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 Topic: What Was The First Gay/Lesbian TV or Film You Saw?
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Gibeon  



Joined: 01 Apr 2003
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Posted: 30 Apr 2003, 11:53 pm    Post subject: What Was The First Gay/Lesbian TV or Film You Saw? Reply with quote

What was the very first gay/lesbian TV show or film that you can remember seeing gay or lesbian characters protrayed? Hopefully it wasn't one of those terrible Jerry Springer type talk shows.

Mine was "That Certain Summer" on television. It starred Hal Halbrooke who was a divorced father dealing with coming out. His boyfriend was a young Martin Sheen. Halbrooke's son, whose name I do not recall, had trouble with his father's gayness.

Of course, no overt affection between the two men was shown. I would like to see this movie again but apparently it is not available on video.

I also remember "Consenting Adult" on television starring Marlo Thomas as the mother of a gay son who initially attempts to become straight, then likes himself as he is. Curiously enough, Martin Sheen was in this movie too, as the unaccepting father.

My earliest recollection of a lesbian character was on a CBS television series, "Medical Center" starring Chad Everett. A young woman was fearful that she was a lesbian but a somewhat-closeted lesbian doctor assured her that she probably was not.

Chad Everett's character had a love interest in this lesbian doctor and got to show his hurt feelings when he realized that she could not return his love heterosexually.

This series also had a gay male doctor in another episode who was the only doctor who could perform a certain type of surgery. Chad Everett's boss didn't want to use this doctor because his daughter had been married to a homosexual (the term they used instead of gay) who had left her for another man so he was very bitter.

These shows were very advanced for their time, in retrospect, and very sympathetic towards the gay and lesbian characters. What are your earliest shows where you saw gay characters protrayed for the first time?
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Gibeon  



Joined: 01 Apr 2003
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Interests: HIstory, languages, writing, current events, movies
Physical Location: Memphis

Posted: 3 May 2003, 12:51 pm    Post subject: Re: What Was The First Gay/Lesbian TV or Film You Saw? Reply with quote

costeņo wrote:
I That movie also gave me the sense of belonging to a more priviliged society like the american is, at that moment I thought I wanted to become a part of that,but I had to start from here and I am doing what I can to let people know that we,gay men are just as common and normal as everyone else.

another gay movie I had the experience of seeing is the one you mentioned in your message: "consenting adult" I also remember my mother being embarrased when the boy got to the restaurant and has sex inside of a van with another gay. Do you remember that scene?


I think what you say is exactly the galvanizing and invigorating effect that movies can have on isolated gays and lesbians when they finally see gay images up on the screen, Costeņo.

Yes, I remember the van scene very well. That was truly ground-breaking territory for American TV at the time even though very little was shown and much was left to the imagination.

Since you are from Columbia, was is your opinion of "Our Lady Of the Assassins", which may tip me over the edge into buying it. Here is the description for anyone that isn't aware of this movie:

Quote:
" Our Lady of the Assassins"....Barbet Schroeder's harsh yet lyrical tale set in Columbia about a middle-aged writer who falls in love with a gun-toting, sixteen year old hustler. This brutal, sensual and darkly comic story follows the relationship as the fatalistic wordsmith observes the amoral actions of his beautiful boy."


Another South American movie about gays that I liked and enjoyed was "Don't Tell Anyone" from Peru. Have you see it?
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Lydia  



Joined: 26 Apr 2003
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Posted: 7 May 2003, 2:53 pm    Post subject: first gay film Reply with quote

I think the first film I saw that dealt with the idea of
gay characters, albeit in a censored version that made
the characters in question only accused of being lesbian,
was The Children's Hour, based on Lillian Hellman's play.
I would have been about fourteen at the time.
I watched a lot of movies on television as a kid and prob-
ably picked up on the images and stereotypes that were
always teasingly there in mainstream films. It's interesting
to look back and see what dangerous stuff my little mind was
absorbing. I remember That Certain Summer and how I felt that
I was watching something truly revolutionary and freely art-
istic. I actually believed that American television was going
to become a medium for inclusive and even experimental
drama. What dreams!
Lydia
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Recluse emerges after twenty-five years to begin new life as know-it-all for hire.
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Gibeon  



Joined: 01 Apr 2003
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Physical Location: Memphis

Posted: 7 May 2003, 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lydia, I really like your signature line (25 years etc.)

