‘The L Word: Generation Q’s’ Fortune Feimster on How ‘The L Word’ Inspired Her Coming Out

Fortune Feimster, Jacquelyn Smith

As the iconic “L Word” returned to the small screen in the form of a new spinoff titled “The L Word: Generation Q,” with a premiere celebration at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on Monday night, stand-up comedian and actress Fortune Feimster shared why joining the cast meant more than just a new job. 

“When the show came out originally, I was still in the closet. I remember watching that very first season, and it blew me away,” Feimster told Variety on the red carpet on Monday night. “It wasn’t like I saw it and then I came out of the closet, but it definitely stirred up those feelings of, ‘Oh my god, I see myself represented for the first time.’ I think I came out maybe six months later. So to now, full circle, to be this little part of the show, it’s almost so surreal. I feel like my life has evolved with the show in a weird way.”

Feimster plays Heather in the series spinoff, a version of herself with no boundaries who likes to insert herself into situations she doesn’t need to be in. Feimster proudly shared the red carpet with new cast members Rosanny ZayasJacqueline Toboni and her returning idols Leisha Hailey (Alice), Katherine Moennig (Shane) and Jennifer Beals (Bette), who pointed out that a lot has changed since the original “L Word.”

“When we left off, there was no same-sex marriage. We were just sort of beginning these conversations about identity and then the 10 years following the show, consciousness completely changed within the culture,” Beals explained. “There was a whole new generation that refused to have someone tell them what their gender identity was or what their sexual orientation was. What’s so great about the show is we get to continue these conversations within that context.”

Executive producer Ilene Chaiken also highlighted the importance of having a show that continues the conversation. “The ‘L Word: Generation Q’ will still be [one of] the only television shows that’s about the community of lesbians and our LGBTQ allies,” Chaiken said. 

And “L Word: Generation Q” is doing more than just providing on-screen representation, it’s partnering with the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBTQ equality. 

“We partnered with them on the original ‘L Word,'” Chaiken shared. “They are so important to our community. They are out there in the streets doing the work, fighting the fight. We love that we get to support them.” 

“Visibility is very important for a new generation of people to see that LGBTQ people exist … and the law should respect us just as much as [it does] other people,” HRC president Alphonso David told Variety. “So we wanted to support a new iteration of ‘The L Word.’ It is such an iconic show and we think it is going to help change hearts and minds, and help educate people about the importance of visibility. That’s why we’re here.”

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