List of 1990s American television episodes with LGBT themes

A list of 1990s American television episodes with LGBT themes includes a number that engendered controversies relating to LGBT representation. With the exception of what would come to be known as "lesbian kiss episodes", in which a straight-identified female character exchanges an intimate kiss with a lesbian or bisexual character, who was generally never seen again, representation of same-sex sexual or affectional displays lagged well behind the behaviour in which mixed-sex pairs engaged. In addition to the controversy that surrounded the sight of two men in bed together on thirtysomething, controversies were generated around lesbian kiss episodes on L.A. Law ("He's a Crowd"), Roseanne ("Don't Ask, Don't Tell") and Picket Fences ("Sugar & Spice"). A similar controversy surrounded Fox's decision to cut a kiss between gay character Matt Fielding (Doug Savant) and a male guest star from an episode of Melrose Place (1994's "'Til Death Do Us Part"). The hesitancy about allowing any expression of same-sex affection on television even extended to the refusal of allowing same-sex couples having weddings or commitment ceremonies on series including Roseanne ("December Bride"), Northern Exposure ("I Feel the Earth Move") and Friends ("The One with the Lesbian Wedding") to kiss at the conclusion of the ceremony. During a period in network television history when producers were pushing the broadcast boundaries on sexually explicit content with such shows as NYPD Blue, the controversy over this and other television episodes that made inroads into presenting same-sex sexuality or affection led producers not to present any sexualization of their gay and lesbian characters. As noted by author Ron Becker,

So viewers got to see Carol and Susan wed on Friends, but they didn't get to see them kiss. And fans of NYPD Blue could hear male hustlers talk about their johns, but the only sex they got to see involved the precinct's straight cops—naked butts and all. Clearly, chastity was the price gay characters paid for admission to prime-time television in the 1990s.[1]

In 1997, "The Puppy Episode" of Ellen aired, in which lead character Ellen Morgan came out concomitant with series star Ellen DeGeneres coming out in her public life.[2] "The Puppy Episode" was an enormous popular and critical success, drawing some 42 million viewers[3] and winning two Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.[4][5] DeGeneres won a GLAAD Media Award in 1998.[6] Ellen Morgan's coming out has been described as "the most hyped, anticipated, and possibly influential gay moment on television".[7] The LGBT media watchdog group Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) credits Ellen with paving the way for such LGBT-themed programming as Will & Grace (1998), The L Word (2004) and Ugly Betty (2006) and it has been suggested that Ellen and these other series presenting LGBT characters have helped to reduce societal prejudice against LGBT people.[8]


Year Series Network Episode Synopsis
1990 21 Jump Street Fox "A Change of Heart" A lesbian teacher is murdered and a lesbian student makes a pass at Hoffs (Holly Robinson Peete).[9]
1990 American Playhouse PBS "Andre's Mother" Cal (Richard Thomas), Andre's lover, and Andre's Mother (Sada Thompson) struggle to come to terms with Andre's death.[10]
1990 Designing Women CBS "Suzanne Goes Looking for a Friend" Suzanne (Delta Burke) misunderstands the "coming out" announcement of a former beauty queen and current television weather forecaster.[11]
1990 Doctor, Doctor CBS "Accentuate the Positive" Deirdre (Maureen Mueller) is uncomfortable treating local newsman Hugh Persons (Brian George) for AIDS.[12]
1990 Doctor, Doctor CBS "The Terminator" The staff is terrified of a new employee (Charles Rocket), believing he's ex-Green Beret who destroyed an entire village. It turns out the man is gay and wore a green beret when he was a backup dancer for the Village People.[12]
1990 The Fanelli Boys NBC "Pursued" Dominic Fanelli (Joe Pantoliano) is jealous that his old friend Tommy Espozito (Chazz Palminteri) wants to spend more time with other friends than with him, until Tommy comes out. Dominic then begins to worry about his younger brother Frankie (Chris Meloni) spending a weekend in a cabin with Tommy.[13]
1990 The Golden Girls NBC "Ebbtide's Revenge" Dorothy (Beatrice Arthur) attends the funeral for her younger brother Phil Petrillo. Phil was a heterosexual cross-dresser.[14]
1990 L.A. Law NBC "Outward Bound" A gay police officer (Craig Wasson) files suit when he is outed in the gay press.[15]
1990 L.A. Law NBC "Smoke Gets in Your Thighs" The firm represents a man whose lover is dying of ALS when the dying man's parents refuse visitation rights.[16]
1990 Law & Order NBC "The Reaper's Helper" Jack Curry (Peter Frechette), a gay man with AIDS, is accused of murdering another gay man with AIDS and claims it was a mercy killing. NBC reportedly lost $1 million in revenue when advertisers pulled out of this and another 1990 episode.[17]
1990 Lifestories NBC "Steve Burdick" Burdick (D. W. Moffett) is an HIV-positive gay television reporter. After his lover dies of AIDS, Burdick reveals his sexuality and diagnosis on the air. The episode was initially scheduled for December 2 but NBC pulled it, prompting some questions by LGBT and AIDS activists. The network aired the episode on December 19.[18]
