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I was a kid.
I didn’t even really know /anything/ existed outside of “moms and dads”.

And believe me, my parents were going to tell me jack about it.


Exactly in the mid to early 80s it was in that sense a lifetime ago. The first time the subject was ever breached was on TV in a very mainstream and popular show on ether side of the pond. Thanks to clause 28 it was effectively illegal to discuss in UK schools, in the US the last arrest for sodomy was in Texas in 1998. Nearly 15 years later.

It is sad but this aspect of our lives has moved very quickly.


Oh yeah, I’m not criticizing or anything.

I grew up in NYC with artist parents. I probably knew about gay people by the time I was 4 or 5. Having to learn about them from TV is just such a foreign concept to me that I can’t even imagine what it would be like.


Yeah and the time is the biggest thing. My mother’s job is poet, I had very liberal and left wing parents too, she’s full on for gay rights now in her early 80s but we never discussed it. We saw with Obama where he publicly went from against gay marriage to fully behind it within maybe 5 years that it is a great change in perception.

If we’re honest that applies to some of us too. As Lorcan confessed a few weeks back that his views on women left a lot to be desired when he was in his early 20s it applies to me too. I remember in the early to mid 90s making a reference to a ‘poofs’ bar to my mate’s boss who I didn’t know until later was gay. I probably hurt him, that wasn’t my intention, I would never say that now and was always liberal but yeah, Dynasty surprisingly played its part in changing that conversation across the board.


Will and Grace actually did a lot for me understanding what “the closet” meant. I was like 8, and never really conceived of it. But then you have Will and the entire backstory there. I wasn’t around for the 80’s or the early stuff with Ellen being the pop cultural break-ins, so I had that.

While I still use slang, I don’t assume someone is something or another.


My parents had several gay friends and in the 80s the restaurant we went to as a family for special occasional was in the Greenwich Village here in NYC so my introduction to the lifestyle was pretty much immediate.

My mom was always the one who gave me the “talks.” The earliest one we had was probably when I was like 10 or 11, about to enter middle school I think, and she basically said that there might be boys or girls that were attracted to me. It was fine if I was attracted to either one or both but that if I wasn’t not to be mean when I turned them down.

It’s funny, I don’t really remember when I learned about “the closet.” All of Gay people I knew were out and proud so I had no concept of what being in the closet meant. I might have actually learned about that from television.


It is funny how it’s a different world for things like that now. My kids are growing up in a world which maybe still isn’t perfect, but in which these ideas are mostly handled in a very matter-of-fact and positive way, both on and off screen. And I’m sure seeing gay relationships depicted on-screen reinforces their understanding of the gay couples they know in real life.

I know shows like Doctor Who have been criticised in the past for going too far in actively promoting gay and bisexual relationships, but I disagree - as this conversation demonstrates, it’s often through TV shows that we learn about the world around us, when we’re young, so I think it’s the perfect place to address those ideas clearly and openly.

I’m sure (or at least, I hope) that when they grow up my kids are going to be just as horrified/mystified about how things were when we were young as we are about the kind of inequalities from the era of our own parents.


Yup and it’s not just about alternative sexuality. Most parents don’t want to talk about any sexuality, they don’t know why and how they should address it. Fair play to Rory’s that they did but with all great intentions my parents avoided it like the plague. I’m not that unhappy they did that too as it would be a very painful conversation.

My kids are small now (8 and 6) and these issues are in the future but I can’t really say now how I will approach them.


Oh yeah, it was very painful. My mom gave me the sex talk in a speeding car so I couldn’t get away. Though to be fair to her almost the entirety of her talk was 'make sure your partner enjoys it.


Mine are even younger than yours but it’s a subject that is already a very regular part of their day-to-day lives, even if they are a bit too young to have a mature or complex understanding of it yet. A fair few of their schoolfriends come from families with two same-sex parents, one family in particular that we are good friends with, so I don’t think they have a sense of a heterosexual ‘normal’ or of other relationship types being particularly unusual.

The more in-depth conversations about sex and sexuality are still a way off yet, I think (but probably not too far).


I actually never had the talk. Ever. At no point did my parents ever even bring it up. I just sorta cobbled it together from books, movies, shows, and then actual books when I was old enough.

I don’t think my understanding turned out half bad, I wonder if I’ll ever have the talk with my kids.


Yes and that’s where all this stuff plays in. My kids like to watch Doctor Who, his companion is gay, they haven’t asked any questions about about it, they know no different and at pre-pubescent level any sexuality is an abstract.

If one of both of them happens to be gay later then they will have a different norm to adjust to than I would have 30 years ago.



Wait, what about school?


Teacher put a rubber glove on a banana (condoms weren’t allowed), and that was sorta it for middle school.

And by high school it’s basically just talking about DNA and genes, not the nit and gritty.


Huh. I still remember my elementary school teacher explaining the basics.


Apparently the Witcher TV series won’t have any involvement from the game studio that popularized the characters across the world. No surprise, but it’s a damned shame, as they made what I’d argue is certainly one of, if not THE, best RPGs of all time with the third installment, and largely on the strength of the writing. The novels are actually pretty crap. Hope whoever is involved in the TV production cottons on to what made the games so successful


I had the banana story but they were allowed to use a proper condom.

That whole experience was funny as I joined a new school, it was formed when we arrived and only had one year. That meant all our teachers were either very young or semi retired and got asked to come back to help. We had no inbteween, my teachers were either in their 50s or 20s.

So the sex ed lesson was with a properly hot young female teacher and an old codger that taught physics.