Nov 8, 2021 - Things to Do
Whose 'Tampa Baes' are these?
Jordan Whitley, Nelly Ramirez and Brianna Murphey in a shot from "Tampa Baes."
Jordan Whitley, Nelly Ramirez and Brianna Murphey in a shot from "Tampa Baes." Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

👋 Selene here! "Tampa Baes" premiered on Amazon Prime over the weekend, and as a lesbian in Tampa Bay, I had to check it out.

The show isn't as bad as I anticipated, since I'm still reeling from "Life's Rewards."

My main gripe: If there wasn't so much b-roll footage of scenes around Tampa and St. Pete, I would have no idea where this show takes place. The queer culture they're talking about is definitely not what I've experienced.

Bae myth 1: One of the Baes, Cuppie, opens the show talking about the thriving lesbian scene in Tampa.

  • Where? I would like to see it. We don't even have a lesbian bar. Sure, lesbians are welcome at the gay bars in Ybor and St. Pete, but other lesbians agree we aren't what Tampa Bay is known for.

Bae myth 2: Jordan says there's "a culture of who knows who, who's the cutest couple, who's the most successful."

  • The show has gotten criticism for its lack of diversity. If the creators looked just a bit further into our community of trans and nonbinary folks, they'd have less nearly identical couples and way better drama.

Bae myth 3: Mel says she's "one of the only LGBTQ artists in the Tampa Bay region."

  • That is straight up false. Mel is actually one of the Baes I like best, but you can't act like the only gay muralist in town.

My solution: Give a Tampa Baes spinoff to the Gay Commie Skate Crew.

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