PHOTO: The famous Seattle newspaper sex columnist Dan Savage is an "Executive Producer" and the creative inspiration for the new ABC sitcom, "The Real O'Neal's," based on his childhood experiences of growing up in a typical Catholic family and coming out to them as being gay. The above still frame is from a new episode (aired Mar. 22, 2016 ABC TV) that depicts the innocence of a gay teen (right) talking to his straight brother in a stereotypically wholesome, middleclass bedroom located in a typical middle American City. Although the show appears to have been cleaned of overt sexual references to meet broadcast network TV censorship standards, the show's writers have successfully slipped in some gay sex double entendre, such as in a later episode where the boy's strict Catholic grandmother comes to visit and gives a gift of her homemade "pickles, while bragging they are hard, firm and juicy," to which grandson says, "Grandma, you know I love your pickles." Likewise, the above still frame parodies a common gay porno scene enjoyed by gay guys who get turned on by teenaged boy's bare feet. (See post by Michelangelo Signorile, "Martha Plimpton On Playing A Mom Struggling With Her Son's Sexuality, The star's "Real O'Neal's" role is based on Dan Savage's mother." huffingtonpost.com posted March 10, 2016 and David Bauder, "Meet Noah Galvin, The Openly Gay Star Of 'The Real O'Neals' The series is loosely based on the life of Dan Savage," huffingtonpost.com posted Jan. 11, 2016
PHOTO: When the innocent gay teen (Mar. 22, 2016 episode of ABC TV sitcom, "The Real O'Neal's") started to look for love on the internet and to help him pick the "type" he is looking for, he learns about the above gay male stereotypes, "labeled" as being "bears," "otters." and "twinks," etc., which he is told is because "gay's like labels."
Although I appreciated and chuckled during the first few episodes of ABC's new sitcom, "The Real O'Neal's," it has not been good enough for me to continue watching regularly, but I am sure the shows will be very useful to and cherished by many young gay teens.
This show is significant because it represents an amazing, decades-long evolution of how gays are depicted on TV. A famous example, which led to protests, by gay activists, of the ABC TV Network, was when a dramatic TV doctor show depicted the star medical doctor equating pedophilia with homosexuality, which was common misconception at that time. (See "The Outrage (Marcus Welby)," wikipedia.org accessed Mar. 24, 2016 - "a 1974 episode of Marcus Welby, M.D., . . . tells the story of a teenage boy who is sexually assaulted by his male teacher. The episode, which originally aired October 8, 1974 . . .") Back then, many also incorrectly believed being molested would make you gay and that gays recruited new members this way.
For some reason, I feel like saying the old Virginia Slims cigarette TV ad slogan that was targeted to appeal to women seeking equality with men, "We've come a long way baby!"
Speaking of gay TV, this year's gay cast member in Season 31, of the MTV "The Real World", is Chris Hall, who brags, with a smile on his face, that his "relationship status" is "single and [unintelligible or censored word that is maybe him saying he is "fuck-able"]." Chris says he is "incredibility curious, not just curious about men or women," and notes how "being pansexual" he was ready for anything. (For this season, see "Real World: Go Big or Go Home," mtv.com Mar. 17, 2016
According to the MTV website, cast member "Christopher is a Salt Lake City bred Mormon boy turned liberal New York City hipster. His disassociation from the Mormon Church and recent acceptance of his 'pansexuality' have fueled his fight against religious discrimination, made him an advocate for LGBTQ rights, and put him at odds with his conservative family. Chris is on a journey to find his true self and enter a new chapter of life where he refuses to say "no" to anything." (See "Real World: Go Big or Go Home," mtv.com accessed Mar. 19, 2016 -- Cast member Chris and his casting tape of Chris by MTV Real World producers, plus casting tape: Chris - Video Clip from Real World: Go Big or Go Home Season 31.)
Even though MTV's "The Real world is 31 seasons old, the first "reality TV" show that featured a gay man was the 1973 PBS documentary series "An American Family," which showed a real family and their son Lance Loud (1951-2001) who came out to his family as being gay during the course of the series, which created much controversy. It seems like I watched this show yesterday because it meant so much to me! (See "An American Family," wikipedia.org posted wikipedia.org accessed Mar. 19, 2916)
Wow, I will say it again, we have come a long way baby!