On July 22, (we expect) theaters will spill over with Ab Fab fans eager to re-enter the politically incorrect world of Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone, our favorite drug- and booze-addled antiheroines. Despite the show’s incredibly offensive language and not safe for, well, anywhere content, Absolutely Fabulous won over audiences worldwide — especially gay audiences. Understandable, given that Edina and Patsy’s (foggy) reality is one populated largely by LGBTQ-identifying characters. The dysfunctional pair even (inadvertently) got married onscreen long before gay marriage was legal (although Friends did do it first).
In a new interview with V Magazine, Joanna Lumley revealed that Absolutely Fabulous is even more progressive than we’d realized. In the midst of discussing the show’s unique brand of tolerance, the actress confirmed something that viewers may have picked up on: Patsy herself is LGBTQ.
“You go back and pick through it, the amount of gay references and ease with which it’s been put into the story, without it being dragged along like a great log of plot,” she said. “It’s really normal that one of [Edina’s] ex-husbands now lives with his young boyfriend. It’s completely normal that [Edina] wants Saffy [Edina’s long-suffering daughter] to be a lesbian or that Serge [Edina’s long-lost son] is gay and living in New York. It’s completely normal that Patsy is transgender.”
The context clues are certainly there. In the second season’s memorable “Morocco” episode, a flashback to 1971 shows a mustachioed, cropped-haired Patsy playing guitar. When the scene fades, an apprehensive Saffy questions, “Mom, what was Patsy?” to which Eddy replies, “Don’t worry darling, it was only for a year and then it fell off.”
Normal, indeed — but we’ll take it. The Absolutely Fabulous crew (sort of) joins an ever-expanding cast of characters representing the transgender community onscreen, among them the models of Ab Fab veteran Whoopi Goldberg’s new reality show, Strut. Now if only the film had given an Asian actress the opportunity to play Japanese fashion designer Huki Muki, we’d be entirely happy. However, we suppose Ab Fab wouldn’t be Ab Fab if it got too hung up on diplomacy.
[ via V Magazine ]