List of American television episodes with LGBT themes

List of American television episodes with LGBT themes

Since the 1970s, American television and cable programs have sometimes aired episodes addressing issues relating to homosexuality. Storylines in individual episodes have concerned gay rights, or perhaps more broadly, expressed what a producer or writer believes is a need for understanding and tolerance for gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people.

A producer or writer may choose to address homosexuality-related topics in one of several ways:

* The "coming out" episode – Where a main or supporting character reveals he/she is gay.
* Integrating (often briefly) a LGBT character into the series.
* An episode where a one-time character – seen or unseen – is revealed as being gay, and the main characters dealing with the issue (e.g., a family visiting a relative who makes his/her announcement).
* An episode with a villain who is identified as being LGBT.
* An episode dealing with the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Until the late 1990s (when actress Ellen DeGeneres revealed her real-life homosexuality and built this into her situation comedy, "Ellen"), it was relatively rare for a television series – drama or comedy – to address gay issues. However, a handful of programs did build individual episodes around the issue as early as the 1970s – most notably "All in the Family", which had several "gay-themed" episodes – usually either to address a certain aspect of the topic, to make the show controversial or establish a certain philosophy among the characters.

Pre Ellen: 1950s - 1989

"Alien Nation"

* "Chains of Love" (1989) Sikes has to deal with a male Newcomer who has developed a crush on him as a result of a love potion called "sardonac" and follows him around.
* "Real Men" (1990) George contemplates paternity leave.
* "Body and Soul" (1994) A gay couple are among the participates at the inter-species sex course that Matt and Cathy attend.
*"Millennium" (1996) George remarks to his wife that there is nothing wrong if their son dates other men.

"All in the Family"

* "Judging Books By Covers" – (1971) After mocking his son-in-law Mike's effeminate but heterosexual lunch guest, Archie Bunker finds out that one of his all-American drinking buddies is a gay man.

*"Archie the Hero" (1975) Archie saves the life of a drag queen known as Beverly LaSalle (who he thinks is a woman) by administering artificial respiration and is chagrined when the rescue draws media attention (because he's "kissed a guy").

* "Edith's Crisis of Faith" (1977)- Edith learns of Beverly's murder and this causes her to question her belief in God.

* "Cousin Liz" (1977) – Archie and Edith attend the funeral of Edith's cousin, Liz. Afterward, Liz's friend Veronica (K Callan), a teacher, reveals she and Liz were more than just roommates. Edith is surprised to learn Liz and Veronica were lesbian partners, but is quickly accepting; in fact, she allows Veronica to keep a valuable tea service that had been bequeathed to her. Archie is outraged and, after ranting about how God hates gays, declares his intent to sue for the tea service. Edith warns Archie to back off, telling him that God will handle the relationship between Liz and Veronica and that a lawsuit would likely destroy her teaching career (because Veronica would likely be outed during the trial). Archie relents, but states that he does not have to like what went on between the two women.

"Archie Bunker's Place"

* "The Cook" (1980) – Veronica Rooney (Anne Meara) is hired as the cook, and insists that her openly gay nephew, Fred, is hired as a waiter. Fred quits a few episodes later, stating that Archie is not ready to work with an openly gay man.

"Barney Miller"

* Marty (Jack DeLeon) was a gay purse snatcher, who gave up crime and got a boyfriend named Darryl (Ray Stewart). Officer Zitelli (Dino Natali) would come out of the closet to protest anti-gay police polices.

"The Bob Newhart Show"

*"Some of My Best Friends Are..." features Howard Hesseman as a gay patient who joins Dr. Hartley's long-standing therapy group. The title of this episode is the same as a LGBT-themed film that was released in the early 1970s.

"Carter Country"

* "Out of the Closet" (1977) - Chief Roy is stunned when his old friend and fishing buddy Bill (Richard Jaeckel) reveals he's gay.


* "By Dawn's Early Light" (1974) - Colonel Lyle C. Rumford (Patrick McGoohan) is implied to be a gay man with an interest in S&M.
* Another episode featured an effeminate hair stylist who is afraid that Columbo is going to arrest him.

"The Cosby Show"

* "Pilot" (1984) - Cliff ask Denise if she should be worried about her boyfriend, because he has an earring in his ear.


* "Royal Marriage" (1979) - J.R. Ewing has high hopes for the upcoming marriage of his niece Lucy and Kit Mainwaring, son of an oilman with whom J.R. hopes to do business. However, when Kit reveals his homosexuality to J.R., he still insists the wedding go on. However, Bobby (to whom he comes out later) tells Kit that he must tell Lucy the truth.

"Diff'rent Strokes"

* "On Your Toes" (1982) - Willis is upset that Arnold has taken up ballet, beliving that it something for sissies or "sweet" [read: gay] men.
* "The Senior Class Queen" (1984) - Willis runs for the Senior Class Beauty Pageant in response to Kimberly's campaign to open up a school club to women.
* "Sam's New Pal" (1985) - Sam is shocked to discover that his best friend is really a girl.

