MTV’s New Fake Lesbians Show Is A Step Backward For Gay Rights

It’s only hilarious and wild for girls to pretend to be gay if you can’t actually imagine them being gay.

By Jessie Lochrie

MTV has greenlit a show tentatively titled “Faking It,” about two girls who, MTV coyly states, “pretend to be something they’re not” in order to gain popularity. What are they pretending to be, you ask? Lesbians! Hilarious, right? MTV probably thinks that a show about two girls pretending to be gay is cool and progressive. The last time MTV was actually riding the zeitgeist on gay rights was twenty years ago, when they cast HIV-positive Pedro on The Real World. Since then their record has stagnated, and “Faking It” isn’t a step in the right direction. 

A show about girls pretending to be lesbian to get popular is annoying for the same reason two straight chicks making out for attention is annoying. The portrayal of fake lesbians invalidates real lesbian relationships: you can’t just casually adopt an essential part of someone’s identity, like their sexuality, for a night or a year to somehow gain something from it. To do so says that you don’t think their sexuality is important or real. The creator’s desire to portray the “very unique bond” of female friendship through this fake-lesbian plotline also belittles female friendship itself. Most women don’t express their friendship by pretending to be gay. Actually, probably no women do that. 

“Faking It” revolves around making lesbianism a joke: it’s only hilarious and wild for these girls to pretend to be gay if you can’t actually imagine them being gay. I’m only on board with this show if the plot twist is that they’re actually gay and fall in love and move to San Francisco and have a hippie wedding. Because unlike high-schoolers pretending to be gay to get popular, that ‘plotline’ does happen in real life.  

Image via Veer

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