This week on Heroes, fans were finally gifted with the long-awaited girl-on-girl action the show's creators have been promising for far too long. When Madeline Zima and Hayden Panettiere locked lips at last, it was truly delicious moment to behold.
Although the whole 'college experimentation' lesbian plotline might seem cheesy, watching Claire Bennet hook up with her new roommate on Heroes oddly doesn't feel horribly cliché. A large part of that is due to Hayden Panettiere's publicly expressed desire to see her character hook up with a girl.
Too often, lesbian and bisexual moments on television seem driven purely by the people behind the scenes looking for a cheap ratings boost. The actors involved usually just have to go along with it, whether or not they are comfortable with the idea. On Heroes, Panettiere wanted the lesbian storyline. "[They] put you in relationships and I was like, 'Can I just be with a girl or something?" Panettiere said, according to ContactMusic.com.
"It's very exciting!" Panettiere said of her character's new relationship on Heroes, according to The Sun. "When you are young, you experiment and you have fun. It truly is a person that she just falls in love with, because she fulfills her and she is her best friend," Panettiere said.
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The young actress also isn't afraid to admit to her own girl-on-girl experimentation in her personal life. "It's great to have boyfriends. Or girlfriends. There are occasions when you kiss your best friend growing up." Panettiere's attitude is exactly the kind of nonchalant acceptance of sexual and romantic experimentation we need in modern society.
Whether or not Claire Bennet ends up gay, bisexual or straight as an arrow doesn't matter. What matters is that she and the actress that portrays her are positively representing thousands of girls out there who are questioning their own sexuality.
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