The Young and the Restless is one of the most popular and longest-running soap operas in American television history. The show follows the lives, betrayals, and loves of various characters in Genoa City, Wisconsin.
Many of the storylines and themes stay the same on soap operas, but The Young and the Restless is known as one of the more progressive soaps. From introducing the iconic black Winters family in the 1980s to touching on a variety of controversial social issues, the show has gained a reputation as one of the more accurate representations of the real world.
One way the show has accomplished this status is with a positive and loving lesbian relationship that is prominently featured in the program.
Who are Tessa and Mariah on ‘The Young and the Restless?’
Two of the main characters on the show are girlfriends Tessa Porter (Cait Fairbanks) and Mariah Copeland (Camryn Grimes), who are known as their couple name “Teriah.”
The character of Mariah had an interesting beginning on the soap, as she was first introduced as a possible ghost, believe it or not. Grimes first played Cassie Newman on the show for many years until her character was killed off, and then returned as Mariah in 2014. She was revealed to be the twin of the young girl she was originally supposed to be the spirit of and then became a series regular.
Tessa’s story in the show is a little more traditional, as she was introduced as a singer-songwriter who has risen to fame since her debut in 2017.
Tessa and Mariah first met in Genoa City while they were still dating men, and since then they have both come out and their relationship together has grown to a fan-favorite part of the soap. In the time that they have been together, Teriah has been praised a strong and accurate LGBTQ relationship in the soap opera genre that needs more like it.
Praise for the LGBT character representation of Tessa and Mariah
Since they became an official couple, Tessa and Mariah have been consistently praised as a positive representation of lesbian characters. Their characters and the focus the show places on them is a positive step, especially in a genre where such representation is unfortunately rare.
When Mariah came out to her mother, the typical and expected response for a soap opera would be shock and drama, but instead she was supported and shown love. Tess and Mariah are shown displaying physical affection, which is incredibly rare for most soap operas.
Both Fairbanks and Grimes have been recognized for their exceptional performances, as Grimes won her second Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama after her first win for her portrayal of Cassie in 2000. That win gave her the honor of being the youngest recipient of the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series. Fairbanks has also been nominated for two Daytime Emmy awards for her portrayal of Tessa.
Fan’s hope that Tessa and Mariah will get married
The couple has been together for some time, which has led to fans of the show’s wish that the two will be married soon. During an August 2019 episode of the soap, Tessa and Mariah attended the wedding of Lola Rosales (Sasha Calle) and Kyle Abbott (Michael Mealor).
During Lola’s bouquet toss, the various women of Genoa City passed the bouquet around like a game of hot potato, before it ended up in the arms of Mariah, who was standing with her love Tess. The two shared a meaningful kiss, which caused fans to believe that the two may be next in line for a classic The Young and the Restless wedding. The kiss was applauded by the fellow Genoa City citizens attending the wedding, which gave the tender moment a special and meaningful feel.
Fans took to Twitter to request a wedding for their beloved Teriah, which they know will create a lasting and impactful memory. Having a happy celebration of non-heterosexual love would be a wonderful way to celebrate the future of The Young and the Restless once production of the soap resumes.