Sitting and watching the nominated shows last night at the GLAAD Awards there was no getting around the stark fact of LGBT Americans successful journey. Over and over again doing the packed dinner we were shown clips of television shows that had healthy whole LGBT characters who have a sexuality.
It wasn't always this good.
In my childhood there was nothing positive for me to embrace as a gay kid. There were no magazine stories, movies, television shows nor coverage in the newspaper of successful role models. In fact, it was just the opposite.
LGBT Americans weren't even allowed on television as characters until Billy Crystal in "Soap". In movies we were portrayed either as the comic lonely side kick to the female star or the perverted and dangerous figure lurking in the dark ready to kill the main lead.
If you were gay in the media you were likely to be the target of blackmail or destruction by the press. Newspapers only published stories when gay males were arrested in the parks. They published their names and addresses often leading to suicide or total humiliation.
In high school, the only definition for me was looking it up in the dictionary. Never will I forget looking up the word homosexual. First of all, I thought everyone in the library might see me do it. Second, when my hands stopped shaking I found that I was 'perverted', 'sick' and 'dangerous to society'. That wasn't exactly a builder of my self-esteem.
Last night the media clips showed over and over again two men or two women kissing. Never will forget the first time I saw two men kisses in public. I thought they might explode right there on the spot and vanish forever. When I went to see the ground breaking movie 'Making Love' and the two leads kissed all the straights in the audience booed the screen.
Don't ever doubt our progress and over the years GLAAD has made it better. They are working now to include more positive portrayals of our brothers and sisters in the Transgender community and they are being successful.
Times have changed dramatically. Young people today can see openly gay stars playing straight roles, straights playing gay roles, passionate kisses on screen that come from love and healthy successful LGBT Americans at every level of life.
It is indeed a wonderful world.