Publication Details

Walker, B. (2010). The L word fan fiction reimagining intimate partner violence. Participations: journal of audience & reception studies, 7 (2), 380-395.


The fan fiction posted to the official and unofficial fan sites of The L Word series (Showtime 2004-2009) reimagined and repositioned the lesbian couple from the series. The couple, Bette and Tina, had been ambiguously represented as being involved in intimate partner violence in the series. The fans generally re-imagined this couple as non-violent. How intimate partner violence in lesbian relations was represented in the fan fiction in general has implications for how intimate partner violence is conceived and represented in a pluralist lesbian imaginary. The fan fiction forums, as spaces which provided collective representations of lesbians that were not directly under the control of powerful media owners, offered spaces for deliberation and sharing of fantasies of lesbian lives.