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Cancer's never
been so sexy

Cancer's never
been so sexy


Did you see it? On regular television? It was groundbreaking. It was 100% pure lesbian rock 'n' roll! Here's what happened: I'm writing out checks to Visa, Blue Shield, my mom, and simultaneously watching television when I hear a hard electric guitar chord. I look at the screen to see this hot young androgynous woman holding a worn-out skateboard, looking at me like we'd dated and I broke her heart. She sits on some concrete steps, her skateboard perched on her lap; she flips it over to show me the belly, which says One Less in thick red writing. She skates off as the chord is joined by a deep synthesizer gurgle that sounds like it oozed out of a Lesbians on Ecstasy song.

Now a young butch woman is playing basketball by herself; clearly, she's kicked the entire neighborhood's ass, and so she's holding court. The camera moves in to focus on her chunky white-and-blue high-tops as she grabs a blue marker and scribbles across one of the sneakers one less. This is the point where I stop paying bills and start paying attention to this sexy commercial that is clearly promoting the new lesbian band One Less.

A young woman with a strong jawline and a thick French braid hanging out across her left shoulder appears in the center of the screen. I think I've seen her before at the Cash Inn, my local lesbian country and western bar. Donna? No, Janet. She's in a horse stable. Her body covered in denim, a bridle hanging in the background; she looks like she's ridden a few mares in her time. A kick drum is added to the synthesizer gurgle as the cowgirl says, "One less," then leaves the screen in search of greener pastures, or the ex-girlfriend who used to braid her hair on stormy nights in the warm barn. I am totally digging this new band!

Next on the band lineup is an intense Ally Sheedy look-alike with light blue eye shadow, smeared pink lipstick, and a single dark brown bang framing her retrosexual face. She's rockin' the drum set like a butch Karen Carpenter who's actually eaten something. She stops for a second, twirls her drumstick in the air while holding my gaze, and says, "I want to be one less woman who battles cervical cancer--one less."

What? "One less" has to do with Gardasil, a vaccine for cervical cancer? That drug company sure got me (and my attention). Well, lesbians do contract human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer. And lesbians are underserved when it comes to health care. It may not be as cool as a Le Tigre concert, but having an entire advertising campaign dedicated to lesbian health certainly does rock.

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Tania Katan