Color me pleasantly surprised when I found myself home sick one day from work and turned on the TV to find an old friend, Guiding Light, smack dab in the middle of what looks very much like a lesbian relationship. Now I haven’t watch soaps in well over a decade so I was clueless to the storylines but thought hey, I’m at home sick, why not visit my old pals in Springfield. Guiding Light was the show I’d watch growing up when I was at home sick from school. My grandma was cool like that!
At this point I’m comfy in my pj’s with a hot cup of tea ready to jump right in when the opening montage begins with all the new faces of characters I’ve yet to discover and a few old favorites (Reva and Josh) that I grew up loving. The focus of the show that day was set on the fall out of an episode that previously aired so I was totally confused at this point. Apparently, a little girl named Emma Spencer gave a presentation about her family to her fourth grade class. Ok, that’s innocent enough right? In the real world yes, in the world of soaps…think again!
Well, the title of the presentation was “My Two Mommies” referring to her mother, Olivia Spencer, and her mother’s best friend Natalia Rivera whom Emma and Olivia currently live with. The two women were brought together when Olivia needed a heart transplant and Natalia’s husband Gus is killed in an accident and Natalia agrees to give Olivia his heart. Olivia and Emma moved in so that Natalia could help Olivia with her recovery as well as look after Emma.
Now for the shocker! In the big scene Olivia and Natalia are at home discussing the presentation and what the teacher and the other parents who were present at that day thought of their little family because of Emma’s presentation title. Olivia is freaking out, desperately trying to tell Natalia in the least obvious, most round about way that the teacher and parents all think that she and Natalia are a lesbian couple but without actually using those words. What happened next made me do a spit take. Seriously, my cat was covered in green tea!
Olivia, frustrated by her inability to open Natalia’s eyes to the obvious situation, feels the only logical way to make Natalia understand was to lay one hell of a passionate kiss on her. Yes, I said kiss. To say I was shocked is an understatement, not because I am against seeing two women kiss on daytime TV but because you don’t actually see two women kissing on daytime TV. You rarely see two women kiss on TV period, except for the occasional kiss and run over on Grey’s Anatomy, so to witness it for myself on a daytime soap definitely threw me for a loop. To top it all off the writing is really good. Not to mention Crystal Chappell (Olivia) and Jessica Leccia’s (Natalia) performances are impeccably acted. Their on screen chemistry makes the Olivia/Natalia coupling believable. You find yourself instantly invested. After doing further research, I discovered that over the last few months the relationship has been laid out with a very natural flow and hasn’t fallen into the trap of forcing an unbelievable situation to further a mediocre storyline with the desperate hopes of boosting ratings.
I have to congratulate everyone involved here. Bravo to Guiding Light for taking a risk where others choose to continue to live in the dark ages pretending that the gay and lesbian communities don’t have a place in anything mainstream. Unfortunately we are still living in an age of gay bashing and homophobia. You so rarely see a loving gay couple let alone a family so to see a storyline like Otalia, a name the fans have affectionately given to the couple, I think it should be applauded. Well done Guiding Light and good luck to Otalia. This is one I will be checking back on and to be honest, rooting for.