After the Happy Endings: Lesbian TV Couples that Live On

Let’s face it: it’s been a rough road for lesbians and media representation. We all have our own ways of dealing when the stories we love let us down. Personally, one of my coping strategies is to gather up all the stories that ended well for lesbian TV couples and hold them close  I’ve been imagining, with my friends, the lives that some of our favorite lesbian and bi women characters lead after happily ever after. It started with my personal headcanon for Margot Verger and Alana Bloom from Hannibal and sort of grew from there.

So here are my hopes and dreams for what happened in the fictional happily ever after. 

Margot and Alana, Hannibal

You guys remember the Secret Island of Tropical Fingerbanging from Scandal? Well, Margot used her horrible parents’ fortune to buy that island for herself and her family. She and Alana wear sarongs always and raise their son to be a kind, gentle vegetarian. Every night, they remind each other how lucky they are to have found one another, and fall asleep together in a hammock listening to the sound of the surf.

Brittany and Santana, Glee

Brittany and Santana move to New York and rent a tiny apartment together. Brittany gets a Ph.D. in math from NYU. Santana has a successful off-broadway career, and eventually lands a spot in the ensemble of Hamilton. In their thirties, they move back to Ohio, where Brittany becomes a professor at a liberal arts college, and they have all sorts of kids together. They sing their kids to sleep with lullabies they wrote themselves, and every Thursday night, they go to open mic night at the local bar where they sing “Danny’s Song” together and mean every word of it.

The fictional world of The Wire exists very close to our own. Pretty much right on top of our own, in fact. Which is to say that life is always going to be complicated and difficult for Kima Greggs. Nonetheless, she continues to do everything she can to make the complicated, difficult world of Baltimore a slightly better place. She is on good terms with her ex-wife Cheryl. They share custody of Cheryl’s son Elijah, who eventually starts to call Kima “Mom.” Kima has a long, successful career as a murder detective, although she never gets the promotions she deserves due to institutionalized and bureaucratic bullshit. She eventually meets and falls in love with a female beat cop, and they move in together. She meets up with Lester and McNulty for drinks sometimes.

Mel and Linds settle comfortably into life in Toronto together. Melanie opens her own law practice; Lindsey becomes somewhat successful as an artist. At this point in time, their son Gus is applying to art school in the US, and their daughter JR is going through a rebellious phase. She rides Melanie’s old motorcycle and got a labrys tattooed on her shoulder. One night, JR comes in late, and Melanie scolds her before sending her to bed. After JR stomps off and slams her door, Lindsey smiles and wraps her arms around Mel. She says that even though JR is driving them crazy right now, she’s gonna turn out just fine. Mel asks how Lindsey knows. Lindsey smiles and says, “Because she’s a lot like you.”

Let’s face it: Tina and Bette probably needed a lot of therapy after living through the final season of The L Word. Nonetheless, they move to New York together. Tina works as a movie producer; Bette opens a new gallery. They become part of a new group of lesbian friends who get up to fewer shenanigans than the WeHo crowd. They make enough money to rent a place with a view of Central Park and eventually send Angelica to the Constance Billard School for Girls. Kit visits sometimes and they laugh about all the nonsense their old friends in WeHo are getting up to.

Tasha and Alice, The L Word

Given that the Alice-in-prison (Alice is the New Black?) series never actually happened, I prefer to imagine a kinder, gentler future for the two of them. Someone finds evidence conclusively proving that Alice didn’t kill Jenny, and Alice and Tasha work out their issues with some help from Dan Foxworthy. Tasha continues her career as a cop; Alice pursues a successful career writing crime fiction. They decide not to have kids but stay committed to one another through the years. When gay marriage is/was legalized in California, Tasha proposes to Alice, who responds with an overjoyed “Yes!”

Korra and Asami live together on Air Temple Island. Asami commutes to Republic City, where she successfully runs and expands her father’s business empire. Korra travels the world performing Avatar duties but always comes home to Asami. She trains the air acolytes in her spare time. They have family dinners with Mako and Bolin. Sometimes, when Korra is working with the air acolytes, she’ll catch Asami smiling at her. Korra lifts an eyebrow and says “What?” Every time, Asami shrugs, smiles and says, “Just you.” They take vacations to the spirit world together every summer.

Betty and Kate live in Betty’s house, as friends and roommates, for a long time. Kate stays friends with Leon and finds success as a singer. Betty loses her job after the war and is kind of despondent for a while. It requires several pep talks from Kate to get her back on her feet and into the workforce. Then, one night, after several years of living together as friends, a storm picks up outside, and Kate gets into bed with Betty, and tells her, “I want to try.” Betty puts down her book, confused. She looks at Kate. “You mean…?” Kate nods. “Are you sure?” Betty asks. Kate nods again and kisses Betty. She’s sure.

So…I don’t think these two stayed together. But I think the breakup was mutual and amicable, and they went their separate ways on good terms. Kennedy continues to fight the good fight at the hellmouth in Cleveland and train younger slayers. Willow travels the world doing whatever it is that witches who are orders of magnitude more powerful than the rest of humanity do. What they said to each other at the end of Buffy remains true: Kennedy is a slayer. And Willow is a goddess.

I actually don’t have to write this one myself, because there was a “five years later” webisode that showed us exactly where Spashley ended up: married and expecting a kid. One thing I would like to add is that in the future, Spencer and Ashley look at photos of themselves in high school and laugh about the regrettable fashion choices they made in the mid-to-late aughts.

Lost Girl

Bo and Lauren set the bar for Happy Gay Lady Endings on Television. And after the end, they keep fighting the good fight. After all: evil never dies. But Bo and Lauren are living proof that hope never dies, either. Bo continues to fight evil in leather pants, and Doctor Hotpants continues to be the best damn doctor in the world. And every night they come home and bang it out all over the Suck Shack. When Tam’s daughter comes back into their lives, they both become awesome surrogate mothers to her and also tell her about how awesome and heroic Tam was. One big, happy, gay family.

In the penultimate episode of Spartacus, the title character advises his followers to look at their loved ones and “hold them close, for the shadow of Rome is upon us.” I would offer the same advice to my fellow lesbian, bi, and queer ladies: gather up the stories that give you hope, and hold them close, for the shadow of the Bury Your Gays trope is (perpetually) upon us. Stories matter; the stories we hear, and the stories we tell. So I like to imagine beautiful tomorrows for the lesbian characters whose stories ended in triumph. My hopes for these characters are, in a lot of ways, my hopes for myself and my community.

So who are your favorite lesbian characters? And what do you hope happened to them?

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