Queerly Named

Queerly Named

Over the weekend and into this week, we got a little weird. Weirder than normal maybe, but it all started with a weird bug in code.

See, we made a new character and her name (Sarah) redirected to someone else… Josh. After (finally) figuring out what happened, I took a look at saw how many characters were named Sarah. Then I compared it to the most common literary name for queer women (Kate). And it’s all snowballed.

A Queer by Any Other Name

Names are, of course, not inherently anything. You can be named anything that suits you (or in the case of some, a name that doesn’t suit you at all), but it doesn’t make you queer or not. At the same time, names are like tropes. People pick a name to evoke a ‘feeling’ or a ‘vibe’ and we all nod and go along with it.

For me, that name is ‘Kate.’ I read a huge stack of lesbian mysteries (I have a type) with that name for the protagonist and 90% were queer. There are a lot of there queer coded names, but instead of digging down that, I decided to take some names of the people who help out at LezWatch.TV and some other popular names we joked about in Slack to figure out what name was most popular.

The Results

Sarah (Sara)66.5
Kate (Cate, Cat, Katherine, Kathy, Kathie)47
Jen (Jennifer, Jenna, Jenny)45
Alex (Alexandra)45
Susan (Sue, Suzie, Suzanne)32
Abby (Abbie, Abigail, Abbey)21
Stephanie (Steph)16

You may notice that .5 in places. That’s because one ‘Sara’ became ‘Carlos’ partway through the show (and if you can tell me who what is before you search for it, you get a no-prize).

What names do you think we should dig into?

About Mika A. Epstein

Mika has been deep in fandom since she could say 'Trekkie.' With decades experience in running fansites, developing software, and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife and their cats in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.

6 thoughts on “Queerly Named

  • Hi you cant just say you read lesbian mysteries without dropping names, i need to read them now

    • Oh man, they’re allll old school but my fav top 5:

      * Sandra Scoppettone – Also wrote my fave childhood book, Suzuki Bean (warning, there’s rape as a plot point and I hate that part)
      * Katherine V. Forrest – Her Kate Delafield books
      * Kate Calloway – 8 books total.
      * Clair McNab – she has like four separate series of different characters all from Australia.
      * Laurie R King – Sadly she’s gone more into her Sherlock Holmes books which are okay but start falling off after “The Game”

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