Friday, April 6, 2007

Daytime's Gay Landscape to Shift With Key Comings and Goings

Daytime has come a long way from legendary scribe Douglas Marland's having to nix his original intent to make ANOTHER WORLD core character (and one of the eventual anchors of spin-off TEXAS) "Dennis Wheeler" a homosexual (the storyline was to have him discover his sexuality while in college). The past couple years have seen a daytime landscape with an unprecedented 11 Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender major characters (in key storylines) across the three networks. Though the number has dwindled somewhat (mostly due to legitimate plot requirements or an actor's departure), gay characters appear to be widely accepted in the daytime community.

The networks confirm that daytime's gay landscape is set to shift yet again with the exit of the genre's most beloved gay character and the introduction of a love interest for the character most likely to assume that title following that departure (all while soap's most avant-garde offering continues to be just that):

- Soappipe viewers will remember from Brian Frons's
earlier quotes that ALL
MY CHILDREN's groundbreaking (and controversial) storyline transgender rock star "Zarf/Zoe" (Jeffrey Carlson) and his budding realtionship with "Erica Kane" (Susan Lucci)'s lesbian daughter "Bianca (Montgomery," Eden Riegel, possibly the most beloved fictional gay character in all of network TV) will wrap up this month when both characters exit Pine Valley, and the canvas.

- "Luke Snyder" (Van Hansis), the son of teen supercouple "Holden and Lily Snyder" (John Hensley and Martha Byrne), who was the center of a year-long, gutwrenchingly realistic "coming out" storyline before fading to the backburner recently will make his way up front this Summer when Luke gets a boyfriend, a major step for daytime, which has featured its few gay characters as largely asexual to date. With the casting of soap newbie Jake Silbermann complete, expect Luke to first encounter his eventual beau at the soap's fictional TV station, WOAK.

-All this occurs as NBC's PASSIONS
moves full-steam ahead with not one, but two, gay-themed storylines featuring African-American members of two of the show's core families: As lesbian teen (who's coming out to her traditionally religious family and conservative father made for a great story as well) "Simone Russell" (portrayed by Cathy Janeen Doe), mourns the loss of her first lover, brother-in-law "Chad Harris Crane" (Charles Divins, pictured) is currently stepping-out on his wife (Simone's sister) to conduct a secret homosexual affair on the "down low," and suffering the emotional consequences of having to keep such an explosive secret (not to mention being blackmailed by both his lover and good friend--it is a soap after all.)

Also - GENERAL HOSPITAL scribe Bob Guza recently previewed the welcome return of "Lucas Jones" (namesake of the character's uncle, the legendary "Luke Spencer"), a character who's storyline was abruptly cut short by the departure of his portrayer, Ben Hogestyn, when Hogestyn was offered a leading role on THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL. (There's no word on whether the
popular Hogestyn, who's B&B stint has since wrapped up, will return to the role.)

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