ABC Family’s television show Pretty Little Liars has turned heads with their representation of lesbian character Emily Fields. Instead of representing her as an extreme “butch” or and extreme “femme” the television program tries to portray a realistic view of a teenage girl coming out to her friends and family. The program shows her first coming out to her parents and how her mother has a hard time dealing with the news and seeing pictures of her daughter kissing another girl while her father struggles to accept that this is just who she is.

(Emily Coming Out)

Eventually you see Emily’s mom try to come to terms with her daughter’s sexual orientation and choses to go to dinner with Emily and her girlfriend Maya. Her mom is also the first to have to tell her of Maya’s death but opens her arms to her daughter for comfort displaying her compassion. Not only does Emily’s mother eventually come to terms with her sexual orientation but Emily’s best friends Aria, Spencer, and Hannah have throughout the show accepted her for who she is, their friend, and they comfort her when her girlfriend Maya dies as any friends would do for a friend whose boyfriend died. The show portrays Emily as just another girl, just another one of their friends, the only difference is that she likes girls not guys. The show has Emily break the stereotype of being a lesbian and either be femme or butch; she is a student athlete but also wears dresses and hangs out with her friends. The show breaks the social constructs of lesbian representation to the extreme and in tern portray her as a normal human being. (Mom and Friends Comfort Emily After Maya’s Death)

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