With Comedy Central’s hit series Broad City coming to an end, showrunners Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have made an undeniable impact in the realm of television and comedy. During the show’s five seasons, Jacobson and Glazer have brought all types of marginalized creators to the forefront, specifically women and LGBTQ+ people. After Broad City ends, the two will surely have promising careers in the arts and entertainment industry, but even if the two were to retire following the show’s series finale, they most certainly have created honest, relatable, and timeless material, with representation for all types of people.
On Broad City, Jacobson and Glazer play semi-fictional versions of themselves. When I first discovered the show, I immediately connected with Glazer’s character, Ilana Wexler. On the show, Ilana Wexler is a fun, quirky, young woman who loves her friends and has casual relations with both men and women. Although throughout the show’s five seasons, Ilana has never described her sexuality using the word “bisexual,” I still feel that she is the fictional character I’ve related to most in my 24 years of watching television.
While some may argue that using the word “bisexual” is important for representation purposes, I love that Ilana never really labeled herself. She just loves (and fucks) whoever she wants (consensually, of course) without feeling the need to adhere to a label.
Broad City first aired when I was 19 years old. Although I had informally come out to a few of my friends two years prior (I had simply told them I had a crush on a male classmate but I didn’t actually label my sexuality at the time), I didn’t feel that I could relate to much of mainstream LGBTQ+ media until I was first introduced to Ilana Wexler.
Today, I wear the bisexual label with pride, but I still believe in a label-less future. I believe in a future where people are able to love and fuck whoever they want (consensually, of course) without the fear of being judged or punished. And I thank Ilana Wexler for helping me come to terms with my sexuality and demonstrating to a mainstream audience what true label-less love means.