First gay character on TV

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Sklar, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Sklar

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    I was thinking about this today and was wondering who you all remember as being the first gay character on TV.

    For me it was an extra on the Mary Tyler Moore show. Mary and the gang had to convince a powerful TV executive that he needed to do something with the news station. Throughout the entire episode they tried everything they could think of. By the time the episode ended, they were all in the guys hotel room trying to figure out what to do to make their case.

    Someone suggested that someone should sleep with him. Mary said that she wouldn't do it. Another character, that was only around for this episode, said he already did it and that it wouldn't work.

    The audience broke out in strong laughter. That was the first time I remember even a hint of a gay character on TV. I think I was between 4 - 6 years old.
     
  2. MattBrick

    MattBrick Member

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    Ellen - right?

    On English Tv there was some gay guy on "Are you being served" I thought
    that was an old show.
     
  3. novice_btm

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    Billy Crystal, on Soap "Soap" (1977) I was a little kid, and I remember his wacky aunt, after he was listing people of fame (Plato) that were gay, said, "Mickey Mouse's dog was gay???"
     
  4. dreamer20

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  5. kalipygian

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    Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur on bewithced.
     
  6. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    I grew up watching He-Man and he's about as flaming as they come.
     
  7. SpoiledPrincess

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    I always thought Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble were hot for each other.
     
  8. D_alex8

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    For me, it was Steven Carrington on Dynasty. I especially remember one episode where Alexis was in prison (on false charges, natch) and gave him this whole speech about: "I accepted your gay lifestyle when the rest of the family - including your precious father - turned their backs on you. Well now, I disown you. I no longer have a son called Steven!"... Oddly imprinted on my memory; tsk, once a shoulder-pad queen, always a shoulder-pad queen. :rolleyes:

    However, even prior to that, I remember some Sunday lunchtime documentary (it could have been anything, I surely never knew even at the time) where a young blond guy was talking about realizing the truth about his sexuality... at which point my father, in typical panicked fashion, swiftly hit the remote control to go to another station. But that nameless blond guy surely constituted another moment of pre-pubescent 'recognition' for me.
     
  9. Lex

    Lex
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    Laverne and Shirley of the similarly named show.

    Good one!

    Um, YEAH. Homo who gets all butched up in his harness and loin cloth. Go figure.


    Here is a website that tires to list shows and networks:

    Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Television Characters
     
  10. HotBulge

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    As a birthday gift, my best female friend from high school bought Dynasty 1st Season on DVD for me. Although Dynasty began in 1981, I didn't really watch it as a kid until 1984 so I didn't know about the Blake Carrington's gay son Steven early on.

    I have an axe to grind with the deceased Aaron Spelling over his portrayal of Steven as a gay man. Steven Carrington is to Dynasty what Sue Ellen Ewing was to Dallas: conflicted, sensitive to the point of being tortured, a perpetual victim of those around him....

    In the first season alone, Steven starts off as a gay man, then dumps his East Coast college boyfriend to become "straight" for his father, has an affair with a married woman who "understands his poetic soul", and then goes back to his East Coast boyfriend. And, just when his life starts to appear stable, he's beaten up by his co-workers. Even worse, his father Blake assaults his East Coast boyfriend who falls on a fireplace anvil at the Carrington estate and dies. The boyfriends death leads to a huge courtroom scandal where - cue the seasons finale - his divorcee mother Alexis Colby Carrington is called to the witness stand as a surprise witness. And that was just the first season .....

    Aaron Spelling was a master weaver of cultural illusions and artifice with his shows - Starsky & Hutch, Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat, Dynasty, 90210, Melrose Place, etc. Out of the entire canon of Spelling TV shows, Steven Carrington is the only gay character that I can recall. What's the message that Spelling is conveying - if you're gay, your life will be perpetual misery?
     
  11. D_alex8

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    I'm not sure one can point the finger merely at Spelling (which is not to let him off for his representation of Steven either), since the characterization of gays as 'tortured' is pretty much the standard stereotype within popular enterainment as a whole throughout much of the 20th Century. Either that, or they are desexualized comic creations, as per some of the other examples put forward above.Which is another reason why the few positive - or at least, realistic - representations stand out all the more.
     
  12. CUBE

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    My favorite martian...please!
     
  13. HotBulge

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    Just with everything else Spelling does, his portrayal of the character Steven was too much. He started the character in the realm of the pathetic and moved him to the tragic. Even in soap opera land, every recurring character should have one moment in the sun...:smile:
     
  14. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    The first one I remember was a Guy called Gilbert in the series Nearest and Dearest starring Hylda Baker. Gilbert was always dressed outrageously and Hylda always used to ask him "What are you today Gilbert? " to which he always did a twirl and she answereed her own question "Oh you're one of THOSE are you" Classic stuff.

    BBC - Comedy Guide - Nearest And Dearest
     
  15. ManlyBanisters

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    Yeah - for me it was Mr.Humphries (John Inman) in Are you being serverd? And many of the Carry On film type characters - of course all the gay men played straight (but very camply) and vice versa - lots of vice versa actually!

    And there was my parents listening to reruns of Round the Horne (I can't even begin to explain that for people who haven't heard of it - see Round the Horne - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia if interested).. but that was the radio.
     
  16. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    When you hold your magic sword aloft are any fabulous secret powers revealed to you, Lex?

    Alright, in fairness, in spite of the harness you're much straighter than He-Man. I've never seen you in skin-tight pink pants before.
     
  17. D_alex8

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    Personally, I always associated much more strongly with She-Ra.

    What does that tell us? :rolleyes:
     
  18. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    hm... that as a child you were more interested in metal underwear than you were quality writing or animation?

    I'm watching all these 80s cartoon intros on YouTube now... nostalgia trip... and it's embarrassing how much of a shameless rip-off She-Ra was of He-Man. I mean, I already knew that, but they don't even try to hide it. Watch the two intros. If you put tits on Prince Adam and changed Cringer into a horse, it would be the exact same intro.
    Also, the intros to Thundercats and Silverhawks were both about a million times cooler than the He-Man intro. How did that show ever get so popular? It was so bad in so many ways... most 80s cartoons were for that matter, but there was better stuff out there...
     
  19. witchway

    witchway New Member

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    I remember as a kid running home from school everyday of the week with my best buddies Simon and Stephen to watch He-Man! Even then at the age 11, I felt like he was the ideal man for me. Protective and Just to all who needed it. My ideal of a real man at the time!:smile:


    As for the first gay character on TV that I remember, that would be Samantha's Uncle Arthur on "Bewitched".
     
  20. Principessa

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    The first gay character I remember was uncle Arthur from Bewitched.

    Oh, and the Charles Nelson Reilly character on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.
     
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