Lesbian Love in the Afternoon: Queer Women on American Daytime Dramas

Fictional small American soap towns such as Pine Valley, Springfield, and Llanview have historically dabbled in social angst as it relates to abortion, war, and AIDS, but until recently, have avoided directly addressing homosexuality and same-sex relationships, as if shooting an unscripted pregnancy behind a laundry basket.

This has changed in the last decade or so, however, as a few American daytime dramas have introduced gay and lesbian characters, and achieved several important "firsts" in the portrayal of same-sex relationships.

"I certainly think the impact of these stories have been huge," says Michael Fairman, Advocate.com soap reporter and columnist. "These stories have hit mainstream press and have heterosexual men and women, as well as the gay audience, embracing them."

Long considered one of the most politically conservative art forms in the country, American daytime television’s progress is commendable — but how strong is their commitment to representation when it
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