Homosexuality on forefront of television shows

By Kelsey Alvino
January 19, 2011

Homosexuality used to be a forbidden topic on television just years ago. However, television viewers are beginning to recognize that television shows have  homosexual characters on regularly.

“Glee” is a popular television show in the teenage age group. There are multiple gay characters on the show. How does this come across to the audience that is watching the show faithfully each week?

“These roles in shows show that people are becoming much more accepting of gays. Because of this, kids can become surer of themselves and more comfortable being who they really are” Danielle McCollum, sophomore business major, said.

On a show like “Glee,” the characters go through many trials because of their sexuality.

Shows are beginning to allow adueinces into a homosexual’s world.

With young audiences watching television everywhere, it can teach that homosexuality is a normal way of life

“I think it allows kids to feel more open to their sexuality and show that there is nothing wrong or not normal about being gay,” Meghan Kay, junior psychology major, said.

Television shows allowing homosexual characters makes it much easier for teens to accept people for who they are as opposed to what  sexuality they prefer.

“There is a spike in the amount of gay related characters because there is a heightened sense of awareness within the majority of Americans now. Times have changed since the ‘70’, ‘80s, and ‘90s. There have been numerous influential gay/lesbian people that have come out to the American people.

Due to the advances we have made as a society to accept homosexual people in our culture, it is only natural that our television series reflect that.

For example, “Mad Men” is a show that takes place during the late ‘50s early ‘60s, when homosexuality was forbidden.

One of the characters, Sal, was an Art director at the advertising agency and he was hit on during a project. Sal was fired because the client claimed that the situation was reversed, demanding that Sal needed to be removed from the account.

Sal received much scrutiny from his superiors, forcing him to feel uncomfortable. He fled to New York and left his life behind to head out west.

“It allows kids to get used to homosexuals and different sexualities. This could help our society learn to respect gays as they would respect straight people,”Ji Jeon, sophomore pre-med major, said.

Parents were born in a generation when homosexulaity was not  as prevelent. This has led to issues with parents feeling uncomfortable with their children to watch a television show, supporting a lifestyle that they were told was unacceptable.

“Gay characters are becoming more of an occurrence in popular shows now that being gay is less of a stigma. A lot of times they’re used as comic relief but are taken seriously in shows such as ‘Modern Family’, where a gay couple adopts a child. This has an effect on both gay & straight kids, teaching the straight ones to be more open-minded and the gay ones that it is okay to be themselves,” Hannah Wheat, social work and psych  sophomore,  said.

“So what if they are more aware of their sexuality at a younger age,” Wheat said. “Better to be yourself than to live a lie”

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Kelsey Alvino

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