Tavi Gevinson Will Play Haddie’s Girlfriend on “Parenthood,” Continues To Do All The Things

Tavi Gevinson, the 17 year-old fashion blogger, Rookie Mag founder and editor-in-chief, TED Talker, Broadway actress and Miley Cyrus interviewer, is adding Queer Primetime TV Character to her already dizzyingly impressive resume. This Thursday on NBC’s, Parenthood, Haddie Braverman, played by actress Sarah Ramos, is coming home with blonde hair and a new girlfriend, played by the aforementioned Gevinson.

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Take a look at banner, Michael!

My biggest problem with Parenthood has always been that it’s a show about family that has a seemingly infinite number of people, yet not a single one of them is queer. Well, now that problem is finally being solved this week when Haddie returns from college with her “friend” Lauren in tow. Haddie has had a few relationships in the past on the show, but so far, they’ve all been with guys. And lately, she’s been completely absent from the show. After graduating from high school and going across the country to attend Cornell University she came back home once or twice and then kind of disappeared entirely.

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That’s totally the way people who are “just friends” look at each other.

Haddie has had a pretty tumultuous time on the show, and she’s not really known as a fan favorite. But I’ve always held a soft spot for her, probably because I was a fan of Ramos’ from her time on American Dreams. Haddie has always been a bit of an overachiever in the Braverman clan, so she and Tavi should make a great pair. I’m sure their relationship will be filled with time served at a soup kitchen, discussions about their feminist ideals and days spent creating a website designed to empower teen girls — all while maintaining straight As. On the other hand, Haddie’s also been a bit of a rebel, and has fought with her parents about who she was dating before, so hopefully that will give her some courage in coming out to them this time.

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Hey, my eyes are up here.

We don’t know very many details of this storyline just yet. From the preview, we gather that Haddie’s coming home for a visit, she brought Lauren with her, there’s something that she’s not ready to tell her family, and she and Lauren like to kiss. We also see that Haddie’s little brother, Max, asks their mom the question “If two girls are kissing, does that mean they’re lesbians?” So we can guess that they get caught kissing. Haddie seems to be a little apprehensive about coming out to her family, which is totally understandable, but if she wasn’t ready to let the whole world know, bringing her girlfriend to a family gathering probably wasn’t the best idea. Now, to answer Max’s question, they could be lesbians, or bisexual or pansexual or queer or whatever label they want to use.

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If two girls are kissing on a season finale, does that mean they’re doing it for ratings?

I really hope that this isn’t played off as a “lesbian until graduation” thing, and that instead they explore the idea of sexual fluidity or bisexuality with Haddie’s character. Even though she’s been shown to date guys before, she could easily and realistically have realized when she went off to college that she’s not as straight as she thought. It would be a real shame if this is just a one-time thing to boost ratings. The show has touched on pretty much every other TV Family Issue in the book. They’ve seen cancer, single parents, job loss, infidelity, PTSD, pregnancy, adoption, money problems and autism, so it’s been a little weird to see that there haven’t been any queer members of the Braverman clan yet. This is the season finale, so we’ll have to wait until next year to see where this story goes, but I’m sure there will be enough family discussions and tear-inducing moments in this episode to last the entire summer.

The season finale of Parenthood airs on NBC this Thursday, April 17, at 10 PM ET/PT. You can check out the preview yourself to see what’s about to go down.


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Mey Rude is a fat, trans, Latina lesbian living in LA. She's a writer, journalist, and a trans consultant and sensitivity reader. You can follow her on twitter, or go to her website if you want to hire her.

Mey has written 572 articles for us.


  1. Finally! I really enjoy Parenthood, but the lack of any queerness has always bothered me too.

  2. I’ve always thought Tavi had to be a little bit gay. She was just too good to be straight.
    I wonder if this is a sign…

  3. I’m a little sad about this storyline, truth be told…mostly because Haddie’s my least favorite Braverman, but also because I held out hope that they’d do this storyline with Amber.

    Also, is Sarah Ramos coming back to the show? I haven’t read any reports that she’ll return to Berkeley for an extended stay so I’m worried that this will just be one of Parenthood’s afterschool-special type episodes instead of a longer look at how coming out “changes” the family.

  4. I’ve actually been wondering what the hell happened to Haddie, she just went away and they don’t really talk about her either. I’m really glad to see that there will finally be a queer character in show. I tend to like how they handle different issues so I’m hoping they won’t treat it any different than the other serious stuff on the show. I hope it gets fleshed out.
    I’ve also been hoping that Amber would be part of a queer storyline but I’m just glad to see it happening.

  5. Woaaaahhhh. This makes me really really happy/excited/nervous because this is the show that my mom and I have been watching together. We kind of stopped when I left for college but now I have incentive to catch up. Maybe it’ll spark discussion between us. I just hope she doesn’t pull the bullshit “why does every show have to have gay people” thing again.

    (I also got her to start watching Orphan Black. I wonder when she will notice that pretty much all of the shows I like have queer ladies.)

  6. words. I can’t. so so so happy to finally get some queer love on this show! I always thought it would be Amber (or maybe Sara) but I totally didn’t see it coming with Haddie. Also kind of lame that she isn’t a major part of the show, so her relationship won’t be either. BUT I’M STILL SO HAPPY!

  7. I’m a part of the crew of Straddlers for years it would be Amber. Especially during that season when she was supporting that super cute alternative lifestyles haircut a few years back. Anyone remember that?

    Anyway, welcome Haddie! She’s totally the type who would read Autostraddle from her dorm room. Right?

  8. Yes, coming out by bringing your first girlfriend along to a family gathering and pretending she is just your friend until you get caught together is the best way to come out.

    Just kidding. It’s not fun, don’t do it.

  9. I literally screamed at the TV in happiness when I saw the promo for this episode last week! I love this show but I have also always thought that it lacked a queer character. So happy that it’s finally happening! Here’s to hoping the show handles it well.

  10. this is everything i never knew i wanted. i love tavi, though i find it a bit odd that she’s acting.

  11. I agree that it is time for this show to bring on a queer storyline. And with all the respect I have for the writing, I hope I can trust them to take care of these baby bird queers.
    Also, I love that this is not an Amber storyline. What does a queer woman look like? Amber and Haddie both could be straight until they’re not. But the fact that the show is going there with Haddie could be an opportunity to push against assumptions and stereotypes. Television has historically not done that well, but I can’t help myself from hoping.

    • It’s not about looking like a queer woman for me, I wanted it to be Amber because: 1. I like Amber a thousand times more than Haddie. Haddie’s up there with Julie Taylor from Friday Night Lights and Vannessa from The Cosby Show when it comes to least-liked TV kids.

      And, 2. Mae Whitman’s just a better actress than Sarah Ramos..

      • Also: Amber lives there, she is in pretty much every other episode. I can barely remember when we last saw Haddie

  12. *jaw drops*
    tavi r u maybe queer please date me forever

    There’s no way this will be a Glee-esque treatment. Tavi’s way too cool for that

  13. I haven’t watched this show but knew Lauren Graham was in it, so I read the article hoping she was the one who was going to be gay. And she isn’t which wasn’t too shocking.

    But then I watched the preview video and not only is Lauren Graham’s character not gay, but now I’ve seen her make out with Everybody Loves Raymond and it’s going to take a long time to un-see that. I don’t even have my Gilmore Girls DVDs with me to help!!!


  15. I am turning this into a live blog experience because I have so many feelings. Let me sum them up best I can: HOLY. SHIT.

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