When It Comes to Gay Characters, When Will the Teen Channels Grow Up? (AfterElton)
That 14-year-old Disney Channel-watching fan of Shake It Up!, thinks “coded” gay characters are at least a start. “I'm sure they won't ever give [Gunther on Shake It Up!] a boyfriend and probably won't even give him any personality other than just being a cute/funny sidekick,” he says. “But I still think it's cool that they're at least trying to put the first obviously-but-not-openly gay character on a regular TV show on the Disney Channel.”
But in 2008 when we pressed Disney’s Gary Marsh on whether it was fair for GLBT viewers to have to “interpret” characters they might relate to, he told us: “Well, just to speak sort of in the 30,000-foot level first, we don’t deal with sexuality on the Disney Channel in general. That’s just sort of not where our audience’s head’s at. They’re really a pre-sexual audience, for the most part, and so sexuality is not how we look to tell any kind of stories.”
But is that really true? High School Musical may not be about overt sexuality, but it’s in large part about romances between boys and girls. Why couldn’t the Disney Channel feature a similar romance between two boys? That need not be anymore "sexual" than standard Disney fare. And what about a gay character who isn’t even necessarily in a relationship, but who at least acknowledges that he’s gay or questioning – or a family headed by a same-sex couple?
Complete article at After Elton : http://bit.ly/fVxRXd