Sometimes, a lesbian mom is just a mom. Most of us here know that, but it is rare that a media depiction portrays us that way.
ER, however, last night featured a lesbian mom and her spouse who could have been any other patient and significant other. There was no “lesbian” storyline per se, no denial of visitation rights to the spouse or sperm donor claiming rights over their child. It was wonderful in its normalcy. (—at least if you count the little reindeer bunting they had their infant in as normal. Despite my last name, I’m a little iffy on the trend of dressing up our children and our house pets as antlered creatures.)
But still . . . it would have been naive to expect the show that once starred Laura Innes as lesbian mom Dr. Kerry Weaver, among other positive LGBT characters, not to be making some additional point.
Indeed they did. The patient’s spouse mentions that when the patient had cancer for the first time, they went to Boston and got married. “It’s quite a leap of faith,” observed one of the doctors. “It’s not hard when you have someone to hang on to,” the patient replied.
That’s a very subtle reference to the fact that the couple couldn’t marry in their home state of Illinois—but it gets better. The lines are used again later in the show, this time by a straight couple in reference to their own relationship and the possibility of having a child. (No spoilers; I won’t mention who.)
Yes, that’s right: the relationship philosophy of a pair of lesbian moms is used by an opposite-sex married couple on their way to parenthood. If that’s destroying the foundations, we’re taking everyone down with us.
I know ER has seen better days. The characters are less complex and the storylines more overt than of old. Even in its final season, though, it seems to be showing a bit of the subtle social commentary that once made it one of television’s outstanding dramas.
Now if only Kerry Weaver would get a spin-off show of her own . . . . Hey, maybe they could move her back to Chicago and call it The El Word.
The episode is number 1510, titled “High Holidays.” You can view it in full on the NBC Web site.