Following a report earlier in the year by Stonewall which states that in 126 hours of TV programming gay characters were represented positively and accurately for just 46 minutes I thought I’d give my top 5 Gay TV highlights of 2010 to show that whilst we may not have equality on the screens yet, we still have some cracking LGBT entertainment on TV!
1 . Soaps pretty much all have gay characters in them now but Eastenders gets my Number 1 spot due to the climax of Christian and Syed’s storyline which saw Syed finally coming out to his parents and starting a relationship with Christian, his mother Zainab reacted very badly to the developments and even told Syed she wished he were dead following a suicide attempt. The family have now almost come round to the situation and the pair are frequently featured in the soap as any other loving couple. Some complained that the pair’s relationship was unreasonably traumatic and therefore suggested gay couples are never as happy as their straight counterparts, however this is Eastenders we’re talking about – no one is happy!
2. Emmerdale has also prominently featured a gay couple this year, the storyline between the village’s resident ‘bad boy’ Aaron and Adam started in late December 2009 but has played out throughout this year. The move was seen by some as out of the blue as there was no prior mention of Aaron’s sexuality before he tried to kiss his best friend Adam following a car crash. The storyline sees the couple trying to form a relationship despite Aarons seeming homophobia, the plot has been praised for showing very non-stereotypical gay characters unlike the camp Sean in Coronation Street.
3. 2010 also saw the release of Lip Service, a drama set in Glasgow following the lives of a group of lesbians; the show debuted on BBC Three in October. The show was praised for ‘normalising’ the lives of lesbians and the characters’ sexuality was far from their defining feature; Lip Service was simply a relationship drama which happened to be populated by lesbians. Claudia Cahalane of the Guardian argues in her article that whilst Tipping the Velvet and Sugar Rush are all well and good, Lip Service wins the prize due to its focus on the day to day lives of gay women.
4. The high-drama Brothers & Sisters also saw some great LGBT portrayal with the marriage of Kevin and Scotty, the couple are represented incredibly well and just like the straight couples in the series. In 2010 the couple had to deal with some typical marital problems and are put under pressure during their attempt to adopt a child. The pair really show being married to a same-sex partner is no different to than an other-sex one, the writers really should be praised for what I consider one of the most accurate and positive representations of a gay couple on TV.
5. Although it started back in 2008 the vampire-fest True Blood also features some LGBT storylines in 2010 and has featured 6 gay characters over its 3 series, some have even equated the struggle for vampire equality in the show with the LGBT movement, this allegory is supported by comparisons of expressions such as the show’s ‘’God Hates Fangs” to “God Hates Fags” and “Coming out of the Coffin” to “Coming out of the Closet”
Another notable mention goes to the all-singing all-dancing sensation Glee, whose gay character Kurt is one of the most popular and has enjoyed some realistic storylines including the behaviour of straight men towards him and coming out to his father.
Whether or not you agree with Stonewall’s conclusion I think it’s a bit of a storm in a tea cup I’m sure you can agree there have been some great LGBT storylines on our TV in 2010. Agree or disagree with one of my top 5, can’t believe I’ve missed your favourite out? Comment below or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.