I first noticed the queerness in Jane as Harrison Ford’s best friend in The Fugitive. She has always had a self-possessed manner that says “dyke” to me but really just means she’s a strong woman with a wicked sense of humor and a deadpan delivery. Ten years ago she burst into mainstream popularity in her role as the butchy lesbian dog trainer Christie Cummings in Christopher Guest’s mockumentary Best in Show. She had me begging to nibble little doggie treats right out of her hand. Her on-screen trophy wife (Jennifer Coolidge) had just completed her groundbreaking role as the MILF (Mother I’d Like To Fuck) in American Pie. I’ve been called a MILF once or twice and at age 52, I’ll take that as a compliment, no matter how un-PC it may seem.
Lesbians everywhere used to gather for a weekly, soft-porn L-Word parties, laughing out loud at Jane’s swaggering butch Joyce Wischnia, who had it bad for Cybill Shepherd, a woman who’s turned me on since The Last Picture Show and Moonlighting days. Jane made a mockery of butch women, and even the butchest among us had to chuckle. Jane was the best thing about the L-Word—of course with the exception of Shane
I met Jane two years ago at the NCLR Gala shindig in San Francisco. I was introduced to her by a mutual friend and wasted no time asking her to dance with me. Apparently she didn’t feel like dancing, but I soon found out that she only had eyes for Dr. Lara Embry, whom she hooked up with later that very evening and married last year. The Gala was a fundraiser, and Jane surprised the crowd when she suddenly jumped on stage to offer up a new impromptu item to be auctioned off—lunch at her home in LA with her dogs. The bid went for $5000, and to one lucky lesbian it was undoubtedly well worth the cash.
Jane had parts in Friends, Talladega Nights, Julia and Julia, 40 year old Virgin, Space Chimps, The Rocker, Weather Girl among many others, but up until last year she still hadn’t had a role since Best in Show that played to her talents until Ryan Murphy gave her a shot on Glee. No one could have prepared themselves for Sue Sylvester, the Amazon queen of McKinley High’s cheerleading squad. She steals every scene without singing a note. Her fascinating ability to be insulting one minute and tender the next, along with her phenomenally clever dialogue and ridiculous outfits (think tracksuit style wedding dress) make her one of my all time favorite TV characters. Every once in a while Glee airs without her. Banish the thought! I may a bonified Gleek but an episode without Sue is like masturbating with an electric toothbrush…it doesn’t quite satisfy. Jane is one of the best comedic actresses of all time, right up there with Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Sue’s bad ass Grinch literally made my holiday season this year. If you haven’t seen it yet, get your Hulu on.
The Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and awards keep streaming in. The world is finally giving Jane Lynch the recognition she deserves.
Open letter to Jane:
“Lesbians far and wide bow down to your great talent and are thrilled that you are out and proud, representing women of our ilk. Many of us are even saving our lunch money for the chance to share a meal with you and your dogs. Thanks for being awesome!”