1990 Married... with Children Fox "The Dance Show" Peg (Katey Sagal) goes dancing with a man and the man's boyfriend confronts Al (Ed O'Neill).[19]
1990 Northern Exposure CBS "Brains, Know How and Native Intelligence" Chris (John Corbett) angers Maurice (Barry Corbin) when he reads some poetry on air by Walt Whitman and mentions the poet's homosexuality.[20][21]
1990 Quantum Leap NBC "Good Night, Dear Heart" Sam investigates a young woman's apparent suicide, learning the woman was really accidentally killed by Stephanie Haywood (Marcia Cross), her jealous girlfriend. Haywood was featured in issue #9 of the Quantum Leap comic book which documents her involvement with the Stonewall riots.[22][23]
1990 Roseanne ABC "Trick or Treat" Dan is upset that DJ wants to be a witch for Halloween, while Roseanne dresses up as a man.[24]
1990 The Simpsons Fox "Simpson and Delilah" Homer (voiced by Dan Castellaneta) is promoted and gets a new secretary named Karl (voiced by Harvey Fierstein) who later kisses him.[25]
1990 Star Trek: The Next Generation Syndicated "The Host" Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) falls in love with a male Trill ambassador. When he dies and the Trill symbiote is moved into a female host, Crusher ends the relationship.[26]
1990 Wings NBC "There's Always Room for Cello" R.J. Biggins (Abraham Benrubi), Roy's (David Schramm) gay son, makes his first appearance.[27]
1991 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox "Summer Storm" Kelly (Jennie Garth) is interested in Kyle Connors (David Lascher) but Kyle is gay.[28]
1991 Coach ABC "A Real Guy's Guy" Hayden (Craig T. Nelson) pressures Kelly to date his star player (Rob Youngblood), only to find out that he is gay. Hayden talks it out with the player in what is unbeknownst to him a gay bar in which two of Hayden's former players are seen dancing.[29]
1991 Dear John NBC "Kirk's Ex-Wife" Kirk (Jere Burns) goes into hiding when the group discovers his wife left him for another woman.[30]
1991 Designing Women CBS "Toe in the Water" Julia (Dixie Carter) starts dating again after the death of her long-term beau, choosing Mark (Charles Frank), whom her cousin Allison (Julia Duffy) pegs as "the gayest human being I've ever met in my life" because he knows what a peplum is and references Ida Lupino. Mark is not gay but Julia realizes she is not ready to date.[12]
1991 The Golden Girls NBC "Sister of the Bride" Blanche's (Rue McClanahan) brother Clayton (Monte Markham) returns with a boyfriend with whom he intends to have a commitment ceremony.[14]
1991 L.A. Law NBC "Speak, Lawyers for Me" A transgender model (Claudia Christian) sues the cosmetics company that fired her after discovering her status.[15]
1991 L.A. Law NBC "He's a Crowd" Kuzak (Harry Hamlin) defends a man with multiple personalities, one of whom is an elderly woman. Bisexual C. J. Lamb (Amanda Donohoe) and straight-identifying Abby Perkins (Michele Greene) share an intimate kiss, leading Abby to consider the idea of a relationship.[16]
1991 L.A. Law NBC "Since I Fell for You" Mark Gilliam (Stanley Kamel), a gay lawyer with AIDS, sues his insurance company when it refuses to pay for an experimental treatment.[15]
1991 L.A. Law NBC "Do the Spike Thing" An old college friend comes out to Douglas Brackman (Alan Rachins). When Brackman is gay-bashed he first tries to cover up the event. Eventually he accedes to his friend's wishes and testifies against the attacker, at the same time confronting some of his own homophobia.[15]
1991 L.A. Law NBC "The Nut Before Christmas" Arnold Becker (Corbin Bernsen) defends C.J.'s former lover, whose ex-husband is threatening to take her children away from her for being lesbian.[31]
1991 Northern Exposure CBS "What I Did for Love" It is discovered that the town was founded by a lesbian couple, Roslyn and Cicely, who fled homophobia in Montana in the early 1900s.[32]
1991 Northern Exposure CBS "Slow Dance" A gay couple, Ron Bantz (Doug Ballard) and Erick Hillman (Don R. McManus), buy a bed and breakfast from the conservative and homophobic Maurice.[33]
1991 Roc Fox "Can't Help Loving That Man" Andrew's brother Russell (Richard Roundtree) visits with his longtime white lover and announces that the two of them plan to wed.[24]
1991 Roseanne ABC "Dances with Darlene" After trying to get Leon (Martin Mull) to date a woman who works for the headquarters of Rodbell's, Roseanne and Bonnie (Bonnie Bramlett) discover that he is gay when his boyfriend comes to pick him up from work.[34]
1991 Street Justice Syndication "Bashing" Malloy's (Charlene Fernetz) gay brother Danny comes to visit looking forward to a birthday celebration, but instead, he is beaten to death by a group of young thugs just because he is gay.[26]
1992 American Playhouse PBS "Tru" Robert Morse plays gay American author Truman Capote.[35]
1992 Cheers NBC "Rebecca's Lover... Not" Harvey Fierstein guest stars as a man whom Rebecca (Kirstie Alley) had a crush on in high school and is oblivious to his being gay.[36]
1992 Dream On HBO "For Peter's Sake" Martin (Brian Benben) is assigned to edit the memoirs of an author (David Clennon) with AIDS.[37]
1992 The Golden Girls NBC "Goodbye, Mr. Gordon" Blanche and Dorothy are mistaken for a couple on a talk show.[14]
1992 Herman's Head Fox "Spermin' Herman" Herman's (William Ragsdale) ex-girlfriend is a lesbian and wants Herman to donate sperm.[38]
1992 Law & Order NBC "Silence" A politician opposes the prosecution of his son's murderer because it might mean revealing that his late son was gay.[18]
