1. First thoughts about being gay
Profile: Guinevere Turner
Lesbian icon Guinevere Turner made her screenwriting and acting debut in the 1994 lesbian cult classic "Go Fish". Just a decade later, in 2004, she was writing for the hit drama The L Word and had become widely recognized as a prolific writer in the film and TV industry, with screenplay credits for movies such as "American Psycho" and "Bettie Page".
"Go Fish", an American indie film, was both historic and pioneering. At the time of its 1994 release, lesbian films were few and far between. Those that were available overwhelmingly ended in tragedy and were, to say the least, difficult for actual gay women to relate to. Then came "Go Fish", which electrified the queer women's scene and brought the young couple that made it to tour gay film festivals around the world.
Since her momentous start, screenwriter and actress Guinevere Turner has steadily forged her own path to becoming a central figure within lesbian culture. Coquettish and confident, Turner has earned her standing as a conspicuous, glamorous player in the industry, both on and off screen.
After "Go Fish", Turner and director/co-writer Rose Troche headed down separate paths, but both continued to shape art and film in their own independent ways and through different genres. Ten years later, fate had them working together again on The L Word, the unprecedented hit lesbian TV drama. With Troche behind the camera working as director and Turner focused on the script, the pair once again managed to bring about historic changes within lesbian culture through their combined efforts on another landmark production.
In her interview with Tokyo Wrestling, Guinevere Turner humorously recounts her experiences and thoughts on coming out, her parents’ reactions, being gay, and butch women.
-- You’ve been part of the American lesbian scene for the past 14 years, since the release of "Go Fish". I was wondering, when was the first time you thought about being gay? Do you remember?
Yes, I do. I was 13 years old, and I didn’t know I was gay, but one day the whole concept of being gay just occurred to me. So I asked my mom, “What would you do if I turned out to be gay?” And she said, “I would think that I had done something seriously wrong with your upbringing.” And I was very surprised, like, “Really?!” My mom is very liberal, an ex-hippie, so it struck me how someone like her, who’s accepting of everything, had a really strong opinion against it. And I thought to myself, “Gay people must have a really hard time in life.” That was the first time I ever really thought about it.
-- When did you realize that you were a lesbian? Some people say that they’ve always known. Did you?
No, I didn’t always know. The first time I ever came across people who were openly gay was in high school. I was walking around a college campus when I saw a door that said “Gay & Lesbian Alliance” and immediately I wondered, “What is this meeting about? I wanna go to that gay meeting and see what the gay people are talking about!” Once again, I was not thinking about myself, just sort of, “Oh, that sounds interesting.” (laughs) Then, when I was 18 and I went to college, I met a girl that I thought was really cute. She was a very out lesbian, and so when I asked my friends “Is she gay?” they were all like, “Uh, yeah!” (laughs) I dated her for a little while, and she was my first girl kiss.
-- Had you dated men before that?
A little. But at that time, I thought I wasn’t interested so much in sex because I was a writer -- an intellectual. Sex is like pizza. Even if it’s not great, you can eat a lot of it (laughs). But when I kissed a girl for the first time I was like, “WHAT?!” It was a feeling I had never had with boys, so I thought, “That was why! If only someone had told me before!!” (laughs)
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