Is it just me or have you noticed that television shows have started using gay characters and gay jokes on their shows? Besides that, I've also noticed that the newspapers and news shows are doing a lot more stories on gay couples and gay teenagers.
NBC's Mad About You's main character has a lesbian sister. Friend's has two lesbian lover's raising a boy. ABC's Spin City has a gay spokesperson. And now for the greatest event in gay TV, it's rumored that comedian Ellen DeGeneres will be coming out on her ABC show "Ellen."
Even shows that have no relation to gay content seem to be using more and more gay references. Personally, I love it. Millions of people in the United States are finally getting a chance to see the positive side of gays and lesbians. Whether it be the owner of a book store, the lesbian mothering of a baby boy or a gay spokesperson for the mayor of New York. They all have one thing in common, they're all showing positive aspects of the gay community on television for all the viewers to see.
Besides actors and actresses on television their personal lives can also have an effect on the gay/les/bi community. You have Madonna's gay brother, Cher's lesbian daughter and Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher having a baby. Not to mention the hundreds of famous people that are already out.
All of this is having an effect on the public's opinion of gays and lesbians. Although we do still have a long ways to go I do feel that we're doing much better than we were ten or even five years ago.