HBO’s "Big Love" Ends The Dale/Alby Gay Love Affair In 1950’s Stereotypical "Tea and Sympathy" Self Loathing Way

Ben Koldyke

While HBO’s “Big Love” continues into its 4th season and begins to resemble a Martha Stewart bloated Thanksgiving turkey, last night it took a turn for the worse and ended it’s only gay storyline in a throwback to the 1950’s where homo’s hated themselves and commited suicide.  (This coming after hinting at and then totally backinbg out of Heathers lesbian attraction to Sarah.)

At the very end of the episode, we found out that Alby’s conflicted boyfriend Dale had hung himself in the little loveshack apartment Alby had rented for them. He’d been outed to Bill and, I think we’re to assume, his wife by Alby’s horrid spouse, played by the always-excellent Anne Dudek.  The suckage was just so huge that they took such an old cliche’ and used it as an easy way out.  Especially from a show that makes it’s heroes a bunch of polygimist morons…..I mean Mormons. I mean I didn’t expect the characters would end with a happy gone-marryin’ trip to Iowa but c’mon.  A “self loathing homo suicide”?  It really saddens me that threy took that route. 

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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5 thoughts on “HBO’s "Big Love" Ends The Dale/Alby Gay Love Affair In 1950’s Stereotypical "Tea and Sympathy" Self Loathing Way”

  1. I think it would have been wrong to end this any other way. The point being made was that the Mormon church gave him no choice. Consider the scene that you don't mention where he spills his heart to the church elders about how he's done EVERYTHING to try to change and they just give him nothing in return. He has been forced into a life that is false and now that he is exposed, there is nothing left for him in this life. The death is a condemnation of the Mormons and their intolerance. I'm surprised you are this angry. Yeah, it's a death out of the 1950's, but the Mormons are living a 1950's lifestyle.

  2. I am conflicted about the suicide and almost agree with both you and the comment above me. It sucks to see this kind of death still on t.v. in 2010, but I also feel it does show how the Mormon churhes and others that practice "reparative" therapy are murderers. I had a friend who committed suicide after being forced into reparative therapy…

    I just have one question, though: are you 100% sure it was a suicide, maybe we'll learn it was actually a murder? There was no chair near him… Hmmm.

  3. Actually Dales conversation with the elders was one of the nights better moments. BUT, It was stil one scene that while touching on the Mormon church and its horrendous treatment of homosexuals lasted just two minutes and will soon be forgotten. And the addition of "Don Dora" the mexican queen just made it all the worse for me. Especially for a show that follows a polygamst family and attempts to make them sympathetic. Also its very clear that Dales suicide was put in to make Alby even worse and more sociopathic now.

  4. I think Big Love is coming from a post-gay-stereotype kind of way and making an increadibly important point to a wide audience. I had a friend who was a 'gay ex-mormon' (most definitely not to be confused with an 'ex-gay mormon') who talked to me about what it was like for him in the church, none of his family can ever see him again now that he's been kicked out and I have another friend who has just this week started her own group on facebook to celebrate her 'ex-gayness' with thanks to her church. She has started her own ministry and everything. I think this is an increadibly and increasingly relevant storyline, which is realistic and sympathetic in depicting the veritable holocaust of suicides caused by religious guilt and the ex-gay culture. I really think that what the show is trying to do is wonderful and that the earlier scene showing him talking to his church leaders was what took the end result out of the realms of stereotype and really gave the message a direction.

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