Last Tango in Halifax Lesbian Plot Strikes Chord
The Last Tango in Halifax lesbian plot has struck a chord with people around the globe. The popular BBC series airs on PBS. Not only is the acting stellar and the storyline rich and deep, the series offers hope to mid-life women who have fallen in love with their best friends, a theme addressed in the novel, Seeking Sara Summers by Susan Gabriel.
Actors in lesbian storylines get kudos
One of the stars in the series, Sarah Lancashire, (who plays Caroline) says she has received more fan mail for this role than she’s ever gotten before, especially from American women. Sarah Lancashire is an acclaimed actor in her own country, yet is new to American audiences.
The lesbian scene and storyline is handled with great dignity and compassion by Sarah Wainwright, the writer and creator of the series, as Caroline is at first reluctant to fully embrace her new way of being, as she emerges from a long heterosexual marriage and raising two sons. She is a professional woman who is the headmistress of a posh school, involved with one of the teachers who works there, Kate, played by actress, Nina Sosanya.
The lesbian storylines on TV and in books
Although lesbian storylines have been included more frequently in TV series, in movie and in books in recent years, the vast majority of leading characters in all media are heterosexual. This helps explain the tremendous response from viewers, especially lesbian and lesbian-friendly people when a show includes a strong lesbian storyline.
Lesbian plot in Last Tango in Halifax
Says actor Sarah Lancashire about the lesbian plot in Last Tango in Halifax: “People have absolutely taken the show to heart.”
“And the nature of the role that I play, Caroline, has clearly hit a nerve with a lot of people. I’ve had a lot of lovely feedback from women in their mid-life who have found themselves in similar circumstances, or are just embarking on same-sex relationships.
“Their feedback has been that the sensitivity has been beautiful, they haven’t seen that nature of the relationship portrayed or written in such a sensitive manner before.
Carolina and Kate in The Last Tango in Halifax are more than just a lesbian couple, they are a genuine couple struggling to find a way to be together, negotiating the needs of each person in a loving relationship.
Sarah Lancashire talks about the storyline eloquently:
“Because it’s never salacious – it’s not there to shock – it’s really, really beautifully done. People maybe find it easier to write to you because they don’t know you, and so they know that they’re not going to be judged, but there have been very honest and very open letters from women.
“There was one lady who made her mum sit down and watch the entire series, and then came out to her.
“That gets me – I think ‘Wow, what a lovely thing that we managed to make somebody’s transition easier.’
Like Caroline and Kate, the main characters in Seeking Sara Summers are in their mid-forties and are educated women who are new to the idea of same-sex relationships. Sara Summers Stanton is a high school English teacher and her friend–who she reunites with after 30 years–is an artist living in Florence, Italy. The story takes place in both New England and Italy.
Sara is more reluctant than Julia to embrace their new-found love for each other, as former best friends. However Julia, like the character Kate, is more open to the idea and knows what she wants once she and Sara reunite.
Lesbian kiss in Last Tango in Halifax
The last episode of season two of Last Tango in Halifax a lesbian kiss completes the circle of all the various romantic relationships that have been explored in the series.
Although lesbian kisses have been seen on television for many years now, this one was particularly powerful, sweet and sexy as the two women dance at the wedding of Caroline’s mother, Celia, and Alan.
Susan Gabriel wrote Seeking Sara Summers with the same intention, to help women who may be going through the same thing. Women who may doubt themselves or feel ashamed of a nontraditional way of being in the world. As an acclaimed writer, Gabriel set out to create a storyline where two women fall in love that is not only dramatic, but eloquent and beautiful.
Like Halifax, Seeking Sara Summers is “never salacious.” Gabriel intended to write a love story that just happens to be about two women who were perhaps destined to end up together. From the emails she receives on a regular basic, her readers seem to agree, and frequently comment that she has written their story.
As Sarah Lancashire says:
“Love is love. It doesn’t matter about sexuality, it’s just about how you feel towards somebody else and being good and honest with them.”
Seeking Sara Summers is a novel that explores some of the same lesbian storylines and themes as Caroline and Kate in The Last Tango in Halifax and leaves the reader with hope that love will win in the end.
Seeking Sara Summers is available in print at bookstores everywhere including Amazon.com as well as ebook format. It is also available in a very popular audio format , wonderfully read by the author herself.
You can discover more about Susan Gabriel and her other books at SusanGabriel.com.