"Doctor, Doctor"

* "Torch Song Cardiology" (1989) - Mike's gay brother, Richard, helps Grant write a speech and the two become close friends, prompting some homophobia from Mike, Dierdre and Abe.
* "Accentuate the Positive" (1990) - Dierdre is uncomfortable treating a man with AIDS.

"The Equalizer"

* "First Light" (1987) - Openly gay actor and author Quentin Crisp guest stars.

="The Facts of Life"=

* "Rough Housing" (1979) - In the first episode, Cindy's casual, friendly hug of a girl is misinterpreted by Blair as being "strange." Later, the tomboyish Cindy confides to Mrs. Garrett that because she likes sports, dislikes dresses, and feels uncomfortable around boys, she thinks "maybe I'm not normal", until Mrs. Garrett convinces her that two girls can show affection even if they are not gay. The episode does not specifically use the word "lesbian".

"Frank's Place"

*"Season's Greetings" (1987) - "Bubba" Weisburger (Robert Harper), longtime friend of Frank, tells his mother that Frank is his lover in an effort to stop her nagging questions about when he is going to marry and settle down.


* "Night Prey" (1988) - Implied allegory to vampires and homosexuality. The episode also featured a female prostitute being paid to kiss a female vampire.
* "The Secret Agenda of Mesmer's Bauble" (1989) - A man is so obsessed with a female singer, that he wants to become her.

"Gimme a Break!"

* "The Chief's Gay Evening" (1982) - During a stakeout which involves an officer (Frank Bonner) posing as a woman, another of Chief Kanisky's officers (Eugene Roche) takes offense at a distasteful gay joke, and in the argument that follows the officer reveals that he is gay.
* "Melissa" (1983) - Nell sets the Chief up with a woman, not knowing that the woman is actually an MTF transgender.

"The Golden Girls"

* The effeminate gay male live-in cook named Coco (Charles Levin) was eliminated after the 1985 pilot episode because series creator Susan Harris considered him unnecessary.
*"Isn't it Romantic" (1986) - Dorothy's old friend Jean (Lois Nettleton), a lesbian whose partner has recently died, comes to visit, and develops a crush on Rose.
*"Scared Straight" (1988) - Blanche's younger brother Clayton (Monte Markham) comes out as gay on a visit to Miami.
*'Ebbtide's Revenge' (1990) - Funeral for Dorothy's (Beatrice Arthur) younger brother Phil Petrillo. Phil was a heterosexual cross-dresser.
*"Sister of the Bride" (1991) - Clayton returns, this time with a boyfriend with whom he intends to have a commitment ceremony.
*'Episode" - An effeminate theatre director.
*"Goodbye, Mr. Gordon" (1992) - Blanche and Dorothy are mistaken for a couple on a talk show.

"Hill Street Blues"

* "Trial By Fury" - Belker befriends a gay prostitute named Eddie Gregg (Charles Levin).


*"Rallying Cry" (1985) - Guests (Lloyd Bochner, Marion Ross) at the hotel sue for custody of their granddaughter after learning that their late daughter's ex-husband (Douglas Barr) is gay.

* "Contest of Wills" (1988) – Two of the guests in the San Francisco hotel are a lesbian couple. One of the women is killed in a car accident, prompting the other woman's father to accuse her grieving lover of corrupting his daughter's morals.

"The Jeffersons"

* "Once a Friend" (1977) features one of the first, if not the first, transgender characters on American television in the person of Edie, who George knows as an old Navy buddy named Eddie.

"Kate and Allie"

* Odd Boy Out (1984) - Chip's friends think he's a sissy because he lives in a house with two women.
* Landlady (1984) - Kate and Allie pretend to be a gay couple, so that their landlady, who is gay and has a lover, will not increase their rent.
* The Marriage Counselor (1987) - Kate and Allie visit a marriage counselor to help them settle their arguments.

"Magnum PI"

*"Jororo Kill" (1982) — Magnum must prevent a man, discharged from the British armed forces for being a transvestite, from killing a visiting Prime Minister.
*Limited Engagement (1983) - Two elderly sisters are robbing a chain of convenience stores by dressing up as men.

"Marcus Welby, M.D."

*"The Other Martin Loring" (1973) - A stressed, diabetic man about to be divorced faces the "illness" of homosexuality.
*"The Outrage" (1975) - A gay male high school teacher sexually molests one of his students. After protests from gay activists, dialogue was inserted to note that most child molesters are heterosexual.

"Mary Tyler Moore Show"

*"My Brother's Keeper" (1973) - Phyllis wants to set up her visiting brother Ben (Robert Morse) with Mary. Phyllis' brother is gay.


* George - A 1974 episode featured a serviceman who was beaten by members of his own unit for being gay. He confides in Hawkeye but Major Burns overhears and seeks to initiate a discharge. Hawkeye and Trapper blackmail Major Burns (threatening to reveal he bought the answers to his medical school admission exams) and he agrees to drop the matter.


