I’m Puzzled By The Secret Life Of The American Teenager “Gay” Story Line

Welcome to post #400, and it only took me over three years to get here. The original name of my blog was “Gay Man Trapped In A Lesbian’s Body” (By the way, all of the posts under the old title are now here) and there is no truer statement to describe me. Now I won’t go as far as Kathy Griffin and call myself a gay man, but I have my moments. 

Is this a Schemmy in the making? (djnaquin76/Flickr)

All right, back the point. It was recently brought to my attention that there was/is a “gay” story line on the ABC Family series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and I totally searched my OnDemand for proof. I heard Molly Ringwald, who stars as the main character’s mother, that main character being Amy Jurgens played by Shailene Woodley, was going to come out of the closet. No harm no foul, however, this channel, which also airs the hit show Pretty Little Liars, and it features a main character who is a lesbian, after all of the primetime programming is over, the 700 Club airs: contractually, it has to air three times a day. Excuse me? Yes, the channel where the Rev. Pat Robertson has spewed some very questionable comments toward the gay community airs at least two shows with gay characters. Don’t tell me I’m the only one who  made the connection. And the main plot line in Secret Life is Amy Jurgens becomes pregnant while in high school and she has to find a way to juggle everything. This season that just ended, Amy and the father of her son, decide to elope instead of getting married on the 4th of July which according to the show is “gay holiday”. We’ll get back to that in a moment. 

“Molly? You in danger girl!” (abcfamily.go.com)

I just want to start out by saying, this is one of the dumbest shows I’ve ever seen. The demographic for the network, which is now in its fifth incarnation, is teenage girls and young women, ages 15-30. I’m sorry, but isn’t that gap a tad too narrow? But when I think about, I think the demo is perfect for this particular show. I watched the episode before last night’s season 4 finale and I noticed the word “gay” was said…A LOT! And it doesn’t offend me, but does it really take that many times for the writers to get their point across? So I conducted an experiment with last night’s season 4 finale, I would count how many times the word “gay” was said. Any guesses? It’s an hour-long show. 

Yep! (brighterorange/Flickr)

85 times! And that doesn’t include references to LGBTQ, lesbians, or once, bisexual was mentioned. Here’s just one example of a ridiculous (and somewhat insulting) tete a tete.

And when Grace decides to experiment with her sexuality in “other ways”, ahem!, she decided to dress like this (I couldn’t find an image from the episode)


How stupid do the writers and producers think we are? I felt really dumb after watching this, but…I love Molly Ringwald and I think I may keep watching to see if the writers retract and take her back to straight land. Season 5 starts Monday!!!


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