Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Good Reception: Neil Patrick Harris Isn't the Only Reason This Year's Emmy Awards Will Once Again Be the Gayest Night on TV

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Good Reception: Neil Patrick Harris Isn't the Only Reason This Year's Emmy Awards Will Once Again Be the Gayest Night on TV

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Our collective disappointment at the Brokeback Mountain snub will forever taint the Oscars, and since Disney took over Broadway the Tonys seem to cater to the tourist trade. But we'll always have the Emmys, right? With Neil Patrick Harris hosting the September 20 award show, this year marks the third time an openly gay actor has emceed the ceremony (after Ellen DeGeneres in 2001 and 2005). In fact, as you'll see here, the Emmys have always been a little gay-friendlier than anybody usually acknowledges.

The made-for-TV-movie Sidney Shorr: A Girl's Best Friend was one of prime time's first depictions of a gay man (and, of course, his fag hag), garnering an Emmy nomination for outstanding writing in 1982. Its sitcom adaptation, Love, Sidney, later earned two Emmy nods. Neither version bagged a trophy, but lead actor Tony Randall deserved an honorary Emmy as the gayest-acting straight man in Hollywood history.

Harvey Fierstein was nominated for an Emmy for his 1992 guest appearance on Cheers. He played a potential love interest for Rebecca Howe, Kirstie Alley's character, who mistakenly believed he was straight. Nowadays Kirstie Alley is often mistaken for Harvey Fierstein.

The first recurring lesbian character on television was played by Gail Strickland on the short-lived late-'80s medical drama Heartbeat, Her no-nonsense nurse character paved the way for no-nonsense lez cops on Emmy-winning NYPD Blue, no-nonsense lez lawyers on Emmy-winning L.A. Law, and no-nonsense lez doctors on Emmy-winning ER.

While Vanessa Redgrave and Anne Heche both starred in the lesbian movie If These Walls Could Talk & only Redgrave went on to win an Emmy. …

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