I had a slight(ly huge) obsession with The Real L Word on Showtime. Beautiful women whose lives were filled with drama, love and heartbreak, and truly wonderful personal journeys. When the last season wrapped, I was happy to see two weddings but sad to see the series come to a close. A couple of days ago, I saw a promo on Showtime for L Word Mississippi: Hate The Sin. I missed the premiere, but made sure to record it the next time it was on.
The title was a bit off-putting, but nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed for the next 90 minutes. I have experienced my fair share of discrimination. As a multi-racial person, I’ve gotten the question “what are you” more times than I care to remember. When I lived in Georgia, I came face to face with the KKK and was made to feel less than human in my high school. I grew up knowing what homosexuality was due to a gay second cousin, so I never gave it a second thought, but was always disgusted with the challenges my LGBT friends would face. Even today, I see their struggles and it gets to me. Because I’m not sheltered at all, I didn’t expect to be as shocked as I was at the stories from Mississippi.
L Word Mississippi began with the clear message that it’s not okay to be gay. There is no holding hands in public, no kissing your girlfriend at the market, and no being free to live and love as you choose. The religious community in Mississippi is massive, and that is a major factor in why the struggle for these women is so great. “Praying the gay away” is thought to be something you can do. Even some of the women featured on this documentary pray to save their own souls from their so-called sinful lives. They have found love, but due to the teachings of the church, believe that love to be wrong and want to be saved and find a man to love.
Rene’s story had my jaw on the floor, especially after we were introduced to her son, Devin. Rene spent her life dressing masculine and even stuffing a strap-on down her pants in order to feel more like a man. She stopped and began trying to dress and act more feminine after finding Jesus a year earlier. Her son came out as gay a few years ago and she blames herself completely. I dare anyone to look at Rene and Devin and try to tell me that being gay is a choice and not simply the way you’re born. It’s beyond painful to watch Rene deny who she is in order to appease the church and the community. It’s worse when she tries to impose those twisted beliefs on her son, who is happy to be who he is.
The other relationships we get to see in this documentary are truly beautiful. Cameron and Amber are such a loving couple, and lucky enough to have a support system in the Per2yon Family, but you can still see the pain on their faces. The level of hatred and ignorance they have to face is beyond my understanding and I give them so much credit for being strong each and every day. Sara, who is expecting a baby boy, struggles with not only being a lesbian and the stigma that is attached to that, but is dealing with her wife transitioning into becoming her husband. BB, a former pastor, is trying to right the wrongs of her past by helping LGBTQ youth so they don’t feel lost, ostracized, and suicidal. The “love the sinner, hate the sin” message is strong, but it’s clear that the actual feelings of the community is “hate the sin, shame the sinner.”
I don’t want to elaborate any further because I want everyone to please look this documentary up and watch it. Regardless of your beliefs or level of acceptance, please watch this with an open mind and heart. I want you to be as shocked as I was that this type of hatred and ignorance is not only still incredibly present, but is so widespread. I am grateful for all the women involved for sharing their stories and hope that as more people see L Word Mississippi, more people begin to realize that it’s not the LGBTQ community that needs to change. It’s the rest of us.
I have been DVRing the current season of VH1’s Couples Therapy (quit judging me) after hearing that Whitney and Sara from The Real L Word would be one of the featured celebrity couples. I was sad to hear that The Real L Word would not be continuing on Showtime, but I’ll take seeing the pair on Vh1 over not seeing them at all. This season features Jon Gosselin and Liz Jannetta, Ghostface Killah and Kelsey Nykole, Taylor Armstrong and John Bluher, and Farrah Abraham all by her lonesome. But this isn’t about the couples. It’s about one question that was posed to the couples that struck a nerve with me.
In the second episode of this fourth season, the couples were asked to discuss their darkest moment(s) in their past or current relationships and reflect on how that relationship impacts them in the present day. One of the key points that the therapists tried to drive home was that the past does not dictate the future, and that the past must be dealt with in order to ensure a positive and happy future. The question got me thinking about the darkest moment I’ve had in a relationship. I was engaged to my middle school sweetheart, J, after tracking him down and writing him a letter that resulted in me taking a week-long vacation so we could reconnect and him leaving his life behind in one state to start over with me in another.
