A couple of years ago I had a friend tell me about a British show called Lip Service. Now being a skeptic of anything lesbian on television I did not fall for the allure of this show right away because of another show I refuse to name.
When said friend told me about the concept of Lip Service I just saw things going terribly wrong in my mind. I honestly have no expectations for lesbian characters on television and for the life of me I cannot seem to get invested in characters or a show anymore.
But like any other curious person I had to indulge at least once. So I fell into the first episode and ended up watching three. While Ruta Gedminta's character Frankie was all too familiar with her promiscuous ways and Fiona Button's character Tess Roberts is completely endearing, I still wasn’t convinced that this show was not going to be some crazy lesbian mess.
Somehow the Lip Service ended up having a character like Sam Murray played by Heather Peace. There was something about Peace that nagged me. You know what I mean right? That feeling where you just cannot place that person's face. It bothered me so much I had to look her up and that’s when I saw it. She played Becca Gallagher on a show called Ultimate Force. I remember watching the entire series with a study-buddy during finals. All I can remember from the entire show was people getting shot, things blowing up and Peace looking completely bad ass.
While my introduction to Peace wasn’t as ‘lesbian’ as my friends I kept watching Lip Service just because she was in it. I learned the complexities of lesbians relationships are just as messed up on British shows, just as they are in America. While I tend to tolerate a lot of lesbian story-lines today and wish people would stop calling everything lesbians do on television ‘ground breaking’ and treat them just like every other character I know that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
I now know why so many of my friends are invested in lesbian characters like Arizona and Callie on Grey’s Anatomy, Santana and Brittany on Glee, or not so lesbian characters like Det. Benson on Law & Order: SVU and Det. Rizzoli and Dr. Isles on Rizzoli & Isles. The investment, in my opinion, is because that’s all we have really—strong female leads that some lesbians can relate to.
I admire actors like Peace because they have to please an audience that is hard to please. Lesbians are a hard bunch to please because we are not just this cookie cutter stereo type and it has to be hard to try an please everyone. There are so many subcultures in the lesbian community that if one gets portrayed on television with the slights fallacy all hell breaks loose.
While I was finishing up season two of Lip Service I found that I hit a wall with my friends because they felt Peace wasn’t ‘butch’ enough with all the crying and ‘pu**ying about’ (what does that mean anyways?). But to me I think her portal to be as accurate as any other character.
Yet, while I do applaud Peace for her acting that wasn’t what captivated me. She is actually an accomplished musician. I had an opportunity to see her live in Glasgow. Saying that I was excited was an understatement. I remember when I was going through a break-up a friend put songs by Peace on there. Peace’s covers of 'Fast Car' and 'Ain’t no Sunshine' were on there.
You could say I knew about Peace in two very difference art forms without knowing she was the same person. While I do like her current album Fairytales I have to say that I like her covers of other artist music the best. It’s hard to categorize Peace’s music. In my opinion, I like to think say she is a mix of blues, alternative and rock. She has been able to find a compromise in her musical sound without compromising the integrity of the lyrics.
Peace is distinctly feminine as a musician but is completely capable of portray more masculine characters as a actor. It speaks to her talents as an all around artist.