How many of you knew that legendary comedian and Oscar host Billy Crystal portrayed one of the first regular gay characters on television. He did so in the television sit-com Soap
From the youtube video description:
In this clip, Jodie -portrayed here by a 29 year old Billy Crystal (Hail Billy Crystal)has a heart to heart with brother Danny (Ted Wass), who has been in denial about his brother's homosexuality. Jodie is not ashamed of his homosexuality. One of the first characters in television history to be out and out gay and not ashamed to admit so to his family. This scene broke barriers.
So despite the often...misrepresentation of gay people by the show, SOAP is one of the FIRST to help with the mainstreaming of homosexuality. To remove the taboo on talking about them, not only as a topic of discussion, but as people with feelings.
Note: In early episodes, Jodie was persuing a sex-change in order to live a "normal life" with his boyfriend. This storyline was dropped, as an LGBT consultant claimed it was too stereotypical and not true to life (though in the 50s- 60s, many gay men did have sex changes to avoid stigmas about their homosexuality. These days we understand that gay men do not wish to be women, and that sexual orientation is separate from the experience of gender- such as in the situation of transgender people).
Past Know Your LGBT History Posts: