On a recent episode of One Life to Live, history was made. On the December 30 episode of the popular soap opera, Kyle Lewis and Oliver Fish had sex for the first time. While this was not the first time that a gay couple has had sex on a soap opera, is was the first time that a gay sex scene was actually AIRED on daytime television. No the scene wasn’t soft core porn. Lewis and Fish were treated the same as any other couple might, with their encounter preceded by shots of them lighting candles, undressing each other, and touching passionately.
Gay characters have increased in appearance and visibility in soap operas over the last couple of years. Luke and Noah have become a staple on As The World Turns, facing the same kind of struggles that heterosexual couples would face. Faked marriages, blindness, infidelity, hospital visits, and rocky relationships with a father who attempts to kill the love of your life? These were the challenges that Luke and Noah faced, and they were just as outrageous as the challenges the heterosexual couples faced. The soap opera The Young and The Restless has also featured several gay characters as well.
As I’ve posted on Amplify before, our personal lives are political. Visibility in the popular media is just as important as political gains. When moderate voters across the country vote on ballot initiatives or politics that impact LGBTQ individuals, they are more likely to vote for equality when they have gay or lesbian friends. If you watch As The World Turns, you have seen Luke and Noah onscreen as their relationship develops for several years. Is that the same as having a gay best friend? No, not necessarily. But if you do not know any openly gay people, I’d rather you have some exposure to gay and lesbian characters through popular culture. As Oliver and Kyle’s relationship continues, let’s hope their trials and tribulations are just as shocking as other couple’s on the show. Anyone up for an appearance by Kyle’s twin sister who he didn’t know he had who now identifies as a man?