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Characters / Dykes to Watch Out For

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Mo (Monica) Testa

Main Character. Eventual partner to Sydney. Former employee at Madwimmin books, current aspiring librarian. She and Clarice were each others first lovers in college.
  • Author Avatar: Alison describes her as "[embodying] all the values [she] assumed were part of being a lesbian when [she] came out.
  • White Guilt: Pretty much the fuel she used to run on.

Lois Mac Giver

Romantic foil to Mo, Lois is the strip's resident Lothario (Lotharia?). Housemates with Ginger and Sparrow (and later Stuart & Jiao Raizel). Body to Ginger's Mind and Sparrow's Spirit. Formerly of Madwimmin, currently at Bounders Books’n’Muzak.
  • Hot for Teacher: In high school, Lois had an affair with Miss Holmquist, her math teacher.
  • Lady Killer In Love: After settling down with Jasmine and her daughter Janis she has a mild crisis of identity. "Am I still polyamorous if I haven't been with anyone else in 4 years?'
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  • Really Gets Around: Lois has easily had the most partners in the cast.

Ginger Jordan

English Professor at Buffalo Lake State.
  • Commitment Issues: Strung Malika along for years before getting dumped, kept having affairs with unavailable women. Seems to have finally moved past it and has a home with Samia.
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: Her finally finishing her dissertation was a big enough deal to be one of the climaxes of the book.

Sparrow Pigeon

The original Granola Girl of the cast. (Title currently held by her partner, Stuart). Lois was her first lover. Mother to Jiao Raizel with Stuart. Housemates with Lois and Ginger.
  • Bi the Way: After identifying as a lesbian for decades, she starts a relationship with a man.
  • Granola Girl: The original. Toned down but still present.
  • Has a Type: Both her last boyfriend before coming out and her current male partner look a LOT like Richard Dryfus.


Sydney Krukowski

Originally the "Evil Women's Studies Professor", Mo's romantic partner and emotional foil. Dumped Thea after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She and Maddy are both Breast Cancer survivors.

Jezana Ramsey

Owner of the now defunct Madwimmin Books. The opposite of the stereotype of the maternal black woman who guides all the white women around her, Jez is authoritative and out of touch with her feelings. Originally named "Alberta" after her father, she takes after him in the ways they both ran their businesses (his diner and her bookstore).
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Calls out the cartoonist in a strip for never drawing her with a lover. Corrected later with girlfriend Audrey, who also fits.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Her parents eventually approve of her relationship with Audrey (albeit in a back-handed compliment way). While visiting her hospitalized mother, Jez dreams of a conversation where her mother expresses pride in her and her accomplishments, only to find she's passed on once awake.


Clarice Clifford

Workaholic environmental lawyer, Toni's ex-wife, mother to Rafael. She and Mo were each others first lovers in college.
  • Butch Lesbian: To quote Toni, "I just love a butch in a skirt".
  • Deadpan Snarker: She often is this, even snarking about the suburban neighborhood that she and Toni plan to move to with Raf.
  • It Runs in the Family: Clarice visits her parents to tell them of Toni's pregnancy, only to be upstaged when her brother, Clarence, pipes in "It's OK, Mama. I'm gay, too."
  • Theme Naming: Clarice and her brother Clarence.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Once cheated on Toni with Ginger while Toni was in San Juan for her grandmother's funeral. Also started dating Toni before breaking things off with Tonya, who she was living with.

Toni (Antonia) Ortiz

Accountant, Clarice's ex-wife, mother to Rafael.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: She is more feminine than Clarice.
  • Spicy Latina: She is Puerto Rican yet is sweet and even-tempered.
  • Your Cheating Heart: nearly 20 years after Clarice cheated, Toni ended up cheating with Gloria, a friend and right-to-marry ally.

Rafael Clifford-Ortiz

Clarice and Toni's son.
  • Has Two Mommies: Every child in the strip but 2 has same-gender parents, but Clarice is legally Raffi's adoptive mother (as Toni carried him).


Former Madwimmin employee, current art teacher. Has multiple sclerosis and can get around on crutches on good days. Sydney's ex-lover, and current partner with Maxine.


Introduced as Jez’s mom’s oncology nurse, currently living with Jez and her father, Albert.


Mo's first girlfriend in the strip, after being introduced by Toni and Clarice. After Mo she had a relationship with City Council-person Ellen Tuffel who later cheated on her. Harriet went on to become a single mother to a daughter, Isobel.

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