J stole my identity, racking up thousands in credit card debt after he learned to perfectly forge my signature. He once threw all my blankets and pillows out onto the damp lawn because he thought another man had been in the bed. He beat on me repeatedly, once blacking my eye so badly that I couldn’t leave the house. He was verbally abusive on top of the physical abuse, making me feel worthless. He kicked down doors when I tried to hide from him. He wasted all his money on car parts and alcohol, leaving me to pay rent and all the bills. He cheated on me, no doubt more times than I’m aware of. He isolated me. After I finally grew a pair and left him, he continued this streak with other women (financial, verbal, and physical abuse, landing himself in jail on various felony charges, and likely still getting in trouble to this day).
I’m not bitter about J whatsoever, and I no longer wish him a slow and painful death. I don’t wish him well either; he’s a blip in my past and I don’t care what happens to him. What I didn’t realize until watching that one episode was how that relationship still affects me to this day. I wrongly assumed that getting over the jumpiness around my husband and not wanting to throw things against the wall during arguments meant that I was over the pain of my time with J. I thought that getting to the point where I was past loving him, past hating him, and simply nothinged him meant that I was healed. Damn, was I wrong.
I drive my husband crazy with my financial worries. I stress about how much money I have left, what I have to pay, and I’ll extend that stress months out to things that haven’t even happened yet. I do this when not once in the six years we’ve been together have we ever been in a place where we’ve been in a financial crisis. I do it because of J. I never stopped to think that even though he’s not on my mind, the damage still lingers and is the reason I never relax when it comes to cash. It’s horribly unfair to my husband and our relationship and something I hope I can work on now that I’ve pinpointed the real problem.
The most important thing that I realized after thinking about that relationship question was that, if I’m being 100% honest with myself, I really only have one legitimate complaint about my current relationship with my husband. Minor annoyances (like his socks being left in random places) aside, the single thing I have an issue with that is a legit complaint is that my husband isn’t as emotional as I want him to be. That’s it. That one, tiny little thing, is the only real thing I have to complain about in my marriage. Imagine how stupid I feel as I write this, knowing that I married someone so close to perfect that it hurts, and knowing that 95% of the trouble we face is because I am still damaged deep down and I have yet to fully let it go.
As far as exactly how to let it all go, I have no idea. I think recognizing it is a fantastic first step though. Acknowledging that it exists, telling myself that it doesn’t have to exist, and finding a way to make it exist no more. Realizing that I’m in a safe place and don’t have to be on guard so much is a great feeling. Even though I feel foolish for allowing things buried in the past to still affect my present, I know I’m not alone and I know it’s a common problem people have whether they know it or not. I never thought that there were so many steps to let go of a past experience, but I’m thrilled to finally be able to take the last few.
This season of Dexter started off with a bang. [SPOILERS] Picking up right where season 6 left off, Dexter must finally reveal exactly who and what he is to his sister, Debra. This season dealt in part with the struggle Debra goes through with both her romantic feelings for Dexter and the realization that her brother is the Bay Harbor Butcher. The structure of this season was also different in that there were two “big bads” with very different and separate stories. First we have Issak Sirko, a mob boss and ruthless killer who has targeted Dexter for killing his lover after his lover killed a cop. Second, we have Hannah McKay, who seemed at first to be a victim but soon proved to be a killer who looked out for herself above all others. In typical Dexter fashion, both killers are targeted and set to receive a spot on his table, but neither are dispatched in a way we are used to.
This new structure, combined with Captain Maria LaGuerta’s suspicions of Dexter, has successfully broken the image of Dex as an untouchable being and has made him incredibly vulnerable. His vulnerability is even more apparent when he has Hannah on his table, preparing to end her life as punishment for the lives she has taken. Before he can remove her from this world, Dexter is overcome with emotion and ends up sparing her and eventually falling in love with her. It is similar to what he went through with Lila in season two, but different in that Hannah isn’t unstable as Lila was, and is much more similar to Dexter in her thought processes and in the way she projects her image to the rest of the world. While Dexter lets his guard down with Hannah, opening himself to love and to the future, LaGuerta continues to gather evidence that points away from the late James Doakes as the Bay Harbor Butcher.
