: “I’ve Never Met Gay Women Like This.”

Rosie O'Donnell Real L WordIt feels like I’ve been waiting longer than seven weeks for this, but Rosie O’Donnell finally weighed in on The Real L Word on her Sirius XM show this week. Seems it was the strap-on heard round the world that did her in and got her talkin’.  More than anything she seems baffled by the East Coast/West Coast lesbian dichotomy, claiming she’s never known any lesbians like them, particularly lesbians who would hire strippers. Really, Papi? Wasn’t her friend Queen Latifah all over the press just last year for hiring strippers in New York? Anyhoo, she wonders “am I such a weird lesbian that these people don’t seem familiar in any way?”

Much like Howard Stern, Rosie is completely fascinated by Whitney‘s Clam Power, predicts doom for Rose & Natalie and adds “Mikey, if you’re listening, you need to go to AA.” All in all, she’s a little bit frightened of these girls and yet she can’t turn her head away.

Mikey: “… has hair that I don’t know how she gets it to do what it does. The weirdest hair I’ve ever seen in my life… it’s like some weird kinda David Cassiday shag with bouffant meets a chia pet.”

Whitney: “I’ve never met a woman who treats other women the way she treats women. She’s such a player. I’ve never met like a lesbian player.

Rose: “Beautiful but very mean to her girlfriend Natalie.”

She cites their hair & makeup as one of the things she can’t relate to and says she’d never guess that any of these women were gay if she met them in real life. Meanwhile most of us here feel like we know heaps of lesbians just like these girls, if not these girls/their friends specifically. What do you think?

Listen to Rosie O’Donnell’s Real L Word review:

In other Rosie news, it was announced that she will be returning to daytime TV with her own show on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), scheduled to premiere in 2011. The talk show will be a daily one-hour show based in New York.

“Rosie is an undeniable talent who has captivated TV audiences for nearly 20 years,” said Oprah Winfrey in a statement. “She’s a true original, who brings her authentic voice, dynamic energy and pure passion to everything she does.” Added O’Donnell, “It’s an honor and a privilege to work with Oprah Winfrey on her network. I’m excited to be back on daytime television.”

FYI, I still say Rosie’s ’06-’07 run on The View was some of the most riveting television ever produced. Truth.


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Jess is a pop culture junkie living in New York City. She enjoys endless debates about The L Word, Howard Stern, new techy gadgets, DVR, exploring the labyrinth of the Lesbian Internet, memoirs, working out, sushi, making lists, artsy things, anything Lady Gaga touches, traveling, puppies, and nyc in the fall. Find her on Twitter @jessxnyc or via email.

Jess has written 240 articles for us.


  1. It’s a generational issue. Rosie also said on a Howard Stern interview years ago that she doesn’t shave her pubic hair and she doesn’t believe any lesbian does…anyone under the age care to argue that?

    • Agree. Defs a generational thing… especially her comments about “50% of lesbians are overweight” and the not wearing make up thing. Like why does a lesbian have to be a certain ‘type’ of girl?

      • but i know rosie DOES know girls like that, so it’s weird! although i guess she’s always been funny about it. i remember she introduced haviland (my bff who’s very pretty/feminine/etc) performing once on the cruise by being like “this is what lesbians look like now, can you believe it?” and later introduced another pretty femmy girl with a similar joke about how stunned she was that girls like this just walk around holding hands on the street now and how it would’ve made her head explode to see this in the 80s or whatnot. but then that woman called from WeHo to say she didn’t know anyone like that either, which was also confusing.

  2. I don’t know any gay women like this either. Well. I know few gay women, other than my “it’s complicated” and my roommate and the ladies I’ve dated in the past. But it’s all relative. Ladies like Rosie (and myself, okay, I am just a younger, ginger, less famous version of her, and the fact that she and I are not BFFs IRL is super depressing and so I can make this assumption) probably don’t know ladies like those because they wouldn’t be caught dead chilling with that level of cray.

  3. Thanks for posting. Love me some Rosie.

    Also, Whitney IS super gross. I loved how she compared not buying new dils for a new girlfriend the equivalent to “a guy not washing his dick” between woman. And then pretty much DOES IT! DOES NOT WASH HER “DICK”. Gross, girl.

    • That being said, Whitney does remind me of a friend of mine – kind of a player, puts a lot of importance on dating or sleeping with a typically “hot” woman, has a lot of girlies chasing after her.

      Except my friend is not that gross.

  4. Rosie is totally being completely asnine it is obviously a generational gap and she should have acknowledged that factor from the get go. Actually all my friends and 90 percent of queer grrls I know are just like the rlw cast.

  5. I was cracking up when I heard Rosie talking about The Real L word because my partner and I were thinking the same thing… I never knew women like this. We feel sheltered. LOL I guess I am a bland- nerdy lesbo. I like it though.

  6. I do not agree with Rosie at all! Except for the part about Rose being ghastly to her girlfriend. Rosie must only interact with her children or something–not knowing lesbian players or ones who wear makeup? And I do *not* agree with her take on Rose’s appearance.

