Tag Archives: One Life To Live

#PRIDE – Gay History – June 18, 1992: Daytime Soap Opera “One Life To Live” Introduces First Gay Teen Character Played by Ryan Phillippe

ABC’s One Life to Live, which debuted in 1968 had many a storylines tackling women’s issues and race, so it seemed the obvious next choice was to run a new storyline exploring homophobia and the difficulties of being a gay teen.

That was only 30 years ago.

Billy Douglas (played by Ryan Phillippe), a newcomer to the town of Lianview was reluctant to tell anyone about his homosexuality, especially his parents. He did, however, confide in the town’s compassionate pastor, Rev. Andrew Carpenter. But a scheming woman named Marty who Carpenter rejected began circulating rumors around town that the pastor had been molesting Billy. In a dramatic scene, the entire town, led by Billy’s parents, confronted Carpenter and demanded that he resign, the pastor delivered a riveting sermon against the evils of prejudice and homophobia. This led Billy to take a public stand in support of Carpenter — and to come out to his parents.

But this was not the first gay character that was introduced on an ABC soap.

Almost 10 years earlier in 1983, All My Children became the first soap opera to tackle homosexuality. Tricia Pursley portrayed the divorced Devon McFadden. After a failed, unhappy marriage, a series of destructive decisions and an affair which led to alcoholism, Devon returned to the show in 1983, after getting help for her drinking problem, as a single mother struggling to make ends meet.

She took a job at Pine Valley Hospital where she met and started dating a fellow single parent, Dr. Cliff Warner. Their happiness did not last long when Cliff found out his ex-wife, Nina Cortlandt, was single again. Cliff tried to let Devon down gently, but she took the break up hard. She was about to take a drink when she met psychologist Lynn Carson.

Lynn (played by Donna Pescow) became Devon’s pillar. When Devon found out that Lynn was gay, Devon was sure the affection she was feeling for her was love. Devon was especially jealous of Lynn’s ex-girlfriend. Devon confessed her feelings to Lynn, but Lynn did not reciprocate. In the end, the storyline concluded with Devon still in love with Cliff, having just displaced those feelings on Lynn.

Watch the videos below:

Video – Groundbreaking LGBT Inclusive Soap Operas All My Children and One Life To Live CANCELLED

All My Children” and “One Life to Live” will air their final episodes in September 2011 and January 2012,  leaving only “General Hospital” to be ABC’s lone surviving soap opera.

“All My Children” made history by airing daytime TV’s first same-sex kiss between two women as well as its first lesbian wedding and the first coming-out story for a transgender character and One Live to Live”  made national headlines when it introduced a gay teen character (played by Ryan Phillippe) and was later honored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) for it’s Kyle/Fish gay romance storyline, which OLTL fumbled with in the end and wrote both characters off abruptly because they didn’t know what to do with them after they hooked up.

One Life To Live Cancels Kyle/Fish Gay Storyline Due To Low Ratings. The Answer To Higher Ratings? "Prom Night – The Musical!" NOT! – (Video)

Dear God where is Tina Lord when you need her?

Okay lets face it.  Soap operas are dying. And for good reason.

One Life to Live who recently cancelled it’s “groundbreaking” gay storyline between Kyle and Fish due to “low ratings” (and shitty writing) have come up with the inexplicably misguided answer ever to bring ratings back up: a musical number! Kids love American Idol and Glee! This will boost the ratings! Sadly, the result is almost too horrible to describe.  It’s a train wreck. 

OLTL want to get your ratings up? 

Fire your writers and creative consultants.  That would be a good start.

(Oh and bring back Kyle and Fish,  At least you’ll get your gay audience back)

Soap Stud Saturday – Michael Easton (John McBain – One Life to Live)

You guys can have your Oliver Fish for me I’m a John McBain sort of guy.

McBain is played by smoldering hot Michael Easton andf is seriously sexy in that intense, growly kind of way.

Easton has appeared on soap operas, first starting out in the role of Tanner Scofield on NBC’s Days of our Lives from 1991 to 1992. He went on to a two-year stint as hotter than hell vampire Caleb Morley on Port Charles from 2001 until its cancellation in 2003.

A collection of Easton’s poetry was published under the title Eighteen Straight Whiskeys. He is the author of the graphic novel Soul Stealer, drawn by Christopher Shy, as well as several currently unproduced screenplays.

And if you think that KISH is the gayest thing about OLTL check this clip out below starring Easton and Tuc Watson who plays David Vickers.

