Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gay TV Moments: A Top Five

Or, as I like to call them, Homoments.

It's been a while since Ellen came out, and a few years since Will & Grace moved out of their swanky TV apartments, but 2009 really was one of the gayest years on TV. Here are the Top five Gayest TV Homoments of 2009, courtesy of

NUMBER FIVE: Modern Family is one of the most critically acclaimed comedies of 2009, due in no small part to the show’s leading gay couple. There are the same old arguments in the gay community as to whether the gay storyline is too stereotypical, but when everyone relaxes, it’s evident that in the midst of all the hilarity, there are some really sweet moments. The fifth best gay moment of the year comes in the show’s pilot when the gay couple presents their adopted baby to the family in a Simba-like presentation from The Lion King. The family’s patriarch provides a heartfelt approval when his heart melts at the sight of his new granddaughter.
NUMBER FOUR: RuPaul’s Drag Race is one of the best TV shows of this decade. The show celebrates a part of the gay community that is often shunned in the journey for equality. While political strategists are following polling data and focus group tested messages that often de-gay the gay rights movement, there is a lot to learn from a show that celebrates the world of drag without apology. Ongina, the adorable Pilipino Drag Queen captured one of the most powerful TV Gay moments of the year, when she came out as HIV positive on the show, even though her family in real life did not yet know. Images of AIDS in popular culture have diminished significantly in recent years as the dangerous blasĂ© attitude toward HIV continues to grow. Ongina’s storyline reminded a primarily gay audience that AIDS is not over and prevention/education efforts are still extremely important.

NUMBER THREE: When it was first reported that a group of four gay guys and a trans woman were going to be on America’s Best Dance Crew, I was simultaneously excited and terrified. How would the MTV audience greet them? How would the show’s hip hop loving demographic react? In an amazing moment, Vogue Evolution took the stage and brought an epic performance that won over the crowd and the judges. It was beyond refreshing to see five young talented people be unapologetic about who they are. They showcased the underground gay ballroom scene to the world and they put a different face on the LGBT community. Vogue Evolution didn’t end up winning the show, but they did win over the hearts and minds of a lot of young people.

NUMBER TWO: Glee is quite possibly the gayest show on television, so it isn’t surprising that it would offer such a graceful coming out storyline that is soaked in reality. The moment appeared in one of the most classic episodes of the show’s wildly successful first season. After winning the big football game because of an on-field performance of Beyonce’s "Single Ladies," Kurt’s blue-collar father tells Kurt that he is proud of him, which prompts Kurt to bravely tell his father that he is gay. The show could have had his father react extremely negative or extremely positive, but instead he reacted in a way that an Ohio mechanic who loves his son would hopefully react in reality. He tells Kurt that he has known he was gay since he was three and that while he isn’t crazy about the idea, it doesn’t change how much he loves him. The coming out moment was extremely well-handled, but Glee’s overall power is that it packages a deep gay sensibility within a popular show that transcends demographic.
It’s impact is far reaching, as evidenced by California's Glendale High School football team’s amazing performance of "Single Ladies" in response to the Glee episode.

NUMBER ONE: There was only one lesbian storyline in primetime-scripted television in 2009, which is alarming and depressing, but even though lesbians are severely underrepresented, perhaps solace can be found in the fact that the one lesbian storyline contained the best gay moment on TV in 2009. On Grey’s Anatomy, Callie Torres was disowned by her father after coming out to him, but after much time apart, her father came back to see her, with a priest in tow to “pray away the gay.” The best gay moment came when Callie powerfully counteracts anti-gay biblical verses by yelling a series of quotes by Jesus and closing it by saying “Jesus is my Savior daddy, not you. And Jesus would be ashamed of you for judging me, he would be ashamed of you for turning your back on me, he would be ashamed."
Many people in and out of pop culture have tried to expose the hypocrisy of highlighting Leviticus 18:22, while ignoring all of the other “moral laws” in Leviticus that are now laughed at, but there is something so succinct, strong and moving about Callie’s speech –- it should become the default reply anytime the Bible is being used as a weapon against our rights.


Michael Rivers said...

Very good list!! I agree with RuPaul's Drag Race. Loved the show! And it was great that Minneapolis' own BeBe won!

Sean said...

Great list.

There is a lesbian story line on Flashforward.

Honorable mention needs to go to NPH for succeeding and continuing to propel How I Met Your Mother as an out gay actor in an overtly hetero role and for his multiple Award show hosting performances.

Kevin said...

what a great list!

and i think i have a crush on #17!

Mad Professah said...

Love this list!!

Mark in DE said...

Bravo! Great selections and great set-up by you.

mistress maddie said...

What a great list Bob! And a very Happy New Year to you guys!!!

John said...

Great list! Glee, definitely one of the gayest shows (of all time)! Gotta love it! Unfortunately not all cable companies will air the LOGO channel...glad I have DirecTV, because they do, so I watch it a lot and RuPaul's Drag Race was great, as was "Sordid Lives." I think the LOGO website shows everything on it, since some cable companies refuse to air the channel. Happy New Year!