This week I talked with Liz Baxter about being the first lesbian contestant on the iconic game show Love Connection which airs on July 27th on the Fox Network at 9P EST. Her episode marks the first LGBTQ inclusive episode of the show in its history of over 2000 episodes. Openly gay television personality and executive producer Andy Cohen hosts the one-hour reboot of the original dating show that features single men and women from all walks of life searching for romance. In the unscripted series singles are followed on three blind dates to see if a match can be made. The contestants then open up about their experiences in front of a live studio audience. The network was more than responsive to Cohen’s request to include our LGBTQ community in the current version of the show. Gay and lesbian singles had been absent from the original program that originally aired in the 1980s and 1990s. This LGBTQ inclusion will not only promote our community’s visibility but also it’s being broadcasted on mainstream network television as a nonissue. I talked to Liz about what she would like to accomplish with her experience of participating on Love Connection and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.
When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBTQ equality Baxter stated,
My personal commitment is simply never to let fear silence me. I think there are so many ways we can be involved right now. I think the most important thing is to make sure that everybody’s voices are heard and everybody stands up and makes sure that they count. The gay community all need to stand up now and together; we are so much stronger than individually. So all I can do is to contribute my own voice and all I can commit to is never silencing that.
Liz Baxter is a savvy businesswoman who works as a traveling sales woman in the medical field. As a trailblazing Indianapolis native now based in Los Angeles she wants to change minds when it comes to visibility and understands the need to accurately portray the positive LGBTQ experience in the entertainment industry. We’re seeing more LGBTQ inclusive television programs as part of the new normal in this country with the growing onscreen trend clearly mirroring the nationwide embrace of today’s evolving culture, traditions, expectations and new frontiers of our LGBTQ community. Yet although content on TV has gradually improved the way it presents our community we still have a long way to go to defeat negative stereotypes of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning characters that continue to appear. This is why it’s so important to have more positive representation like Baxter with her ongoing commitment amplifying and celebrating queer women’s voices. Besides her appearance on Love Connection which airs on July 27th on Fox at 9A EST, Liz has also launched a new blog entitled “Your Friendly Neighborhood Lesbian” which she hopes will make a difference and inspire change promoting women empowerment, diversity and LGBTQ inclusion.