Earlier, while talking about the possibility of a relationship between Talia and Ivanova in Babylon 5, I commented,
I tend to err on the side of lesbians. Otherwise there aren’t enough.
In other words, when there is subtext that makes a lesbian relationship plausible, even if it’s never stated by the text, I will take that wiggle room and assume that the relationship is there. I’ve talked before about how this holds true for Xena, but I find that I do it a lot. Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune were pretty much official, in my mind, and after Talia spent the night in Ivanova’s room (and her bed), I believed in them as well. All it takes is a close relationship between two women, and I’ll take the chance to slip myself in.
What’s odd is that there are so few close friendship between two women for me to read into in the first place. I mean, even in the stuff with huge casts– Harry Potter? Hermione and Ginny speak, on occassion, but that’s it. Lord of the Rings? It doesn’t even pass the Bechdel test. Can you believe that? Nine hours and it doesn’t pass the Bechdel test! I tried looking at my bookcase to find more examples, and even though I’ve got a lot of kick-ass women, they’re all in relationships with men; the few that are single (even if temporarily) are always surrounded by male friends. It’s no wonder that I started settling for imaginary lesbians years ago.
Even my very favourite sci fi author, Lois McMaster Bujold, who has included every other letter in the acronym, has managed to forget the L. I was surprised to realize this, since she had a recurring hermaphrodite character (ah, the future!) as well as an entire novel from the viewpoint of a gay man. But nope, no lesbians!
In fact, the only lesbians I have on my bookshelf are Rosethorn and Lark (bisexual, but together) and Daja (totally out!!) from Tamora Pierce’s books. They’re awesome (!!!), but written for young teens, and while I still enjoy them, they’re an afternoon’s light read and not really up to the task of being my Only Lesbians.
Ooh, also: Trouble and Her Friends. It’s and OLD cyberpunk book that I stumbled upon in my Gender and Cyberculture class, and it’s all about this group of hackers who banded together because they were gay (an impulse I totally get). I don’t want to spoil it, but it doesn’t end with with death for our main lesbian couple, unlike a lot of lesbian love stories (see: Battlestar Galactica. Well, actually, don’t; I don’t like that show much at all.)
Originally, I wanted to talk about how I always play as a boy in Harvest Moon, so that I can give myself a feminine name and marry the girls, and just pretend to be a butch lesbian, but instead I’m going to leave this as a desperate attempt to think of excellent female characters who loved other excellent female characters. If you can think of any, whether they’re Officially gay or not, please let me know! I finally have some gay friends now, but it gets a little lonely sometimes, in the world of science fiction.