1992 Murder She Wrote CBS "The Dead File" Harvey Fierstein plays a comic strip artist who, while previously married and divorced, seems fond of his male coworker.[39]
1992 Murphy Brown CBS "Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are" Miles (Grant Shaud) worries that he might be gay following a dream about dolphins, the Washington Monument and a gay co-worker.[40]
1992 Northern Exposure CBS "Cicely" The story of Cicely's founding by a lesbian couple is told in flashbacks.[33]
1992 Picket Fences CBS "Remembering Rosemary" The investigation into a ten-year-old death reveals that a husband murdered his wife after discovering she was in love with another woman.[41]
1992 Picket Fences CBS "Pageantry" A teacher named Louise Talbot (Natalia Nogulich) is revealed to be transgender.[42]
1992 Quantum Leap NBC "Running for Honor" Sam leaps into a brilliant naval academy cadet (who might be gay) whose roommate Phillip (Sean O'Bryan) was expelled for being gay and who may become the next victim of a group of gay-bashing cadets who call themselves The CHAIN (Cadets Honoring An Ideal Navy). Coach Martz (John Roselius) comes out to help prevent Phillip from killing himself.[23]
1992 Roseanne ABC "Ladies Choice" Nancy Bartlett Thomas (Sandra Bernhard) tells Roseanne and Jackie that she is a lesbian and dating Marla (Morgan Fairchild).[24]
1992 Roseanne ABC "Stand on Your Man" Nancy stands up to Arnie (Tom Arnold), who wants her back even more after learning that she is a lesbian.[43]
1992 Seinfeld NBC "The Cheever Letters" George (Jason Alexander) finds love letters written to his girlfriend's father by John Cheever.[44]
1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation Syndicated "The Outcast" Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) falls in love with Soren, a member of an alien race called the J'naii. The J'naii society believes that of any sort of male or female gender, and especially sexual liaisons, are primitive.[26]
1993 CBS Schoolbreak Special CBS "Other Mothers" Will (Justin Whalin) is afraid that word will get out at school that he has two lesbian mothers (Meredith Baxter, Joanna Cassidy).[45]
1993 Cheers NBC "One for the Road" Diane (Shelley Long) asks a gay friend to pose as her husband so as to one-up Sam (Ted Danson).[46]
1993 Designing Women CBS "The Lying Game" When Carlene (Jan Hooks) learns that the man she is dating is a cross-dresser, she cross-dresses herself to try to understand him better.[47]
1993 Doogie Howser, M.D. ABC "Spell it M-A-N" Vinnie (Max Casella) is disturbed to learn his college roommate (Gil Cates, Jr.) is gay.[48]
1993 Dream On HBO "Pop's Secret" Martin learns that his father Mickey (Paul Dooley) is gay and that his "roommate" Roger (Dion Anderson) is more than just a roommate.[37]
1993 The John Larroquette Show NBC "The Past Comes Back" A startled John (John Larroquette) begins questioning his sexuality after another male alcoholic visits to make amends.[49]
1993 Law & Order NBC "Manhood" Police officers fail to respond to an officer's distress call during a shootout because he is gay.[18] "Manhood" was remade as the Law & Order: UK series 2 episode "Samaritan".
1993 Life Goes On ABC "Incident on Main" Gay bashing skinheads beat up Jesse (Chad Lowe) outside an AIDS hospice. Jesse was HIV-positive but heterosexual.[18]
1993 The Mommies NBC "I Got the Music in Me" Caryl (Caryl Kristensen) and Paul (Robin Thomas) worry their son Blake (Ryan Merriman) might be gay when he takes up the flute.[48]
1993 Picket Fences CBS "Sugar & Spice" Kimberly (Holly Marie Combs) exchanges intimate kisses with her friend Lisa Fenn (Alexondra Lee), leading to questions about her sexuality. She turns to her biological mother, who had a lesbian relationship while in college. Before agreeing to air the episode, CBS demanded that producer David E. Kelley reshoot the kissing scene in reduced light.[42]
1993 Picket Fences CBS "The Body Politic" Mayor Bill Pugen (Michael Keenen) fires the town dentist, who is gay and HIV-positive.[50]
1993 Seinfeld NBC "The Outing" Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) is mistakenly outed as being gay and in a relationship with George by a college journalist.[51]
1993 Seinfeld NBC "The Smelly Car" George learns that his ex-girlfriend is now dating a woman and he blames himself for turning her into a lesbian.[51]
1994 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox "Blind Spot" Steve (Ian Ziering) spots Mike (Jack Armstrong), the president of Steve's fraternity, in a gay coffeehouse. When Steve outs Mike later, the fraternity tries to throw Mike out but Steve speaks up in his defense. The producers screened the episode at several LGBT youth organizations before airing. Executive producer Chuck Rosin and actor Todd Bryant participated in question-and-answer sessions after each screening.[52]
1994 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox "Up In Flames" Steve throws a house party at an abandoned house and Claire inadvertently attracts a large lesbian crowd. When fire breaks out Kelly is trapped with Alison (Sara Melson).[28]
1994 Blossom NBC "Double Date" Joey (Joey Lawrence) is excited to learn he has a secret admirer named Leslie until he finds out that Leslie is really Les (Paul Wittenburg), a fellow player on Joey's baseball team.[53]
1994 The Commish ABC "Keeping Secrets" A recent string of anti-gay hate crimes prompts Officer Hank Radovich (Matthew Ryan) to come out and face homophobia in the police department.[54]
