If you think lesbian representation is bad now then consider what it was like in the 1950s and 60s where being gay was still an act punishable by law in many places across the world.
As a result of the criminalisation, all things gay got a bad rep and were seen as ‘dirty’ or ‘seedy’, right up their with gangs, drugs and murder.What its reputation did pave the way for, however, is lesbian pulp fiction. ‘Pulp’ fiction was called that as the books were printed on cheap pulp wood paper and as they were purposefully sensational and weren’t respect at all in literary circles, it also meant that they were able to duck the censors.
Much of the content of lesbian fiction wasn’t very good (the books were designed to fulfil straight male fantasies) and usually featured predatory lesbians, voyeurism and even witchcraft. But still, lesbian pulp fiction is an important checkpoint on the way to good representation. And now, as a bit of a throwback to the era and all of the lesbian tropes it introduced, new web series The Chanticleer has just made its debut.
Set in 1955, The Chanticleer features a woman named Edie Chaucer as she comes back to New York to take over her (deceased) father’s bar. As you’re probably hoping, things get real queer real fast when Edie hires a young lesbian named Val who quickly causes controversy due to her dress sense. Y’see, Val dresses in both men and women’s clothing, much to the despair of other gay characters who like to keep it strictly butch or femme only.
Typical gender roles aside though, The Chanticleer packs in both a dramatic and romantic punch. There are plenty of queer women here for you to ship and you’ll be rooting for Edie, Val and co. as they fend off their territory from the likes of corrupt cops who are doing everything in their power to shut Edie’s queer hotspot down. Not that Edie will give up the bar without a fight, mind you.
There will be six episodes of The Chanticleer in total, with two already posted on KitschMix.TV. The next episode will premiere on April 1st, 2015.