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USA Today Celebrates TV's 'Open Arms' for Gay Characters

Hollywood's going gayer than ever, and USA Today's Maria Puente thinks it's, “normal, unremarkable, no big deal.” But it's not so unremarkable that she and her paper didn't devote nearly 2,000 words (including a sidebar sympathizing with the struggle of gay actors to land straight roles), six photos and about a full page to it.


And while feting the lesbian film “The Kids are All Right” and a dozen different shows for including gay themes and storylines and/or actors, Puente only managed to squeeze in a couple of small quotes from pro-family advocates who weren't as excited about the trend as she.


It's ironic that an article celebrating the new normality of “gay friendly entertainment” would show the extent to which gay characters and storylines are now being over-represented on TV. Estimates vary, but somewhere around 4 percent of the U.S. population is gay or bisexual. Yet Puente lists no fewer than nine broadcast shows that somehow involve homosexuality.


The article quotes a parade of actors and activists who cheerfully explain, in the words of David Hauslaib, founder of something called Queerty, "It's a new era where (being a gay family) is no longer a significant part of the story."


Except that it is. “Jarrett Barrios, president of GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, says it's no accident that positive depictions of gay families are increasing,” wrote Puentes. Barrios said gay plots “are interesting, they're edgy, they make for good entertainment.”


Speaking of edgy, the wonderful new world of entertainment doesn't stop at something as mundane as simple homosexuality: “'I really do think every year it gets a little bit better,' says Candis Cayne, a transgendered actress who has appeared in ABC's now-canceled Dirty Sexy Money and Lifetime's hit Drop Dead Diva in transgendered roles.”


“Better” is a matter of perspective and Puente actually got a differing perspective on Hollywood's gay glut. She quoted Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association and Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family, but allotted their critiques just two short paragraphs – 132 words out of the more than 1,800 in the article.


But from “mainstream” media outlets like USA Today, The Washington Post,  and The New York Time, that kind of bias in favor of the gay agenda is “normal, unremarkable, no big deal.”

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