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  • Bea Arthur's 'Maude' Had A Gay Friend 46 Years Ago
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    Bea Arthur's 'Maude' Had A Gay Friend 46 Years Ago

    By the time Bea Arthur signed up with the cast of \" The Golden Girls\" in 1985, she 'd already endeared herself to TV audiences as the protagonist of \"Maude,\" which had actually ended its CBS run almost a years prior.

    Like \"Golden Girls,\" \"Maude\" broke fresh ground in depicting hot-button problems such as bigotry, addiction and-- most notoriously-- abortion. As Seattle-based writer Matt Baume finds, the comedy (which aired from 1972 through 1978) also used an ahead-of-its-time representation of a gay man less than 5 years after the 1969 Stonewall uprising helped make LGBTQ concerns a larger part of the cultural discussion.

    In the most recent version of his \"Culture Cruise\" video clip collection, Baume breaks down a 1973 episode of \"Maude\" titled \"Maude's New Pal.\" The episode concentrates on Maude's friendship with Barry Witherspoon, an author that is later revealed to be a gay male.

    Even with some outdated ( and also sometimes cringe-worthy) terminology, Barry can be seen as an early version of the \" gay bestie\" trope later seen on \"Will as well as Elegance\" and also in big-screen comedies like \" My Best Friend's Wedding.\" The personality, nonetheless, seems even more radical considered that \"Maude's New Buddy\" aired the very same year that the American Psychiatric Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder.

    As Baume points out, every one of the normal \"Maude\" personalities show up \"excited to be buddies\" with Barry and are \"not made out or scared or scandalized\" by his sexuality.

    \" That's rather impressive, provided the times-- in the early '70s, when this episode broadcast, homosexuality was barely acknowledged on television,\" he informed HuffPost. \"And also when it did come up, it was often in the context of queer folks being sickos.\"

    The episode, Baume added, need to have been particularly revitalizing for members of the LGBTQ neighborhood at the time, that had \" only just discovered that [they] do not, as a matter of fact, have a mental illness.\"

    Baume, the author of the 2015 book \"Defining Marital relationship: Voices From a Forty-Year Labor of Love,\" has actually taken a look at LGBTQ-inclusive episodes of \"The Mary Tyler Moore Show,\" \"Designing Women\" and also \" Married ... With Kid,\" to name a few shows, for \"Culture Cruise,\" now in its 2nd season.

    In January, \"Society Cruise\" stood out of New York Times author Margaret Lyons, that praised the series as a \"thoughtful as well as thorough\" take a look at \"queer representation-- the excellent and the bad-- in pop culture.\"