Not too long ago, relatively short-lived series had their gay characters. Next season on "Roseanne" there will be further development of the character Leon (Martin Mull), her boss at the department store restaurant.
"Hooperman" had its gay cop, "Heartbeat" its lesbian doctor, and "The Tracey Ullman Show" its gallery of uninhibited homosexuals. Leon's homosexuality was matter-of-factly slipped into an episode broadcast last April.
Meanwhile, television can simply decide, quite shamelessly, to keep certain aspects of the gay community invisible.
They're for mothers in New Jersey, aunts in Kansas City and frightened 15-year-old gay kids in Mississippi who buy Christopher Street magazine from a blind newsdealer.
I'm tired of trying to figure out whether the latest well-meaning soap opera has succeeded in convincing America that I don't have horns and a tail." In fact, homosexuals are discovering that the old restrictions are no longer as formidable as once thought.
May require Alice asking "Did You Think I Can't Feel?
The message to the medium is blunt: "It is time for the television industry to realize that 25 million lesbians and gay men in America, along with our families and friends, make up a significant share of the viewing audience.