By Lady Lorraine B. Elmido | August 25, 2023
Love. It’s a tale as old as time, a four-letter word that causes our hearts to swoon. It’s a story that sells every time—because who doesn’t love a good romance movie?
Back then, romance was only limited to a boy and a girl. Now, however, the people who felt differently have grown up, and there are more stories and spaces of love existing in unconventional places. And like them, I love a good romcom, so when Red White and Royal Blue—a love story between a British Prince and the son of the US President—released with glowing reviews, I was jumping in my seat. A romance movie starring gay characters and people loving it? I couldn’t believe it.
But a small, gnawing part of me was starting to grow and I couldn’t ignore it the longer I stared at the main cast. They were certainly breathtakingly handsome, but…what about the girls? I couldn’t name a lesbian romance movie over the years reaching the same amount of virality. Why isn’t there a hit movie about two soul crushingly beautiful women falling in love? Where was our romcom?
Queer representation in the media has truly grown over these past couple of years, but I couldn’t help but notice that the spotlight has been mostly focused on one dynamic: men loving men. There are more stories about gay men–specifically white gay men-falling in love—than any other kind of relationship.
While that isn’t a bad thing, it says a lot when most of queer media is being dominated by this market. Not to mention, the target demographic of these works are straight women, which isn’t inherently negative either—but it could lead to some of these films and shows leaning heavily on fanservice and almost fetishizing the characters. Although there’s a discussion to be had about that, what I’m concerned for is: What happened to the lesbians?
There was an issue of Netflix and other streaming services canceling their shows centered around lesbian leads. In the meantime, Heartstopper was topping the global charts. Shows such as Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, Don’t Get Mad, and Warrior Nun were being dropped like flies, and all of them had queer girls as main characters and lesbian love stories that were integral to the plot. One of them did cause a major uproar, partly because of its huge fandom which was Warrior Nun—but they are the exception rather than the rule. It just sucks to see so less of me on the big screen while one type of love is celebrated and acknowledged relatively more.
Misogyny definitely plays a role in why we see less lesbian representation: Who wants the girls to be happy—most especially with other girls? The thought of women freely living without having to perceive men is a novel thing to those accustomed to heteronormative perceptions. There’s also that added layer of people finding it weird when two girls kiss, but romantic and brave when men do it—but, then again, that’s another discussion for another day.
As a queer girl who struggles to find her own place to fit in society, I just wish to see more girls like me be the main lead in their story and fall in love with a princess charming; that we can also have our wholesome, sweet, and cute rom coms that are celebrated and well-loved.
I don’t want to have to worry about my shows being canceled because Barbie fell in love with Raquelle. I want more stories of Juliet falling in love with Marie instead of Romeo, of a princess and a witch, and of academic rivals who share passionate kisses in the girl’s bathroom. If I had to summarize everything I wrote into a single sentence: Just let the girls kiss!
Lady Lorraine B. Elmido is an 18 year old First Year Foreign Affairs student from the School of Public Affairs and Governance. She graduated from Ramon Teves Pastor Memorial – Dumaguete Science High School, and was a batch representative for the Apothegm English club. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her in a corner somewhere dying of existential dread.