LaGuerta’s determination to expose Dexter for the killer he is turns Debra into a silent rival. Deb “assists” her with the reexamination of the Butcher case, but only to pull her way from Dexter and to plant seeds of doubt in her mind. Debra and Hannah are also clear rivals, as Deb is unable to allow Hannah to walk free for the murders she committed when younger (that she cannot be charged for) and for the murders she suspects her of committing in the present day. This adds another element to Deb’s struggle in accepting Dexter’s darker side; how can she allow one to walk free but need to punish the other? The separation and tension between the two most important people in Dexter’s life is as stressful as it sounds, forcing him to choose between the two women. Dex does finally make a choice, but only after Hannah makes it clear that Debra is not safe with her walking the streets a free woman.
When Dexter finally says goodbye to Sirko mid-season, respectfully allowing his lifeless body to drift to the bottom of the sea in the same spot Dex disposed of his lover, his full attention turns to the various women in his life. Season 7’s finale episode kicks off with Captain LaGuerta arresting Dexter for the suspected murder of Hector Estrada, one of the men responsible for killing his mother as a child. Dexter has thankfully anticipated this and plants evidence that makes it seem as though LaGuerta was attempting to frame him by planting evidence of her own. With Hannah in jail and LaGuerta shamed, it seems as though Dexter is in the clear. Nothing is that simple and easy though; Hannah escapes from custody and LaGuerta comes into evidence implicating both Dexter and Debra. The other way out, in Dexter’s mind, is to kill LaGuerta.
As Dexter begins to realize what must be done in order to save himself, his sister, and his son, he thinks back to the first time he allowed his mask to slip and for his true self to shine through. James Doakes, the man he set up as the Bay Harbor Butcher, was the first person to see past Dexter’s phony smile and fake personality. Doakes had Dexter figured out before anyone else and we were finally able to see the little things he picked up on with these flashbacks in the finale. As a huge fan of the series, I was thrilled that the writers decided to bring Doakes back and allow him to once again share the screen with Dexter.
Killing LaGuerta seems to go against the code that was taught to Dexter by his father years before, but not if you take into consideration that part of the code is self-preservation. Don’t get caught. LaGuerta is within arms reach of evidence that will damn himself and his sister, leaving his child to an unknown fate. Even if Dexter takes all of the blame, his son will still be harshly affected. Dexter’s plan, to kill Estrada and LaGuerta in one swoop and stage the murder to make it seem as though they killed each other, seems fool-proof. But keeping with Dex’s string of bad luck, Debra shows up at the scene just as Dexter is preparing to shoot LaGuerta. As LaGuerta pleads with Deb to shoot her brother, Dexter takes a line out of Hannah’s book and tells his sister “Do what you gotta do.” Sobbing, Debra murders LaGuerta, immediately falling into hysterics and clutching the lifeless body, shocked by what she has just done.
I was baffled by where the season would go after season 6 ended with Debra discovering Dexter’s secret. With this finale and Debra’s slow descent, I can’t wrap my mind around the possibilities that are in the future for these siblings. There is only one more season planned for this series; 12 more episodes to complete the story and resolve what can be resolved. I have to believe that the investigation into LaGuerta’s murder will not be simple and quick. The scene will no doubt tell the story Dex wants it to tell, especially with him writing the blood report, but what about evidence left behind from Debra’s hysterics in clutching the dead body? What about the inconsistencies in the blood patterns from Dexter moving Estrada’s body? What if the ballistics don’t match? What if someone takes notice that Debra left the New Year’s party for a while after calling the station to get a location on LaGuerta’s car? What if LaGuerta confided in someone about her suspicions that we’re not aware of?
This was the most complex season they have had in their seven-year run, and it has also been my favorite thus far. I have been one of many fans that was on the “Kill LaGuerta” bandwagon, but to actually see it happen was a major and incredible shock. I never expected Deb to be the one to pull the trigger either, although I also couldn’t imagine her simply walking away from the scene. The genius that was put into this season definitely makes me sad that we only have one more year before Dexter is gone for good. I’m looking forward to seeing how the dynamic between Dexter and Debra has shifted, whether or not Hannah will return, if Angel Batista will reconsider retirement now that LaGuerta is gone, and much more. My hat is off to everyone who had a hand in making this series, and especially this season, a work of art.
