Dana Fairbanks, The L Word
Dana Fairbanks (Erin Daniels)
Dana Fairbanks was a rising pro tennis player, introduced in season 1. She was raised in a very conservative background and was a closeted lesbian. She mentioned falling in love with her first girlfriend at tennis camp.
During the Dinah Shore Golf Classic for Women Dana met Tonya, who was assigned as her hospitality assistant — an overly attentive sidekick — making sure she was at various Classic events, keeping fans at a distance, and doing other “gopher” errands. After Palm Springs, Tonya tagged along back to West Hollywood and moved in with Dana, but didn’t like her cat, Mr. Piddles. After the “mysterious” death of Mr. Piddles, Dana proposed to Tonya.
Early on, Tonya appointed herself Dana’s manager, arranging sponsorship and planning social events without her input. Tonya eventually forced her out of the closet and used her sexuality as a marketing tool. Dana also learned that the increasingly power-hungry Tonya had been taking 15% of her sponsorship income as a “manager’s fee.” As Dana tired of Tonya’s domineering behavior and realized she was little more than a gold-digging opportunist, she and Alice began flirting and then sleeping together, and she called the wedding off.
In the second season Dana started sleeping with Alice, her best friend, while she was still engaged to Tonya and they started dating after the wedding was cancelled. The relationship seemed to be doing pretty well, until Lara reappeared on the scene and caused Alice to start feeling jealous, become extremely needy and clingy, slowly driving Dana away. Alice eventually asked Dana to move in with her, but was rejected.
Lara Perkins was introduced as Dana’s love interest in season 1. The two met at a Country club and started dating but split because of Dana’s fear of being outed, after she took her doubles partner with her to a sponsor event. In the third season, six months after season 2, Dana was back with Lara after a harsh breakup with Alice.
The very next episode Lara discovered a lump in Dana’s breast and Dana went for a check up. While waiting for the results Dana decided to come out to the press before she was diagnosed with breast cancer. As she went in to surgery, Lara found comfort with Alice and informed her of Dana’s condition. As Dana’s treatments continued, the relationship became strained, she took her frustration out on Lara, and eventually pushed her away completely.
Lara left for Paris, and Dana died.
- 39 episodes.
Female love interests:
- Alice Pieszecki (Leisha Hailey, bisexual, regular)
- Lara Perkins (Lauren Lee Smith, lesbian, recurring)
- Tonya (Meredith McGeachie, lesbian, recurring 10 episodes)
Relationship story arc with a woman: Yes
No male love interests
Relationship story arc with a man: No
Male love interest after being identified as a lesbian? No
Filter Relationship Arc:
Storyline during sweeps? No
 A relationship story arc is defined as explicit, developed on screen, and lasting more than 3 episodes. It is listed as questionable or subtext if romance is only implied, mentioned instead of shown on screen, part of a dream sequence, or otherwise not explicit for the viewer.
 Sweeps episodes air in February, May, July and November, the periods when advertising rates are set. A character is marked as "sweeps" when there is a very limited number of episodes that address their sexuality, all air during sweeps period, and the storyline is otherwise ignore/dropped.