Gay Representation on TV—Then Vs. Now ~ Outside the Margins with Ethan Stone

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Ethan Stone goes Outside the Margins today.

Ethan Stone OtM

As a major TV addict I’m thrilled by how far gay characters have come over the past forty years. I’m not saying we’re where we should be, but characters all over the spectrum are far more likely to show up on our screens than they were in the past.

Many shows advertise their LGBT characters ahead of time, but I personally like it when I’m pleasantly surprised. I was watching the first episode of The Bastard Executioner just the other day and was shocked to see a little guy-on-guy action. It wasn’t exactly romantic, but probably authentic for that era. The Bastard Executioner is from the same guy who wrote Sons of Anarchy, which portrayed an interesting relationship between a rough and tough biker and a trans woman. I would’ve rather seen Juice and Jax getting it on, but I’ll have to relegate those fantasies to fan fic.

Compare the almost casual appearances of such characters to big shows from years ago such as Dynasty. The show broke ground by having a major character, Steven Carrington, be gay. However, the show hardly did a service to homosexuals with the character. Blake Carrington, the star of the show, called his son a fag, and even accidentally murdered Steven’s lover.

Though Steven was on the show for the majority of the show’s run, he was more often paired with women than with men. And when he was paired with a man, such as Luke Fuller portrayed by the adorable Billy Campbell, they didn’t even kiss on screen.


That’s right when Steven and Luke expressed their love physically they did it with a rather chaste hug. Compare that to every male-female couple of the show who not only kissed but were often shown in bed. Basically, Steven Carrington was never allowed to be a real gay man.

Fun fact: The second actor to portray Steven, Jack Coleman, played gay men years later in The Office and Scandal.

Even a decade later gay men weren’t allowed to kiss on network television. In 1994 Melrose Place the character of Matt shared a kiss with his date, but viewers didn’t see anything because an advertiser threatened to boycott if the liplock was shown.

The first guy on guy kiss in primetime didn’t happen until six years later in 2000 on Dawson’s Creek between Jack (Kerr Smith) and Ethan (Adam Kaufman.)

Are there tons of same-sex smooches on primetime now? No, but it’s a lot more likely to happen thanks to the open minds of producers and audiences. We have openly gay producers, actors, writers, etc.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

~Ethan Stone


Title: Muse
Author: Ethan Stone
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 09/11/2015
Cover Artist: A.J. Corza


Years ago author Micah Shea had a dream about a sexy adventurer, seeing the man in perfect detail. He’s been using the hot fellow as his muse—and star of his books—ever since. He’s always assumed Declan Muse was just a figment of his imagination.

That all changes when he meets avid reader Trevor, who is the exact embodiment of Declan, down to the phoenix tattoo on his back. At first Micah is drawn to Trevor because of the uncanny resemblance to the man of his dreams, but it soon becomes more than that and Micah falls for the real thing.

Afraid of coming off as a psycho Micah is hesitant to tell Trevor about Declan Muse, but Trevor learns the truth and it all goes to hell. Now Micah only has a short time to convince Trevor he isn’t a psycho and that their relationship deserves a chance at a future.


Muse on Goodreads

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

About Ethan Stone

Ethan Stone is an out and proud gay man. Which is fairly new in his life, the out part, not the gay part. He’s been queer his whole life, though he tried to deny it for years with a wonderful woman. The years in denial weren’t all bad, he has two amazing kids out of it. His son is a teenager and his daughter has made him a grandfather, three times over. A way too young grandfather.

Ethan recently returned to Oregon after almost a decade in Nevada. He no longer has a day job and is doing his best to make a living at this writing thing. If he can’t make a living, he at least wants to support his Mt. Dew and beef jerky addictions.

Readers can find Ethan online.

Twitter: @ethanjstone
Google +:
Ello: @ethanstone92

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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2 thoughts on “Gay Representation on TV—Then Vs. Now ~ Outside the Margins with Ethan Stone

  1. In Australia in the early seventies we had a soapie, Number 96, that was pretty much no-holds barred in terms of sex and nudity. And that show featured a gay lawyer ‘Don’. ‘The character of Don Finlayson was significant as he was the first gay character to be portrayed in an ongoing role on TV …’ I remember Don was always pretty much portrayed in a positive light, though I didn’t get to see a lot of the show (a bit naughty, you understand).

    Can’t confirm that it actually showed the first gay kiss on Aussie TV, reports vary. But in some ways the show (while pretty dreadful) broke ground that we’re still trying to catch up decades later. Though we now have ‘House Husbands’, a show that includes a gay couple raising a child. Maybe there’s hope for Aussie TV yet.

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