The Real L Word’s Kacy And Cori Break Up, Love Is Both A Lie And Not A Lie At All

As our dying earth spins closer and closer to an inevitable fiery armageddon, the Vapid Fluff department at Autostraddle HQ were devastated late last week to learn of the breakup of Kacy Boccumini and Cori McGinn, stars of the ill-fated reality experiment The Real L Word.

As the only two characters to escape The Real L Word with their reputations intact, Cori and Kacy captured our hearts with their charmingly earnest love story and their difficult, ultimately unsuccessful efforts to start a family together. After eleven years together, the pair appear to have separated amicably.

In a devastatingly sweet Tumblr post, Kacy explained:

We don’t owe anyone an explanation, but it felt irresponsible to pretend as if Cori and I weren’t used as pins to some of your hopes as proof that love does exist and that it’s real. Despite this news, I can tell you whole-heartedly, that if love didn’t exist, I wouldn’t be writing this.  If we hadn’t loved each other for 11 years, we wouldn’t have been able to let each other go when we knew it was causing the other pain.

When you promise to love someone forever, it doesn’t mean you get to keep her.  It means you know they are free and in the world and that knowledge fills you with joy.  Rings are symbols of her existence – a circle of life.  You wear it because you have chosen to be a witness to that life.  That’s all. It’s not a cuff.  It’s not ownership. It’s proof.

I think you all loved and championed us because, no matter what we faced, we faced it together with grace.  We are anything if not consistent.  We have separated as quickly as we joined.  Life is easy to untangle when your foundation is intact.  We’ve done so gracefully, respectfully, as you should do for those you love.

I hope you continue to follow both of us separately, to see what life looks like when you’re brave enough to say the words “I want more” out loud.  If I’ve learned two things in my time on earth it’s this:  life is short and hurting those you love because you’re afraid of being alone is the greatest sin you can commit.

These lovely people deserve much better than to be forever known as reality television stars, and we genuinely wish both of them the absolute best.

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Stef Schwartz is a founding member and the self-appointed Vapid Fluff Editor at She currently resides in New York City, where she spends her days writing songs nobody will ever hear and her nights telling much more successful musicians what to do. Follow her on twitter and/or instagram.

Stef has written 464 articles for us.


  1. I found this far more devastating than a person who doesn’t actually know them should.

  2. Ugh.

    You know what I would read the hell out of on AS? A column featuring couples who’ve been together 5+, 10+, 15+ and 20+ years! I need to know they exist!

    I mean it might not be vapid fluff, but :-)

          • Since ‘gold star lesbian’ is kind of outdated and offensive, petition to change it to ‘gold star couple’ about those couples who still make you believe in love

          • oh it depends who you ask, I guess?

            personally I don’t love it because of the connotation that it’s somehow better/more of an accomplishment to not ever have slept with a dude, since gold stars were what we got in school when we’d done something right. ya know?

          • My school didn’t give gold stars (or anything actually) so I don’t have that association but I don’t see why people that never slept with a dude shouldn’t be happy/proud about it… Like, if you’ve always known then you’ve always known, why can’t you celebrate yourself just because other people took a longer route to get to the same place?

          • hmm. i do agree that we should all be able to celebrate the things that make us unique, but for me, it’s a phrase that really doesn’t sit well.

            but i also don’t really have the energy to articulate exactly why today, I think? I don’t know if anyone else wants to jump in :-)

            <3 you as always

          • I will say it’s tied into when I used to hear the “gold stars only” sentiment from people in the dating world and online, and it made me worried I was gonna have to hide my past.

            Like my first girlfriend who said “I usually don’t date anyone who’s slept with men, but you’re different, I can tell you really want it,” which was just – yeah. So that’s one facet of it, for me.

          • I’m not a gold star but I am married to one and she is so happy and proud of her gold star status. She would be devastated if she knew she was offending others because of it.

          • And i know from you that your wife is awesome! it’s a term i’ve seen weaponized, i guess. but i know that would never be your wife’s use or intention.

          • I think if “gold star” were generally used in the same lighthearted way as, say, getting a toaster oven for turning a straight girl, it wouldn’t be viewed as offensive, but I’ve seen it used more often than not to judge or exclude people. I certainly don’t have any problem with someone being happy about their own gold star status, but it’s when it’s used to make other people feel lesser, or not as “real”, or undateable that it becomes an issue. It’s often a red flag for biphobia too.

          • I think gold star would be less offensive if it was just used in a jokey, self-describing way, but also to just mean ‘the only people I choose to sleep with are women’. As is, it includes ppl who’ve slept w some transmen, excludes ppl who’ve slept with some transwomen & (this is what really puts me off it) can sometimes exclude lesbians who’ve been raped by cismen. Being raped =/= sleeping with, even though genitals can be involved in both.
            As someone who’s been w multiple sexes & genders, it wouldn’t offend me if it was used like this.
            Maybe we pan/bi ppl just need a jokey reply? Multicoloured smiley face or something.

        • My partner and I have been together now for 39 years.

          It’s been a lovely adventure. We still laugh everyday.

    • I’m at 16 1/2 years with my gf. It’s possible but it’s hard work and determination paired with the knowledge no one else would ever be better. You gotta take the bad with the good and decide that you are a family, no matter what.

    • I’ve been married to my husband for almost 16 years. It takes work and commitment and determination and also luck and grace.