It was only as an adult that I saw "The Children's Hour" and I first saw glimpses of it in Vito Russo's film that looked at the history of gays and lesbians in film. That movie certainly showed the niches that gays and lesbians occupied.

Have you seen the German movie that "The Children's Hour" was based on? "Maechen in Uniform" is its name, made about 1932 just before the Nazis came to power in Germany. It too was riveting.

I also remember a movie from the late 1960s or early 1970s, which in retrospect, was very daring to be shown. I think it's name was "Chastity" and it starred Cher as a cynical young hippy who, during her various adventures, becomes involved with an older lesbian.
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Melanie  



Joined: 15 May 2003
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Posted: 29 May 2003, 3:50 pm    Post subject: Children's Hour Reply with quote

I also saw Children's Hour and it was the first gay themed film for me. I have had a crush on Shirley MacLaine ever since. Also, The Christine Jorgensen Story. I was in high school and at the drive in with several of my friends when I saw it. I was not totally out, but I think everyone had a good idea. The car was silent but friendly.
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Osvaldo  



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Interests: gay & latino culture, US LGBT History, Gay Culture in Latin America, LGBTQ US Latino Identity, Gay Latino Literature, LGBT Political Movements, Gay Sociology, and Anthropology
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Posted: 25 Jun 2003, 9:04 am    Post subject: my first gay movie Reply with quote

My first gay movie was "Loving" in 1982. I saw it at the Avon Theatre in Chicago in 1983, oddly enough with my father!?! My father at the time had a HUGE crush on Kate Jackson. He only took me to see the movie, not my mom or my other brothers. In retrospect, I think my father was trying to let me know that if I were gay, that is was okay with him.

Sincerely,

Osvaldo
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mistletoe  



Joined: 04 Jul 2003
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Posted: 4 Jul 2003, 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: What Was The First Gay/Lesbian TV or Film You Saw? Reply with quote

Gibeon wrote:
What was the very first gay/lesbian TV show or film that you can remember seeing gay or lesbian characters protrayed? Hopefully it wasn't one of those terrible Jerry Springer type talk shows.

Mine was "That Certain Summer" on television. It starred Hal Halbrooke who was a divorced father dealing with coming out. His boyfriend was a young Martin Sheen. Halbrooke's son, whose name I do not recall, had trouble with his father's gayness.

Of course, no overt affection between the two men was shown. I would like to see this movie again but apparently it is not available on video.

I also remember "Consenting Adult" on television starring Marlo Thomas as the mother of a gay son who initially attempts to become straight, then likes himself as he is. Curiously enough, Martin Sheen was in this movie too, as the unaccepting father.

My earliest recollection of a lesbian character was on a CBS television series, "Medical Center" starring Chad Everett. A young woman was fearful that she was a lesbian but a somewhat-closeted lesbian doctor assured her that she probably was not.

Chad Everett's character had a love interest in this lesbian doctor and got to show his hurt feelings when he realized that she could not return his love heterosexually.

This series also had a gay male doctor in another episode who was the only doctor who could perform a certain type of surgery. Chad Everett's boss didn't want to use this doctor because his daughter had been married to a homosexual (the term they used instead of gay) who had left her for another man so he was very bitter.

These shows were very advanced for their time, in retrospect, and very sympathetic towards the gay and lesbian characters. What are your earliest shows where you saw gay characters protrayed for the first time?

