The L Word was an American-Canadian co-production television drama series portraying the lives of a group of lesbians and their friends, connections, family, and lovers in the trendy Greater Los Angeles, California city of West Hollywood.
The serial along with Pam Grier in it, is largely credited with bringing the issues affecting the LGBTQ community to light. The popular series brought LGBT talk to the table.
The series originally ran on Showtime from January 18, 2004 to March 8, 2009, and subsequently in syndication on Logo and through on-demand services. On July 11, 2017, it was announced that a sequel is in the works.
The groundbreaking LGBT-focused TV show The L Word sees Pam Grier’s character play a fierce ally of her LGBT friends and family. Off screen, however, Grier was initially a bit more hesitant to embrace the community.
“I didn’t know anything about the LGBT community,” Grier admitted.
“But I said, ‘I need to know because there are certain communities that I’m familiar with that still have a phobia of it based on religious doctrine, but if you can’t accept it, at least tolerate.”
Fortunately, the tolerance exemplified by Grier’s character set — and the open-mindedness Grier herself demonstrated in real life — inspired others to adjust their own opinions.
“I received such positive fan mail from people of colour and religious groups. They were saying, ‘You gave us a comfort zone, you were a beacon,’” Grier recalls.
“They said, ‘We didn’t understand, but you made us feel comfortable.’”
History Of ‘The L Word’
The original code-name for the series was Earthlings, a rarely-used slang term for lesbians.
Contemporary use of the phrase “the L word” as an alias for lesbian dates to at least the 1981. In the play My Blue Heaven by Jane Chambers, in which a character stammers out: “You’re really…? The L-word? Lord God, I never met one before.”
Historically “the L word” was coded and found in a letter written by Daphne du Maurier to Ellen Doubleday. She wrote, “By God and by Christ, if anyone should call that love by that unattractive word that begins with ‘L’, I’d tear their guts out.”