How did sitcoms handle gay characters in the ’70s and ’80s?

How did sitcoms confront -- or, in most cases, actively avoid -- the subject of homosexuality in the '70s and '80s?

How did sitcoms confront -- or, in most cases, actively avoid -- the subject of homosexuality in the '70s and '80s?

How did sitcoms confront -- or, in most cases, actively avoid -- the subject of homosexuality in the '70s and '80s?

How did sitcoms confront — or, in most cases, actively avoid — the subject of homosexuality in the ’70s and ’80s?

When did television first permit jokes about homosexuality? Matt Baume has been combing through sitcoms to figure out when queers stopped being viewed as a paralyzing threat to America and started becoming fully fleshed-out characters with rich love lives and barbed, piercing punchlines.

Take a look at some of his favorite early gay characters that shamelessly sashayed into old-school situation comedies.

This Story Filed Under

Comments