My first film dealing with gay characters that left me with a stunning,postive impression(it still does to that day !!!!)is"Another Country"with Rupert Everett;As a then 19-yrs old,I felt there was something to the film that somehow related-and MOSTLY appealed to me.I think I must have been somewhat more influenced by the film than I actually cared to think,since the first Summer School abroad I attended(I'm French)two or three years after that was-Cambridge ,in Britain:-)!
The first series were quite recent,actually;that's"E.R"(the episodes with Jorja Fox did it for me,first,well before Laura Innes -as Kerry Weaver- 'turned"lesbian),and"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"(MY fave episode is one in the first,or second ,season where Xander sort of unbeknownst to him helps one of his male classmates to come out ).Need I say more as to the latter two :-)?
Mistletoe(Christophe Renaudot;e-mail:-c_renaudot@yahoo.com)
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Gibeon  



Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Posts: 22
Interests: HIstory, languages, writing, current events, movies
Physical Location: Memphis

Posted: 6 Jul 2003, 12:20 am    Post subject: Re: my first gay movie Reply with quote

Osvaldo wrote:
My first gay movie was "Loving" in 1982. I saw it at the Avon Theatre in Chicago in 1983, oddly enough with my father!?! My father at the time had a HUGE crush on Kate Jackson. He only took me to see the movie, not my mom or my other brothers. In retrospect, I think my father was trying to let me know that if I were gay, that is was okay with him.

Sincerely,

Osvaldo


Osvaldo, you mean "Making Love" I think which is the one that had Kate Jackson in it. I found out this interesting fact about the movie from The Gay Book of Lists by Leigh W. Rutledge, page 102:

5 PROMINENT ACTORS WHO TURNED DOWN THE ROLE OF 'ZACH', THE DOCTOR, IN "MAKING LOVE"....

1. Tom Berenger

2. Michael Douglas

3. Harrison Ford

4. William Hurt

5. Peter Strauss

Note: The film's director, Arthur Hiller, said that most actors, when approached about the role, flatly replied: "Don't even think about me for this." The part finally went to Michael Ontkean."
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TrnRyder8  



Joined: 12 Jul 2003
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Posted: 12 Jul 2003, 1:22 am    Post subject: Re: my first gay movie Reply with quote

Osvaldo wrote:
My first gay movie was "Loving" in 1982. I saw it at the Avon Theatre in Chicago in 1983, oddly enough with my father!?! My father at the time had a HUGE crush on Kate Jackson. He only took me to see the movie, not my mom or my other brothers. In retrospect, I think my father was trying to let me know that if I were gay, that is was okay with him.


Your post knocked me out, since I grew up a few blocks from the Avon Theatre in Chicago and remember going there on many occasions. Never did see a gay film, there, I have to admit. Also, by the time "Making Love" was in release in the neighborhoods, I had moved away.

But I have many warm memories of hours at the Avon, including some Saturday afternoon cartoon festivals and westerns galore. Also used to attend the Liberty and Embassy theatres on Fullerton Avenue, but they may have been gone by the time you mention.

Incidentally: I don't remember the first gay-themed film I ever saw, but it may have been "Sunday Bloody Sunday" in the early 1970s. Certainly, I'd never seen two men kissing on the screen before that one!
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Osvaldo  



Joined: 16 Apr 2003
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Interests: gay & latino culture, US LGBT History, Gay Culture in Latin America, LGBTQ US Latino Identity, Gay Latino Literature, LGBT Political Movements, Gay Sociology, and Anthropology
Physical Location: Boston, MA.

Posted: 29 Jul 2003, 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: my first gay movie Reply with quote

TrnRyder8 wrote:

Your post knocked me out, since I grew up a few blocks from the Avon Theatre in Chicago and remember going there on many occasions. Never did see a gay film, there, I have to admit. Also, by the time "Making Love" was in release in the neighborhoods, I had moved away.

But I have many warm memories of hours at the Avon, including some Saturday afternoon cartoon festivals and westerns galore. Also used to attend the Liberty and Embassy theatres on Fullerton Avenue, but they may have been gone by the time you mention.

Incidentally: I don't remember the first gay-themed film I ever saw, but it may have been "Sunday Bloody Sunday" in the early 1970s. Certainly, I'd never seen two men kissing on the screen before that one!


Hello,
Yes, I also remember the Kung Fu Saturdays (double feature) on the weekend at the AVON Theatre. FYI, the theatre marquee is gone and the building now houses a faith based youth center.
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Osvaldo  



Joined: 16 Apr 2003
Posts: 19
Interests: gay & latino culture, US LGBT History, Gay Culture in Latin America, LGBTQ US Latino Identity, Gay Latino Literature, LGBT Political Movements, Gay Sociology, and Anthropology
Physical Location: Boston, MA.

