The Paley Center for Media hosted a gala Wednesday to celebrate the medium's longtime positive contributions to the LGBT community. The fundraising event, held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, highlighted the center’s expanded collection of 600-plus hours of programming featuring LGBT characters and themes.
“He paved the way to dispel negative stereotypes, foster understanding and acceptance [and] challenge social norms,” said Maureen Reidy, president of the Paley Center.
As a kid growing up in Kansas,
“Hollywood is the town that creates and makes art, and it’s important to represent people in the [LGBT] community in a positive way so it gives somebody something to point to,” said Stonestreet adding that his character's marriage to Mitchell, played by
Among gala attendees, a widely recognized turning point in the television's representation of the LGBT community came with
“It was a great time in TV history,” said Carson Kressley of the “Queer Eye” cast. “We didn’t have a political agenda. We were just trying to get rid of mullets and pleated khakis, but TV is a very intimate medium, and we were in people’s homes every Tuesday night. People became friends of ours through TV, [and] it made [being gay] OK.”
The event also recognized the role other people behind the camera have played in advancing the greater acceptance of LGBT themes and characters. Jill Soloway, the creator of Amazon’s critically acclaimed “Transparent,” which deals with a family and a transgender father, says the role her show has played in promoting equality is “a beautiful byproduct of making art.”
The struggle for equality continues, and that is why the Paley Center’s event and its newly expanded LGBT media collection are important, said
“It’s great to be able to look at the last 60 years and see how this conversation has developed toward equality for the LGBT community,” said de Rossi.