    And this is the first I’m hearing about the pubic hair thing. All the girls I know are assiduous groomers in the nether lands.

  7. i agree with rosie in that i don’t know anyone remotely like these people, but that might be because i don’t even know anyone who can afford brunch let alone chandeliers/drinks at truck stop.

  8. i know way too many girls like this. that being said, i try to stay as far away from them as possible and don’t need to see them on my tv too.

  9. She cites all of the wrong reasons for not being able to relate to the rlw cast. I mean, I also can’t relate to them, but that’s just because they’re all SO WEIRD. Not because they look/dress a certain way.

    But I think she should also understand that if this show followed “normal” lesbians, it wouldn’t last longer than a week. I usually can’t relate to ANYONE, straight or gay, in a reality show.

  10. I am female overweight and only wear makeup on RARE occasions and I’m not a Lesbian so that shots that theory down.

  11. there’s nothing that bugs me more than people who speak in “we”.. “WE” do not look like that, “WE” do not act like that, that first lady on the phone annoyed me more than anything else. As if they’ve seen every single lesbian in the world or even in the US I mean what the??

    • I dunno, if Rosie’s been to Dinah Shore then maybe she *has* seen every single lesbian in the world?

      (with tunnel vision, apparently)

  12. It is annoying when some lesbians use “we”. I am so glad that AS brought up the fact that Rosie’s buddy, Latifah ordered strippers for a private party.

  13. Warning: Gay Police Patrol

    But family, Queen Latifah isn’t at ALL gay, so she does not COUNT as a valid example/rebuttal.

    *winks, nods, understands silent code language sent through teh lesbian interwebz*

    Okay? Use like, Shane, a fictional character who is totally gay.

  14. Geez! Do we all have to be ugly??? Sounds like it! Just cant believe that we all have to be overweight or ugly!

    • that’s why we shop at trader joe’s – so we can cut eyeholes out of the paper bags. now go get your paper bag we’re going out.

  15. what Riese said. I see a lot of girls that look like these WeHo girls in other cities too now, especially in Montreal. It’s an age thing. I don’t know what Rosie is talking about. Her own ex is beautiful, feminine, and thin. It was super confusing to listen to her be so baffled my these new unicornish lesbians of the 2010s.

  16. I dunno, considering how long ol’ Rosie was in the closet, I don’t know how much of an expert opinion she has on all things lesbian, culturally speaking.

    And she is frumpy as all hell, so it’s understandable she wouldn’t recognize a lesbian who wasn’t a frump if she’s using herself as the standard by which to judge, which it appears she is.

    I think it’s definitely more of an attitudinal gap than a generational one. Ellen sure knew the diff and spotted her future wifey, no problems. :o) Or maybe that’s the East Coast/West Coast thing you mentioned…?

    Overall, I think it’s Rosie’s depressive frumpiness that has put blinders on her.

  17. Whoa! Emoties! I hadn’t noticed them before…I’m like the Rosie of emoticons on autostraddle

    let’s see if this does anything…

    :) ;) :p :(

  18. The only gay girl I know is my girlfriend. There is a girl I know who wears gender-ambiguous clothes, has short hair and breakdances, but I’m just guessing with her.

    But for me and my gf, I wear make-up if I feel like it (which isn’t often), and I sure as hell shave my underarms. I’m pretty sure my gf does the same, but idk, we don’t really talk about our underarm hair.

  19. mmm power of the clam? so if the show was shot over lets say 6 months… So far i’ve seen that Whitney has slept with 3 women – 1 is someone who she has an on/off again fling with from San Fran (Sara), Tor who lives at her house 24/7… and Romi who this thing seems to have been going on with forever……so 3 women in 6 months does not a Fonz make surely? i know she likes to think of herself as a playa, but i’m just seeing an idiot who occasionally sleeps with someone who is crazy enough to sleep with her.

    Also- i wish she would get rid of those dreadlocks. they make me want to shave my own head.

    Rant over.

  20. I never leave the house without makeup and I wear high heels and pearls. I also have long brown hair. So, do all these things make me less of a lesbian. Does me being feminine mean that women are less beautiful to me. I think not!!!!!!!

  21. It’s not a generational thing. It’s an “I’m a mom and only hang out with other moms” thing.

    There have always been lesbians who were super girly and well-groomed who wore high heels and had long hair. There is nothing new about it and it crosses class and region.

    In every era their have been lesbians who like girly stuff and lesbians who don’t (sometimes they hang together and date each other, sometimes they don’t)

    Rosie is a middle-aged mom who is very wealthy and famous but still lives in the suburbs most of the time when she’s not working. She’s no different from most straight moms in the suburbs. They tend to hang out with people who are just like them and at a similar stage in life.

    There are millions of lesbians Rosie’s age who are girly and have shaved arm-pits and legs and are very traditionally feminine.

    There are millions of lesbians Rosie’s age and 20 years younger even who are very tomboyish or androgynous but sill very much woman and lesbian identified.

