Lesbian TV: Santana Lopez from Glee

So, I love lesbian characters on TV. When I was in high school, I really only had access to Buffy (which was awesome.)  So I’m pretty much freaking out excited by the amount of lesbian representation I’m seeing these days especially in shows aimed toward teens.  Therefore, I’m starting a new segment about my favorite lesbian characters and why I think they’re amazeballs.  (Seriously, this subject takes up a lot of my time – ask Sara.)  So in light of recent events, I think it’s totally important to tell you why I love Santana Lopez SO. MUCH.

Who’s Santana Lopez?

Can someone please get me this shirt?

She’s a sassy ex-cheerleader on Glee with a heart of gold.  Now, I’m sorry to spoil you if you’ve never watched the show but tough cookies, my friends.  GET ON THAT.  You need to be watching Glee.  Even if you don’t like musicals, you should watch this show because the gay representation is pretty amazing.

Qualities that make me think she’s awesome:

  • Her brutal honesty.
  • Her tough exterior broken to pieces by the lady she’s totally in love with.
  • Her confidence (or appearance of having enormous confidence)
  • Her quips at pretty much…everyone.

Top 3 Moments that made me love this character

Her admittance to Brittany that she was totally in love with her.

Heartbreaking. We've all been there.

I have never watched something on a television that I have so completely related to.  I’ll admit it, I even cried a little.  Santana was completely honest and let go of the front she puts on for everyone else.   There was a certain amount of pleading, fear, and desperation when Santana revealed that she was in love with her best friend.  Coming out can suck.   It can be hard.  Equally hard is putting yourself out to someone you love – laying it all on the line, making yourself incredibly vulnerable – and having that person tell you they can’t be with you.  Something about this scene was so real and so true to life.  When dealing with same-sex relationships, it’s often complicated especially in high school with fear and doubts around one’s sexuality. Even if people really like each other, there’s so many feelings to sort out and Glee is doing a good job of reflecting that.  Plus, I’m totally loving Santana pining over Brittany (who is currently dating Artie.)

(Side note: I actually think Artie is sweet and as much as I love Brittana, I like the angst and drama.  I’m one of THOSE people.)

Standing up for Kurt and Blaine.

"Two choices: You stay here and I crack one of your nuts, right or left, that's your choice, or you walk away and live to be a douchebag another day. Oh, and also? I have razor blades hidden in my hair. Mhmm. Tons, just all up in there."

Santana didn’t wait long before realizing she was gay to find her allies.  While Santana hides behind a tough exterior of criticizing (and generally being mean to) others, she was quick to step in and defend Kurt and Blaine when Karofsky was bullying them.  The way I read this was that Santana was not only showing that she was an ally, but sending the message that she was “like them.”   This was really cool growth to see in this character.  She was establishing to the audience that she was taking steps toward accepting who she was.  If you think I’m reading too much into this, think about whether the old Santana would’ve said anything.  Kurt and Blaine even stated that they could’ve handled it without her but it was important for her to make that stand for herself.  Such an honest gay experience – I could totally see myself doing that in high school because you’re dropping clues to people instead of directly coming out.

Santana decides to try for prom queen.

Santana and Karofsky making McKinley all it can be as The Bully Whips. All part of the grand scheme to win Brittany back.

This choice makes my top list because it’s one of the first times I’ve seen Santana do something for the sole purpose of *gasp* impressing a girl.  She’s not doing it for status or to get dudes to like her.  She’s doing it to get Brittany.  She has to try and I don’t know that she’s had to do that before.  In turn, she thinks this requires her to solve some huge ass problems WHICH SHE DOES WITH FLYING COLORS.  Santana single-handedly gets Kurt back to McKinley by convincing Karofsky to be her “beard” and eliminates all bullying in the school. ALL OF IT.  I’m not sure how she thinks any of this will make her prom queen but seriously, that girl needs to be a super hero.  She just solved some serious plot conflict by being sassy and smart.  I like the fact that Santana is growing into a more complex character who yearns for things outside of popularity and status.  She’s so head over heels in love with Brittany she’s willing to save the mother effin’ world.

In Conclusion

The Glee writers have turned Santana into an awesome lesbian who has real feelings and real conflict in her life.  Getting girls isn’t easy.  It’s hard.  Being gay is hard.  Being gay in high school is extra hard.  I’m excited to see where this storyline goes and even tempted to say I hope Santana dates a different girl.  I want to see Brittany get jealous.  While I hope they are the endgame, it should be a long journey to happiness.  It’s best that way.

So in conclusion, would I have dated Santana in high school?  Probably.  Would I have dated her in college?  Absolutely.  Would Santana have dated me?  Verdicts out on that one.

PS Naya Rivera, you are freaking amazing at what you do.

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