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What gay character made the biggest impact on you when you were young?

For me it was the kid in Fame. I think he was the first gay character I related to.

by Anonymousreply 6602/26/2013

Probably Ellen. Although I'm a gay guy she's the first character I remember being gay on tv (I was around 14 or 15 at the time).

by Anonymousreply 102/24/2013

Michael Tolliver in Tales of the City

by Anonymousreply 202/24/2013

R1 You and I must be around the same age, because Ellen was the only openly gay celeb/character on television back in the mid-late 90's who could be taken seriously. Will & Grace didn't come on until '98, and the gay characters on that show were just a joke not to be taken seriously.

by Anonymousreply 302/24/2013

The Ellen coming out episode had a huge impact on me.

by Anonymousreply 402/24/2013

Allen Sues from Laugh In!

by Anonymousreply 502/24/2013

r5, I can't believe you wrote just what I was going to write at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 602/24/2013

Yup r21. I remember watching her coming out episode in my parents bedroom with the door closed, because I didn't want my parents to know I was watching it and think I was gay.

by Anonymousreply 702/24/2013

Steven Carrington, I guess.

He isn't the best example because I didn't really feel much of a connection to his life. He was older than me and rich beyond anything I could imagine at the time.

But I was impacted by him being a gay presence on such a high profile TV program. And his struggle for acceptance with his father was at least a distant connection for me.

I think I connected much more with Billy Douglas on One Life to Live. But that was several years later and by then I was older than that character. But his situation and coming out felt much more like my own struggle.

by Anonymousreply 802/24/2013

A late show screening of "Boys in the Band" both freaked me out and fascinated me (it was majorly censored, I'm sure). I was repelled by those guys and couldn't wait to grow up and meet 'em.

On a more positive note, the video to "Elton's Song" made me cry like a baby then and now. I bet it still represents a huge amount of us in terms of our youth. And don't give me no fuckin' "Mary`", it's beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 902/24/2013

Steven (played by Ben Silverston) in Get Real.

The whole movie is on youtube. Worth your while if you haven't seen it.

by Anonymousreply 1002/24/2013

Not one Paul Lynde or Charles Nelson Reilly?

by Anonymousreply 1102/24/2013

Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly were my second choices, but they were too straight acting compared to Alan Sues.

by Anonymousreply 1202/24/2013

Ellen. I bought her book - I can't remember but it was around age 17 or 18. I would sneak it around the house to read. I wanted my parents to see me reading Ellen's book to give them a 'clue'. then my real role models as seeing a cute public celeb lesbian couple were Ellen and Anne. i adored them. That's how I found the Datalounge - from a fan page.

by Anonymousreply 1302/24/2013

Paul Lynde

by Anonymousreply 1402/24/2013

Ramon Navorro

by Anonymousreply 1502/24/2013

For a movie character that left a huge mark on me, the 1985 telefilm "Consenting Adult."

Barry Tubb played Jeff, a college aged son who comes out to his parents played by Marlo Thomas and Martin Sheen.

Coming of age in the 80s, that was probably the character I most related to, and so his story was both hopeful and heartbreaking for me.

Plus I think I fell a little but in love with Barry Tubb as a result of his performance.

by Anonymousreply 1602/24/2013

Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilley are not characters. Just sayin'

by Anonymousreply 1702/24/2013

Bruce Wayne & Dick Grayson

by Anonymousreply 1802/24/2013

yes r16...I remember that movie and having the exact same reaction...

by Anonymousreply 1902/24/2013

Mr. Spock.

Yes, that is an absolutely serious reply.

by Anonymousreply 2002/24/2013

That's a great movie, r10 and a great character.

by Anonymousreply 2102/24/2013

Sulu, from Star Trek, who I insisted had to be gay because of the way he talked and moved.

My friend said I was wrong.

by Anonymousreply 2202/24/2013

Oh dear.

by Anonymousreply 2302/24/2013

Tara and Willow from "Buffy".

When they slow-danced and rose up several inches in the air, I thought it was the most romantic thing ever.

by Anonymousreply 2402/24/2013

No one pulled off mustard yellow velour like Mr. Sulu!!

by Anonymousreply 2502/24/2013

We didn't have many gay characters on TV in the seventies.

In movies, I totally connected to Frankenfurter in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

by Anonymousreply 2602/24/2013

Dr. Smith - Lost In Space

by Anonymousreply 2702/24/2013

[quote]We didn't have many gay characters on TV in the seventies.

There were enough. It just wasn't discussed.

Felix Unger - The Odd Couple

Bert & Ernie - Sesame Street

Alice - The Brady Bunch(Sam the Butcher was practically prostitution for choice meat cuts)

Jo Polniaczek, Cousin Jerry - The Fats Of Life

Jack Tripper - Three's Company(a gay actor pretending to be straight playing a straight guy pretending to be gay - there's plenty there to serve as a role model)

Half of Harvey Korman's interpretations in The Carol Burnett Show (Prince Charming, for instance)

Half of Lyle Wagoner's ...