After what seemed like an endless wait, Dexter made its triumphant return to our television screens last night. [SPOILERS] After toying with the idea of Debra Morgan discovering Dexter Morgan’s secret season after season, last year wrapped with Deb entering the church just as Dexter plunged his knife into Travis Marshall, season 6’s Big Bad. I’m not ashamed to say that I stood up and yelled at my TV in excitement. Season 5 brought us close to Deb discovering the truth, putting the two of them in the same room with their final kill. Deb decided to give Dex and Lumen a running start from the police because she understood and sympathized with Lumen, an abused woman seeking retribution and revenge. After that close call, I was certain the writers would never allow Deb to see under Dexter’s mask. Damn, was I glad to be proven wrong.
Season 7 picks up right where 6 left off; Deb was shocked to see Dexter standing over Travis Marshall’s body, wrapped in plastic on the altar of the church. Dexter begins to pretend to be panicked, claiming Travis attacked him and he didn’t know what to do. After an internal struggle, Deb agrees to assist Dexter in setting fire to the church to cover his tracks and wait to be called back to the scene to investigate, playing ignorant to what she had just witnessed. In their hurried state, Dexter’s blood slide falls from his pocket and into an air vent on the church floor.
During the investigation of Travis Marshall’s “suicide,” an officer is gunned down in the street, opening an important investigation for Miami Metro and a distraction for the Marshall case. Dexter easily embraces his dark passenger and takes matters into his own hands. His sudden departure from the department, usually overlooked, is noticed by Deb, who then questions Jamie Batista, little Harrison’s nanny, and learns that Dexter takes many late nights “working” at the office. While Dexter is removing the cop killer from this world and delivering him to the ocean floor, Deb goes to Dexter’s apartment where she finds Dexter’s tools and blood slides. As Dexter enters the apartment to find it in shambles, Deb sitting in front of the blood slide box, he is asked if he is a serial killer and if he killed all these people. Having no out, he says yes.
Debra spends the episode putting piece after piece together in discovering who Dexter truly is. She recalls Dexter’s brother, Brian Moser, the Ice Truck Killer, and the way Brian had Deb on a table wrapped in plastic. The set up was identical to the way Dexter wrapped Travis and Deb does not see this as a coincidence. She recalls how Dexter was wearing an apron with plastic sleeves when he killed Travis, dressed in clothes she’s never seen before, which leads her to believe he planned this killing. She begins to have flashbacks of the night Brian nearly killed her and begins to see that while Dexter did save her, perhaps it wasn’t in his nature to do so. With the discovery of the blood slides, there is no more denying what she knows and what Dexter has done.
Dexter doesn’t only have Deb to deal with this season in protecting his identity and livelihood. Louis, a tech at the office and Jamie’s boyfriend, has gone through Dexter’s computer, stolen a blood slide, and mailed Dexter the prosthetic hand from the Ice Truck Killer case. There is no doubt he knows who Dexter is and it remains to be seen what he will do with this knowledge. He thinks Dexter is a jerk and it wouldn’t be surprising if he tries to reveal his secret. The other problem is Captain Maria LaGuerta. In season 2, when James Doakes was believed to be the Bay Harbor Butcher after Dexter planted the blood slides and set him up before his fiery death, LaGuerta fought the idea to the bitter end, believing there was no way that Doakes could do such horrible things. After she found the blood slide at the scene of Travis Marshall’s “suicide” and confirmed that no other cases other than the Bay Harbor Butcher case involved blood slides, she is confident that Doakes was not the culprit and seems to be ready to go ahead in finding the real killer. Doakes always suspected there was something wrong with Dexter and it’s quite possible she could follow his lead and begin to look more closely at him as well. Jonah Mitchell, the son of the Trinity Killer, has knowledge of Dexter’s true colors, as does Detective Quinn. Add all of the elements together and Dexter could easily be outed.