    It has nothing to do with age, it’s about who your posse is, who you gravitate towards and hang out with.

  22. I agree about The View. That’s basically the only time I ever watched it. Joy is funny, but I can’t stand Elizabeth. She’s an incoherent mix of Sean Hannity and Laura Ingram (IMO).

  23. Frankly Rosie, the real Lword is a lot more tame then the scene actually can be and the girls are prettier in real life.

    Like it or not people, the RLW is like hello welcome to being a lesbian in LA. The LA Lesbian scene has spun out of control from the popularity of the Lword show. Face it, TV has changed reality, at least in LA, and it is all about the glitz, glamor and makeup.

    Every time I go out to the the best LA lesbian nights you not only see these girls and their clones, but girls who traveled from all over the world to live or at least have one night in this real fantasy lesbian world.

    As always, Love LA or Hate it. I do not see the end of this crazy lesbian scene and persona.

  24. Rosie – you are really out of date.
    I have met a ton lesbians like the Real L Word girls…I have travelled and met many similar lesbian ladies in each city also. So Rosie, maybe you dont know where to go??? We cant believe this seems so strange to you?
    You’re are very wrong and you need to really check out the L community before you start speaking on out behalf. (And 50% gay girls are NOT overweight and we do shave and where makeup too – who are you?!)

  25. rosie baby…we supported you….support us. We are younger hotter and fresh.
    Diversity is what we are about.

    Fat and plaid are very passe compose.
    That’s French…google it.

  26. honey….want to add..i am wearing designer jeans at 300 dollars a pop. hair cut every 5 weeks, fit, clean, nails done, a little make up, but omg, most girls in the bars now has sooooo much make up even the hard core skinhead punk girls !

    The standard has drastically changed internationally. I live in the Middle East, and Europe. The standard in both places is highly similar. You should be fit, styled, and open to……orgies, drama, and marriage…ummm no thanks that is for GAY MEN. hahahah

  27. honey….want to add..i am wearing designer jeans at 300 dollars a pop. hair cut every 5 weeks, fit, clean, nails done, a little make up, but omg, most girls in the bars now has sooooo much make up even the hard core skinhead punk girls !

    The standard has drastically changed internationally. I live in the Middle East, and Europe. The standard in both places is highly similar. You should be fit, styled, and open to……orgies, drama, and marriage…ummm no thanks that is for GAY MEN. hahahah

    oh strippers..honey that is normal is the lesbian clubs now…try the GIRL CIRCUIT festival in Barcelona, hot strippers….
    i am not into them, unless they are LESBIAN strippers….
    and to be totally freakin honest. If you jeans are baggy or not fitted lowrise skinny….don’t talk to me…and if you have DOGS and want to pick up shit in the dog park for a nice afternoon….PASS……and if you have hair other than your head….pass……and if your nails aren’t perfect…short and clean/// pass….

    your otta touch that is okay…we like old school dykes like you… is amusing to us.

    we still love you but becareful not to be soooo freakin judgemental.

    Mikey rocks….i love mikey…

    Whitney is a pothead..forget her. those dreads scream POT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. I know lots of lesbians just like this. I will reiterate that it has to do with your posse. It’s also different in different cities. Paris= very femme. Berlin= very androgynous.

  29. I agree with rosie! I thought the same thing about the first L Word show. I remember thinking I dont know any people from the lgbt community that talk or act this way. The lesbians were portrayed like truckers who had no class or respect for anyone but their own over sexual behavior.

  30. I resent the fact Rosie has a place in the media that allows her to say so much bs on behalf of “the community”. It drives me mad to know the lesbians I admire the least are the ones that get more visibility.

  31. Screw Rosie O’Donnell. As for me, I’VE never met a lesbian who “Has a crush on tom cruise” (who, to me, is the most unattractive douchebag asshat in the world, and not only because he has a nasty penis). She thinks, obviously, that being a recognizable lesbian means being ugly (and i do not conflate butch with ugly whatsoever, i myself look like a pretty boy)…like in rosie’s world, all lesbians look like overweight straight men who sit around in their sweatpants with cheetos stains on their Oakland Raiders sweatshirts, drinking not-beers and not having sex with their equally nasty girlfriends (with whom they are monogamous and crave children more than anything else in the worrrllld).rosie o’donnell herself was the reason that i believed i couldn’t “possibly” be a lesbian growing up (Even though the thought of boys made me want to puke and I was obsessed with Angelina Jolie in foxfire as well as desperately wanted to masturbate with my female best friend) because she was so hearty and unsexy and gross, basically a mix between everything i hate about certain straight men and everything i hate about certain tough yet matronly straight women. rosie o’donnell would like the world to believe that “lesbian” doesn’t equal “like to fuck girls”, it equals “looks and acts like John Goodman in Roseanne”. Fuck her and her stupid stereotypes. So, basically, in Rosie’s world, women are beautiful merely to turn on ugly men, so beautiful femme/prettyboi/swank androgyne/sexy butch woman=not a lesbian. GRRRRR

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