* The Stripper (1986) - In the final moments of the episode Matlock tells the court that the mysterious and elusive murderer named Helen Shelly is really a cross-dressing male strip club worker suffering from "identity confusion."
* The Star (1989) - Matlock is initially reluctant to defend a Hollywood director, accused of murder, because he is wearing an earring.


*Maude's New Friend (1974) - Maude befriends a best selling author who is gay.
* The Gay Bar (1977) – Maude is upset when her husband and some of his friends try to prevent a gay bar from opening up in their neighborhood.

="Medical Center"=

*The Fourth Sex (Parts 1 and 2) (1975) - Robert Reed (a closeted gay actor in real life) plays a transsexual doctor who decides to have sexual reassignment surgery.

"The Midnight Caller"

* After it Happen (1988) - A bisexual man deliberately infects a straight women with the AIDS virus.

"Murder She Wrote"

* Birds of a Feather (1984) – Jessica travels to San Francisco to attend the wedding of her niece, Victoria, only to learn that her fiancé is cross-dressing at a nightclub to earn a living, and is subsequently charged with the murder of his boss. While the fiancé is really straight, the episode does feature, the only time in the series, a gay couple in the background.

"Night Court"

* The Blizzard (1984) - Dan is trapped in an elevator due to an electrical outage with a gay man who's attracted to him.
* Best of Friends (1985) – Dan is upset when an old male friend comes to visit after having become a woman.
* Passion Plundered (1989) - Harry and Dan pursue an attractive reporter (who also is a romance writer) sent to interview Harry, only to later find out that she is a lesbian.


*Shakedown (1967) - The police must track down a blackmailer who is targeting gay men.
*Everybody Loved Him (1969) - A successful film producer was murdered by a male prostitute.

"Police Squad!"

* Testimony of Evil (Dead Men Don't Laugh) (1982) - Detective Frank Drebin admits to the victim's wife that he knows what it is like to live with another man.

="Police Woman"=

* Flowers of Evil (1974) - A lesbian couple that runs a nursing home is killing off its clients.
* Episode? (1976) - Police woman meets up with her lesbian ex-roommate.

"The Rockford Files"

* The Empty Frame (1978) – A trio of Berkeley Communists raid an elite dinner party being hosted by a gay couple and steal some of their valuable paintings. The gay couple hire Rockford to recover the paintings.
* "Requiem for a Funny Box" (1977) the gay son of a mafia leader is forced to come out to his mafia father, after being blackmailed by a comedian. When an attempt to murder the comedian fails, the mafia leader orders his son to be executed to avoid shaming the family.

"Room 222"

*What Is A Man? (1971) - high school boy becomes a target of schoolyard homophobia.

"Sanford and Son"

* Lamont, Is That You? (1973) – Fred gets the wrong idea when he sees Lamont and Rollo patronize a nightclub that they later learn is a gay bar. The title of this episode is a nod to series star Redd Foxx's film "Norman, Is That You?" which was released the same year.

"Simon and Simon"

* Details at Eleven (1981) - The brothers learn that Wade Christian (Peter Graves) is gay when they track him down to a gay bar in Tijuana and take incriminating pictures.
* Episode? - Rick Simon (Gerald McRaney) jokingly implies that his brother is gay, when he speaks to an attractive waitress and tells her that his brother has AIDS.

"St. Elsewhere"

* "Release" (1983) - One of Dr. Craig's old friends is planning to have a sex change operation.
* "AIDS and Comfort" (1983) - A Boston politician checks into St. Eligius and learns that he has AIDS. He admits privately that he has had sexual encounters with men in the recent past. One of the first American network television programs to deal with the pandemic.
* "Split Decision" (1988) - An AIDS patient.

"Starsky and Hutch"

"Death in a Different Place" - Game show host Art Fleming plays a bisexual cop and Charles Pierce appears as a female impersonator in this gay-themed episode.


* Strangers (1989) - Melissa's gay friends Russell (David Marshall Grant) and Peter (Peter Frechette), were seen in bed together after what was a post-coital scene. The controversy ensured that the couple were not seen too much afterwards, although it was mentioned that one of the character had tested positive for HIV.

"Three's Company"

* Series Star Jack (John Ritter) tells his conservative, senior, landlord that he is gay, so that he can live with two beautiful women. Several subsequent episodes dealt Jack pretending to be gay, and in the final episode he tolds his landlord that he had turned straight.
* Stange Bedfellows (1977) - Mr. Roper thinks he gay when he wakes up in bed with Jack.
* The Love Lesson' (1980) - Ralph Furley (Don Knotts) tries to "cure" Jack.
* Night of the Ropers (1981) - Mr. Roper returns and Jack pretends to be gay, when he is around.
* Grandma Jack (1983) - Jack dresses up as a woman to enter a cooking contest.

"Trapper John, M.D."

* Friends and Lovers (1985) - Libby's crushed to discover an old boyfriend is both gay and suffering from AIDS.