Posted: 29 Jul 2003, 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: my first gay movie Reply with quote

TrnRyder8 wrote:

Your post knocked me out, since I grew up a few blocks from the Avon Theatre in Chicago and remember going there on many occasions. Never did see a gay film, there, I have to admit. Also, by the time "Making Love" was in release in the neighborhoods, I had moved away.

But I have many warm memories of hours at the Avon, including some Saturday afternoon cartoon festivals and westerns galore. Also used to attend the Liberty and Embassy theatres on Fullerton Avenue, but they may have been gone by the time you mention.

Incidentally: I don't remember the first gay-themed film I ever saw, but it may have been "Sunday Bloody Sunday" in the early 1970s. Certainly, I'd never seen two men kissing on the screen before that one!


Hello,
Yes, I also remember the Kung Fu Saturdays (double feature) on the weekend at the AVON Theatre. FYI, the theatre marquee is gone and the building now houses a faith based youth center.
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werechick  



Joined: 20 Apr 2003
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Posted: 20 Aug 2003, 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Umn... the first I can remember is But I'm a Cheerleader, but do consider the conservative parenting.
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Goose  



Joined: 04 Sep 2003
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Posted: 4 Sep 2003, 5:52 pm    Post subject: re: my first gay movie. Reply with quote

It seems I'm following a trend with others who have posted here. My first "exposure" to a gay movie was "The Children's Hour" which I watched on a Saturday afternoon at my Grandma's house in the company of my grandmother and my parents (!). I was about 11 or 12 years old at the time.

I have recently spoken about my encounter with "The Children's Hour" with my mother, but she doesn't recall the event. I also spoke to her about my personal need to watch and experience gay ("Hollywood"/ Independent) cinema as a reflection of myself and my identity. Film plays such a huge part in today's culture so, as a lesbian audience member, I'm always searching for crumbs - anything I could associate as being gay on film -when I'm watching a film.

In the years since, I have strived to extend the array of gay and lesbian movies in my own collection, and am currently in the middle of writing my Honours Thesis on the influence of films and music in creating lesbian identities.

I have gathered a few favourites, like "Better than Chocolate", "But I'm a Cheerleader", "High Art", and "Boys on the Side" in the quest to find movies containing gay/lesbian characters and the depiction of their relationships. I have yet to see the lesbian classic "Desert Hearts" which I am itching to see, but cant seem to get a hold of on video or DVD :(

Thanks for the great topic x
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klemmre9  



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Physical Location: Buffalo, NY

Posted: 17 Jan 2004, 11:43 pm    Post subject: Re: What Was The First Gay/Lesbian TV or Film You Saw? Reply with quote

Gibeon wrote:
What was the very first gay/lesbian TV show or film that you can remember seeing gay or lesbian characters protrayed? Hopefully it wasn't one of those terrible Jerry Springer type talk shows.
Mine was "That Certain Summer" on television. It starred Hal Halbrooke who was a divorced father dealing with coming out. His boyfriend was a young Martin Sheen. Halbrooke's son, whose name I do not recall, had trouble with his father's gayness.
Of course, no overt affection between the two men was shown. I would like to see this movie again but apparently it is not available on video.=


Hello.
And funny you should mention "That Certain Summer." I saw it too when it was first broadcast on the Movie of the Week. I was in 9th grade. I didn't know I was gay then. I didn't know until I was 20, though I should have. But that's another story. I was in 9th grade and there was to be this TV movie on that night about two queers and I watched it hoping to laugh at it and instead I was moved by it. Like I said, I didn't know I was gay then but seeing two men (and THOSE two actors that we knew so well from the TV of the time) it made an impression on me that a gay man might NOT be a screaming pansy.

I was in high school in the 70s and saw many of those 70s crime movies which often had flaming queer bad guys - one even wore a dress while he kicked the crap out of James Caan in "Freebie and the Bean" before being shot repeatedly. These films did not make one feel good about being gay. I saw the film of Tennesse Williams' "Suddenly Last Summer" and didn't get the gay subtext the first time. Then, after realising I was gay the first gay film I see is "La cage Aux Folles" which i LOVED for the farce and for the point it made about discrimination but I knew I didn't want to be like ZaZa and Renato in that film.