1994 Dream On HBO "The Courtship of Martin's Father" Mickey and Roger break up and Mickey moves in with Martin. Martin admits he is uncomfortable with his father's sexuality but the two come to an understanding.[55]
1994 ER NBC "ER Confidential" Carter helps a suicidal transgender patient.[56]
1994 Evening Shade CBS "The Perfect Woman" Ponder (Ossie Davis) is set up with a beautiful woman (Diahann Carroll) who he learns is transgender.[57]
1994 Frasier NBC "The Matchmaker" New station manager Tom Duran (Eric Lutes) misinterprets Frasier's (Kelsey Grammer) dinner invitation as a date.[58]
1994 Friends NBC "The One with the Sonogram at the End" Ross (David Schwimmer) learns that his ex-wife Carol (Jane Sibbett) is pregnant and going to raise the baby with her partner Susan (Jessica Hecht).[59]
1994 Friends NBC "The One Where Nana Dies Twice" People think that Chandler (Matthew Perry) is gay.[59]
1994 Hearts Afire CBS "Birth of a Donation" Billy Bob (Billy Bob Thornton) gets angry when his friend Jeff (Charles Frank) confirms he is gay. Later he realizes he behaved foolishly.[38]
1994 The John Larroquette Show NBC "Dirty Deeds" John runs into his old college roommate, who is playing Marlene Dietrich in a drag show.[49]
1994 Law & Order NBC "Mayhem" One of the stories involves an innocent man who is afraid to tell the police that he is gay and was with his boyfriend at the time of the crime.[60]
1994 Lifestories: Families in Crisis HBO "More Than Friends: The Coming Out of Heidi Leiter" Based on the true story of Heidi Leiter, who attended her senior prom in Virginia with her girlfriend.[61]
1994 Living Single Fox "They Gotta Have It" A gay man is a part of a seminar lecture on how to stop being too dependent on men.[62]
1994 Melrose Place Fox "Till Death Do Us Part (1)" Billy's college friend Rob comes to town to serve as his best man. Matt discovers he has something in commom with Rob, they are both gay. Billy is stunned to see them kissing in the courtyard.[63]
1994 The Mommies NBC "Mr Mommies" The mommies suspect a stay-at-home dad (Jere Burns) of being a bigamist, a spy or gay.[64]
1994 Murphy Brown CBS "Brown vs. the Board of Education" The "Ducky Lucky Pre-School" representative mistakes Miles as gay and assures him that the pre-school welcomes same-sex parents.[65]
1994 My So-Called Life ABC "Guns and Gossip" After a gunshot goes off in school, Brian is pressured by school authority figures to inform on Rickie, who is suspected of bringing the gun to school; he didn't, but Rickie wants fellow students to think he did, believing that he will be harassed less for his bisexuality.[66][67]
1994 Ned & Stacey Fox "The Gay Cabelleros" Ned (Thomas Haden Church) pretends to be gay in hopes of keeping an important client.[68]
1994 Northern Exposure CBS "I Feel the Earth Move" Ron and Erick have a commitment ceremony.[69]
1994 NYPD Blue ABC "Jumpin' Jack Fleishman" A transvestite is murdered.[40]
1994 NYPD Blue ABC "Rockin' Robin" A priest's body is located in a park used by male prostitutes.[70]
1994 Party of Five Fox "Something Out of Nothing" Ross (Mitchell Anderson) reveals to Claudia (Lacey Chabert) that he is gay.[71]
1994 Roc Fox "Brothers" Russell Emerson returns for a second visit and announces that he and his husband are relocating to Paris because of America's racism and homophobia.[24]
1994 Roseanne ABC "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Roseanne visits a gay bar with Nancy and is kissed by Nancy's new girlfriend Sharon (Mariel Hemingway).[24]
1994 Roseanne ABC "Skeleton in the Closet" Leon throws a Halloween party and his gay friends seem to know Fred (Michael O'Keefe) suspiciously well.[24]
1994 The X-Files Fox "Gender Bender" A series of sex crimes leads Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully to an Amish-inspired alien commune where the murderer is revealed to be a runaway transgender alien.[72]
1995 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox "Girls on the Side" Kelly learns that Alison has feelings for her.[28]
1995 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox "P.S. I Love You" Alison acknowledges that she is in love with Kelly and rumors about their relationship start circulating. Steve becomes infatuated with the beautiful Elle (Monika Schnarre), only to discover that she is a pre-operative MTF transsexual.[28]
1995 Blossom NBC "It Happened One Night" Nick (Ted Wass) volunteers Blossom (Mayim Bialik) to show his friend's son Fred (Charlie Heath) around the city. Nick later learns that Fred is gay.[53]
1995 Caroline in the City NBC "Caroline and the Gay Art Show" Richard (Malcolm Gets) accidentally participates in an art gallery for gay artists.[73]
1995 Chicago Hope CBS "Informed Consent" Dr. Kronk (Peter Berg) dates Annie (Mia Sara), believing she is the sister of his childhood friend Andy until she advises him that she was Andy.[36]
1995 Empty Nest NBC "Single White Male" Charlie (David Leisure) invites his co-worker Hank (Douglas Sill) to move in with him, not realizing that Hank is gay.[57]
1995 Fallen Angels Showtime "The Professional Man" Brendan Fraser and Peter Coyote play two-thirds of a murderous gay love triangle.[74]
1995 Friends NBC "The One With Phoebe's Husband" Phoebe's (Lisa Kudrow) husband, a gay Canadian ice dancer she married to help him get his green card, returns. He wants to divorce because he is not really gay and wants to marry another woman.[59]
