2006. Seven years ago. That’s when season 3 of The L Word was filmed. Season 3 is when Dana (Erin Daniels) dies of breast cancer.
I cannot find a video with the particular scenes I want from The L Word in it, so I’ll try to paint the scene with words.
When Dana was admitted to the hospital, the only people the hospital officials would talk to were her parents (Susan Hogan and Michael Hogan). As for Dana’s current partner Lara (Lauren Lee Smith) and her ex-partner and friend Alice (Leisha Hailey) – they weren’t given any news and weren’t allowed to visit Dana. All this is spite of the fact that her friends brought Dana to the hospital and had to call her parents themselves to notify them that Dana was sick. When Dana’s parents arrived, they told both Lara and Alice to go home.
The unfairness of being denied access to loved ones in the hospital was painted loud and clear in The L Word. I think the issue was one of the reasons the series creators decided to do a breast cancer story. Access to loved ones who are same sex partners during health crises has been a rallying cry in the last few years in the struggle to legalize same-sex marriage. It’s been heard.
Flash forward to 2013 and the show The Fosters. Stef (Terri Polo) gets shot. Her partner Lena (Sherri Saum) and their 5 kids are all at the hospital. So is Stef’s ex-husband (Danny Nucci).
Look what happens at about the 3:36 mark after Lena tells the ER doctor (Samantha Sloyan) that she’s Stef’s domestic partner.
Seven years between these two scenes.
We live in a different world today, do we not? Visibility on television plays a part in changing attitudes. Pop culture does matter.
Images: ABC Family