LOUD & PROUD: What Was YOUR Very First Memory Of Gay Culture In Film, TV Or Music?

We asked everyone in the office for their earliest memory.

In our Loud & Proud series, we're celebrating the way gay culture has influenced, and been welcomed by the entertainment industry, whether it be film, television or music.

The last 20 years has seen an unprecedented surge of gay characterisation, storylines and music in the mainstream - there won't be a person in today's society who hasn't experienced this, something we couldn't have written a generation ago.

To mark this advance, we've asked everyone in the office here at HuffPostUK for their earliest memory of gay culture. Who do you think comes out on top? And who or what was yours? Let us know in the Comments box below...

"Gay culture was always big in my house as my family loved the comedy of people such as Kenneth Williams and Frankie Howard. So from a young age gay and camp humour was always there" - Owen, political reporter
"Brian Dowling on the second series of ‘Big Brother'" - Daniel, entertainment reporter
"'Priest' and 'Brookside' are the two that stand out" - John, director, communications
"It was a movie called 'Threesome', with Josh Charles, Lara Flynn Boyle and Stephen Baldwin. I remember being a teenager and not understanding my sexuality yet, but in this film the gay character played by Josh Charles was a virgin and fell in love with his straight roommate. It's a sort of a romantic comedy but it was really sensible and well done so I remember thinking that being gay didn't seem to be such a bad thing, as the characters accepted him 100% and there was no big drama around it. The plot treated the homosexuality as something simple and natural. It really helped me not to be scared of my own feelings at first - it still took my years to understand myself and come out but it was a great start" - Philippe, videogrammer
"I think it was very subconscious the first time I saw gay characters on TV, but looking back it must have been the Tony and Simon storyline on 'EastEnders'. By the time I had a perception of what being gay meant, the first person I remember seeing was Brian Dowling on 'Big Brother' in 2001, when I was about 12" - Ashley, entertainment reporter
"I grew up with 'Neighbours' and 'Hollyoaks', but can't remember any gay characters in them. The first character I can recall was Jack in 'Dawson's Creek'. More widely in music I think I probably knew a lot of male stars like Elton John were gay from when was young, so I don't remember first "seeing" them as such" - Louise, assistant news editor
"Boy George on 'Top of the Pops' and a massive heated debate about whether he was a boy or a girl" - Jody, blogs editor
"My earliest memory of anyone gay on screen would've been the likes of John Inman in 'Are You Being Served', although at the time I didn't realise he was gay, just 'different'. Thankfully we've moved on a lot since the days when the only gay men on TV seemed to be of the uber camp, effeminate, non-sexualised variety. Boy George's Top Of the Pops debut also made a lasting impression on me. I would've only been about 10, but I clearly remember it - and the ensuing conversation about it with my parents and two brothers" - Matt, exec editor (entertainment)
Channel 4
"I think the first time I was really aware of gay people on TV was watching early serieses of 'Big Brother', Brian, Nadia, etc etc" - Jessie, editorial assistant, blogs
Channel 4
"I remember the 'Brookside' kiss being the first time I saw anything towards gay culture but I think there was always a certain campness to children's television during the early 90s" - John, senior video producer
"Nathan from 'Queer as Folk'" - Ned, assistant political editor
"I had a huge crush on Boyzone's Stephen Gately when I was younger - I used to blush when he sang to camera because I thought he was singing to me! I remember being told that he was gay, which was quite upsetting at first, as I'd planned on marrying him" - Brogan, senior lifestyle editor
"I don't remember the 'first time' but the first thing I really remember seeing regularly on TV that featured gay characters prominently was probably 'Will and Grace' around 2000" - Charlie, deputy blogs editor
"Probably 'My So Called Life' and Wilson Cruz's character Rickie Vasquez. I don't remember it really being a big deal which must be a positive thing" - Chris, social media editor
"I think it was TaTu" - Ryan, comedy editor
"My first proper memory of seeing gay culture on screen was Todd and Nick's kiss (well, Todd's attempt at a kiss) on 'Coronation Street'" - Rachel, entertainment reporter
"Being really small, watching 'My Beautiful Laundrette', and seeing a charismatic, bleached punk Daniel Day-Lewis kissing Pakistani lover Omar, played by Gordon Warnecke. It felt illicit, thrilling, romantic but dangerous, definitely stuff for grown-ups that I subconsciously bookmarked to investigate when I was older - Caroline, entertainment editor

HuffPost UK is turning Loud & Proud. Over the next fortnight, we’ll be celebrating how gay culture has influenced and, in turn, been embraced by all fields of entertainment, inspiring cinema-goers, TV audiences, music-lovers and wider society with its wit, creativity and power of expression. Through features, video and blogs, we’ll be championing those brave pioneers who paved the way, exploring the broad range of gay culture in British film, TV and music and asking - what is left to be done? If you’d like to blog on our platform around these topics, please email ukblogteam@huffingtonpost.com with a summary of who you are and what you’d like to blog about.


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