1995 Grace Under Fire ABC "Emmet's Secret" Grace (Brett Butler) finds out that her former father-in law Emmet (Matt Clark) is gay after seeing him in a gay sports bar.[75]
1995 Grace Under Fire ABC "Emmet, We Hardly Knew You" Emmet dies and his partner Danny (Michael Winters) declares their love for each other at the funeral.[75]
1995 Highlander: The Series Syndicated "Leader of the Pack" The episode's two immortal villains are cryptically depicted as a gay couple.[76]
1995 Homicide: Life on the Street NBC "Hate Crimes" Neo-Nazis kill a man because he is gay, in a gay neighborhood.[77]
1995 In the House UPN "Boyz II Men II Women" Mario (LL Cool J) discovers that an old friend (RuPaul) is a drag queen (who claims to be straight).[78]
1995 The John Larroquette Show NBC "An Odd Cup of Tea" Officer Hampton (Lenny Clarke) gets flowers that he believes are from his male doctor.[49]
1995 Law & Order NBC "Pride" An openly gay city councilman is murdered by a bigoted rival politician.[18]
1995 Living Single Fox "Woman to Woman" Max (Erika Alexander) is upset to find out that her former college roommate is gay and had a crush on her.[79]
1995 Murder One ABC "Chapter Nine" Hoffman (Daniel Benzali) defends a closeted college professor (Richard Schiff) who picked up a hustler in a public restroom. The professor kills himself rather than come out to his wife.[80]
1995 Muscle The WB "Episode Five" Television news anchor Bronwyn Jones (Amy Pietz) comes out during a newscast to thwart an outing attempt. Her station then began using her lesbianism as a promotional gimmick.[81]
1995 The Nanny CBS "Oy Vey, You're Gay" Mr. Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy) hires a beautiful publicist named Sydney Mercer (Catherine Oxenberg) to improve his image. Fran (Fran Drescher) and C.C. (Lauren Lane) are both fearful that Sheffield is falling in love with Mercer until they learn that she is gay.[82]
1995 NYPD Blue ABC "Don We Now Our Gay Apparel" The detectives investigate the murder of a gay bar owner.[40]
1995 The Outer Limits Showtime "Caught in the Act" An alien takes control of the body of an engaged and chaste college student, causing her to engage in casual sex, prostitution and lesbian sex.[83]
1995 Picket Fences CBS "Witness for the Prosecution" A gay man kills his lover during a visit to Rome by Pope John Paul II and the Pope is sought as a witness.[42]
1995 The Pursuit of Happiness NBC "Celebrations in Hell" Alex Chosek (Brad Garrett), announces he's been gay all his life, to his law firm partner Steve (Tom Amandes).[84]
1995 Roseanne ABC "December Bride" Roseanne plans an outrageous wedding for Leon (Martin Mull) and Scott (Fred Willard).[24]
1995 Seinfeld NBC "The Beard" Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) tries to convert a gay man who feels that his coworkers need to see him with a girlfriend.[51]
1995 The Single Guy NBC "Neighbors" Jonathan (Jonathan Silverman) stays with his gay neighbors while his apartment goes through extensive repairs.[85]
1995 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Syndicated "Rejoined" Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) is reunited with the mate of a former host and the two struggle with their feelings for one another.[86]
1996 3rd Rock from the Sun NBC "I Enjoy Being a Dick" Dick (John Lithgow) poses as a woman to sneak into a women-only study group.[87]
1996 3rd Rock from the Sun NBC "World's Greatest Dick" Sally's (Kristen Johnston) gay male dance partner mistakes her for a drag queen.[88]
1996 Arliss ESPN "A Man of Our Times" Arliss (Robert Wuhl) has a client who has entered into a same-sex marriage.[89]
1996 Caroline in the City NBC "Caroline and Victor/Victoria" Annie (Amy Pietz) poses as a man to prepare for a "Victor/Victoria" audition.[73]
1996 Chicago Hope CBS "Right to Life" Dr. Kronk treats a female impersonator named Ms. Cherchez LaFemme (Giancarlo Esposito) for AIDS.[36]
1996 Chicago Hope CBS "Women on the Verge" A devastated Annie, forced by a medical condition to stop hormone treatments, commits suicide.[36]
1996 Chicago Hope CBS "The Parent Rap" The parents (Paul McCrane, Cynthia Lynch) of a baby born with ambiguous genitalia must decide whether to have constructive surgery performed to give the child female genitals.[36]
1996 Cybill CBS "Three Women & a Dummy" Cybill attends a party with the waiter (Tim Maculan), hosted by his ex-boyfriend.[90]
1996 Diagnosis: Murder CBS "All-American Murder" When a beautiful woman is murdered, Dr. Sloan (Dick Van Dyke) learns that this woman was a male-to-female transgender person who (while still biologically male) was kicked out of the Marines for her sexual orientation.[12]
1996 Ellen ABC "Two Ring Circus" Barrett (Jack Plotnick) and Peter (Patrick Bristow) have a commitment ceremony.[91]
1996 ER NBC "Random Acts" Jorja Fox plays a lesbian doctor named Dr. Maggie Doyle.[92]
1996 Frasier NBC "The Impossible Dream" A recurring dream about the station's food critic Gil Chesterton (Edward Hibbert) leads Frasier to question his sexuality.[58]
1996 Friends NBC "The One with the Lesbian Wedding" Carol and Susan have a commitment ceremony. Candace Gingrich appears as the minister who marries them. It was the first lesbian wedding portrayed on U.S. television.[59]
1996 The John Larroquette Show NBC "Happy Endings" Officer Adam Hampton (Lenny Clarke) comes out.[49]
