‘The L Word’ Revival: What Does ‘Generation Q’ Mean?

The L Word returns to Showtime 10 years after the season finale. It’s back as a new series, The L Word: Generation Q. What does the subtitle mean? In 2007, Thomas Friedman defined Generation Q as The Quiet Generation. It’s probably no coincidence that The L Word picked the letter Q for its including in LGBTQ issues. 

Rosanny Zayas in The L Word :eEneration Q
Rosanny Zayas in The L Word: Generation Q | Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/SHOWTIME.

The L Word: Generation Q does introduce a new generation of gay, lesbian and trans characters to join Bette Porter (Jennifer Beals), Shane McCutcheon (Katherine Moennig) and Alice Pieszecki (Leisha Hailey). Rosanny Zayas plays Sophie Suarez on the show.. Zayas spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone about what exactly Generation Q brings to The L Word. The L Word: Generation Q airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Showtime. 

‘Generation Q’ is picking up where ‘The L Word’ left off

Rosanny Zayas came of age with The L Word on the air, but life for LGBTQ youth continued after the series finale. Zayas feels the new generation can continue what The L Word stood for. 

Rosanny Zayas
Rosanny Zayas | Kharen Hill/SHOWTIME.

“I think that a lot of it entails being open to who you are and accepting yourself for who you are, especially in a world or society that doesn’t really lend itself to that most of the time,” Zayas said. “I think Generation Q is a term for me that really helped me still discover my identity and who I am at times or places where I feel like that’s really hard to do. That’s something that I’m constantly working on and that I love about Generation Q.”

Generation Q stands on the shoulders of the OGs

Rosanny Zayas acknowledges there’d be no Generation Q without the women she considers the OGs. That would be Beals, Moennig and Hailey.

“I think queerness has been around for a long time,” Zayas said. “I think something that’s important is to know is the fact that during Jen, Kate and Leisha’s time when they were airing the show, I think there was a lot of things going on. There’s a different vocabulary for things. There were things women are still fighting for and we’re beginning to fight for and especially being on a show like this one in their generation, I think a huge level of bravery to be at the forefront of a big fight like that and to put something like that on television.”

Arienne Mandi and Rosanny Zayas
(L-R) Arienne Mandi and Rosanny Zayas | Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/SHOWTIME

Zayas imagines it was even more difficult for the original L Word cast to be pioneers, and they’ve made some things a little easier for Generation Q.

“I feel like the OGs, the original members, they took a lot for us,” Zayas said. “It’s just amazing to be part of a cast where I can say thank you to them and show them how grateful I am by taking up my side of the responsibility I feel like I have for being on this show and Generation Q and really being as great of an asset as I can be for this show and for the people who are watching and to say thank you to them for everything they do.”

The new generation has work problems too

Sophie Suarez has a job on Alice’s talk show. Rosanny Zayas acknowledges that Sophie’s ambitions may be larger than her grasp.

“She’s always trying hard,” Zayas said. “She’s always trying to go through the mission of putting as much relatable and diverse queer life on camera for Alice and helping Alice achieve her goals and her dreams of creating content and a TV show that people can relate to. So when you see Sophie fail, it’s a big deal for her.”

Rosanny Zayas in The L Word: Generation Q
Rosanny Zayas in The L Word: Generation Q | | Jennifer Clasen/SHOWTIME

You’ll see Sophie try and fail with Alice and that’s part of growing up in any generation, not only Generation Q. Zayas can relate.

“I feel like just being a young actor trying to be your best all the time and really trying to service the story sometimes you might make choices that you weren’t ready to make necessarily. I’m talking about scene choices or actions and how you’re trying to play the story. Something I’ve definitely learned working as an actor on this show is that Rosanny, myself, sometimes I haven’t learned something yet or I haven’t really processed something enough and when those moments happen and I try to do it on screen, I kind of feel like oh, there’s something that I’m missing here. You kind of have to go back and really dig in deeper and deeper and do the work so that when it’s time to go, you’re ready to display a whole spectrum of emotion and experience on screen. Sometimes it doesn’t turn out the best and maybe try again. I think that’s something that you can see in Sophie’s work as well.”

Rosanny Zayas, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 12/6/19