The Millennial Show
hosted by YouTube. Their return, in support of Hilary Clinton, was both a sign of the times and a nod back to the turn of the 21st Century.
Will And Grace went to air between 1998 and 2006. The sitcom about four friends living in a very gay world was ground-breaking. It won awards and ratings. In 2012, Vice President Joe Biden said that in terms of the gay and lesbian community, “I think Will And Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has done so far.”
As the end of 20-teens closes in, a look back reveals some of the defining moments, trends and personalities in the gay entertainment world, that complex, shifting, sometimes misty mirror of our real world and real selves. We’ve all seen the changes, lived the changes and even, we hope, helped usher in some of those changes ourselves.
This story begins, however, before the turn of the millennium when the accepted showbiz norms about homosexuality were markedly different.
January 2000 and Whitney Houston is caught with drugs in Hawaii, but the bigger scandal of the day is that – gasp! – lesbian singer Melissa Etheridge and then partner Julie Cypher have admitted having two children fathered by folk singer David Crosby.
Yes, that was the sort of thing that made headline news back then – a lesbian couple and their kids. The idea of gay male couples having families of their own was still rarely, if ever, discussed. Today, with celebrity gay dads like Elton John, Ricky Martin, Matt Bomer, Neil Patrick Harris, Rufus Wainwright and TV producer Ryan Murphy, it’s not just acceptable gay couples to be parents, it’s boringly normal and has given rise to the term “gaybies” to describe the children of gay mums and dads.
Back in February 2000, gay icon Madonna and one of the few out actors in Hollywood at the time, Rupert Everett, teamed up for a movie that touched on the subject, if rather awkwardly. The scenario was about a gay man who, oops… gets his gal pal pregnant in the unfortunately titled The Next Best Thing. It was a telling pointer to a topic that would matter a great deal to gay lives over the coming decade. While the film itself didn’t win any awards in the mainstream, it was nominated as Outstanding Film at the 2001 GLAAD Media Awards. It ended up losing to Billy Elliot, a movie about a straight boy who loved ballet (it was his best friend who was gay,