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ER is an Emmy-winning American serial medical drama created by novelist Michael Crichton and set primarily in the emergency room of fictional County General Hospital in Cook County, Chicago, Illinois. It is produced by Constant c Productions and Amblin Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television Production, Inc.
Kerry Weaver Edit
Weaver demonstrated a great deal of compassion and a moral commitment to civil rights, and that helped her and Dr. Greene draft an ER policy for HIV-positive employees. This storyline developed Weaver's character beyond that of a stoic, abrasive professional. In future episodes, she agreed to look the other way when Dr. John Carter helped a teenage runaway escape her homophobic parents who sent her away to an ex-gay camp.
In mid-season of season 7, Weaver fell in love with staff psychiatrist Kim Legaspi (Elizabeth Mitchell), but was afraid to admit it to Legaspi or herself. While Legaspi was openly lesbian and willing to pursue a romantic relationship with Weaver, she became frustrated that Weaver was not only in the closet, but also suffered from internalized homophobia and thus the relationship got off to a slow start. Once Weaver was able to admit to herself that she was gay, she was still paranoid about her co-workers finding out and the discriminatory consequences it might have on her career. This was despite their relationship becoming an "open secret" among most of the people in the ER. During that story, we also learned that Kerry had been married before her career at County General started.
The first co-worker Weaver came out to was the bigoted Dr. Robert Romano, who planned to fire Legaspi over trumped up allegations that she sexually harassed a female patient. Weaver's act of courage kept Romano from firing Legaspi, but it also emotionally drained Weaver, whose fears of discrimination ruining her career resurfaced. She was therefore unable to provide emotional support to Legaspi, who kept her job, but at the cost of seeing the entrenched homophobia of the hospital administration and her own girlfriend, who remained in the closet. Legaspi broke up with Weaver and decided to take a job offer in San Francisco rather than face the homophobia from Romano or the lack of emotional support she received from Weaver.
Season Eight Weaver still had not come out to any of her co-workers, except Dr. Romano and Dr. Luka Kovač. Kerry was still quite paranoid about anyone discovering her true status even though her sexual orientation was already known to some of her coworkers. Weaver did, however, begin a new relationship with firefighter Lt. Sandy Lopez (Lisa Vidal) who she met in a rain storm while trying to rescue a pregnant woman out of a crashed ambulance. As the two get close, Lopez told Kerry she refused to date a woman that was in the closet. Lopez forcibly outed Weaver with a passionate kiss in front of her coworkers. What followed was a groundbreaking story for network television as the development of the romance between the two women was treated with the courtship, passion and arguments often reserved for heterosexual couples.
Lopez said, "I did you a favor," after the kiss in the ER; a few episodes later, Weaver admitted to her that she was right. At the season's end, Weaver accepted herself as a lesbian, and became eager to combat homophobia wherever it appeared.
In "Bygones", Kerry is stunned when she realizes a lonely young woman murdered her roommate because of unrequited love. Kerry then mends fences with Sandy Lopez and the two of them make their first ER-social appearance at an impromptu drinking party after Mark Greene has passed away. Kerry is visibly saddened by Mark's death and tells Sandy she thinks she has lost a friend, and laments the years they spent in bitter competition for various ER posts and promotions.
In season nine, Weaver and Lopez were still together and had on-going arguments about the future of their relationship. Weaver wanted to have a child, but after suffering a miscarriage felt Lopez should carry the child. Lopez, however, did not want to get pregnant, because it would impact her firefighting career. The couple did not get much screen time that season, and Weaver was given another story thread about the consequences she faced when she failed to report a local politician who tested positive for syphilis; the Alderman provided funding for County and a plum position for Kerry, but forced her to do an off-the-record treatment of the Alderman's closeted gay lover that ended with the lover's accidental death from an allergic reaction to penicillin.
In season ten, Kerry is getting settled in her chief administrative position but runs into various challenges that arise day by day from hospital staffing to the ER's hectic renovation. In her personal life, Lopez changed her mind about having a baby, and she gave birth to baby Henry in the hospital, happy that she and Weaver started a family. Later on in the season, Lopez died due to injuries she suffered while fighting a fire. Sandy's parents (who had never approved of her sexual orientation "lifestyle") took custody of Henry and for the remainder of the season, Weaver's storyline focused on a child custody battle between herself and Lopez's parents. The custody situation was eventually settled when the Lopezes and Weaver agreed to her having primary custody, with the Lopezes taking care of Henry while Kerry was at work.
In season 11, in the 2005 episode titled "Just As I Am," Weaver finally found her biological mother, who turned out to be a conservative Christian. Helen Kingsley (Frances Fisher) gave up Weaver for adoption when she was fourteen days old; she was in town for a Christ Crusade and decided to meet her daughter. When Kingsley learned her daughter was a lesbian, she and Weaver clashed over faith and sexuality, with Weaver insisting that her mother love and accept her. Kingsley said she could love her daughter, but because she could not accept homosexuality as moral, could not accept Weaver's lifestyle. This episode not only ended the mystery behind Weaver's mother, it also revealed for the first time the reason for Weaver's crutch--Helen inquires about Weaver's limp, and Weaver explains that she suffers from congenital hip dysplasia, a birth defect. Weaver is surprised to learn that Helen knew nothing about it, and her long-held fear that the birth defect was the reason she was given up for adoption is resolved.
In season 13, working back in the ER, Weaver catches the eye of a TV producer filming a news segment with Dr. Morris and literally steals the show. She's offered a job by the executives for news reporting. At first unsure and hesitant, Kerry soon accepts the side job reporting and makes a heroic rescue on live TV. Shortly afterwards, Kerry and her producer Courtney (Michelle Hurd) begin to develop a close relationship, one Kerry hasn't felt since her deceased partner Sandy Lopez. Courtney tells her how her great news broadcasting could open a successful career for her. However, Kerry wasn't too convinced about leaving County General for her news track. This was until ER chief Luka Kovac had to enact budget cuts and had to consider firing her.
Other Characters Edit
Dr. Maggie Doyle (Jorja Fox) was identified as a lesbian through cryptic dialogue and a humorous scene where she takes Carter to a shooting range and eventually hides from her jealous ex-girlfriend (Whose Appy Now). She eventually tried to bring a sexual harassment lawsuit against Dr. Robert Romano.
Yosh Takata (Gedde Watanabe), a male nurse, was identified as gay in a similar fashion as Doyle, and was a recurring character until Watanabe left the show in 2003. Doyle and Takata never got the chance to demonstrate that they had romantic lives, however, and thus remained asexual characters that always played second fiddle to the series' heterosexual characters. This changed when Weaver took very slow steps to come out as a lesbian.
Other References Edit
John Carter (Noah Wyle) is uncomfortable treating a transvestite (Vondie Curtis-Hall), who tries to commit suicide, first by driving into a bridge, then by jumping off the hospital roof. The latter attempt is successful. Devastated by the suicide, Carter reluctantly accepts Dr. Benton's (Eriq La Salle) invitation to join him for Thanksgiving dinner with Benton's family.
Everything Old Is New Again Dr. Peter Benton treats a young homosexual in the final stages of AIDS. The man's mother decides to make her son comfortable but not to perform surgery on him that could sustain his life.
Baby Shower When a sprinkler system malfunctions, eight women who are giving birth are transferred to the emergency room. Patient Leslie Cameron (Cecile Callan) reveals that she is actually a lesbian whose "perfect husband," a homosexual man, impregnated her so that she and her female lover could have a child together.