Daytime Focuses on Gay Men, But Where Are The Rest Of Us?

When last we chatted daytime television, I was sharing my thoughts on how the “Nick Fallon was raped in prison” story was playing out. Aside from the fact that there was a prison rape, it hasn’t been too bad. Nick had a come to Jesus moment about how he was treating his gay cousin and took a few noble steps with reward to his wife (annullment.) Nick’s character was careful to repeatedly state that the rape was about power and and control, not sexual desire and that he finally was able to distinguish between a rapist and a gay man.

Sonny (l) and Will (r) with baby Arianna Grace
Sonny (l) and Will (r) with baby Arianna Grace

Nick’s ex-wife Gabi is living with the father of her baby, Will, and his boyfriend Sonny. And suprisingly there doesn’t seem to be a Gabi-gets-fixated-on-a-gay-man story – they are making it work. The newest storyline is a juicy murder mystery where Sonny’s mother ratted out Will’s mother to the police. And Will is having anxiety about Sonny’s conversion to step-daddy when he should be living the high life (exactly the line Sonny’s mom is taking.) In other words, they are having some typical relationship/family/parental interference issues – just like you do. When your mom is framed for murder and btw, whose taking care of your three little siblings? Have they even met their niece yet?

General Hospital
Britt (left) plotting with Brad (r)

I think DAYS is fine for now. They have an occasional appearance from gay male friends (day players) and references to gay events and activities.

Hop over to ABC and check out General Hospital. Resident BFF and very adorbs gay male nurse Felix is embroiled in some mysterious secret with his teen sister – she’s actually pretty annoying as insta-families go. He’s also still deeply involved in BFF Sabrina’s love life. For awhile, Sabrina was hosting the mother of her boyfriend Patrick’s unborn baby. We just learned that the baby is NOT Patrick’s (the fact that Brit’s mother is a deranged doctor was the key.) But the interesting and soapy plot here is Felix interaction with Brad. Brad is Brit’s sidekick lab test adjustor. Brad is also a bit of a predatory guy; he tried to manipulate Michael into a sexual encounter with blackmail which was terribly icky as a story since Michael is also a survivor of rape (in prison.) Michael outstmarted him, and now Brad is into Felix. Felix puts up with it to help his BFF, but he’s starting to see Brad as a human being which is interesting.

Felix entered the show as a secondary “sassy” character and now has a sister, a secret, involvement in potentially three key stories and a possible friendship with another gay male character. All we need is the much awaited return of openly gay Dr. Lucas Jones and we’ll see some soapy love interest.

**Bonus points for the fact that Felix is black and Brad is Asian American. GH has done a terrible job with creating diverse characters.

Now over to CBS. Oh, my poor Young and the Restless. Not only is it boring at all hell these days (who cares about Rose? and Sharon is still crazy? and yawn – Lauren is kidnapped again) but the two gay characters are MIA  – one is Rafe, attorney due jour and the other is Phillip, who has business interests in Australia. Phillip will certainly be back for the funeral episodes of Katherine Chancellor, his defacto grandmother. But I wouldn’t expect much storyline since Katherine’s death will generate tons of plots. Rumors abounded on the soap boards that a on-screen character was going to come out, but that has yet to happen. The Newman/Abbott clan has enough drama with the ill-fated lovers Kyle and Summer. So unless they age Reed into a teenager or perhaps Rafe back into a frontburner storyline, that’s simply not going to happen. Tsk tsk.

Flipping over to The Bold and The Beautiful. Oh my. Lesbian couple Karen Spencer and her lover Danielle have been MIA for months until Karen’s return to help sister-in-law Katie eject Bill Spencer from his company. Other than some juicy scenes where Bill and Karen went toe to toe, that’s about it.

So we have two pretty darn good storylines involving gay men, one semi-present lesbian and … crickets. Given how Days created a supercouple from legacy characters (Will is a Horton and a Brady while Sonny is a Kiriakis and a Johnson), Y&R could certainly take a page from that tact. Age Reed to a teen who already came out to his father and stepmom then watch the sparks fly. Y&R just aged its entire teen scene out of high school so Reed and a SORASed Faith plus Reed’s step-sister Delia could be a great younger teen set much like Cassie Newman. I personally want to see Reed bond with bad-boy-uncle Adam who once pretended to be bisexual to seduce a lawyer and give Adam a real chance to redeem himself in that regard.

B&B might be hopeless. There should just be gay characters on an LA based show. In the fashion world. Its more of a shocker that there aren’t. So bring back Jack Marone and RJ Forrester. They are cousins and half-brothers (I know, I know.)

And might I add that it would be more refreshing if we could explore bisexual characters and another trans character (All My Children broke ground with a trans character.) Or incorporate gender illusion performance artists into those story elements.

DAYS and GH are proving that LGBTQ storylines work when they have the right casting and writing.  I’ll be back soon with more speculation on what I’d like to see both in terms of the shows LGBTQ storylines AND their historic HIV stories as well.

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