Gays on TV: From National Freakout to Modern Family Fun

Just a few years ago, whenever gay, lesbian, or bisexual characters appeared on broadcast television, a national freakout was never far behind. These days there are more queer TV characters than ever before, and television representations of gay life are increasingly rich and nuanced, even as the old lesbians-titilate, gays-entertain tropes sometimes remain in play.

This video considers all the out-queers on the small screen—as well as all the gay wannabes, pretend-to-bes, and should-bes—taking stock of how far we’ve come and looking forward to where we might go next.