Saturday, Dec 07, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 36 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 

 

 
 
click to go to advertisers website
 
General Gayety: Famed mom a Lesbian - the rainbow and TV icons
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
General Gayety: Famed mom a Lesbian - the rainbow and TV icons

by Leslie Robinson - SGN Contributing Writer

Meredith Baxter's announcement that she is a Lesbian has put a 'you should excuse the expression' kink in the long line of all-American TV moms.

It's not June Cleaver or Harriet Nelson who has come out, but as Elyse Keaton on Family Ties, Baxter was a loving mother and wife, a maternal anchor on a hugely popular show that ran during most of the '80s.

Now Baxter isn't just a member of the TV-mom sorority. She's also one of those LGBT actors who played iconic straight roles. Sometimes America's favorite, most heterosexual characters were played by actors who were, well, really, really acting.

Baxter says only relatively recently did she figure out she's Gay, so she wasn't consciously hiding anything. From the television audience, anyway. Whether she was hiding anything from herself is between her, her therapist and, this being L.A., her other therapist.

Elyse Keaton, a liberal former hippie, had what so many TV moms had over the decades preceding her: maternal warmth, patience, wisdom. She also had what a TV mom needed by the '80s: a job, although I admit I couldn't remember she was an architect. You could argue that handling her conservative son Alex, famously played by Michael J. Fox, was work enough.

During the '80s, Elyse Keaton was and she remains still one of America's best-known mothers. Now we know one of America's famous mommies was a Lesbian. Life is good.

I had no idea back in the '70s that Grandpa Walton was anything other than straight as a board from the Walton family sawmill. In fact, Will Geer was more like the curly shavings.

Grandpa, patriarch of The Waltons, was a good-natured character. Hard-working, dedicated to his family, wise, mischievous and fond of visiting the Baldwin sisters for a nip of upscale moonshine, he was still in love with his wife of a zillion years. I'd guess that regardless of class, race, religion or anything, many Americans would've loved to have Zeb Walton as their grandfather. He was the definition of endearing - sort of a walrus meets a panda.

I can't think of any other grandfather on TV more appealing. Actually, I can hardly think of any other grandfather. Grandpa Munster? He was more all-Transylvanian than all-American.

When Will Geer took the role of Zeb Walton, he'd already had a long career on the stage and in film and television. He was attracted to radical politics; actress Helen Hayes once called him "the world's oldest hippie." In 1933, Geer met Harry Hay, who would later be one of the founders of Gay liberation. The two men became lovers.

Geer was married for 20 years, and it seems the most accurate label for him is Bisexual. America's ultimate grandfather dug both men and women. On Walton's Mountain, things weren't quite what they seemed.

Things weren't at all what they seemed in the case of one of America's foremost TV dads. Robert Reed, Mike Brady in The Brady Bunch, was Gay. That secret was hidden even better than whatever happened to Tiger the dog.

According to greginhollywood.com, Florence Henderson, who played Carol Brady, spoke of her TV husband during her recent one-woman show. "I always felt so sad for him because in the early '70s you couldn't come out because you wouldn't work," she said. "And here he was playing the father of America and he was Gay."

Reed spent more time in the closet than Alice spent in the kitchen.

Speaking of Ann B. Davis, I've heard the rumors, but I've no idea what her orientation is. Perhaps she's straight, perhaps not. If not, then in addition to an iconic TV mother, grandfather and father, we could even claim a housekeeper, too.

Leslie Robinson watched a powerful lot of TV as a kid. E-mail her at LesARobinson@gmail.com.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

American and British Gay military attitudes
------------------------------
HIV/AIDS funding for King County slashed in state budget crisis
------------------------------
Uganda backing off anti-Gay law, Obama speaks out
------------------------------
Gay Latino to lead California Assembly
------------------------------
General Gayety: Famed mom a Lesbian - the rainbow and TV icons
------------------------------
Light the Night event celebrates Gay Hannukah
------------------------------
Joseph 'Joe' Eisenhauer, 1948-1999
------------------------------
County Council fails to nominate Joe McDermott
------------------------------
Pet Project for people with HIV/AIDS & pets
------------------------------
Texas cheer - Lesbian elected mayor of Houston
------------------------------
Connie Watts to leave ERW
------------------------------
Puerto Rico murder suspect is psychotic, psychiatrist testifies
------------------------------
DC continues toward marriage equality
------------------------------
Gay activist Trochez murdered in Honduras
------------------------------
Family and the holidays
------------------------------
N.J. Senate same-sex marriage vote delayed
------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------
Gay rights activist Chai Feldblum nominated for EEOC
------------------------------
MCC Seattle announces Christmas and Transgender days of worship
------------------------------
A beautiful wedding warms a chilly Saturday
------------------------------
Wales rugby great Gareth Thomas says he's gay
------------------------------
Lambda Legal Blasts Feds for Again Denying Spousal Benefits to Federal Court Employee
------------------------------
Out Gay Rugby Star Gareth Thomas: A Photo Retrospective
------------------------------
Evangelical church opens doors fully to gays
------------------------------
Quebec government launches battle against homophobia
------------------------------
CNN Drafts a Gay Porn Star into Their Citizen Journalist (with video)
------------------------------
US lawmakers condemn anti-gay Uganda legislation
------------------------------
Lambda Legal Welcomes Dru Levasseur: New Transgender Rights Attorney
------------------------------
Emmy-winning stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Eric McCormack encourage Americans to have 'Courageous Conversations'
------------------------------
Lambda Rising To Close by Year's End
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2009

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News