Pride Month 2020: Why Bette Porter from 'The L Word: Generation Q' is the ideal on-screen pro-LGBTQ politician
For Pride Month this year, we honor Jennifer Beals's Bette Porter, for being an inspirational character who strives to bring about a change in the current situation of the community
When we first meet Jennifer Beals reprising her role of the famous Bette Porter, she is running for the mayor of Los Angeles. After almost a decade away, 'The L Word' made its return to television with the sequel 'The L Word: Generation Q' that redirected the focus from lesbians living in West Hollywood in California to include different types of representation across age groups of the LGBTQ+ community in Los Angeles. The revival brought Beals, Katherine Moennig, and Leisha Hailey together to reprise their roles as Bette Porter, Shane McCutcheon and Alice Pieszecki respectively.
For Pride Month this year, we are honoring characters on television and movies who are pushing forward the conversation surrounding LGBTQ+ issues. Bette Porter is one such character who strives to bring about a change in the current situation of the community. As the mayor of Los Angeles, Bette Porter has several plans towards the improvement of the city but more so, she wants to focus on empowering the homeless and those shunned from the LGBTQ community, their own parents, and everyone around them due to stigma. She makes several visits to affected areas -- often with her daughter, which also plays as a grounding exercise for her -- and makes honest, heartfelt conversations with those who are in pain.
But there is more to Bette's plan as Mayor of Los Angeles. She is adamant about maintaining a clean campaign and refuses to take easy money from big pharma even though the financial hits continue to affect her cause. When her campaign manager Dani Nunez (Arienne Mandi) brings the proposal of Núñez Incorporated, a pharmaceutical company that manufactures opium, Bette doesn't give a second thought before refusing the donations mainly because the company has contributed to "the worst opioid crisis this city has faced". The reason behind keeping a clean campaign, however, is much more personal to her.
During Episode 4, in a heartbreaking scene, it was revealed that Bette's sister Kit (Pam Grier) died of a heroin overdose. "I am running for her. I am running to change a broken system that failed her," she had told Dani. As a politician, Bette brings something very unique to the table. Something that even if real life, we only see female politicians incorporate in their methods -- empathy. Coming from painful experiences, Bette wishes to bring a change to the conditions of the LGBTQ community and those on the margins of society.
On the personal front, Bette Porter is a single mother to Angie (Jordan Hull in another heartfelt performance on the show). There are times when the two disagree but, upon seeing the larger picture, reconcile. Separated from her on-again-off-again love interest Tina -- which made TiBette fans very upset -- Angie has Bette's complete attention. A young black girl, Bette knows early on of how differently Angie is treated. But she stands supportive by her side, even taking some part of the blame. The rapport Beals and Hull share on the show is fluid and feels true. "Their relationship is so strong and they are really supportive and warm with each other. I love their relationship!" Hull had told MEA WorldWide in an exclusive chat.