Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pucker Up

Fans of an American soap have launched a campaign demanding that two gay characters kiss more often. Really.

Viewers of "As The World Turns" are writing to CBS (one of the 3 big US broadcasters after ABC and NBC) and have even set up a website counting down how much time has passed since characters Luke and Noah last kissed. At the time of writing, 157 days, 14 hours and 57 minutes have elapsed.

They first kissed last summer in an episode that is thought to have been the first gay kiss shown in a US daytime soap. But they didn't kiss at Christmas or Valentine's day. (Mr. P sighs in exasperation...)

While I personally think that this reaction to a soap opera is a little extreme, I can kinda see why this has become so important to the people behind this campaign.

Growing up gay, I found solace in media that had positive portrayals of gay characters (not that there was many, mainly TV programmes "This Life" and the groundbreaking "Queer As Folk"). Even the briefest reference held so much value for me.

Now, teens grow up in an environment where "that's so gay!" means that something is inferior or stupid.

Regardless of whether or not anyone thinks homosexuality is a "lifestyle choice" or pre-determined orientation, a positive portrayal of gay characters is needed because we are inundated with blatant and subtle stereotypes that dramatically impact on the self-esteem of gay youth.
If you want to see how the campaign is going or offer your support visit:


  1. My bloody brother, who's in his twenties, says 'that's so gay', it drives me crazy.

    However, I suspect it's morphed into a new meaning of the word, and doesn't actually relate to anything to do with gayness. Of course I recognise the association with negativity being a bad thing, but I think it's very unconscious now. 'x is so gay' doesn't mean 'x is inferior or stupid in the way that gay people are'. Still, it's crap, I agree.

  2. Remember back in the day (well the 90s anyway) Eastenders had two gay characters - Tony and something else, think one of them was Tiffany's brother. They seem to be always at it.

    I remember one friend commenting that they were up on each other more than they were off.

  3. Then there was Fair City, with the man from the Perlico add and the bloke with the floppy hair.

  4. I agree with Jo, the meaning of 'gay' in terminology has definitely morphed into something else and shouldn't be seen as offensive even though I understand how it could be.

    There are times when the term 'that's so gay' is quite literal though. Myself and my mates were looking on at Mardi Gras in Sydney as topless lesbians in braces strolled around and alternately licked each others nipples to get a reaction from onlookers.

    Personally, I think this is wrong. I don't walk around licking my boyfriends nipples in the streets. To me it makes a mockery of the celebration of Mardi Gras which should be about diversity and equal rights, not 'look at me, I like to lick my girlfriends nipples and it's my day so I can'.

  5. Mardi Gras has been about boobs for a long time though...

    Lots more to say on that, but no time :(

  6. Ahh, Mardi Gras, I'd love to actually get to be there to experience it. The missus and I did half of our honeymoon in New Orleans, but it wasn't the right time of year.

    Maybe I'm just drawn to it because I've read too much Anne Rice.

  7. Aw! There's never enough time to talk about the boobs here :( Love your dispatch though Pinky.