1996 The Larry Sanders Show HBO "Ellen, Or Isn't She?" Larry (Garry Shandling) plans to convince Ellen DeGeneres to come out on his show but he is not sure if she is actually gay.[18]
1996 Law & Order NBC "Deceit" A lawyer is fired for being gay and then killed to prevent his sex discrimination lawsuit from outing another lawyer.[18]
1996 Living Single Fox "Swing Out Sisters" The girls patronize a gay bar.[93]
1996 Mad About You NBC "Ovulation Day" Paul's sister Debbie (Robin Bartlett) comes out as gay. She has a gynecologist girlfriend named Joan (Suzie Plakson).[79]
1996 Melrose Place Fox "Farewell, Mike's Concubine" Matt asks his current boyfriend Dan (Greg Evigan), to spend the night. Dan wants to take it slow, so he doesn't, and they hug.[94]
1996 Millennium Fox "Pilot" Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) comes out of retirement to help the FBI track down a serial killer who is targeting female strippers and gay men who are cruising for sex at night in a Seattle park.[64]
1996 Moesha UPN "Labels" Moesha (Brandy) figures out on a date with Hakeem's (Lamont Bentley) cousin Omar (Chris Lobban) that Omar is gay and gossips about it at school, jeopardizing her friendship with Hakeem.[64]
1996 Murphy Brown CBS "A Comedy of Eros" Frank's (Joe Regalbuto) play about his love life is transformed on stage into a gay love story.[40]
1996 Nash Bridges CBS "Genesis" Inspector/Lieutenant Joe Dominguez (Cheech Marin), ends up owning a gay bar.[95]
1996 Nash Bridges CBS "The Javelin Catcher" Two investigations, of a series of hate crimes against male prostitutes and of a weapons dealer, intersect when the dealer starts picking up transgender prostitutes.[68]
1996 New York Undercover Fox "Without Mercy" A mercy killer is poisoning patients at an AIDS clinic supposedly to spare them the suffering that her daughter went through.[68]
1996 Picket Fences CBS "Bye-Bye, Bey-Bey" Mayor Laurie Bey (Marlee Matlin) announces that she had a baby for her brother Jerry and his boyfriend Gordy, who plan to raise the baby in the town. Laurie's mother Christine (Louise Fletcher) sues for custody and the couple are gay bashed. Custody is granted to the couple.[42]
1996 The Pretender NBC "The Paper Clock" Jarod Pretends to be a lawyer in California to defend a mentally-challenged man on death row, enlisting the aid of a transvestite cab driver along the way.[96]
1996 Relativity ABC "Just One More Thing" Rhonda's (Lisa Edelstein) live-in girlfriend of two years dumps her and kicks her out of their apartment.[97]
1996 Roseanne ABC "Home Is Where the Afghan Is" Bev (Estelle Parsons) comes out as a lesbian.[24]
1996 Silk Stalkings CBS "Compulsion" A man (Christopher Atkins) murders a wealthy gay couple so he can collect part of their fortune.[25]
1996 Touched by an Angel CBS "The Violin Lesson" Tony Du Bois (Lawrence Monoson) returns to his parents home for Christmas, to tell his homophobic father that he is gay and dying of AIDS. The angels try and persuade the father and son to reconcile and for Tony to understand that God is not the source of bigotry.[98]
1996 Tracey Takes On... HBO "Romance" Chris Warner (Tracey Ullman), girlfriend of pro-golfer Midge Dexter (Julie Kavner), demands that the couple stop hiding their relationship from the public.[99]
1996 Turning Point ABC "For Better or Worse: Same-Sex Marriage" Anchor Diane Sawyer and correspondent Elizabeth Vargas document four same-sex couples marrying.[100][101]
1996 Wings NBC "Sons and Lovers" Roy's son comes to visit him for his Leap Year birthday and brings along his boyfriend.[27]
1997 Ally McBeal Fox "Boy To The World" Ally takes the case of a young transgender sex worker, Stephanie (Wilson Cruz), charged for solicitation for the third time. Ally is moved by Stephanie's situation and gets her a job at Cage and Fish, which doesn't last. She returns to the street and is killed by a client.[102]
1997 Alright Already The WB "Again with the Laser Surgery" Vaughn (Maury Sterling), pretends to be gay to attract a beautiful model.[103]
1997 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox "Santa Knows" Ben (Esteban Powell), is thrown out of his house by his parents for being a gay teenager. David Silver finds him living in the car wash garage, and befriends him.[104]
1997 Coach ABC "A Boy and His Doll" Howard (Kenneth Kimmins) and Shirley give Timothy a doll but Luther (Jerry Van Dyke) feels the boy should have more masculine influences.[29]
1997 Cosby CBS "Older and Out" Hilton (Bill Cosby) is overjoyed when he meets new friends Chuck (Joseph Bologna) and Larry (Andre De Shields), and joins their "Older and Out" team, unaware that it is a group for older gay athletes.[90]
1997 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman CBS "The Body Electric" The town welcomes the famous poet Walt Whitman (Donald Moffat) until they learn of his homosexuality.[37]
1997 The Drew Carey Show ABC "Man's Best Same-Sex Companion" Drew (Drew Carey) fakes an insurance claim, listing his dog as his domestic partner. When the claim is challenged he enlists Oswald (Diedrich Bader) to pretend to be his spouse.[37]
1997 Early Edition CBS "The Jury" Chuck Fishman poses as Gary's boyfriend, to help Gary escape from sequestered jury duty in order to prevent an innocent man from being convicted.[105]
1997 Grace Under Fire ABC "Riverboat Queen" Grace and her business partner find out that their investor is gay.[106]
1997 Living Single Fox "Misleading Lady" Snyclaire (Kim Coles) poses as a man to win a part in a play.[107]