I have high hopes for this season and I’m looking forward to seeing what Dexter does to deal with Debra learning about his dark passenger and how she comes to terms with the fact that her brother has an uncontrollable urge to kill. Will Dexter tell her that their father, Harry, gave him the code to be used to kill only those who have killed others? Will she understand that he has to kill or will she try to curb his urges to do so? What will Dexter be forced to do in order to silence LaGuerta and to get Louis off his back and out of his business? With one more season after this one, there are countless things that could happen and endless possibilities. Whatever course this takes, I’m definitely rooting for the serial killer to come out on top.
I was incredibly excited to see The Real L Word back for its 3rd season on Showtime and I forced my husband to watch it with me as soon as we had a free hour and DVR access. The third season kicked off [SPOILERS] by introducing some new ladies and by catching up with the ladies from seasons 1 and 2. Romi, who has been around since the beginning, has finally decided to come out this season and did so in the first episode. By come out I mean she revealed she is dating her ex. A man.
I’m married to a guy, so obviously I’m not a member of the LGBT community and can’t see things fully from their point of view, but my reaction to seeing Romi’s new boyfriend was “Wow, really? Weird.” End of story. It struck me as odd at first, but Romi has gone through a lot of changes since the middle of season 2. She decided to get sober, which resulted in alienation from her friends who still drank and a break up with her girlfriend Kelsey who was also a drinker. As she worked to become sober, she was forced to grow as a person and transition from party girl into businesswoman. It stands to reason that her major life changes were a huge factor in pushing her back into the arms of her ex. Who happens to be a man.
The reaction from the ladies was not as kind; it turns out it is not looked upon kindly for someone to begin dating the opposite sex after establishing themselves as gay or lesbian. From what the L Word ladies said, it’s not uncommon for that person to be shunned by the entire LGBT community. I’m not sure if it’s looked at as an insult, but it seems to be a major offense. Romi was judged and viewed as a woman who was never a lesbian, just someone who wanted to play with girls for a while.
In the preview for upcoming episodes, Romi sarcastically commented that she guessed she was not a lesbian when she was eating pussy and falling in love with women. She’s upset, and understandably so. The LGBT community is one who has fought and continues to fight for equality. They ask for understanding, for people to be open minded and respectful of their choices, and they want to be free to live and love as they wish. This is what makes it so difficult for me to understand why they are faulting Romi for finding love and happiness with a person who just happens to have a penis.
For those of you who have seen The Real L Word, you are familiar with Romi and know she isn’t simply one of those women who goes around kissing other girls because she thinks it’s trendy or hot. She established relationships with women, had all kinds of sex with women, lived with girlfriends, fell in love and had her heart shattered by women. If anything, Romi is bisexual, which should not be something that should be shunned by the lesbians on the show or elsewhere. Romi is showing the world that love knows no gender and has no gender, and if I’m not mistaken, that is something the LGBT claims is true about themselves.
I fully support the LGBT community and hope to one day see same sex couples able to marry countrywide. I hope a man loving another man is eventually no longer a stigma, but just another couple in the crowd. I don’t see how this can happen though when the LGBT community is discriminating against itself. You can’t demand equality and then refuse to give it to your own community. You can’t fault a woman for loving a man, then get mad because people don’t understand a woman loving a woman. Romi did nothing wrong; she was not deceptive or shady, she wasn’t a spy sent to infiltrate the lesbian community, she is simply someone who was looking for love and found it. She looked into a person’s soul rather than in their pants and fell in love with what lies beneath the surface. I hope the rest of season 3 shows more acceptance towards Romi’s choice, because as it is, the discrimination against her is making a lot of people look like hypocrites.
WARNING: This contains spoilers for multiple seasons of Dexter. Please do not proceed unless you have either watched the show through season 6 or you have no interest in watching it in the future and being surprised by anything.
My husband and I were busy watching WWE: Tables, Ladders and Chairs on pay per view Sunday night and I just couldn’t make myself stay up past 11pm to give my full attention to Dexter. I was deathly afraid of someone ruining the surprise for me all day on Monday and shut Twitter down so that no one could spoil the ending for me. My husband had the ending of Season 4 ruined for him; a coworker told him that Rita died at the end, so he had to go through that whole amazing season knowing that Rita would die at the end. Considering how jaw-dropping her death was for me, I had no intention of letting any loud mouth give away even the smallest detail.
