When my 7-year-old son announced to us that he is gay, the last thing I thought about was television. But as he has continued to hold firm to this identity, I have become aware of the lack of gay characters in the television shows and movies he likes to watch.
When our LGBT youth watch television and movies, we want them to see characters they would be proud of, not tragic figures who are surrounded by negative circumstances. They deserve to see normal, everyday characters who happen to be gay.
It seemed only natural that a show about the theater community should feature mostly characters. But does the fact that our gay characters aren't first and foremost "gay" make Submissions Only a unique voice in the world of scripted series?
Weird, that of all programs, it took a 30-minute prime time network sitcom to nail the normal bond many gay men have with their straight buds. I can't think of any other television show that's depicted it so effortlessly.
America is ready for more than just gay best friends, gay assistants, gay relatives and gay hairstylists. It's time for a world where we're more than todays' version of Carla on Cheers, but the Sams and the Dianes, or even the Rebeccas.
We now have a generation of gay kids who have always known they are not alone, and they can't go back into the closet; they were never there to begin with. Even before dealing with their own sexual orientation, they knew there were others.