I was aware of a film by Fassbinder called "Querelle" based on a Jene Genet novel and it had Brad Davis as this muderous hunky gay sailor. But films like that never made it to Buffalo back in 1981. I wouldn't see that one until I was 30 what WOULD we do without home video...

I never saw "Crusing." (On VHS years later...)

In between, i DID see "Fellini Satyricon" which had a bit of homosexualty in with the young leads and a couple of old lecherous Roman Senators. And I remember a gay men speaking openly of his love about another man in Ingmar Bergman's "From the Life of the Marionettes." And suddenly I noticed the subtle gay subtext and the way Robert Walker and Farley Granger cruise each other in Alfred Hitchcock's 1951 "Strangers on a Train."

The first film I saw where two men kissed was "Making Love." I saw it when I was 22 or 23 I think in the movie theater back in 1982. I was looking forward to this film. I'd seen Harry Hamlin shirtless in "Clash of the Titans" and remembered Michael Ontkean from "The Rookies" on TV in the early 70s (Kate Jackson too of course. Weren't they married on THAT show too or am I mistaken?) Anyway I looked forward to seeing two such handsome and masculine men kiss...

The screening was very unpleasant. The audience (mostly young women) laughed and shrieked through most of the film - especially the love scene. How does that make one feel when you want to be turned on by their lovemaking and everyone around you is either laughing or making "eeooyugghhhh" sounds?

Even so, seeing them kiss had a profound reaction - as stiff as that kiss was, it was still the first time I'd seen two men kiss. I didn't find the movie very good (and the audience I saw it with didn't help). It was too much like a TV movie but yet it was so courageous for the time. I will always admire it for that.

The next film where I saw two men kiss was a few years later. It was "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and when William Hurt and Raoul Julia kissed...

Not long after, and also thanks to cable TV... I saw "Parting Glances" for the first time. It was 1986 and here were two nice looking young men kissing and even making love and it's a very well written and natural movie. It's still my favorite gay film of all time.

Well, those are the ones I would say are the LANDMARK first gay films I've seen. Landmarks both as cinema at at landmark times in my life. Well, let me add one more. The first gay film I saw in a movie theater after I came out at he age of 30. And I saw it with my partner Andy who I am about to celebrate 16 years with. The film was "Torch Song Trilogy." The following year we saw "Longtime Companion" in a movie theater and that was another major step in queer film's genesis. And then we were VERY disappointed in "Philadelphia," but loved "The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert" and hated "To Wong Foo." Had fun at "Jeffrey" even if parts were flat, thought "In and Out" was great for straights, same with the "La Cage" remake "The Birdcage" though each has great moments. And we both loved "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

This has gotten kinda long so maybe I'll post again later about some favorite films. I review gay films in Buffalo NY's free monthly gay paper, OutCome. And those were the landmark gay cinema moments in my closeted and then open life. Oh, and yes I too would love to see "That Certain Summer" again and wish it was out on video.

Mike Klemm
Buffalo, NY
Klemmre9@netscape.net
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TMannFan  



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Posted: 8 Sep 2004, 4:36 pm    Post subject: First Remembered Gay Film Reply with quote

The first film that I can remember that had overtly gay characters in gay situations was Midnight Cowboy in 1969. The film had a great impact on me--one of striking fear into my heart. I was 19 at the time and it was just around the time of Stonewall. Boys in the Band was making a splash portraying the miseries of gay life and Midnight Cowboy scared me --not straight-- but enough to inhibit me tremendously and keep me closeted, looking for the "cure.". Although Jon Voight was so sexy, his violence when unleashed left scars that last till today. The scene in which he batters Barnard Hughes with the telephone is burned into my soul.
It didn't help that the only gay author I knew of was Jean Genet and his world vision was not one that a nice Jewish boy from the outer boroughs found attractive. It is too bad I knew so little. It is great to see the changes over the past 35 years and although all too many boys still suffer, the situation is more hopeful than it has been. The next generation will be better off. Thank goodness
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