Laverne & Shirley

Cagney & Lacey (OK, early 80's)

Kate & Allie (OK, early 80's)

by Anonymousreply 2802/24/2013

Didn't anybody read???

Of course, a fat lot of good it did me; my answer would have to be Ned Rorem.

by Anonymousreply 2902/24/2013

Yes, people read - but it sounds like OP is asking about TV characters.

Just for the slight reference to it on Family, the Willie (Gary Frank) character, even though he wasn't supposed to be gay. On some level, I think I thought he was gay.

by Anonymousreply 3002/24/2013

Matt Fielding (the token gay) on Melrose Place. While being gay he was only hanging around with straight guys (with the occasional gay guest character showing up) and kept most of his sex life away from his friends and the viewer.

Only years later I realized that I did the same thing to my circle of friends. They knew I was gay, but I never provided further details about my dates and I never even mentioned hook-ups even when they asked.

by Anonymousreply 3102/24/2013

I agree with # 2 - Michael Toliver, 'Mouse' , from the original "Tales" . He was out, cute, sexy, vulnerable. Looked great , dancing in his white briefs.

by Anonymousreply 3202/24/2013

'Jodie', from, 'Soap'

by Anonymousreply 3302/24/2013

The movie "Torch Song Trilogy" opened my eyes to the gay world outside my community. Of course, Matthew Broderick's great looks in this, helped as well.

by Anonymousreply 3402/24/2013

H.R. Pufnstuf - The Ed Koch of Dragons.

by Anonymousreply 3502/24/2013

Vanity Smurf.

by Anonymousreply 3602/24/2013

Steven Carrington again. Not so much by Steven but by how kind Krystle was to him and how loyal Fallon was to him. That scene where Al Corely left the show was excellent.

by Anonymousreply 3702/24/2013

Hank Eliot on As the World Turns.

by Anonymousreply 3802/24/2013

Brian Kinney. I wasn't a teenager anymore at that time but he was the gay character who made the biggest impact on me.

by Anonymousreply 3902/24/2013

Oh yeah, the sad-sack guy in Fame. Because there's nothing more gay-affirming than a suicidal sad-sack.

by Anonymousreply 4002/24/2013

Jody on Soap was the only gay character on tv for me pre-18. I liked the show, but the character was all over the map, wanted to be a woman, then multiple suicide attempts, ends up married to a woman. If fucked-up Jody had any influenced on young gay people in was probably more in the negative.

So I'll have to go with a non-actor, Boy George, he had his first hits in my late teens, and I still love him.

by Anonymousreply 4102/24/2013

Since when was John Ritter gay, r24?

by Anonymousreply 4202/24/2013

Er, since when was John Ritter gay, r28?

by Anonymousreply 4302/24/2013

Walter Mercado.

by Anonymousreply 4402/24/2013

R44, since gay Three's Company viewers have been desperately grasping to give the fluffcom any significance.

by Anonymousreply 4502/24/2013

There was an episode of FAMILY where Willie the son had a friend from high school who came to visit and Kristy McNichol's character, Buddy, had a crush on him. Willie wouldn't accept him but the rest of the family did and, by the end of the episode, Willie came around. I also remember the actor who played the friend as being very cute.

by Anonymousreply 4602/24/2013

And so Buddy went lez in Part 2. I remember that.

by Anonymousreply 4702/24/2013

That must've been after the Buddy's lesbian teacher episode, r47. Because I distinctly remember Sada telling the woman that they didn't approve of her lifestyle. Or maybe that was the late-70s tv version of tolerance, telling gay people you don't approve of their sexuality, but also not coming after them with pitchforks.

by Anonymousreply 4802/24/2013

Eve Harrington. Addison DeWitt.

"You're an improbable person, Eve. And so am I. We have that in common."

by Anonymousreply 4902/24/2013

[quote]Didn't anybody read???

If it's a book, it would have to be the Noah York character from Leave Myself Behind. But I was 22 when I read that, so it probably doesn't count.

by Anonymousreply 5002/24/2013

John Rechy. And not in a good way.

After reading his book about cruising in Griffith Park, I stayed in for another five years. I didn't want that to be my life, an endless series of "No."

Ten years later, I moved to LA, and I just had to go cruising in Griffith Park. It wasn't fabulous (fabulous was cruising at the beach), but it wasn't the sexual desert Rechy described.

by Anonymousreply 5102/24/2013

Steven Carrington as played by Al Corley. I never liked Jack Coleman's portrayal. Steven was kind and sensitive and struggled to live up to his father's ideal of masculinity even though that wasn't who he was. Very similar for many gay men of that era, and no doubt today as well.

