There are signs of progress and regression in daytime regarding sexuality . Writers have shifted from introducing gay characters and then writing them off shortly after, to keeping gay characters onscreen longer and developing storylines around them.
AMC’s Michael Delaney and Devon McFadden, ATWT’s Hank Elliot, and OLTL’s Billy Douglas and Daniel Coulson have become AMC’s Bianca and Reese and ATWT’s Luke and Noah. Progress.
Regression is evident in the lack of commitment to gay couples. By keeping gay chararcters on longer writers appear to be confused about what to do next. Gay doesn’t even mean happy for such characters as writers have decided that all should be deeply tortured about their sexuality even when in loving relationships – adding a layer of psychological distress their straight counterparts don’t have to deal with. Others struggle in the midst of primarily unrealized relationships, where there’s love without loving touch, or romance without commitment.
I’d given AMC’s writers high praise for making the commitment ATWT’s writers seemed to be afraid to make. Then both storylines regressed to nearly the same point. Luke questioned Noah’s sexuality without cause to do so, Reese is now physically attracted to Zach.
Even the now defunct Passions, a show that arguably had the highest commitment to advancing relationships between its gay characters, wrote one of the partners as intersexed, living as a female at times. The other partner was happily married -while on the down low.
. While some daytime execs appear to be concerned about not catering to ‘agendas’, I have to wonder if they aren’t moving too far in the other direction. Do they run the risk of promoting the false beflief that sexuality (but only as it pertains to gays and lesbians) is flexible? ‘
If the point of creating the new class of gay characters is to celebrate diversity and provide an accurately reflective image of real life, take a big girl/ big boy pill and do it.