A new documentary seeks to show the real-world impact of television's LGBT characters and storylines.
Playing Gay: How America Came Out on Television argues that LGBT rights milestones like the passage of marriage equality "didn't happen in a vacuum - it happened on television."
The film, which has launched a Kickstarter to help fund its production, will show how series like Ellen, Will & Grace, The L Word, and Modern Family helped move the cultural needle toward broader acceptance of the LGBT community.
Written and directed by activist and talk show host David Bender, the project includes interviews with TV pioneers like Sheila Kuehl, an actor in The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis who defied the gender conventions of the 1960s, as well as Wilson Cruz, a former GLAAD spokesperson who broke barriers when he played an out teen on My So-Called Life.
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Cruz, an executive producer of the film, is calling for the public's support to help fund this essential project.
"We've never had an opportunity to really tell the history of LGBT people on television," Cruz says in the Kickstarter video. "And it's important to remember where we've come from if we expect to be able to continue to tell our stories in a real way."
Help fund the project here, and watch the video below: