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Proud and Out(spoken): LGBTQ History Month 2015’s VOD and Web Series Picks

Proud and Out(spoken): LGBTQ History Month 2015's VOD and Web Series Picks

It’s exhausting enough that women are all-too-often underrepresented and excluded on and off screen. But for queer women, this situation is exacerbated to the point where our community (writing as a queer woman myself) is marginalized and Othered, merely for not conforming to the demands of a commonly heterosexual society. 

So in celebration of LGBTQ Month, our top VOD and web-series picks for October recognize the talents of queer artists committed to voicing experiences within the LGBTQ community. Each one of the following projects is created and led by women, as well as joyous in its representation of LGBTQ stories.

The following projects succeed in bringing queer conversation to the masses — the quest (because, tediously, we are consistently crossing treacherous, homophobic landscapes in relentless efforts to obtain that distant, golden grail of equality) for our rights are communicated through astute and accessible narratives, playfully painted with a balanced blend of comedy and drama. Available to anyone with a wi-fi connection, these stories serve to highlight that the struggle for LGBTQ equality does not stop at the American Supreme Court’s overdue ruling in favor of gay marriage. The fight continues until we are considered, acknowledged and represented as equals. 


Here are just a few women and LGBTQ-centric VODs and web series that resonate with the greatest pride. And with easy, online access to shows like these, we can ensure that every month is LGBTQ History Month.
Dyke Central (Available on VOD) – Written and Directed by Florencia Manovil

On the series website, “Dyke Central” is described as “an Oakland-based dramedy that centers around 30-something butch roommates Alex and Gin.” The project is an intersectional triumph, with queer women of color playing almost every role. The narrative unravels from a series of tangled relationships — each interweaving with the another — and foregrounds the confusions and frustrations that come with the struggle of understanding one’s own queer identity within societies that allows little space (or acceptance) for this identity to grow. “Surrounded by a diverse group of friends who guide, challenge and support them,” the website adds, “Alex and Gin struggle to adapt to change and create balance in their lives without losing themselves.”       

Season 1 was made available on VOD from April this year. For a sampling of the series, episodes 1 and 2 are available to view on “Dyke Central’s” YouTube channel. 

The Better Half (Available on VOD) – Created by Leyla Perez, Christine Ng, Amy Jackson Lewis and Lindsay Hicks 
The Better Half” is a web series that follows lesbian couple Amy Jackson Lewis and Lindsay Hicks through day-to-day hurdles that come with making a relationship work — especially when two women face a hetero-obsessed world. Created by Leyla Perez and her girlfriend Christine Ng through their independent production company, The Verb Project, the series aims to pick apart tiresome stereotypes (I mean seriously, still?), using absurdity as their comedic weapon of choice. The fact that Jackson Lewis and Hicks are a real-life lesbian couple makes the show all-the-more awesome. 
The website describes “The Peculiar Kind” as a project that “candidly explores the lives and experiences of queer women of color with eye-opening and unscripted conversations.” The series (and documentary) focuses on the voices and opinions of queer women of color through in-depth interviews and discussions and the ways in which their experiences differ from the inherently more privileged positions of white women within the LGBTQ community. While the goal for gay rights may be the same, the prejudicial layers that suffocate women of color constitute an even bigger battle. “The Peculiar Kind” is an excellent series-turned-documentary project that encourages widespread conversation concerning every inch of the fight for gender parity and LGBTQ equality within the framework of civil rights. With the permission of its producers, the “Peculiar Kind” documentary is available for screenings. Details can be found on the project’s website.     

Easy Abby – Written and Directed by Wendy Jo Carlton
Easy Abby” centers on charismatic Abby (Lisa Cordileone), a strong and unashamedly promiscuous woman dealing with life’s issues on a gay-ly basis, which — as many of us are aware — is no easy task. As the website describes, “Abby likes women. A lot. She has no problem finding any to sleep with, but that’s the only thing that comes easy. Dealing with anxiety, family and money issues is another story.” With every episode of Season 1 available to access online — and the growing popularity (30 million views worldwide) that has ensued from Abby’s relatable exploits — Carlton is currently gathering funding for Season 2, which anyone can contribute to, through the series’s crowdfunding page, until October 27 (and we really recommend that you do).  

Little Horribles – Written and Created by Amy York Rubin

Little Horribles” follows thirty-something Amy as she attempts to navigate Los Angeles as a gay woman. The web series demonstrates a similar comedic tone to the ever-popular and delightfully queer Comedy Central show “Broad City.” Ilana Glazer makes a vivid appearance in Episode 2, giving a self-reflexive nod to the gender principles, humor and LGBTQ engagement that both shows candidly voice (and reaffirming a strong solidarity between female comedians). York Rubin structures her show around the painfully awkward moments in life that almost everyone of us has experienced — and in doing so, she illustrates the fact that, yes, these screwball slip-ups are relative to all of us, life’s difficulties are relative to all of us and the fight for LGBTQ rights should be everyone’s fight.     

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