"21 Jump Street"

* Honor Bound (1987) – The team investigates a military school where cadets are killing gays.
* A Big Disease With A Little Name (1988) – The team protects a high school student living with AIDS.
* A Change of Heart (1990) – A lesbian student makes a pass at Hoffs.

"WKRP in Cincinnati"

* "Les on a Ledge" (1978) - Les Nessman threatens to jump out of the station's building after rumors about his sexual orientation circulate.

Pre Ellen: 1990 - 1997

"Babylon 5"

* Talia Winters and Cmdr. Susan Ivanova were lovers for a short time, although this was not definitively confirmed until the third season, after Andrea Thompson (who played Talia Winters on Babylon 5) had left the show. In another episode, two male crewmen go undercover as a recently married couple.

"Beverly Hills 90210"

* In 1991 - 1992, high school athlete Kyle Conner (David Lascher) was gay, but in the closet.
*Kappa Epsilon Gamma fraternity president Mike Ryan (Brandon Douglas & Jack Armstrong) was outed.
*Alison Lash (Sara Melson)
*Jimmy Gold was a young gay man dying of AIDS that Kelly befriended
*Samantha Sanders (Christine Belford) came out as a lesbian near the end of the series.
*Gay teenager who works in a car wash and befriends David Silver in 1999.
*McKay defends a gay co-worker in a community youth center in 2000.

="Boston Common"=

* Autumn 'Foliage (1996) - Leonard expresses in an interest in the "girl" at the impound lot.

"Caroline in the City"

* Caroline and the Gay Art Show (1995) - Richard accidentally participates in an art gallery for gay artists.
* Caroline and Victor/Victoria (1996) - Annie poses as a man to prepare for a "Victor/Victoria" audition.
* Caroline and the Little White Lies (1998) - Del and Charlie pretend to be gay for insurance purposes.


* Boys In the Bar (1983) – One of Sam's best friends comes out as gay in a new autobiography, and some of the fellows at the bar worry that it might turn into a gay bar.
* Rebecca's Lover... Not (1992) - Harvey Fierstein guest starred as a man that Rebecca had a crush on in high school, but had since come out as being gay.
* One for the Road (1993) - Diane asks a gay friend to pose as her husband so as to one-up Sam.

"Chicago Hope"

*Occasional LGBT patients.
*Doctor Robert Lawrence (Mark Benninghofen) worked with Dr. Shutt (Adam Arkin) and asked him out on a date.
*Doctor Dennis Hancock (Vondie Curtis-Hall) came out in 1998.


*A Real Guy's Guy (1991). Hayden pressures Kelly to date his star player, only to find out that he is gay. While Hayden deals with his homophobia he learns that some former team members were gay.
*A Boy and His Doll (1997) Howard and Shirley give Timothy a doll, but Luther feels the boy should have more masculine influences.


*Older and Out (1997) - Hilton is overjoyed when he meets new friends Chuck (Joseph Bologna) and Larry (Andre De Shields), and joins their "Older and Out" team, unaware that it is a group for older gay athletes.

"The Commish"

*Keeping Secrets (1994) - A recent string of anti-gay hate crimes prompts Officer Hank Radovich (Matthew Ryan) to come out and face homophobia in the police department.


Jeff Richards (Tim Maculan) was a gay waiter at Cybill's favorite restaurant. Had brief scenes in most episodes, with a larger role in two episodes.

* "Three Women & A Dummy" (1996) - Cybill attends a party with Jeff, hosted by his ex-boyfriend.
* "Whose Wife Am I, Anyway?" (1998) - Cybill poses as Jeff's wife to please his conservative grandmother.

"Dear John"

* "Margo"(1989) The group tells John that the knockout who's knocking him out is really a new member's transvestite husband.
*"Kirk's Ex-wife" (1991) Kirk goes into hiding when the group discovers his wife left him for another woman.

"Designing Women"

*Killing All the Right People - Tony Goldwyn plays a gay man with AIDS who asks the Sugarbaker firm to design his funeral.
*Suzanne Goes Looking For a Friend (1990) - Suzanne mistakes the "coming out" announcement of a former beatuy queen and current television weather forecaster announcer.

"Dharma & Greg"

*"The First Thanksgiving" (1997) - One of Greg's relatives is a lesbian.
*"A Closet Full of Hell" (1998) - A lonely spirit seduces both Greg and Dharma.
*"Invasion of the Buddy Snatchers" (1998) - One of Greg's poker buddies is gay.
*"See Dharma Run" (1999) - Dharma pretends to be a lesbian, among other things, to win votes.
*"Dharma Drags Edward Out of Retirement" (1999) - Edward helps a struggling store selling women's clothing for men.

"Diagnosis Murder"

* All-American Murder (1996) - When a beautiful woman is murdered, Dr. Sloan learns that this woman was a male-to-female transgender person who (while still a man) was kicked out of the marines for his sexual orientation.


* I Never Ate For My Father - Robbie adopts the herbivore life-style, forcing Earl to take his son out into the wilderness to be a "real" male dinosaur.

"Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"

*The Body Electric (1997) - The town welcomes the famous poet named Walt Whitman, until they learn of his homosexuality.


