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Houston Voice, July 7, 2006
File 016
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Houston Voice, July 7, 2006 - File 016. 2006-07-07. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 17, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2641/show/2635.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2006-07-07). Houston Voice, July 7, 2006 - File 016. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2641/show/2635

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, July 7, 2006 - File 016, 2006-07-07, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 17, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2641/show/2635.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, July 7, 2006
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Ervin, Eric
Publisher Window Media
Date July 7, 2006
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 016
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com JULY 7, 2006 15 arts cower story More gay characters found on daytime soaps than ever SOAP OPERAS, continued from Page 1 Whitney's half brother, Simone's skullduggery barely registered a blip on the family melodrama radar. So what's a sexy — but ignored - vixen like Simone to do? The answer is simple: Leave town and carry on an affair with a slightly older woman, then come home to come out as a lesbian to her mostly supportive family and friends, of course. Welcome to Harmony. Population: Suffering. "Passions" also throws together a 300 year old witch, a mermaid and American daytime television's very first African- American lesbian in Simone. And you thought the Gay Pride floats were awesome. Viewers who tune into soap operas for a little "love in the afternoon" might get a different kind of love — one that dared not speak its name much on soaps for years — now that the well appointed bedrooms and boardrooms of four shows regularly feature active, young — and hot — gay characters. Since Bianca Montgomery, daughter of Susan Lucci's Erika Kane on "All My Children" came out to her mother in 2000, soap scribes began fiddling with the sexual kli'iitities of tortured teen characters. With four current openly gay characters, daytime soaps stir up more gay drama than any other era in the genre's 54-year history on television. THE SOAPS TOOK THEIR FIRST SHOT AT offering a gay character back in 1983 on "All My Children." Dr. Lynn Carson, played by Donna Pescow, came out as a lesbian to a patient with a crush — and that's about as sexual as the good doctor, or any other gay soap character, would get for quite some time A gay man whose never-seen partner with AIDS came later, followed by a couple of gay teens who battled community homophobia in the 1990s. Before and after the first wave of gay characters on daytime, "Dynasty," "Dallas," and "Melrose Place" fans would get to see the steamy - albeit sexless - suffering of gay men who would question their sexuality, confront familial pressures, homophobia, and the growing AIDS crisis during primetime soaps. "I think prime time did that first lute grating gay characters - and now daytime is playing catch-up," says Film and TV Studies professor Stephen Tropiano, author of "The Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays and lesbians on TV" (Applause Books). Tropiano says that historically, one of the largest hurdles for gay characters on any show is interference from nervous television network executives. The characters "would not only be denied fulfilling and lasting relationships with other men, but their identities as gay men would be filtered through their positioning as heterosexuals within their respective plot lines," he says. Before Bianca's gay character was written into "All My Children," the purpose of gay characters was to make a point or explain homosexuality for the audience — a (| MORE INFO When Simone (Cathy Jeneen Doe) came out as gay on the NBC Daytime drama 'Passions,' she became the first African-American lesbian in soap opera history. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater courtesy NBC Universal) task handled within the course of a few episodes. The distraught parents or angry bullies who caused the early gay characters so much turmoil would suddenly see the light. Then the story — and the character - would simply vanish. Since the idea of making a central character on a soap gay wouldn't fly with network brass, the secondary characters were simply too difficult to write. Daytime dramas are always set in close-knit communities where the characters know each other and are usually connected in some .way. "The gay person who has no family on a soap opera is a sitting duck. TTiey're there to suffer, teach us a lesson, and then go away" says Daniel R. Coleridge, TVGuide.com soap columnist and author of "The Q Guide to Soap Operas (Alyson), which hils bookstores in September THE DAYS OF GAY CHARACTERS WHO exist simply to be thrown away appear to have slipped by like so much sand through the hour glass. "Welcome to the real world," says Jean Passanante, head writer of "As the World Turns." "Things have evolved enough