Gay Teens On Television Are Busting Out All Over (Video)

Right now as One Life To Live is axing Kyle and Fish’s gay storyline to make the show as squeeky clean and as boring and as much if not more of a ratings disasteras it ever was,   There are several gay teen characters currently on the air, and no one’s saying boo, going apeshit, and the sky is not falling.

On tonight’s episode of Ugly Betty, little Justin Suarez finally comes out, ending a four-season-long wait. He does it by dancing publicly with his new (and first) boyfriend and everyone smiles and we feel old and lonely. Everyone’s known that the character — nephew of bedraggled feelings-haver Betty — was a gay since day one, because he’s fey and likes fashion and Beyonce and stuff, but it went unsaid until the second-half of this (final) season. So yay for Justin! Boo to those who get upset about his swishiness, because while that does feed slightly into a stereotype, it’s a stereotype for a damn reason. People like Justin exist, and Ugly Betty wanted to do that kind of character, so god bless ’em. Justin’s steps toward coming out have been both painful and silly, the way life usually is. He’s a kid that everyone had figured out long ago, but the show correctly urges us to remember that Saying It (or in Justin’s case, Dancing It) still matters, despite how “obvious” it might be.

Justin has a brother-in-arms in Kurt from Glee, another fashion-forward sashayer who likes a diva and a song. But, again, for some reason it doesn’t feel like a cloyingly broad stroke. His coming-out-to-dad scene was handled with care and respect — it was realistic but still TV warm, it wasn’t a big grand-standing Emmy reel moment but was wholly emotional and satisfying. It was a big moment in a life and then that was that. The world spun forward and when the show comes back, dude’s getting a boyfriend. No one batted an eyelash, and that’s probably progress. For a show as zeitgeisty as Glee, that the gay kid plotline went mostly unexamined might mean that we’re slowly starting to lurch forward, evil fucking prom monsters at IAHS aside.

But perhaps the most thrilling gay teen on the air right now is Marshall from the uneven but worth watching United States of Tara. Here we have a bookish, nerdy, only slightly effete kid who doesn’t Love The Gaga or snark about fashion. There was no big reveal moment — when the show started we were already in media res of his out gay life. And now, intriguingly, the second season is showing us that, horror, there is lots of variation in gayness. Marshall is butting heads with an out and aggressively loud boi at school. In one scene Marshall tells his queeny nemesis, “You ruin it for gay people, Lionel. You make being gay something no one would ever want to be.” It’s an unbelievably relatable moment, one that digs deeper (that it digs at all is already sort of deep) than anything else we’ve seen recently on the tube. That the show is giving us an intra-gay plotline instead of the typical single lonely token gay feels so oddly stirring. There is nuance here, there is shading, there is a whole swirling world of difference and now, finally, someone is addressing it soberly and without fanfare. Much as it chafes us to praise the shoulda-been-us Diablo Cody (the show’s creator), she’s giving us the best and most thorough depiction of young male gaydom in all of current TV and film.

It’s just a shame that Ugly Betty waited until the show was ending to give Justin his moment — it would have been interesting to see him navigate his new gay life — but at least they got there eventually and hopefully have helped set a precedent.

Bravo to all three shows. 


Kyle & Fish Storyline To Be Dropped From "One Life To Live" Because of Low Ratings

The Fish/Kyle (Scott Evans and Brett Claywell) gay storyline will be written out of One Life to Live by mid-April, TV Guide reported:

“Word is, the decision to drop the duo didn’t come easily. Kish has been a big success with the media and the show’s gay fans, and gay-advocacy groups have showered OLTL with awards for creating the trail-blazing couple. But sources at the network say the duo failed to resonate with the mainstream audience. Ratings for the ABC soap were particularly dismal in late 2009 during the weeks that Fish came out of the closet and he and Kyle officially became a couple. Also playing simultaneously was a sprawling plot that had Robin Strasser’s character, Dorian, pretending to be a lesbian in order to win the gay vote in the Llanview mayoral race. A case of gay overkill?”

Said executive producer Frank Valentini: “We are concluding the story that we set out to tell with Kyle and Fish. We are very proud to have broken new ground with a same-sex couple on daytime.”

AfterElton.com must be having a meltdown.

In a way this stinks to HIGH HEAVEN.  Kyle and Fish have not been center of this show EVER!! They’re using the ratings fail as an excuse.to either cover their sucky writing and storylines or perhaps pressure from the more conservative affiliates out there.

Well at least they tried.  But they could have done a hell of alot better.  OLTL has literally sucked for years now.

Hey OLTL want to bring back your ratings?  Let a gay man take over the Kyle/Fish storyline and bring back TINA LORD.  Andrea Evans could use the work.