1997 Malcolm & Eddie UPN "The Commercial" A television commercial for the bar accidentally attracts lots of gay patrons.[19]
1997 Married... with Children Fox "Lez Be Friends" Al meets Marcy's (Amanda Bearse) lesbian cousin (also played by Bearse).[19]
1997 The Naked Truth NBC "Woman Gets Plastered, Star Gets Even" Nick (Jonathan Penner) and David (Mark Roberts) pretend to be a gay couple to curry favor with their boss, Les (George Wendt). When he challenges them to kiss and they are unable to their lie is exposed.[82]
1997 The Nanny CBS "Danny's Dead and Who's Got the Will" Fran goes on a date with a gay man (Todd Graff) whose lover's family won't acknowledge their relationship.[108]
1997 The Nanny CBS "First Date" Fran's first official date with Sheffield is at a dinner party hosted by Elton John and his real life boyfriend.[109]
1997 Ned & Stacey Fox "Saved by the Belvedere" Ned's crewmember Jody (Andrew Craig) has a crush on Ned. He leaves Ned a series of increasingly explicit answering machine messages, leading Ned to arm himself with a gun. GLAAD condemned the episode for fostering stereotypes and promoting violence against LGBT people and Fox issued an apology.[110]
1997 NYPD Blue ABC "I Love Lucy" A drag queen seeks the squad's protection from her boyfriend.[82]
1997 NYPD Blue ABC "Remembrance of Humps Past" A deadly bisexual love triangle is featured.[82]
1997 Party of Five Fox "I Declare" Ross (Mitchell Anderson) is dating one of Claudia's (Lacey Chabert) gay teachers, and she outs him to the entire school.[42]
1997 The Practice ABC "Betrayal" The law firm defends Joey Heric (John Larroquette), a colorful gay client on trial for the murder of his lover, a prominent city councilman.[111]
1997 Roseanne ABC "Roseanne-feld" Bev introduces Leon and Scott to her girlfriend, a boozy lounge singer named Joyce (Ruta Lee).[112]
1997 Silk Stalkings CBS "Pumped Up" A woman pretends to be a lesbian so she can seduce and murder her stepmother to prevent her from inheriting her father's money. She acknowledges enjoying the seduction more than she expected.[25]
1997 The Simpsons Fox "Homer's Phobia" After learning that new family friend John (voiced by John Waters) is gay, Homer worries that John will influence Bart to become gay too.[25]
1997 Suddenly Susan NBC "A Boy Like That" Luis's younger brother Carlos (Bruno Campos) arrives from Cuba and comes out.[26]
1997 Temporarily Yours CBS "Temptation" Temp worker Deb (Debi Mazar) thinks her romance novelist boss is sexually harassing her, only to discover that he is gay.[88]
1997 Wings NBC "Escape from New York" Brian (Steven Weber) and Helen (Crystal Bernard) lose all of their money on a New York City trip so Helen enters a drag lip-synching contest as "Hell-in-a-Handbasket".[27]
1998 Buffy the Vampire Slayer The WB and UPN "Phases" Xander figures that Larry is the most obvious suspect because of the dog bite. When he confronts Larry alone in the gym locker room, it turns out that he really is hiding his homosexuality. Xander unwittingly leaves Larry with the impression that Xander is gay, too.
1998 Ally McBeal Fox "The Inmates" Georgia takes on a case about a heterosexual waiter suing for discrimination and wrongful dismissal when he's fired from his job for not being gay.[103]
1998 Any Day Now Lifetime "It's Who You Sleep With" Rene (Lorraine Toussaint), represents a lesbian couple who can't marry in a public park.[89]
1998 Arli$$ HBO "My Job Is to Get Jobs" Theo Holt's football team decides to let him go and there are no other takers for his services. Arliss takes him on as a client and learns about a league-wide rumor that Theo is gay. He resurrects Theo's career as only Arliss can.[89]
1998 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox "Crimes and Misdemeanors" Steve (Ian Ziering) believes that he has secured a double date for Brandon (Jason Priestley) and him. He fails to realize that the women are a lesbian couple who believe the guys are also gay.[28]
1998 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox "The Nature of Nurture" Kelly (Jennie Garth) is upset when a gay couple receives custody of an abandoned baby left outside of the clinic. The teenage mother who abandoned the baby decides that she wants her son back, but only because she does not want him raised by gay men.[28]
1998 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox "I'm Back Because" Steve (Ian Ziering) is upset at the news that his mother is dating a much younger man. Steve sees the man kissing another woman and starts a fight. Samantha (Christine Belford) reveals that she is not seeing the man; she is actually a lesbian.[28]
1998 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox "The Following Options" Samantha is fired from her new show by the network, after she comes out as a lesbian. Samantha is apprehensive that Steve is ashamed of her.[28]
1998 Brooklyn South CBS "Gay Avec" An Internal Affairs officer questions an off-duty cop's statement about a shooting in a gay bar and suspects that Santoro (Gary Basaraba) might be gay.[113]
1998 Brooklyn South CBS "Doggonit" Police detectives interview a man who comes into the precinct station to tell them that his gay lover has a gun to his dog's head and is threatening to go on a rampage.[73]
1998 Caroline in the City NBC "Caroline and the Little White Lies" Del (Eric Lutes) and Charlie (Andy Lauer) pose as a gay couple to get cheaper health insurance, but the lie spirals out of control.
