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Bette Porter

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Bette Porter

First appearance

Pilot (episode 1.01)

Last appearance

Last Word (episode 6.08)


44 (c. 1963)


Art Museum Director (1.01-2.13), Unemployed (3.01-3.12), Dean of School of Arts (4.01-5.12)


Melvin Porter (father), Kit Porter (half-sister), Angelica Porter-Kennard (adopted daughter)


Tina Kennard

Bette Porter is a fictional character on the Showtime television network series "The L Word" (2004-2009), played by Jennifer Beals.


Bette is introduced as an affluent, Yale educated lesbian of multiracial heritage. She was an art history major at Yale, where she had sex with a gay man (Coleman) who at the time was her boyfriend. However, she realized she had no interest in men after she developed a crush on her professor, and she eventually came out as a lesbian.

Before Bette met Tina Kennard, she dated Alice Pieszecki. Bette and Alice once secretly had sex while they were at the opera Lakme (during The Flower Duet).

Tina met Bette when her then-boyfriend Eric took her to the Bette Porter Gallery. Tina found Bette to be smart, tough, incredibly beautiful, warm and gracious. Bette notcied Tina's right earring had fallen off, and Tina supposedly put it back on. Later that night Tina returned to the gallery to retrieve the lost earring Bette had kept for her. While Tina was taking it from her hand, Bette kissed her for the first time.

Season OneEdit

Bette and Tina's relationship appears to their friends as very strong. Tina confirms to their closest friends that Bette is her "first, last, and forever" love. However, from the very beginning they seem to have problems, and even as they attempt to start a family, it is revealed that they no longer make love. Although they seem to move past this problem as the series progresses, Bette's career in the California Arts Center is shown to come between them, with Bette frequently not having time to spend with Tina.

Tina gave up her own career in order to have a child, leaving Bette as the sole breadwinner. Bette has a difficult family life, with her father Melvin only barely tolerating her relationship with Tina, and flatly refusing to acknowledge Tina's baby as his grandchild.

In addition, Bette at first has a difficult relationship with her sister Kit, a recovering alcoholic who has often let her down. As the series progresses, however, Bette begins to support Kit's attempts to turn her life around, and their relationship is shown to improve.

Tina's miscarriage takes a toll on Bette, and when her partner decides to become involved in a charitable organization, Bette finds that their careers make it almost impossible for them to spend any time together. At the same time, she finds herself drawn to Candace, who is working as a carpenter at the CAC. Bette tries to resist this attraction at first, even going as far as to attempt to have sex with a wall while imagining it to be Candace. However, she eventually gives in to desire, and cheats on Tina (implying that she might be more interested in sex that in love itself). When Tina discovers what is going on, she flies into a rage. In the ensuing argument, Bette attempts to seduce Tina, and in retaliation, Tina moves out.

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