      A couple quotes capture my experience:
      “Love is a commitment not an emotion” (I think this is by David Steindl-Rast – it may be a paraphrase)

      “You fall in and out of love with the same person your whole life and people who understand that stay married” – Kindall Hailey

      And there’s another one about how many modern people will experience multiple marriages over their lifetime, sometimes to the same person, but apparently that sticky note fell off my wall, because I can’t find it.

      • “You fall in and out of love with the same person your whole life and people who understand that stay married” – Kindall Hailey

        I really love that. I feel as though a lot of young couples today don’t understand that. In the old days, a lot of couples stayed together because it was what was expected. Divorce was rare if not unheard of in some areas. But I get the impression that a lot of young married couples these days think that marriage means that you’ll be 100000% IN LOVE with this person all the time, and that if you’re not totally on the same page all the time, then you can’t work as a couple. I mean, if there’s abuse in the relationship of some kind, then by all means, separate. But as with close friendships, there will be times when you wanna murder each other. Sometimes my best friend frustrates me so much I find myself questioning whether we should be best friends. But at the end of the day, I realize that the things about her which frustrate me are small potatoes (and that usually my frustrations come from me being selfish), and that the things I love about her, and the things about our friendships that make me a better person far outweigh the things that piss me off.

    • 17+ here! ??????????????????…

      Will willingly talk for FAR too long about my lovely one, and would LOVE to see other stories.

      We went out to dinner last year, to celebrate our anniversary; the couple next to us asked us how long we’d been together. “16 years!” they exclaimed, “We thought you’d been together a couple of weeks by the way you were acting together.”

      • What??? The couple emoji in my keyboard have brown hair, but when posted they came up golden blond.
        I suppose I should be glad it didn’t presumptively assign gender without asking too.

      • Love is definitely an active force that at it’s heart is about wholeness, about growth towards that.

        If it were better for my wife to be apart from me, even though I would miss her terribly, how could I do otherwise than to part with love for her? Love is the freedom that constrains us to nurture potential and see the universal in the singular.

  3. “When you promise to love someone forever, it doesn’t mean you get to keep her. It means you know they are free and in the world and that knowledge fills you with joy.”

    I never watched this show or heard of these two, but I really and truly believe that this is the best way to approach relationships. I find their story more inspiring than sad, and I wish them both many years of joy on their own paths.

  4. Such sad news, but I adore this:

    “When you promise to love someone forever, it doesn’t mean you get to keep her.”

    Unfortunate truth about love.

  5. These two were the best thing about that show.
    I wish them both the best. Sad news although In my opinion, as a child of divorce, the greatest mistake people make with marriage is the idea that if it didn’t last for the rest of your life then it was a failure. No, their relationship did work for 11 years. That’s a huge accomplishment already.

  6. This is so sad! But such lovely words. A bittersweet ending if ever there was.

  7. I’ve been waiting for this on Autostraddle since I saw their Instagram posts.
    I would never know this but I’m in Yucatan for my archaeological fieldwork, and every summer I’m here one set of articles saved on my Pocket is Riese’s Real L Word recaps and then I get curious again as to what these people are up to today and so checked their Instagrams for the first time.

    Grace and beauty in them both.

    • I liked Sajdah. What is she up to?
      What about the blonde who said “I look good. you all look fake and crazy. bye”? I believe her name was Claire…

      • jessica, i love that you still read my real l word recaps! they took three days each to write so i hope they remain a gift that keeps on giving

        carmen, claire got a significant haircut

        • When Claire’s season was airing I went to see an apartment that she visited on the first or second episode, when she was moving to LA. Then right after the finale I was almost run over by Romi on Wilshire and La Brea

        • Claire got a significant haircut and married, but still appears to be friends with Vivian.

          Sajdah is harder to tell; she got her law degree but her Instagram doesn’t have a whole lot of information about what she’s currently doing

          both The L Word and The Real L Word recaps are the gift that keeps on giving every year I am in Yucatan for a month or more with very limited Internet access. I have read them more times than is appropriate.


    “…it felt irresponsible to pretend as if Cori and I weren’t used as pins to some of your hopes as proof that love does exist and that it’s real.”

    Damn. Hit the nail on the head. In a world where lesbian relationships aren’t viewed as viable, lasting, real as boy/girl relationships, it puts undue pressure on lesbian couples to make it work basically for the good of the community, to make us all feel better. I find myself doing it all the time (even for fictional couplings. I cried so hard over Callie/Arizona ending for good for this very reason. I just wanted one gay couple to last.) But that’s not fair or healthy and…yeah. My heart breaks but I’m so glad Kacy and Cori are able to live their truths. Still sad.

    • Yup This.
      And I know that show is crazy and the kids can be so very annoying but Stef and Lena Adams-Foster are there for you

  9. Damn, they were such a delight. It breaks my heart to see them go their separate ways. I’m straight, and I looked up to them as models of a loving, solid married couple to hope to emulate. I remember in (I think?) season 2 of TRLW, there was a scene in which Kacy was talking about how much she wanted children with Cori, because she loved her so much that she couldn’t imagine a world in which another person like her didn’t exist. Something like that. I thought that was so beautiful. I was sure that these two would make it to the end. :(

  10. What a gracious and truly decent pair of lovely humans they are. Love and luck to them.

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