Joyce is a lawyer who specializes in civil and family matters. She is the leading gay civil rights attorney in Los Angeles, and is known as "The Reamer" among her peers. Joyce was one of the first lawyers to support same-sex adoptions and according to Alice, there would be no second-parent adoptions in California if not for her.
As a lawyer, Joyce also handles estate planning, child custody, domestic partnership arrangements, and separation and divorce. She makes most of her money from separation and divorce cases.
Joyce is acquainted with political leaders such as President Bill Clinton and Mayor Gavin Newsom, the latter of whom she raised a lot of money for. She dated an orchid collector in the past and picked up knowledge about orchids from her.
Joyce: "Because in the eyes of the world, especially the world as embodied by the courts, you are shit. You gave up your autonomy in a relationship that the law doesn't recognize. And your ex controls everything."
Tina: "She always said what's hers is mine. Doesn't matter whose name it was in. If I needed money in my checking account, I just took it from savings. I was authorized on the account. I never had to ask her for anything."
Joyce: "So what do you want? Take responsibility for yourself. Get what you rightfully deserve, and don't let Bette decide that for you. Look, Tina, I am not a marriage wrecker. If you want to get back together with Bette...do you?"
Joyce: "Well, either way, you have to come at this from a position of strength. Whether or not you and Bette eventually reconcile-- especially if you decide to get back together and rebuild trust in your relationship, first, you need to have your autonomy. Can you see why?"
Joyce: "It wasn't? Well, let's see, we've got a house, cars, vacations, love, commitment, a promise to be true? A baby that was lost. A trust that was broken. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a marriage to me. Does that sound like a marriage to you?"
Bette: "It was. It's a marriage that I don't want to have end."
Joyce: "Yeah, well, it's a little late for that. So let's get back to the business at hand, the equitable division of funds."
Bert: "I think we've got it--"
Bette: "How many times do I have to say I'm sorry?"
Joyce: "Here we go."
Bette: "I am. Please don't do this to us. This is not who we are. Tina, we can fix this. Okay? We can fix this. Tina, do you still love me? Do you? Do you still love me? Don't do this. Don't destroy us."
Joyce: "If I could just interject for a second here, um...it wasn't Tina who destroyed this relationship. That was you, and it's a good thing to remember, as you're dealing with the consequences."
Joyce: "So why don't you get off the floor and let her do what she wants for once, instead of you running the whole show? Come on. Why don't we reschedule this at a time when everyone is feeling a little less dramatic? Well, talk about a command performance. Meryl Streep couldn't have done it any better."
Bette: "Tina may have given birth to her, but, really, Angelica is the mirror of me. I mean, I know what she's going to experience as a biracial girl growing up in a divisive world. I mean, let's face it, when Tina goes out in public with Angelica, people automatically assume that she's been adopted. But when they see me with Angelica, they see a mother and a daughter. I'm the one who's going to be able to give her a sense of belonging."
Joyce: "Wow. Okay. How do you think Tina will react to this?"
Bette: "Look, you know what? All I know is that when I saw Angelica about to go out the door today with Tina and Henry and little fair-haired Mikey, I just...I just wanted to fucking scream, you know? Because I do not want my daughter growing up in a house where she feels like an outsider because everyone else is white, and when she looks around she doesn't see another familiar face that looks like her own. You know, she's going to get that enough as it is in the world at large, and I know-- I know what that feels like. Angelica belongs with me."
Phyllis: "Oh, come on! Guess! It's someone you know."
Bette: "Phyllis, I really-- I have no idea, you know? And I thought you and Joyce were gonna get married."
Phyllis: "Joyce? Yes. But as Jimmy Carter once said, 'I've strayed in my mind's eye many times.' Especially with this particular person. But now that you're no longer my employee, I feel free to make my confession. Bette, I've always found you wildly, exquisitely attractive. Yes."
Phyllis: "Joyce is wonderful, yeah. Oh, yes, she's TCB, she's good in bed, makes a good living, tight with Mayor Newsom, but...if you gave me the smallest amount of encouragement, I would lose her in a second."