Where is Dani and Other Girl-Next-Door Lesbians?

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DANI CAMPBELL from MTV’s new bisexual dating game and hit show A Shot at Love: With Tila Tequila can be spotted signing autographs and smiling for her lady (and even male) fans at all-woman nightclubs all over the country. The show was based on a B-List celebrity‚Äôs quest to figure out her own sexuality, and of course, MTV felt as though this life decision would be idea for thousands of strangers in front of their TV set. To each her own, I suppose, but the show did leave many viewers and fans questioning the sincerity behind the final outcome of show: Tila picked a boy over the perfect girl.

Granted, how much sincerity can really go into reality dating shows, but, the genuineness of one contestant was never questioned: Dani. Her lovable, real, and sweet personality immediately became a viewer favorite all over the country.

The rising just-turned-30 reality star is from Fort Lauderdale. With tomboy looks she thinks of herself as not feminine and not butch, but a little of both: futch. She loves her job as a firefighter but knows how to relax with a movie, a book, camping, playing paintball and softball. A firefighter and paramedic, saving other people’s lives is a big part of her own.

Dani fans are not only devoted, they are starting to take action for their beloved idol. Her fan base is growing and according to an online poll, close to 90% of viewers want to see Dani have her own dating show as a spin-off to Shot of Love.

As of today, an online petition site has gathered a total of 6656 signatures asking MTV to give airtime for Dani to have her own show. Fans who support the petition are persuading the network to create the spin-off, promising that it would be very easy to find contestants for the show as Dani’s fan base is only on the rise.

Personally, this made me question… where are all the lesbians on mainstream television? Lesbians are people like anyone else in our communities who teach at schools, pray in churches, run for government, laugh along with friends at the bars and produce Hollywood films. Yet, they still are not depicted as regular “normal” characters on national TV.

The popular show Will & Grace treaded carefully along societal boundaries with characters that were accepted by mainstream society due to their charming, ridiculous and witty over the top comedy and plots. LWord (which is only viewed on Showtime) has been the first show to be written by a lesbian and on the lesbian lifestyle. A huge step in the right direction, yet, since they’re playing “L.A types” there are still exaggerated L.A. lifestyles, dramatic L.A. personalities and unrealistic L.A. lesbians.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with this, for this show. My question is: where are the real “normal” lesbian characters? An average, girl next-door character – who yes, is gay, but attends a normal college, has a normal life and happens to be a character on a TV show.

I guess this could be an “equality in the media” type of discussion, but is it too much to ask? Can we once just see a lesbian TV character that is taken seriously, not flawed with stupidity and not a totally defined by her sexuality?

How about this for a possible TV character: “Dani”, the show about a firefighter who saves the world by day and by night comes home to her beautiful wife just in time to tuck in the kids. Or Jane: the CSI crime scene investigator – who happens to be a lesbian.

What do you think? Is society getting closer to accepting television characters of different sexual orientations? Or do we still have a long way to go?

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