Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-05-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

'In the Life' leaving media landscape
TELEVISION
by Charlsie Dewey
2012-10-17

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In December, after 20 years on television, In the Life Media will air the last episode of its pioneering LGBT-focused show In the Life.

Premiering in 1992 on six public television stations, In the Life entered a media landscape with little to no portrayals of LGBT individuals. Melissa Etheridge had yet to come out; Roseanne had yet to air its controversial lesbian kiss episode, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell;" Pedro Zamora had not yet appeared on The Real World; and it would still be five years before Ellen DeGeneres would come out.

"Just the idea of putting LGBT people on TV was radical," explained Ellen Carton, In the Life Media interim executive director.

Carton said that LGBT individuals were practically invisible when the show was being developed. If an LGBT character or real-life person was shown, it was typically as a spectacle or during sweeps week.

In the Life was a way to begin to bring real-life LGBT people and their families into living rooms across the country through in-depth portrayals, with the people behind the show hoping the exposure would serve as a catalyst for change.

Today, In the Life airs on 76 public TV stations. It has shared the lives and stories of many different types of LGBT people, and has tackled numerous issues, including HIV/AIDS, bullying and trans-related issues. Carton said it was also the first to expose the high rates of homelessness among LGBT youth to a mainstream audience.

It is a two time Emmy Awards nominee, was a 25th Annual Webby Award nominee, is the recipient of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Ribbon of Hope Award, of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association's 2011 Excellence in HIV/AIDS Courage Award, among other awards and nominations.

In addition, the show has saved at least one life, probably more.

Carton shared the following email from Dan Karslake, former In the Life producer, "The day after my first In the Life piece aired, I got an email from a gay kid in Iowa. I don't know how old he was, but I had the sense that he was a teenager. And it was five lines long. He said, 'Last week, I bought the gun. Yesterday, I wrote the note. Last night, I happened to see In the Life on PBS, and just knowing that someday I could go back into a church with my head held high, I threw the gun into the river. My mom never has to know."

As the show prepares to say goodbye, Carton mentioned that this year's fall prime-time television line-up includes several shows with LGBT characters, and is being tagged as "gay is the new normal."

GLAAD's 2012-2013 "Where We Are on TV" report proves Carton right. The report came out earlier this month and notes that this year is set to have the highest representation of LGBT characters on primetime television. In 2011-2012, LGBT characters made up only 2.9 percent of regularly featured characters on the five broadcast stations; this year that number has climbed to 4.4 percent.

Still, there is room for improvement, Carton noted. She points to the disproportionate portrayal of gay white men and the overwhelming focus on gay marriage over other LGBT-related issues, which she said go mostly ignored.

There is no doubt that In the Life will leave a hole in the media landscape. However, the show will not entirely disappear. Instead, In the Life Media plans to create a media hub where thousands of hours of footage from the show will be available and people will be able to add and share their own stories. Carton said the site would be an open source, interactive resource for the LGBT community.

The final In the Life episode is still being developed, but Carton said it will be a retrospective and will feature comedian Kate Clinton, who also appeared on the very first episode of the show.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Feminist Frequency sets its sights on Trump in new show 2017-05-18 - San Francisco, CA—Today, Feminist Frequency premieres the second episode of their brand new series, The FREQ Show! In "The Unmanning of Trump," host ...


Gay News

Huberman named to board of gaming company 2017-05-17 - Ron Huberman—an openly gay man who, at times, headed both Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Transit Authority, and worked in several other ...


Gay News

Web series looks at South Side, queer women of color 2017-05-09 - Quare Life is a comedy web series centering the lives of a group of Chicago queer women of color on the city's South ...


Gay News

TELEVISION Lito's way: Miguel Angel Silvestro talks 'Sense8' 2017-05-03 - Netflix's soapy sci-fi series from Lana and Lilly Wachowski, Sense8, revolves around a telepathically connected group of strangers called Sensates. Located all ...


Gay News

W. Kamau Bell in Oak Park on May 4 2017-05-03 - W. Kamau Bell will stop at Oak Park's The Book Table, 200 N. Oak Park Ave., on Thursday, May 4, at 7 p.m. ...


Gay News

Quare Life web series looks at South Side, queer women of color 2017-05-02 - Quare Life is a comedy web series centering the lives of a group of Chicago queer women of color. Michelle Jones (Ambria Sylvain) ...


Gay News

Real Boy to premiere on Independent Lens, PBS, June 19 2017-05-02 - ( San Francisco, CA ) — A moving and intimate story of a family in transition, Real Boy follows the journey of trans ...


Gay News

Proposal would roll back existing net neutrality rules, Madigan responds 2017-04-27 - Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today condemned the FCC Chairman's proposal to roll back existing net neutrality rules that would allow internet ...


Gay News

YouTube unblocks wrongly restricted LGBTQ videos, GLSEN responds 2017-04-26 - The following statement can be attributed to GLSEN's Executive Director, Eliza Byard: "YouTube has become a vital lifeline to information for ...


Gay News

RuPaul, Grimm named to TIME 100 list 2017-04-26 - TIME Magazine named entertainer RuPaul and trans activist Gavin Grimm to the 2017 TIME 100, its annual list of the 100 most influential ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.