* "ER Confidential" (1994) - Carter helps a suicidal transgender patient.
* "Random Acts" (1996) - Jorja Fox played a lesbian doctor named Dr. Maggie Doyle.
* "Good Touch, Bad Touch" (1997) - Ross has a closeted young athlete as a patient.
* "Truth & Consequences" (1999) - Benton's patient is a young gay man who has HIV.
* "The Domino Heart" (2000) - Greene's patient is a gay man in an abusive relationship.
* "The Greatest of Gifts" (2000) - Weaver's patient is a child with two mommies.
* "Surrender" (2001) - Weaver and Legaspi have slept together.
* "Thy Will Be Done" (2001) - Malucci treats a gay man who wants to contract HIV.
* "Rampage" (2001) - Weaver comes out to Romano, after he fires Legaspi.
* "Where The Heart Is" (2001) - Weaver comes out to Dr. Luka Kovač.
* "Partly Cloudy, Chance of Rain" (2001) - Weaver meets paramedic Sandy Lopez.
* "A River In Egypt" (2002) - Sandy Lopez plants a kiss on Weaver, thus outing her.
* "A Hopeless Wound" (2002) - Gay couple as patients, one with serious burns.
* "Next of Kin" (2002) - A twelve year old patient is transgender.
* "Someone To Love" (2006) - Interacial, eldery gay couple, one is dying.
* "Parenthood" (2006) - Lesbian couple with a child.
* "Reason To Believe" (2006), Dr. Gregory Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) finds his brother in the shower with his boyfriend.


* "The One with the Sonogram at the End" (1994) - Ross learns that Carol is pregant and going to raise the baby with Susan.
* "The One Where Nana Dies Twice" (1994) - People think that Chandler is gay.
* "The One with the Candy Hearts" (1994)- Ross bumps into Carol and Susan at a restaurant.
* "The One with the Birth" (1995) - Carol gives birth to a baby boy named Ben.
* "The One with Phoebe's Husband" (1995) - Phoebe is married to a gay Canadian ice dancer to help him get his green card. The guy returns and wants to divorce, because he is not really gay and wants to marry another.
* "The One with the Baby on the Bus" (1995) - Chandler and Joey babsit Ben.
*"The One With The Lesbian Wedding" (1996) - Carol and Susan have a commitment ceremony. The fourth shown on American network television.
* "The One with Joey's Bag" (1999) - Joey begins to carry a "man's bag" to help him prepare for a role.
* "The One with Joey's Porsche" (1999) - To help get an annulment, Rachel insists that Ross pretend to be gay, among other things.
* "The One that Could Have Been" (1999) - The gang ponders what might have been if Ross and Carol stayed married.
* "The One with Rachel's Assistant" (2000) - Chandler admits that he once kissed a guy.
* '"The One with the Truth About London" (2001) - Rachel teaches Ben some crude jokes.
* "The One with Joey's Award" (2001) - Joey denies being gay in an interview.
* "The One with Rachel's Big Kiss" (2001) - Rachel runs into Melissa (Winona Ryder, an old sorority sister who Rachel shared a passionate night with.
* "The One with Chandler's Dad" (2001) - Chandler tries to reconcile with his father, who, years earlier, had come out as being transgender, and left the family to work as an entertainer in Las Vegas, Nevada.
* "The One with the Rumor"(2001) - Will (Brad Pitt) and Ross recall how, as kids, they had started a rumor that Rachel was a transsexual.
* "The One with the Memorial Service" (2003) - Ross and Chandler post false information about each other on their college's alumni website, i.e. Chandler is gay and Ross is dead.

"Grace Under Fire"

* Emment's Secret (1995) - Grace found out that her former father-in law, Emmet, is gay, after seeing him in a gay sports bar. Emment died in the next episode, with his partner showing up to the funeral.
* Riverboat Queen (1997), Grace and her business partner find out that their investor is gay.


* "Leader of the Pact" (1995). The episode's two immortal villains are cryptically depicted as a gay couple.


* "Hate Crimes" (1995) - Neo Nazis kill a man because he is gay, in a gay neighborhood.
* "Closet Cases" (1998) - A gay man is found dead outside of a gay nightclub. Bayliss has dinner with a resturant's owner, gay man named, Chris Rawls (Peter Gallagher.
* "Just an Old Fashioned Love Song" (1998) - Bayliss discusses his sexuality with Det. Rene Sheppard.
* "Truth Will Out" (1999) - Bayliss dates a male sergeant he met at a crime scene, but worries about workplace discrimination and the rumors about his personal website; "In Plain Site" ("").
* "Identity Crisis" (1999) - Ballard and Gharty's murder suspect is a transgender prostiute.
* "Forgive Us Our Trespasses" (1999) - Bayliss leaves the Homicide unit.
* Tim Bayliss (Kyle Secor) identified as being "bi-curious", in the 1997-1998 season.