1998 Chicago Hope CBS "Austin Space" Orthodox Jewish teenager Jacob (Michael A. Goorjian), is afraid to tell his father, a Rabbi, that he is gay, believing that his father will consider him "dead" because of his so-called sin.[114][115]
1998 Cybill CBS "Whose Wife Am I, Anyway?" The acerbic and riotous unnamed gay waiter (Tim Maculan) at Cybill's favorite restaurant, is nervous about telling his parents that he is gay, so he introduces Cybill as his fiancée.[116][117]
1998 Dharma & Greg ABC "Invasion of the Buddy Snatcher" Dharma (Jenna Elfman) discovers that one of Greg's (Thomas Gibson) poker buddies is gay and has a crush on him.[12]
1998 Ellen ABC "It's a Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay World!" Accidental exposure to bug spray sends Spence (Jeremy Piven), into a dream world where what's gay is straight and what's straight is gay.[118]
1998 For Your Love The WB "The House of Cards" Sheri's (Dedee Pfeiffer) gay friend Tom (Jason Bateman), comes to visit and Dean (D.W. Moffett) gets jealous.[58]
1998 Getting Personal Fox "Chasing Sammy" Milo (Duane Martin) pretends that he is gay in order to win a potential client for the advertising agency where he works.[14]
1998 Holding the Baby Fox "The Gay Divorcee" Kelly (Jennifer Westfeldt) makes Gordon's (Jon Patrick Walker) date think that he is gay.[38]
1998 Party of Five Fox "Here and Now" Sarah's (Jennifer Love Hewitt) new boyfriend is gay. Elliot comes out of the closet to Bailey.[42]
1998 The Practice ABC "Another Day" Joey Herric (John Larroquette) returns, having killed yet another one of his lovers by stabbing him in the chest. Herric first appeared in episode "Betrayal".[119]
1998 Sex and the City HBO "Bay of Married Pigs" Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is set up on a blind date with a lesbian at her company softball game. She is surprised that people think she is a lesbian, but plays along when her and her "lover" are invited to a dinner party.[120]
1998 Sex and the City HBO "Three's a Crowd" Charlotte's boyfriend wants to have a threesome, and Samantha declines an offer for a threesome when she becomes involved with a married man, and his wife suggests they have a threesome to keep the marriage together.[121]
1998 Sex and the City HBO "The Turtle and the Hare" Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson), who is gay, proposes to Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) in order to please his grandmother and inherit his part of the family fortune.[122]
1999 Action Fox "Blowhard" Cole Riccardi (Richard Burgi), a famous action star, comes out as gay.[123]
1999 Any Day Now Lifetime "Family Is Family" Renee's gay brother visits with his son, and his lover.[89]
1999 Beggars and Choosers Showtime "The Velvet Curtain" Malcolm (Tuc Watkins) goes on a political talk show to discuss the "velvet curtain," or the discrimination that gays face in Hollywood. Malcolm is the most diplomatic of the talk show's guests, but when a conservative Senator starts getting blatantly offensive in his comments, Malcolm outs himself on national television.[124]
1999 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox "Baby, You Can Drive My Car" Dylan and his friend Andrew (Robb Derringer) are attacked by gay bashers. Andrew does not want to help put away their attackers because he has yet to come out. His boss finds out that he is gay and puts him on leave.[28]
1999 Dawson's Creek The WB "To Be or Not to Be..." Jack bears his soul in an English assignment and is forced to expose his innermost secrets while reading his poem aloud in class; the poem alludes to feelings that Jack has towards another boy.[30]
1999 Dawson's Creek The WB "...That Is the Question" After reading his poem aloud in English class, Jack confronts his innermost secrets. He realizes that he is in fact gay, formally coming out to his supportive sister and less-supportive father.[30]
1999 Dawson's Creek The WB "First Encounters of the Close Kind" On a visit to Boston, Jack takes a risk and explores the local gay community. The weekend ends with Jack bonding with a gay man.[30]
1999 Felicity The WB "Love and Marriage" Noel gets a visit from his brother Ryan (Eddie McClintock), who comes out as gay. Noel is shocked.[125]
1999 Homicide: Life on the Street NBC "Truth Will Out" Bayliss (Kyle Secor), is the subject of rumors about his bisexuality, after word spreads about his personal website, which includes his musings on sexual matters. Warned to take it down or risk jeopardizing his career, and upset about a rejection by a gay sergeant, he decides to shut the site down.[77]
1999 NYPD Blue ABC "Raphael's Inferno" Detectives assist an elderly man who believes that his young transgender girlfriend was pressured into embezzling money from him.[82]
1999 Party of Five Fox "I'll Show You Mine" Julia moves closer to her writing professor, Perry, and ends up kissing her.[42]
1999 Sex and the City HBO "Old Dogs, New Dicks" Samantha (Kim Cattrall ) is rattled after running into an ex-boyfriend, a former hockey player, who is now a drag queen named after her.[126]
1999 Sex and the City HBO "Evolution" Charlotte (Kristin Davis) dates Stefan (Dan Futterman), a pastry chef who she mistakenly thought was gay but is, in his own words, a "gay straight man".[121]
1999 Snoops ABC "Constitution" A future father-in-law suspects a man of being gay and hires Snoops detective agency to find out. Turns out he's actually a gay basher.[127]
1999 Spin City ABC "These Shoes Were Made for Cheatin" Stuart (Alan Ruck) joins a gay gym.[86]
1999 The West Wing NBC "In Excelsis Deo" C. J. Cregg (Allison Janney) gets emotionally involved in a story about a gay high school student beaten to death by a group of thirteen year olds. She sees this as an opportunity to push hate crime legislation, but the suggestion finds little support among the staff.[128]

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