“A QUEER SANDBOX TO PLAY IN”: A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF SHOWTIME’S TV SERIES THE L WORD: GENERATION Q (SEASON ONE)
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Motivated by my own positionality as a lesbian identifying queer woman, this thesis explores how lesbian characters are represented in the first season of the popular U.S. television show The L Word: Generation Q (GenQ). Using critical discourse analysis, I investigate how heteronormativity and homonormativity impact characterizations of lesbians within GenQ. I found that representations of lesbian relationships in GenQ uphold engagement and marriage trajectories, as well as reinforce of norms of monogamy. Additionally, GenQ depicts lesbian partnerships as unstable, and place cheating as a defining feature of these relationships. Moreover, my analysis reveals that GenQ presents bisexual characters in ways that erase their distinct sexual identity. Overall, I found that GenQ does contain heteronormative and homonormative representations, and characterisations of lesbian, bisexual, and other queer women in this show are built on stereotypical assumptions of queer people that reinforce problematic norms around monogamy, consumerism, marriage, and class.