Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cousin Liz, Will and Grace, and Modern Family: Television For Social Change

Today is National Coming Out Day.  The first person I came out to was my mom.  When I was growing up, I'd watch All In the Family with my mom.  My dad reminded me of Archie Bunker.  Mom reminded me of Edith Bunker.  So strong in her kindness.

I complain a lot about the mushy brains of my fellow Americans who pay more attention to television than they do the upcoming presidential election.  It saddens me that more people watched TLC's (The So-Called Learning Channel) "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" than either the republican or democratic conventions.  But I understand that television can be an important art form for promoting social change.  Shows like All In the Family help change American's minds about what it means to live in a fair society.

"Cousin Liz" episode 2, season 8 of All in the Family

Growing up in the seventies was a progressive pop culture lover's dream.  I was reminded yesterday of the All in the Family episode "Cousin Liz".  And this was not the only show to broaden American's minds about gay people.  Look at this list.  Another favorite of mine was Soap, which had a prominent gay character played by Billy Crystal.

Today, it's shows like Will and Grace and Modern Family.

Here's to television as a tool for social change.