"The John Larroquette Show"

*Officer Adam Hampton (Lenny Clarke) - Closeted police officer.
*Pat (Jazzmun) - Transgender prostitute in the first season.
*The Past Comes Back (1993) - A startled John begins questioning his sexuality after another male alcoholic visits to make amends.
*Dirty Deeds(1994) - At a drag show, John runs into his old college roommate, who's playing Marlene Dietrich;
*An Odd Cup of Tea (1995) - Hampton gets flowers from his male doctor.
*Happy Endings (1996) - Hampton comes out, and reveals that he is gay.

"L.A. Law"

* Cara Jean `C.J.' Lamb (Amanda Donohoe) appeared in forty episodes from 1990-1992. Among other things, she kissed another woman in the parking lot, and later would defend one of her ex-lovers, Maggie (Elisabeth Kemp), in a child custody case.
* Mark Gilliam (Stanley Kamel) was another lawyer who appeared in five episodes from 1986-1991.

"Law & Order"

* "The Reaper's Helper" (1990) A gay men is accused of being involved with several assisted suicides of gay men infected with AIDS.
* "Silence" (1992) A politician opposes the prosecution of his son's murderer because it might mean revealing that his late son was gay.
* "Manhood" (1993) During a shootout, police officers fail to respond to an officer's distress call because he is gay.
* "Mayhem" (1994) One of the stories involves an innocent man who is afraid to tell the police that he is gay and was with his boyfriend at the time of the crime.
* "Pride" (1995) An openly gay city councilman is murdered by a bigoted rival politician.
* "Deception" (1996) A lawyer was fired for being gay, and then killed to prevent his sexual discrimination lawsuit from outing another lawyer.

"Life Goes On"

* Incident on Main (1993) - Gay-bashing skinheads beat up Jesse (Chad Lowe) outside the AIDS hospice. Jesse was HIV+, but heterosexual.

"Living Single"

* They Gotta Have It (1994)- A gay man is a part of the seminar lecture on how to stop being too dependent on men.
* Woman To Woman (1995) - Max is upset to findout that her former college roommate, is gay and had a crush on her.
* Swing Out Sisters (1996) - The girls patronize a gay bar.
* Misleading Lady (1997) - Snyclaire poses as a man to win a part in a play.

"Mad About You"

* "Ovulation Day" (1996) - Debbie (Paul's sister) comes out as being gay and having a gynecologist girlfriend named Joan.
* "Citizen Buchman" - Paul tries to figure about what his great uncle's last words were.
* "Fire At Riffs" (1998) - Debbie and Joan had some couple problems as they discuss their future together.
* "Tragedy Plus Time" - Debbie and Joan get married.
* "The Dirty Little Secret" - Debbie's exploration of the family history shows that Paul and Jamine are cousins
* Debbie and Joan are shown in the final two-part episode.

"Malcolm & Eddie"

* "The Commercial" (1997) - A television commercial for the bar, accidentially attracts lots of gay patrons.
* "Sibling Rivalry" (1997) - Malcom, his gay sister, and Eddie all compete for the affections of a new waitress.
* "Tough Love" (1998) Malcolm helps out his gay sister who gets fired and dumped in the same week.

"Married with Children"

* "Dance Show" (1990) - Peg goes dancing with a man, and the man's boyfriend confronts Al.
* "Lez Be Friends" (1997) - Al meets Marcy's lesbian cousin.


In the pilot episode (1996), Frank Black comes out of retirement to help the FBI track down a serial killer that is targeting female strippers and gay men that are cruising for sex at night in a Seattle park. In a nod to the 1981 film Cruising, the killer is revealed to be a gay man.

"Murder One (TV series)"

* Legal assistant Louis Heinsbergen (John Fleck 1995-1996) was gay, although his coming out episode was not initially aired in the United States.

"Murphy Brown"

* "Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are" (1992) - Miles worried that he might be gay. Rick (Brian McNamara) first and only appearance as the openly gay head of publicity.
* "Black, White & Brown" (1992) - When rumors spread that Murphy is having an affair with the African American vice president, her current male secretary remarks that he once loved a black man too.
* "Brown vs. the Board of Education" (1994) - The "Ducky Lucky Pre-School" representative mistakes Miles for being gay, and assures him that their pre-school welecomes same-sex parents.

="The Nanny"=

*Oy Vey, You're Gay (1995) Mr. Sheffield hires a beautiful publicist named Sydney Mercer (Catherine Oxenberg) to improve his image. Fran and C.C. are both fearful that Sheffield is falling in love with Mercer, until they learn that she is gay.

"Nash Bridges"

* Key Witness (1996) - Near the end of the episode, the bar that Joe Dominguez (Cheech Marin) bought turns out to be a gay bar.
* Pepe (Patrick Fischler) - A gay Latino man who appeared in The Brothers McMillan, Leo's Big Score, The Counterfeiters, Shake, Rattle & Roll, Sniper, Danger Zone, High Fall Impostors, Girl Trouble, Jackpot: Part 2, Out of Miami.
* Stacy Bridges (Angela Dorhmann) was the Assistant District Attorney and Nash Bridges' (Don Johnson) sister.

