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Now that gay marriage is a legal all across the U.S., we
won't just see more in the way of same-sex marriages in real life, but we'll
(hopefully) see this "new normal" reflected on our TVs and on movie theater
While there have been plenty of LGBT characters in
media, there actually hasn't been many that reflect the members of the
community as moms or dads.
"About 3 million LGBT Americans are parents," a contributor at CNN said recently. "Surveys suggest that 37 percent of the more than 8 million LGBT adults in the
United States report having had a child. On average, they've had two kids, so
it's likely that at least 6 million Americans have an LGBT parent."
numbers in mind, it's surprising there aren't more in movies and on TV.
Mitchell and Cameron are, by far, the most recognized gay parents on fictional
TV after seven seasons of entertaining the masses. "Modern Family" hops between
the lives of three related families, with Mitchell and Cameron (along with
their adopted daughter Lily) often stealing the show.
2.Nic and Jules of "The Kids Are All Right"
Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) are a lesbian couple who both
bore a child using sperm from the same donor. Their son decides that he wants
to meet his biological father (Paul, played by Mark Ruffalo) and his sister
helps with the effort. Paul quickly becomes involved with the kids as well as
Jules, complicating matters. But in the end, Nic and Jules seem to weather the
3. Armand and Albert in "The Birdcage"
Drag club owner Armand Goldman (Robin Williams) has an adult son
named Val, who brings home his girlfriend whom he wants to marry. Her
parents want to meet him and his partner Albert (Nathan Lane), but they are extremely conservative. Val convinces
Armand to pretend to be far less flamboyant than he really is. But, in the end,
the jig is up, illustrating you really do need to be true to yourself.
4. Hal and Andy in "Beginners"
Oliver (Ewan McGregor) recalls the last years of his father's life (Christopher Plummer). His dad, after a lifetime of pretending, finally comes
out publicly at the age 75. After he does, he is filled with a new joie de
vivre, even though he is suffering from cancer and enjoying what's left of his life with his
much younger boyfriend.
5. Sarah and Tammy in "Transparent" (2014)
The awarding-winning Amazon series "Transparent" is focused on Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor), a late-middle-aged father of three who is in the midst of a transformation from outwardly male to
He isn't the only character going through a big change. His
daughter Sarah leaves her husband for another woman (an interior designer named
Tammy), and the two start a new life with their children from previous
relationships. While this may not be the healthiest of relationships (Tammy is
pretty self-centered), they are quite passionate, and the way in which everyone
accepts Sarah's new relationship is handled nicely.
6. Stef and Lena of "The Fosters"
In the ABC Family series "The Fosters", a mixed-race lesbian couple are raising a blended
family of biological, adopted and foster children. It won the Outstanding Drama
Series at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, earning critical acclaim as well as a wide fan base.
"This award means so much to all of us, because we
really believe that entertainment has the power to change the world. We've seen
it happen time and time again. We reach people at their most vulnerable,
sitting at home … and week after week we get to tell stories about who we are
and how we love and that's what makes change," Peter Paige, the show's creator, said.
7. Callie and Arizona of "Grey's Anatomy"
"Grey's Anatomy" fans were heartbroken when Callie and Arizona broke up. The two
women had gotten married and had a kid, but then went their separate ways. While
Arizona is a lesbian, Callie is bisexual, which isn't something portrayed very
often on mainstream TV.
read a lot about that concept that bisexuality has not had a lot of support.
One of my favorite things that we did in the Callie and Arizona episode is
Callie announcing that she's bisexual, which, by the way, I think nobody has
ever done that on television, like 'I'm bisexual,' which I think is
crazy," the show's creator Shonda Rhimes said. "I love that
she's determinedly bisexual. She's not somebody who is straight who discovers
she's a lesbian; she's bisexual and feels very strongly about that. That's been
interesting for us to navigate—and the character sticks to it."
8. Kevin and Scotty from "Brothers and Sisters"
The on-screen relationship of Kevin and Scotty of "Brothers and Sisters" has been
celebrated for not only being a married gay couple with two children (one adopted
and one with a surrogate) but that they tackle marital issues such as
"There have been enough gay characters on television now for
there to be a serious competition over which ones are more nuanced and
interesting than others," wrote The Backlot in regards to the couple's narrative."
While dozens of gay characters have flooded television since the 1990s, gay
couples are rarer, gay married couples are rarer still, and gay married couples
with serious problems, a weekly staple for straights that keep fans watching to
see what happens next, are almost nonexistent." This is where the characters of "Brothers and Sisters" come in.
9. Carol and Susan on "Friends"
In 1996 (almost 20 years ago), the extremely popular show "Friends" aired
their episode, "The One with the Lesbian Wedding," in which Ross's ex-wife
Carol (and the mother of his child) marries her girlfriend Susan. While this
was one of the very first mainstream portrayals of gay marriage on American TV, it was
actually the second gay marriage on a sitcom that season (the first was on "Roseanne" that aired about a month before). NBC was prepared to have "thousands
and thousands of phone calls and hate mail but actually received only four
complaints by telephone."
The short-lived sitcom "The New Normal" was about a wealthy young gay couple—Bryan and David—who decide to have a baby with a surrogate named Goldie, who
moves in with the couple along with her 9-year-old daughter.
"While not the
first sitcom to have two gay male lead characters, (it) is the first show
centered on two gay male lead characters in a loving relationship who kiss and
snuggle in bed," claimed Vogue in their interview with the show's creator Ryan