Al Corley's portrayal helped me in my teen years as I struggled with my sexuality. I've seen interviews with him since, and it is clear that he really wanted to be true to that character's sexuality. He didn't like the direction the show went in making him bisexual, so he left the show rather than compromise his portrayal of the character.

by Anonymousreply 5202/24/2013

It was a very old film when I finally saw it, but Peter Finch, in 1971's "Sunday, Bloody Sunday", portrayed his gay character as attractive, successful, well-adjusted and comfortable with his homosexuality. And it just so happens to be a all around terrific film. Find it, if you can.

by Anonymousreply 5302/24/2013

Gail Strickland's character Marilyn in the 1988 TV series HeartBeat; this was one of the earliest portrayals of a lesbian character on American network television. I can remember watching the show simply because of Gail Strickland, but then when they did the big reveal a great deal of things clicked within me and set in motion a profound admiration for Ms. Strickland. I miss not seeing her around as much.

by Anonymousreply 5402/24/2013

My girlfriend is still enthralled by Jo on The Facts of Life.

by Anonymousreply 5502/24/2013

I adored "Get Real". It was one of the first gay films I watched. Thanks for the memories and link, R10.

by Anonymousreply 5602/24/2013

Back in the late 90s when the internet was still kind of fresh and new, the Ben Silverstone fansite (the lead from Get Real) was my introduction to a gay friendly community with chats and slash fiction about Get Real characters.

by Anonymousreply 5702/24/2013

I'd seen plenty of gay women in tv and movies and read about them in books, but it was all crazy lesbians for the most part, Single White Female or Bound type of deals. Then there was the other type of lesbian character which I found in movies like Leora and to an extent shows like Ellen (though maybe it was more the public reaction to Ellen than the show itself).

With Leora,a movie I dug up at my local Blockbuster, I don't know the message I got was "you will be sad lonely and depressed with no right to raise children".

Then with Ellen, though the show didn't say this, it sort of reinforced that message in my mind with the public reaction and swift cancellation.

It probably didn't help that my entire family is obsessively religious and we actually went to a church that held an all night prayer session begging God to cancel Ellen's show.

So, I think I ended up putting it out of my mind for a while because my little pre-teen mind concluded that I would either turn into a crazy stalker, be depressed for life, or have the entire world hating on me and be punished by god.

So, later I happened to hear about a character on All My Children who was pregnant with her rapist baby. Initially I just wanted to watch the story because I had something similar happen to a friend and I was trying to be supportive. Then I found out Bianca was gay and I went back and watched the whole story. It wasn't all hunky-dory but it was the first time I could recall seeing a story where a woman wasn't being punished for liking other women and hadn't gone crazy or been permanently cut off from her family. That was a big part of me finally being able to accept myself.

by Anonymousreply 5802/24/2013

r38's video was pivotal for me in the spring of 1982 when it aired. I was 12 years old and seeing a man so defiantly announce that he was gay was practically cathartic to me. It's one of the few television moments from my youth where I can actually remember sitting in the living room in South Elgin, Illinois, watching it, alternately thrilled and horrified that my dad, who was in the kitchen eating a late dinner, wouldn't come in to the room.

As far as books: around the same time I was reading Belva Plain's "Random Winds," where one of the female characters marries an English aristo whom she catches in the act with his "best friend" -- afterward, they have a rather frank discussion about it, she agrees to remain married to him but has an affair with her sister's husband. Naturally.

by Anonymousreply 5902/24/2013

Nobody for Dog Day Afternoon I see or Midnight Cowboy.

For me it was Alexander Duncan, Teenage male prostitute in a made for t.v. movie from 1977 and played by the super hot Leigh McCloskey. I totally identified with that guy. Even tried selling my ass as the local rest stop.

by Anonymousreply 6002/26/2013

The scene of 2 women washing the dishes together in Personal Best... first time I saw anything that represented "normal life" for same sex partners. Searing image on my 6th grade brain!

by Anonymousreply 6102/26/2013

Marvin and Whizzer in MARCH OF THE FALSETTOS. Seeing FALSETTOLAND at Playwrights Horizons and watching one of them die at the end completely unraveled me.

by Anonymousreply 6202/26/2013

The cartoon characters of Hercules and his centaur sidekick, Newton. They bonded. And Hercules was a hunk.

by Anonymousreply 6302/26/2013

Erich from "Midnight Express" who was in love with Billy - it was the first time I ever saw a gay character that wasn't mincing or bitter...and he didn't die in the film.

by Anonymousreply 6402/26/2013

I'd forgotten the character played by Richard Warwick in "If."

by Anonymousreply 6502/26/2013
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