We’ve been giving thanks to a number of different people from behind the scenes of various television shows that have helped bring LGBT characters into the mainstream over the years, and in their own way helped us become more accepted in society.
This week we’re taking a look at Ryan Murphy, who after working as a journalist for a number of years moved into television in the late 90s. After the success of his teen comedy series Popular, Murphy then went on to create the extremely popular Nip/Tuck and also worked on a number of film projects.
During this time he created the pilot Pretty/Handsome, which dealt with a transgendered storyline, however the show didn’t get picked up and we can only assume that maybe audiences weren’t quite ready for a show like this.
However, audiences who may have been upset by this needn’t be worried, as the forward thinking Murphy soon unleashed his monster hit Glee on the world. The up-tempo original musical television series was an instant hit with audiences and introduced a whole new generation to musicals. But it is his inclusion of a number of LGBT storylines that we have to give him credit for here.
The show includes openly gay and lesbian characters and relationships and deals with the issues of closeted homosexuality – as well as being young and openly gay. Also, during the wake of the It Gets Better Campaign he created a storyline that showed audiences just how harmful homophobic bullying can be, and showed young people that they could be themselves in the Born This Way episode.
In the most recent series he has also introduced the character of Wade Adams, who has to deal with the issues that come with being trans, something that hasn’t truly been tackled on a scale like this on American television, especially with such a young character.
It doesn’t stop there though as Murphy has since gone on to create two more hit shows; American Horror Story and The New Normal. The former, despite being a nail biting, eye hiding horror story, has incorporated a number of LGBT characters throughout the first two series, and even demonstrated just how hard it was to be gay back in the 1960s during the second season. The New Normal on the other hand shows us just how far our society has come as it centres on what is by all means a new normal in society, an LGBT couple having a baby, which is told in both a funny and heart warming way.
Yes it’s easy to say that for the last few years Ryan Murphy has helped shape a number of attitudes when it comes to LGBT people in society, and has helped tackle the issues faced on a vast scale in funny, horrific, touching and beautifully laid out stories.