"I remember once at a New Years Eve party, stroke of midnight, he high fived me. Two problems with that. One: gays do not high five." Two: gays do not high five ". If you are one of the millions of people tuning in every week to watch the second season of the new Emmy award winning comedy Modern Family you would know that many have been reporting on the fact that two of the main characters Cameron and Mitchell had their first on screen kiss together. Usually something like this would not make the evening news but it has for one main reason. Cameron and Mitchell play gay partners with a baby on the show Although the show is in it's second season the two who have always been two out gay men in a relationship have never shared a smooch.
The entire episode leading up to the very organic, tame peck on the lips had a running gag of the two men going to kiss and then Mitchell or Cameron pulling away. Cameron attempted to kiss Marshall on multiple occasions only to have Marshall pull away due to his own problems with public intimacy of any kind. What is interesting is that in the year 2010 it is still an issue if two gay characters will kiss on television, especially two gay dads who have been together for five years. Are they not human?
It was on April 30, 1997 that "The Puppy Episode" on the television series "Ellen" that Ellen's character finally came out of the closet announcing "I'm gay". Many say that this episode paved the way for gay characters on network television. Since then there have been countless gay characters on popular television shows although most of them have never had real relationships. Will and Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Ugly Betty, Friends, Gray's Anatomy and Glee are just a few of the most popular shows with gay characters.
After these neutered gay characters that everyone knows and loves there have also been many gay characters who have real love lives that you can see in satellite broadband outside of network television. On progressive paid for channels such as Showtime and HBO. In the year 2000 the hit show Queer as Folk began on Showtime following the lives of five gay men in Pittsburgh. The show was based on the British series of the same name. Close after Following The L Word, also on Showtime which followed the lives of many different lesbians living and loving in Los Angeles. Both shows very openly deal with the lives of homosexual people including their sex lives. Anyone who had nerve seen anything like it on network television or basic cable was now able to see real gay lives being lived and acted in comedic and dramatic ways with the help of satellite television. For the first time there was full gay television representation. For the first time gay people could see themselves on television just like everyone else.
Since then it seems as though almost every television show both on network television and paid for channels have a gay character or a gay storyline of some type. You may even see the occasional gay kiss or network television, more than a peck, but never more than that. However in other countries in Europe and also in Argentina gay characters are getting their time in the spotlight without seeming like they lead the personal lives of Disney characters.
If you want to catch reruns of some of your favorite Will and Grace episodes, new Grays Anatomy or Glee, The L Word or the new reality television show The Real L World, or maybe even some of the foreign shows exploring gay themes look into satellite television. Be able to have your pick of gay television shows, characters, moments or even get the Logo gay network right right into your home!
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John R. Harrison