Magazine article Variety

Sports, Entertainment Provide Role Models

Magazine article Variety

Sports, Entertainment Provide Role Models

Article excerpt

Our strongest allies in getting to this historic point have been the sports world and the entertainment world. Without the film "Philadelphia" and without Magic Johnson, we would not have made the progress we made on HIV/A1DS. And on LGBT rights and marriage, it was the entertainment industry that helped make the mystery disappear - and the more the mystery disappeared, the more fear disappeared. When fear disappears, you have understanding. And now we have this moment.

This would have been unthinkable four decades ago. When I came out and started getting involved in 1976, they were still doing lobotomies on some members of the LGBT community, to "cure" them of being gay. It was against the law for LGBT people to even gather for political meetings in some states. It was a dark period.

There were no positive role models in TV or the movies, and then "All in the Family" had gay characters and gay jokes. And even though it was stereotypical, it was progress. Tb even have the acknowledgement that we existed; that was progress.

"Will & Grace" was perhaps the most successful show ever done with gay lead characters. But you still had a straight woman living with a gay man. Tbday you have full makeout scenes and more on television. …

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