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 2017-11-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

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

VIEWPOINT Will and Grace 2017: You Can't Go Home Again 2017-11-22 - The return of Will & Grace is a miracle of sorts, a pinch-me moment in the history of television. The #VoteHoney video, created ...


Gay News

Showbiz news: Nico Tortorella, Hugh Jackman, Demi Lovato, Shaun T 2017-11-20 - Since opening up about their polyamorous relationship, actor Nico Tortorella said tensions have been high with partner Bethany Meyers' family, according to Page ...


Gay News

Tambor leaving 'Transparent' after accusations 2017-11-19 - In the wake of two accusations of sexual harassment by members of the Transparent team that he has strongly denied, Jeffery Tambor decided ...


Gay News

Showbiz news: Aguilera, Robbie Rogers, 'Jane the Virgin,' Gal Gadot 2017-11-14 - The American Music Awards has a packed performance lineup, including a special tribute to Whitney Houston, ABC13.com noted. Christina Aguilera will commemorate the ...


Gay News

GLAAD: Broadcast TV has many LGBTQ characters, often lacks diversity and complexity 2017-11-09 - New York — GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today released its annual Where We Are on TV report. Where We ...


Gay News

Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin to premiere on Independent Lens Jan. 1 2017-11-08 - ( San Francisco, CA ) —Jennifer M. Kroot's The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin, winner of an Audience Award at the 2017 SXSW ...


Gay News

Showbiz: Andy Cohen, Cyndi Lauper, allegations/fallout, Scissor Sisters 2017-11-07 - Andy Cohen has denied the allegations made against him by Kathy Griffin recently—but seems most upset that his Mariah Carey impression bombed, according ...


Gay News

Case of Kevin Clewer, murdered in 2004, focus of Nov. 11 Case Files Chicago 2017-11-04 - Thirteen years after Chicago resident Kevin Clewer was murdered, his family still searches for answers to help police find his killer. Case Files ...


Gay News

Kristin Chenoweth on touring, cartoons and 'American Gods' 2017-11-01 - The petite powerhouse Kristin Chenoweth continues to keep up a grueling touring schedule. Through the years she has crossed over from theater to ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2017-10-31 - "The whole time I was working there, I didn't know Andy Cohen wanted to be me."—Kathy Griffin on her long and, apparently, unhappy ...


 



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

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.