How Sitcoms Handled Homos in the 70s and 80s…

Date: December 01, 2017

01) How Sitcoms Handled Homos in the 70s and 80s

“When did TV first permit joking while gay? I’ve been combing through sitcoms to figure out when queers stopped being a scary threat, and were allowed to be real people with love lives and funny punch lines. Here are just a few of my favorite early gay characters on sitcoms.”

I could probably name three movies [though no television shows] off the top of my head, where the portrayal of MAPs is at least humanizing…and attempting to give a more fleshed out, complex and diverse set of attributes to the character.

Most “MAP movies” are not clearly such…and it would take someone who has the orientation, to recognize the parallels between their life and the movie.

Of course…aside from “For a Lost Soldier” [which isn’t entirely glowing, either]…”The Woodsman” and “Mysterious Skin” are hardly the kindest portrayal of MAPs…Some MAPs detest the latter, because it’s predictably propagandist…But I think that it displays a happy relationship [a romance, even] between the boy and MAP, plus that the MAP is not violent, sets “Mysterious Skin” apart from most of the drivel out there.

Of course…the down side, is that the end suggestion is that “even in the best circumstances, it all ends in disaster”…

I have a “love hate” relationship, with “Mysterious Skin”…It’s a very complicated and challenging movie.

…And “The Woodsman”…well…”a MAP with past baggage, can still be good”…It’s a teeth gritting movie, challenging in it’s own way…the sad sight, of a MAP begging for social redemption…submissive and apologetic, for being born what he is.

…That’s not to say he has nothing to apologize for…Maybe he does…

“The Woodsman” allows him to be human, in his circumstances…Which is a lot more than can be said for most media, with a MAP character in it.

2 thoughts on “How Sitcoms Handled Homos in the 70s and 80s…

  1. Yure

    Very interesting post! I’m not much of a movie person, so I didn’t watch any of those. But Mysterious Skin seems to be interesting, yes. I may give those movies a try. Thanks for telling me about them.


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