Gay-Themed Television, the Remaking of Sexual Identity, and the Family-Values Backlash
Expert understandings of homosexuality changed in the 1970s as psychologists and doctors no longer regarded homosexuality as a deviance, accepting it as a sexual identity a person might be born with. Television, both sitcoms and dramas, depicted gay men and women in the 1970s, the first official representations, yet sitcoms presented gays as ordinary people while dramas often used them as villains. The emergence of the Christian Right as a political force raised a challenge to these new norms presented in the popular culture. Using such 1960s techniques as boycotts, the Right especially regarded the normalization of different sexual identities as a threat to family. Briefly succeeding in eliminating those images, by the 1980s, Americans were more accepting of sexual difference.
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