now 'All My Children' ^^^^^^^ Weekdays at 1 p.m. ABC 'As the World Turns- Weekdays at 2 pm. CBS 'General Hospital' Weekdays at 4 p.m. ABC Passions' Weekdays at 2 pm. NBC Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation www.glaad.org Luke on 'As the World Turns' btog http://blog.myspace.com/atwtluke that we're able to make Luke Snyder, the son of a central couple, gay. as opposed to a day player character that nobody really knows," she explains. Passanante has arguably created more gay characters for daytime television than any other writer. She was head writer on "All My Children" when Bianca came out and worked on "One Life to Live" in the 1990s when the character Billy Douglas, another troubled gay teen, came out to his priest and inadvertently sparked a massive wave of homophobia in fictional Llanview, where "One Life to Live" is set. Even the priest became the target of an anti-gay witchhunt. Billy's most significant connection to anyone in Llanview was to Joey Buchanan, the teenage son of the show's main character. When the story culminated, so did Billy's presence in Llanview. "At that point, I don't think there would have been any question of making the son of the central couple gay," Passanante says. "It gives you an idea of how much better things are now." Damon Romine, media entertainment director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, says that the newest batch of gay characters make soaps worth tuning in. "It is significant that the soaps are including these characters, and I hope these shows continue to explore their lives and all the interesting stories that can be told," Romine says. "When a daytime character comes out, it's still news because it's so rare, and it's historic that three soaps on three different networks each feature a gay character, and that these characters are part of the soap's core families." Since soaps are all about telling stories, the gay kids get into their share of hijinks. On "As the World Turns," 17 year old Luke Snyder, scion of super couple Lily and Holden, is grappling with a crush on his straight best friend, being blackmailed for being gay, coming out to his parents, and avoiding the sticky tentacles of a stream of "ex-gay" counselors ready to whisk him off to aversion therapy camps — and perhaps most troubling — just being a teenager. "The 'world turns' around Luke's sexuality." laughs Coleridge. "Its 'when am I going to get over this crush on this boy who isn't interested in me?' He isn't a PSA ad; he's a real person." That said, Van Hansis, the actor who plays Luke, appeared alongside soap legend Martha Byrne, who plays his mother, in a Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Public Service Announcement that aired immediately after an "As the World Turns" episode in May. THE PSA ITSELF CAUSED SOME MINOR ■ turbulence with the Traditional Values Coalition, a conservative national political lobby, which asked its members to boycott the episode and fire off letters to the show's producers. Hansis, unlike Luke, is both straight and undaunted by the minor controversy. "How can accepting somebody for who they are be a negative thing?" Hansis asks Houston Voice. Luke, the latest soap character to come out. joins Bianca. Simone. and Lucas Jones on "General Hospital." The boys are garnering attention, but their female counterparts are, so far, garnering the most affection. On "All My Children." Bianca. who drops in from time to time for big stories, currently resides in Paris with best friend and longtime crush Maggie. The two left with a loving but strictly platonic relationship, but Bianca since revealed that they are very much in love and raising Bianca's daughter, Miranda — don't ask — together. In 2002. Bianca got lucky, sort of. by scoring a hot goodbye kiss with Lena, the corporate spy who was raiding Erika's company. Simone is currently without a girlfriend, but she shared several steamy onscreen kisses with Rae, her first girlfriend. She is enjoying a much better life since coming out. "Basically, her role was to be bitchy to her older sister, who was nothing but kind to her," says Coleridge of Simone. "She just became a much more likeable character because she was no longer obsessed with stealing her sister's boyfriend." Coming out hasn't been easy for any of the characters, but the male characters seem to face the most danger when they do. A gay basher who tricked Lucas attacked him. It's a device soap writers use to hedge bets about how fans will react to the characters. Coleridge says. "As is typical on a soap, Lucas had to be gay hashed," he says. "Once you place someone into the victim role, we at home have to feel sorry for them." Still, the gay storylines do make an impact, according to Romine. "These stories have the ability to reach the many different generations of viewers who watch daytime and share with them stories of our lives." he says. "What viewers are seeing is that more and more of their own neighbors and friends are dealing with these issues, and the soaps are merely reflecting the reality of the world we live in."
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