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Television's First Gay Kiss?


Brian Patrick Thornton is the editor of Northeast Ohio's LGBT website Spangle. This week is the 10th anniversary of Thornton participating in what may have been television's first gay kiss, when he and his boyfriend pranked Al Roker in a stealth spit swap on the Today show.

Thornton tells the story of that kiss at Spangle, but you can watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. GOD, that makes me feel old. That seems recent!

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Jun 29, 2009 2:47:15 PM

  2. TV's first gay kiss after Dawson's Creek?

    Posted by: popomatic Jeff | Jun 29, 2009 3:15:11 PM

  3. Northern Exposure had a dimly lit gay kiss at a gay wedding episode back in about 93.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 29, 2009 3:49:08 PM

  4. The debate, of course, goes on.

    Chandler kissed Joey earlier on Friends, but that was platonic between two straight characters.

    The big Dawson's kiss was in May 2000 (, although it was preceded by a peck the year before.

    I suppose we can debate technicalities forever ...

    Posted by: Brian | Jun 29, 2009 3:56:30 PM

  5. I always thought the first real gay kiss on TV was between Michael and Jon in Tales of The City in 1993.

    Posted by: Mark in NYC | Jun 29, 2009 4:45:51 PM

  6. The claim isn't first gay kiss, but first gay kiss between two real people.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 29, 2009 4:53:10 PM

  7. It says "Television's First Gay Kiss?"

    so, I am with Mark in NYC and the fabulous Tales of the City.

    and wasn't that closely followed by some tonsil tennis in My So Called Life, or was I just really wanting that to happen?

    Posted by: Glynn | Jun 29, 2009 5:43:04 PM

  8. i don't know if cable tv shows count, but cliff (the gay brother) on the Showtime series BROTHERS kissed his boyfiend in at least one episode in the 80's (it was either cliff's or his boyfriends birthday party and cliff wound up breaking up with him in the same episode.) i just watched the episode last week. there were audible gasps and claps heard from the audience.

    Posted by: macguffin54 | Jun 29, 2009 6:36:12 PM

  9. Mike is right. The actual claim is (or should be) first kiss between two actual gay people--as opposed to between two actors, one or both of whom are straight and pretending to be gay.

    Posted by: Matt | Jun 29, 2009 8:15:50 PM

  10. There was no gay kiss on My So-Called Life, just gay lusting.

    Posted by: Washington | Jun 29, 2009 8:22:57 PM

  11. Well, if we all want to be so technical, Brian and Rich did not have the first kiss on TV. Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin certainly beat them to the punch. There were probably others too. Plenty of pecks and cable kisses, but a kiss between two boys who actually meant it?

    That being said, Brian and Rich were two gay boys in love (at the time) and they planted an intentional, meaningful kiss on one another not to get a laugh or to embarrass or shock, but because they wanted to show the world that two boys can be in love and that we had been denied that kind of kiss way too long.

    So, it was the first. The first kiss of its kind on TV - and it was historic. Perhaps those of you who keep trying to find fault here are just jealous you didn't have the nerve to do it yourself. Thanks Brian for doing it and thanks for reminding us of it. I hope you do so every ten years.

    Posted by: Farina | Jun 30, 2009 10:53:22 AM

  12. i don't suppose anyone wants to count the 1992 episode of star trek in which riker has a romance with a member of a hermaphrodite species. jonathan frakes thought the character should have been played by a man, but the studio chickened out and cast a woman. however, it is made very clear in the plot that the character is equally male and female, and they did kiss.

    star trek has been generally terrible when it comes to gay characters and stories. and yes, it does piss me off that whenever they had any gay content at all, it was made okay by the character being an alien with a special alien reason for being gay.

    Posted by: brian | Jun 30, 2009 3:20:43 PM

  13. 1992, Saturday Night Live. NIRVANA's Krist Novoselic & Dave Grohl (current Foo Fighter) locked lips deep 'n' heavy during the credits (not a skit), to rile up the homophobes back in Aberdeen, WA.
    A publicity stunt/statement not too different from the Today Show prank.

    Posted by: correct answer | Jun 1, 2011 2:39:14 AM

  14. a 93 episode of Picket Fences had a man man kiss.. and also another had a female female

    Posted by: KP | Jan 31, 2012 9:43:35 AM

  15. Sean Connery in 1960

    Posted by: hholmes | Jul 28, 2012 7:30:34 PM

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