Skylover

Gay Characters

14 posts in this topic

I know there's a 'Diversity' thread but I wanted to open one specifically for gay characters and discussion of the fleeting ones who have appeared in Home and Away.

Shannon Reed, mid 90s pin-up originally portrayed as straight for her first year in the show, fell for a woman eventually. Obviously she left.

2006 guest lesbian Eve Jacobsen turned up in Summer Bay to get revenge on the residents who she crazily believed were responsible for the death of the woman she loved, Sarah Lewis. Naturally as a homosexual, she blew up a wedding venue, attempting to kill as many people as possible.

Also in 2006, suspected gay guest character Charlie McKinnon developed an obsession with regular straight character Kim Hyde, played by Chris Hemsworth no less - who luckily has moved on to pastures less homophobic. Charlie begins to dress like him and turn up at his house unexpectedly. Of course the writers never clarified whether he was gay, nor did they refer to the possibility he might be gay, but needless to say the character was sectioned and sent off presumably to the Home and Away mental asylum for gay guest characters.

Following in the footsteps of Shannon, policewoman Charlie Buckton fell for a woman in 2009. In contract to the positive depiction of homosexuality a decade and a half earlier, Charlie's relationship with Joey lasted a couple of weeks before lesbian Joey left never to be mentioned again. Charlie never clarified whether she was bisexual or not, but pursued relationships with men for her final 3 years on the show, eventually being shot by an enemy of her criminal boyfriend, who bizarrely was depicted as the show's protagonist.

Internet Predator - What was the name of the character who played the internet predator who went to meet Spencer Harrington?

In 2016, guest-character-cum-suspected-lesbian Tabitha Ford developed a creepy obsession with regular straight girl Olivia Fraser-Richards. Of course when I say 'suspected', I refer to the viewers' assumptions, as of course the writers didn't let the characters use the word 'gay' or 'lesbian' due to the alleged constraints placed upon them by Network 7 executives. As embarrassing as recycled soap plots go, this one takes the cake. Tabitha begins to dress like Olivia and follow her around, reminiscent of Charlie doing this to Kim exactly a decade earlier.

Home and Away's only regular LGBT character was Shannon Reed, who left in 1997. Though her defining sexuality was never clarified.

Although Neighbours also took a long while to bring gay characters to the fore, it has had 4 regular gay characters and numerous guests since 2010. Its most prominent gay character appeared on the show for 5 years and wasn't confused, psychotic or a predator. 

Perhaps it is time that Channel 5, Home and Away's main invester, intervened. This homophobic back-water attitude is unacceptable in 2017.

Edited by Edward Skylover
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I wonder if H&A  or Ramsey Street would consider giving Josh Thomas a guest role if things change in the future.  Although Ramsey Street did allow those characters they were some who did not like it,

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I should point out that if this does indeed just become a duplicate of the Diversity thread, with people posting the exact same posts in both threads as well as the Producer thread, then it will be merged.

But to add a few minor ones to your list:

Peter Fraser (Lachie's dad) & partner Walter

Douglas Dawson (Irene's computer tutor, played by Ivar 'Barry Hyde' Kants) & partner Max

Stefan Hubert (manager of a local restaurant that Leah temporarily worked at) & partner Mel

Desiree Upton (kissed Gypsy in the Drop-in Centre)

Chris Fletcher (a planned storyline with Seb questioning his own sexuality after kissing Chris was vetoed)

Dean Silverman & partner Gareth

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I agree with Edward that this should be a distinct thread, separate from the general 'Diversity' thread I started a few years back.

We know now from numerous sources that they are not allowed to portray gay characters on Home and Away.

How can it be acceptable in the year 2017 for a television network to prevent shows from portraying this type of character?

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5 hours ago, Dan F said:

But to add a few minor ones to your list

Thanks for adding these to the list.

I wonder what Channel 5's view would be on the alleged constraints Network 7 has placed on the producers.

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I didn't know that the Seb/Chris story was neutered, but I suppose by this stage it shouldn't surprise me. :rolleyes:

As regards Channel 5's view - historically it has always been a liberal broadcaster, despite some of its more questionable owners in the past! Back in the day, it was certainly a pioneer of many gay storylines with its in-house soap Family Affairs. And I do know that when H&A first switched from ITV, C5 had a degree of editorial and creative control over the show that was significant enough that it was allowed to count H&A towards its home-grown British TV production quota. (Reference here.) Now, whether that's still the case, I don't know. But if it's something people feel strongly about, they could do a lot worse than dropping in a letter to C5, which in any case remains H&A's highest-profile importer.

Edited by atrus

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Nothing will change as long as a good chunk of 7 is still owned by people from Western Australia. Trust me, as someone who unfortunately has family there and has to slog across the country a couple of times a year, it really is like you step back a few decades when you go there, at least compared to Sydney & Melbourne.

Racist and homophobic comments just dropped into normal conversation and this was from upper middle class people at a restaurant! It really is the Aussie equivalent of those US southern states like Texas & Alabama, just a touch less religious, but just as conservative.

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21 hours ago, cadyctslover said:

How can it be acceptable in the year 2017 for a television network to prevent shows from portraying this type of character?

 

On 11 January 2017 at 1:21 AM, Edward Skylover said:

This homophobic back-water attitude is unacceptable in 2017.

I'm sorry, but with respect, I fail to see how what year or decade it is has to do with human rights issues and what is right and wrong. Discrimination for whatever reason has always hurt people, no matter what decade, century or year it is. No?

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2 hours ago, Old H&A Fan said:

I'm sorry, but with respect, I fail to see how what year or decade it is has to do with human rights issues and what is right and wrong. Discrimination for whatever reason has always hurt people, no matter what decade, century or year it is. No?

Yes, of course this was no more acceptable at any other time. I just meant that in 2017, when people are more educated about homosexuality in general and it is no longer a taboo subject which isn't talked about, it's not a time when these network executives should go unchallenged.

Dee123 - thanks for the info, it's interesting to know.

Edited by Edward Skylover

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13 hours ago, Old H&A Fan said:

I'm sorry, but with respect, I fail to see how what year or decade it is has to do with human rights issues and what is right and wrong. Discrimination for whatever reason has always hurt people, no matter what decade, century or year it is. No?

Actually morality is fluid not static - what is appropriate changes over time.

 

Some of you may be familiar with The Slap, a 2008 novel by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas. For those who aren't "The narrative is presented through the viewpoints of eight individual characters, and focuses on their reactions after a man controversially reprimands his friend's son by slapping him during a social gathering. "

The slap would not have worked if it had been set in say the 70's. If a parent's friend's had slapped a kid when they were misbehaving, it wouldn't have been a big deal - physical discipline was common place back then.

 

On 1 May 1997 Tasmania became the final Australian jurisdiction to repeal its anti-homosexuality laws. 

 

Having said that we are not in 90's Tassie any more so Bring on positive role models for same sex attracted youths.

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