TV's Come a Long Way, Baby! Disney Channel Adds First Same Sex Couple, Plus 10 Small Screen Milestones

Disney Channel introduces the first gay couple on the network!

Disney Channel introduces the first gay couple on the network!

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What an incredible week it has been for equality!

On Sunday, Jan. 26, Queen Latifah married 33 couples—including some same-sex couples—as Macklemore, Mary Lambert and Madonna performed last year’s anthem to equality, “Same Love.”

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That same night, children’s show Good Luck Charlie introduced Disney Channel’s first gay couple ever!

In the episode, the matriarch of the Duncan family, Amy, says she and a woman name Susan made a play date for Charlie with Susan’s son Taylor. Charlie’s father, Bob, insists that he’s also met Taylor and his mother, who he remembers being named Cheryl.

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When the doorbell rings—it turns out that Taylor has two moms! A Disney Channel spokesperson told TV Guide that the plot was “developed to be relevant to kids and families around the world and to reflect themes of diversity and inclusiveness.”

We could not be more excited about this major step that children’s television has taken! Check out 10 other major milestones from the small screen!

July 1972: Prime-time TV’s First Gay Character

The first homosexual, recurring character debuts on prime-time TV on the short-lived series, The Corner Bar.

Feb. 1991: Advertisers Threaten to Back Out Because of Same-Sex Kiss

When it was revealed that L.A. Law planned to show the first lesbian couple kissing on TV, advertisers threatened to pull their funding and stop supporting the show.

May 1994: Network Agrees Not to Show Gay Kiss

After advertisers threatened to boycott Melrose Place, FOX agreed not to air a scene that featured two gay characters kissing.

April 1997: Ellen Comes Out

Ellen Degeneres notoriously came out of the closet on the cover of TIME magazine—and took her character from Ellen with her!

Sept. 1998: Will & Grace Debuts—And Sticks Around!

While they didn’t know it at the time it premiered, Will & Grace went on to be one of the first successful gay sitcoms to resonate with a large, mainstream audience.

May 2000: Buffy Challenges Stereotypes

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was already super successful, challenges stereotypes and “stock characters,” by introducing a relationship between two major, female characters.

Dec. 2000: Cable TV Takes It to the Next Level

Showtime, a premium cable channel, debuts Queer As Folk—which not only centers on gay relationships, but also often depicts sex between two men. The network followed the success in 2005 with The L Word.

Sept. 2007: A Transgender Is Brought to the Mainstream

Dirty Sexy Money may have been short-lived, but it made history by introducing the first transgender character on a primetime show.

Sept. 2009: Glee Gets Real

Glee introduces the character of Kurt, who comes out in high school and is confronted by the same homophobia and hate that affects real gay teenagers today.

Sept. 2009: Welcome to ‘Modern’ Times!

When Modern Family debuted in September of 2009, partners Cam and Mitchell and their adopted daughter instantly became fan favorites! Their kissing, relationship problems, proposal, etc. were no longer viewed as a big deal the way it was not even 20 years ago.

     

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