Rise in homosexual characters on primetime

By Jake Verterano
October 9, 2008

It was such a romantic wedding. Beautiful orchids lined the isle and guests gathered around the happy couple adorning spectacular designer outfits. Then the close up shot came of the groom, and the groom!

This picturesque scene took place in the season finale of “Brothers and Sisters” when characters Kevin Walker and Scotty Wandell were wed on the show.

Television channels are at an all time high with the number of visible homosexual characters they present on their programming. Gay characters are up 50 percent since 2001.

There are 16 gay and lesbian characters on prime time this fall.

ABC will continue to feature Kevin Walker, played by Matthew Rhys, on “Brothers and Sisters” this fall. Luke MacFarlane will also be joining the cast as a regular now that his character, Scotty Wandell, married Rhys’ character in the 2007-2008 season finale. Shawn Pyfrom will also return as Andrew Van de Lamp on the ever popular “Desperate Housewives.”

Lance Bass is also participating as a contestant on “Dancing With The Stars” this season. The hilarious Michael Urie will once again play the flamboyant Marc St. James on Selma Hayek’s creation of “Ugly Betty.” Rebecca Romijn will also reprise her roll as transsexual Alexis Meade on the show.

Callie Torres, played by Sara Ramirez, and Erica Hahn, played by Brooke Smith, will also continue their questionable lesbian relationship on “Grey’s Anatomy.” In the season finale of the 2007-2008 season, the two shared a passionate kiss.

“I was a little surprised about the kiss between Callie and Hahn last season,” Jess Klesmer, sophomore education major, said. “It just seemed really out of the blue. I mean it was obviously a desperate cry for ratings.”

As far as NBC goes, “The Office” will continue to feature the loveable Oscar, portrayed by Oscar Nuñez. Eric Van Der Woodsen will also be appearing on “Gossip Girl” this season.

While the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is very pleased about the increase in gay and lesbian characters, they still feel there is much work to be done. There is a big increase, but between last year and this number only increased by three more characters.

As far as cable is concerned, the number of gay characters dropped from 40 to 32.

Despite the increase in characters, the numbers are still considerably low. Out of the 667 regular characters on prime time television, only 16 are gay. Out of those 16, only two of them are lesbian characters.

The portrayal of gay characters has also been a big issue with viewers. Many characters, such as Stanford Blatch and Anthony Marentino on “Sex and the City,” are portrayed as being overly flamboyant.

“I don’t really like ‘Sex and the City,'” Ben Ferguson, junior Spanish major, said. “I just feel like they make out every gay man to be just, insanely flamboyant, which is definitely not the case with most gay men.”

“It bothers me that most of the homosexual characters are portrayed negatively,” Daniel DiPasquale, junior human resource major, said. “But at least they’re represented in some form on television, good or bad.”

DiPasquale seems to be correct. The ratings don’t lie. People are tuning into television shows with gay characters on them. If this trend continues, viewers should expect to see more homosexuals on television.

“I think it’s great,” Michaela Enriquez, junior human resource major, said. “They’re here, they’re queer and they’re on primetime! Get used to it!”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Jake Verterano

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap