My last installment of posts on the February 2018 Gay Times, on sale now, features cover man Reece King, a bisexual model with a lot to say ...
56 posts categorized "BISEXUALITY"
LGBTQ people have been around forever, albeit not always identified as such.
When we began to declare ourselves, especially when the media went national and electronic and visual, we began our ongoing struggle for tolerance and, eventually, acceptance, in order to possess a sense of self-esteem that would be backed up by legal rights.
It's been messy, it's included some unfortunate missteps, and it's always been a mix of frustrating, exhilarating, contentious and — in the case of the arts — insulting, entertaining or both.
I decided, in early 2017, to compile a list of TV moments featuring real or fictional LGBTQ people, major and minor (aren't they all major when you're a closeted kid in the Dust Bowl?) appearances that demonstrate the trajectory from “the love that dare not speak its name” to “we're here, we're queer” to GBF to where we are now, when LGBTQ characters are often included on TV and are often multi-dimensional, and when real-life LGBTQ people are all over television.
In creating this list, which took the time it would take to write a book (something I'm doing next), I focused on 2000 and earlier. Of special interest are the firsts. There have been various important firsts on TV since Ellen's character came out as a lesbian in the '90s, but I believe that compiling a list of every gay reference on TV in the 2000s and 2010s would exponentially increase the size of this already unwieldy list, and — in my opinion — would be of marginal interest and import.
Notes: There are no known references in any way to homosexuality or to trans issues on TV from the advent of the first American TV station (1928) — although the first drama broadcast was called The Queen's Messenger — until 1954.
I am not counting appearances by real-life people who we now know were secretly gay, nor am I dwelling on the many instances of drag where they seem not to be about more than just getting a quick laugh.
People's birth and death dates are noted where possible, but only the first time I reference them, so if you see a name with no parenthetic birth/death date, it simply means he or she was on TV in a gay way earlier — just search the list.
I used many resources to compile this list, including several invaluable Wikipedia lists (which, oddly, have many airdates out of order), printed references such as The Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays and Lesbians on TV by Stephen Tropiano, as well as my own memories of times I spotted gayness on the telly. I watched as many episodes as I could to be sure that existing episode descriptions were accurate (some were not) and to pull helpful visuals and freshly documented quotes. (You may also be interested in Sage Anastasi's list of gay characters, which goes beyond 2000!)
All that said, it would be next to impossible to get everything — or to get it all right, so:
Check this out, please share it on social media, and I welcome suggested fixes and additions: firstname.lastname@example.org
NO KNOWN EXAMPLES
NO KNOWN EXAMPLES
NO KNOWN EXAMPLES
1950-early '60s Percy Dovetonsils character: Comic Ernie Kovacs (1919-1962) created a character called Percy Dovetonsils for his 1950 WPTZ series Three to Get Ready, a character he revisited over the years. Percy is effete, complete with spitcurls, a lisp, an ascot, loud clothing and racy comments that can only be seen as gay. “Are you really a gay ranchero?” he once asked, a clear allusion to homosexuality, and a very early — the first? — use of the word gay on TV in that context. He performed the character on his own shows and on other series, too.
1951 I Love Lucy: The iconic sitcom (October 15, 1951-May 6, 1957) may offer the first televised reference — inference? — regarding homosexuality. In the “Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying to Murder Her” episode (November 5, 1951), the fourth one aired, Lucy (Lucille Ball, 1911-1989) reads a mystery novel and decides her husband Ricky (Desi Arnaz, 1917-1986) is trying to kill her. Reading a list of women's names he wrote down while on the phone, Lucy convinces herself he's planning to have affairs with them after she's killed. The final name on the list (which in reality is a list of trained dogs for Ricky's act) is “Theodore,” leading Lucy to give the camera a pop-eyed reaction of shock that clearly conveys her confusion as to why her husband is planning to have an affair with a man.
1954 Confidential File: Syndicated, local TV show aired on L.A. station KTTV that aired the episode “Homosexuals and the Problem They Present” (April 1954), which treated gayness as a social problem like alcoholism. The program was hosted by tabloid journalist Paul Coates (1921-1968), who said he wanted to shed light on the problem, but that he did not have solutions. The episode included interviews with a cop and a shrink, footage of a Mattachine Society Meeting and a peek inside a gay bar. Coates also showed the cover of a beefcake magazine as an example of a publication targeted at homosexual men.
Ahead of a new Netflix documentary and an Oprah-run CBS special about his life, Quincy Jones granted a wide-ranging and no-fucks-given interview to Vulture, in which he took on plenty of sacred cows (the Beatles were lousy musicians, the Clintons keep secrets and were too influenced by Big Pharma, Oprah doesn't have the chops to be POTUS, Michael Jackson stole from Donna Summer, Cyndi Lauper was a diva on “We Are the World,” the Mob murdered JFK).
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