"Northern Exposure"

*"Brains, Know How and Native Intelligence" (1990) - Chris angers Maurice when he reads some poetry on air by Walt Whitman and mentions the poet's homosexuality.
* "What I Did For Love" (1991) - It is discovered that the town was founded by a lesbian couple; Roslyn and Cicely who fled Montana homophobia in the early 1900s.
* "Slow Dance" (1991) - A gay couple, Ron Bantz (Doug Ballard) and Erick Hillman (Don R. McManus), buy a bed and breakfast from the conservative and homophobic Maurice. They have a commitment ceremony in "I Feel The Earth Move" (1994).
* "Cicely" (1992) - The tragic story of Cicely's creation is told in flash backs.

"NYPD Blue"

*Jumpin' Jack Fleishman (1994) - A transvestite murder.
*Rockin' Robin Finale (1994) - A priest's body is located in a park used by male prostitutes.
*Don We Now Our Gay Apparel (1995) - The detectives investigate the murder of a gay bar owner.
*I Love Lucy (1997) - A drag queen seeks the squad's protection from her boyfriend.
*Remembrance of Humps Past (1997) - Deadly bisexual love triangle.
*Top Gum (1998) - Murder victim's parents try to cover up their son's homosexuality.
*The Man with Two Right Shoes (1998) - Murder victim who hired male prostitutes.
*Welcome to New York (2000) - John Irvin helps solve a love triangle homicide.
*Everyone Into the Poole (2001) - Victim accuses detectives of homophobia.
*Puppy Love (2001) - A gay couple has their valuable dogs kidnapped.
*Gypsy Woe's Me (2002) - A gay man is killed outside of a bar.
*Meat Me in the Park (2002) - A little girl is kidnapped at a park, while her father is having gay sex in the park's mensroom.
*'Laughlin All the Way to the Clink - A rich, gay man is killed.
*Your Bus, Ted (2003) - A transvestite is killed.

"Picket Fences"

* "Pageatry" (1992) - The teacher named Louise Talbot (Natalija Nogulich) is revealed to be transgender.
*"Bye-Bye, Bey-Bey" (1996) - Laurie Bey announces that she had the baby for her brother Jerry and his boyfriend Gordy, who plan to raise the baby in the town. Christine Bey sues in court for custody of the baby.

"The Pretender"

Episode: Jared has a limo driver who is transgender.

="Quantum Leap"=

* Running For Honor (1993) - Sam leaps into a brilliant naval academy cadet (that might be gay) with a roommate that was kicked out for being gay, and may become the next victim of a group of gay-bashing cadets that call themselves The Chain.
*Good Night Dear Heart - A young woman's apparent suicide was really the accidential murder by her jealous girlfriend.
*One Strobe Over The Line - Sam must protect a female fashion model from her bisexual manager.
*Play Ball - The female baseball manager's late husband used to dress up as Judy Garland.
*What Price Gloria? (1989), 8 1/2 Months (1991), Raped (1991), A Song for the Soul (1992), Liberation (1993), and Dr. Ruth (1993) have Sam leaping into a woman and thus in drag throughout the episode.
*M.I.A. (1990) - Sam leaps into a male police detective who, at the beginning of the episode, is undercover in drag.

"Roc (TV series)"

* "Can't Help Loving That Man" (1991) - Andrew's brother, Andrew Emerson, visits with his longtime white lover and announces that the two of them plan to wed. First same-sex commitment ceremony on American network television.
* "Brothers" (1994) Andrew Emerson returns for a second visit, and announces that he and his husband are relocating to Paris, France due to America's racism and homophobia.


* "Ladies Choice" (1992) - Nancy Bartlett Thomas (Sandra Bernhard) tells Roseanne and Jackie that she is a lesbian and dating Marla.
* "Stand On Your Man" (1992) - Nancy stands up to Arnie, who wants her back even more after learning that she is a lesbian.
* "Tooth or Consequences" (1993) - Gay friend, Leo, reenters Roseanne's life as a health inspector. A few episodes later, "The Mommy Curse", Bev sells her interest in the Lunch Box cafe to Leo.
* "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (1994) Roseanne visits a gay bar with Nancy and is kissed by Nancy's new girlfriend.
* "December Bride" (1995) - Roseanne plans an outrageous wedding for Leon and Scott.
* "Home is Where the Afghan Is" (1996) - Bev (Estelle Parsons) comes out as a lesbian.
* "Mothers and Other Strangers" (1996) - Bev embarks on a journey, with Scott, and Leon, to find our the truth about her father.
* "Roseanne-Feld" (1997) - Bev introduces Leon and Scott to her girlfriend, a boozy lounge singer named Joyce (Ruta Lee).
* "Into That Good Night" (1997) - In part one, Leon and Scott announce that they are going to adopt a baby girl from China. At the end of part two, the final episode, Roseanne says that her sister, not her mother, was the one to come out as being gay.

"Saved by the Bell"

* "The Video Yearbook'" (1992) - Zack shows up to the yearbook meeting in drag.