Season 6 was a bit odd for me in the beginning. Debra’s relationship with Quinn dissolved when she was promoted to Lieutenant. Most of her storyline revolved around her therapy sessions which finally resulted in her therapist suggesting that she was in love with Dexter, her step-brother. The “big bads” of this season were on a mission from God, which obviously involved the deaths of many innocents. Dexter, through developing a camaraderie with Brother Sam (played by Mos Def) and through investigating the Doomsday killings, began raising questions about faith and believing in God or another higher power. Maria LaGuerta, now separated from Sergeant Batista, spent the majority of her time being a cutthroat bitch for lack of a better term. There was a lot going on and it was difficult to see how things would come together.
Season 5 left me a bit disappointed; Dexter’s relationship with Lumen ended once they dispatched the last of her rapists and he was again left alone. That season wrapped up nicely, which was in direct contrast with the end of Season 4. They also toyed with the idea of Deb finding out Dexter’s secret, but of course there was no danger of it being revealed. It was definitely a letdown for me.
The Season 6 finale began with Dexter hitching a ride to shore after he was nearly killed in the middle of the ocean by Travis Marshall, one of the big bads and truly the only one after it is revealed that his teacher and leader was dead the entire time. At one point, I feared that Travis was going to get away, as Dexter seemed to almost give up on finding him. Travis was hardly done with Dexter, however, and kidnapped his son with the intent of using him as a sacrifice. Fear not, the writers weren’t as bold as to kill poor Harrison; Dexter saved his boy and loaded Travis into his SUV to deal with later. While Travis didn’t succeed in completing his final tableau, he did manage to murder a cop, giving Deb something to beat herself up over. She rushed over to her therapist and admitted that her theory was correct, she did in fact love Dexter as more than a step-brother and desired to tell him how she truly feels.
The creep factor is high on this one; the step-siblings grew up together. Then again, this IS Deb and she does tend to be irrational. Having requested earlier that Dexter visit the church that was home for the Doomsday killers, she immediately headed over to reveal her feelings to her brother. Meanwhile, Dexter has Travis wrapped in plastic on a table in the church, toying with him a bit as he prepares to plunge a knife through his chest. As Dexter is talking, Deb enters the church and it’s painfully obvious that she can clearly hear Dexter and is completely confused as to what is going on. Just as Dexter’s knife slices through Travis, Deb enters the room and has a perfect view of her step-brother, the man she is in love with, murdering the man the entire police force has been chasing. And now, we fade to black.
I was bouncing around on the couch like a kid who ate one too many pixy sticks as the season came to a close. After the total lack of fear and anticipation I had in Season 5, I was giddy beyond belief to see this amazing turn of events. The show has toyed with Deb finding out in a few ways, one of which was Dexter imagining all the ways she could possibly react to the news. Having it actually happen was just what this show needed.
So what now? We already know that Dexter will be back for two more seasons and will most likely wrap for good after Season 8. I trust the writers enough to feel confident that they won’t do something ridiculous like have Deb lose her memory or have the whole thing be some sort of dream sequence. Deb finally knows Dexter’s secret and has seen his Dark Passenger in action. I can’t imagine her reacting well to this; she is highly emotional and flies off the handle at the drop of a hat. At the same time, I feel that she will also feel comforted by this. Deb has always desired to know more about Dexter and now she has seen him as naked and open as she possibly could have. This will also explain a lot to her about things she has been insecure about in the past and in the present, such as why their father spent so much time with Dexter and why he is so guarded and closed off.
That being said, Deb is a cop and I’m not sure how well it will sit with her knowing that her brother is the Bay Harbor Butcher and is responsible for all those bodies that were discovered in Season 2, as well as many many others that were never found. How will she react knowing that her brother murdered Trinity and is somewhat responsible for Rita’s death. Will she forgive Quinn for suspecting Dexter since it’s obvious now that he was right? Will she put the pieces together about Doakes and his untimely passing, coming to the conclusion that he was right about Dexter as well? Will she do what is right in the eyes of the law or will she do what is right in the eyes of a loved one?
I’m going to have to let the season closer marinate a little before I draw any conclusions. I am quite curious to hear theories and thoughts, so please share with me what you believe will happen from here. At this point, I don’t believe anything is off the table. What about you?