Televison shows like How to Get Away with Murder, Empire, Faking It, and Modern Family are working diligently toward normalizing the display of gay affection. After years of harsh restrictions by broadcast networks, progressive series are integrating more LGBT characters and storylines. Some call it gaybaiting, but it isn't just a ploy for ratings or titillation, it remains a rebellious and celebratory act for many around the globe. These programs are giving us what we want: gay love in a true and representative form.
In reality a kiss might be meaningless, but it means a great deal when a major network broadcasts a gay kiss to millions. The following unforgettable kisses gave us weak knees and pulsing... hearts.
History was made in 1991 when L.A. Law actors Amanda Donohoe and Michele Greene locked lips in network television’s first lesbian kiss. It was not uncommon for the Emmy-winning drama to push boundaries of traditional television, but this was really a daring move. (skip to 26:40)
ABC's Roseanne embraced controversy, including numerous gay-inclusive moments. In a 1994 episode, Roseanne shared a kiss with Mariel Hemingway, who played a lesbian stripper at a local gay bar. In a sign of the times, ABC prefaced the show with a parental guidance disclaimer.
In 2000, Dawson's Creek became the first network television show to air a passionate male-male kiss when actors Kerr Smith and Adam Kaufman wrestled tongues. "The truth is TV is a business of ratings," the episode's director, James Whitmore, said of the kiss. "If you've got something exciting that's going to happen on TV, everybody tunes in and watches it."