*The Outing (1993) - Jerry is mistakenly outed as being gay and in a relationship with George by a college journalist.
*The Beard (1995) - Elaine tries to convert a gay man, who feels that his coworkers need to see him with a girlfriend.

"The Simpsons"

* "Simpson and Delilah" (1991) - Homer is promoted and gets a new secretary named Karl (voiced by Harvey Fierstein) who later kisses him.
* "Homer's Phobia" (1997) - The Simpsons family meets a gay man named John (voiced by John Waters).
* "Three Gays of the Condo" - A post-"Ellen" episode. Homer and Marge separate and Homer moves in with two gay men, one of whom (voiced by Scott Thompson) develops a crush on him.
* "There's Something About Marrying" - A post-"Ellen" episode. Springfield legalizes same-sex marriage and Homer becomes a minister to make money from marrying gay couples. Marge's sister Patty comes out.
* See Also Waylon Smithers

"The Single Guy"

* "Neighbors" (1995) - Jonathan stays with his gay neighbors when his apartment requires extensive repairs.
* "Love Train" (1996) - Jonathan, dressed as James Dean for Halloween, and mentally reminds himself that the actor was "probably bisexual" while deciding if he should talk to a lady, dressed up as a princess, on the subway.
* Grandfather Clause (1997) - Dan and Marie have a cross-dressing contest.

"Star Trek"

Several episodes in the various television spinoff series have dealt with sexual orientation and gender identity issues. For more information see LGBT characters in the Star Trek universe. Some of the more notable episodes include;

*"The Trouble With Tribbles" (1968) - The tribbles are described as "bisexual" or hermaphroditic.
*"Turnabout Intruder" (1969) - When a female occupies Kirks body, he acts effeminate.
*"" (1990) - Dr. Crusher falls in love with a Trill ambassador.
*"The Outcast" (1992) - Commander William Riker (played by Jonathan Frakes) falls in love with Soren who is a member of an advanced, humanoid alien race called the J'naii. The J'naii society believes that of any sort of male or female gender, and especially sexual liaisons, are primitive.
*"Rejoined" (1995) - Jadzia Dax is reunited with the mate of a former host and the two struggle with their feelings for one another. First romantic kiss between two women in the television franchise.
*"Profit and Lace" (1998) - Quark, while posing as a woman, kisses a Ferengi businessman. Second kiss between two men in the television franchise. The first being the kiss between Data and Worf in the wild west Hologram episode ("Fistful of Datas").
*"Cogenitor" (2002) - A nameless Vissian Cogenitor visits the Enterprise. In Vissian biology the Cogenitor is a necessary but disliked third sex.

"Suddenly Susan"

* A Boy Like That (1997) - Luis's younger brother arrives to visit from Cuba and comes out.
* Oh, How They Danced - Mailroom worker Pete Fontaine (Bill Stevenson) and his partner Hank (Fred Stoller) get married. Two-part episode.
* The Gay Parade (1999) - Susan's written parody of Nate's negative attitude towards gay people gets published and she has to help improve the magazines image with the gay community.

"Touched by an Angel"

* The Violin Lesson (1996). Tony Du Bois (Lawrence Monoson) returns to his parents home for Christmas, to tell his homophobic father that he is gay and dying of AIDS. The angels try and persuade the father and son to reconcile and for Tony to understand that God is not the source of bigotry.

"Walker, Texas Ranger"

* Royal Heist (1998) - RuPaul guest stars as "Bob".
* Wedding Bells (2000) - Ambiguously gay wedding caterer.

"The Wayans Bros."

* Six Degrees of Marlon (1998) - Marlon gets a big romantic scene on the sitcom "Everybody Loves Everybody", with another guy.


*There's Always Room for Cello (1990) - R.J. Biggins (Abraham Benrubi), Roy's son, first appearance.
*Sons and Lovers (1996) – Roy's son comes to visit him for his Leap Year birthday, and brings along his boyfriend.


* Xena and Gabrielle share passionate kisses in several episodes ("Return of Callisto" and "The Quest", season two; "Return of the Valkyrie" and "Friend in Need - part II", season six) but also a more-than-friendly attitude during all the show's run. In at least one episode, story-wise, the characters were inhabiting different bodies, having been reincarnated.


* Genderbender (1994) - A series of sex crimes leads Special Agent Fox Mulder and Special Agent Dana Scully to an Amish inspired alien commune where the murder is revealed to be a runaway transgender alien.
*X-COPS (2000) - An interracial gay couple are one of the many people that the FBI agents are protecting from a monster.
*All Things also broadly dealt with the issue.

Post Ellen

ee also

* List of television shows with LGBT characters
* List of dramatic television series with LGBT characters

External links

* [ GLBT Television Characters 2002]
* [ Timeline of Lesbian TV Characters]
* [ LGBT Characters in TV Commercials]
* [ LGBT TV History]
* [ USA Today: Emergence from the Closet 1971 - 1996]
* [ Sexual Orientation & Television History]

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