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'General Hospital' Introduces Lipstick-Wielding Gay Male Nurse


General Hospital debuted a new character this week, a gay nurse played by actor Marc Anthony Samuel. To establish his character as gay, his first scenes involved him pulling out a tube of lipstick and offering to touch up a heterosexual woman. Oy.

UPDATE: A follow-up to this post.

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  1. @Kiwi -

    I see that someone called you out on your racist comments on the Towleroad post about the young gay politician in Maine. I have observed that you are a racist and a misogynist for some time, so it is good to see that others are noticing this and are calling you out. Why don't you take your malformed face and body (I have seen your website) and your racism and go away?

    Posted by: Jeff | Dec 7, 2012 7:26:08 PM

  2. Oh yes. A gay guy who not only knows how to put on makeup, but carries it around with him. That's not too condescending or insulting, now is it?

    Posted by: Matt | Dec 7, 2012 8:13:26 PM

  3. I was SO confused by this scene and I'm glad that someone said something about it. He can be gay without whipping out the lipstick, firstly ... secondly, in the script he had to say something about keeping it with him for touchups and it turns out to be a BRIGHT RED color that he wasn't actually wearing. What, exactly, was he touching up?! The writing and portrayal really irritated me when usually the ABC soaps do so well ...

    Posted by: Wickedwitch | Dec 7, 2012 8:19:14 PM

  4. "I call your bluff" squawks KIWI for the billionth irrelevant time, which always keeps me laughing... who cares about your senseless little demands...URL's prove nothing. They prove nothing. Nothing needs proving, no face need be seen, no address known, no audience summoned. Which is what it is for you, a summons to pay attention to more of your hissy pissy ranting where people can also look at your angry little face. Your posts here are quite enough, your face and more, yet more and more about you, is nothing but passive sadism.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 7, 2012 9:03:21 PM

  5. This idiocy from "General Hospital" is the equivalent of a blackface minstrel show. With enough ridicule, I hope the producer and writer become a laughing stock, which is what they deserve.

    Posted by: Artie_in_Lauderdale | Dec 7, 2012 9:50:23 PM

  6. "...and now I'll make you a Star ! " make her a clown xD!

    Posted by: MArk | Dec 7, 2012 10:11:05 PM

  7. To Andy Towle and the readers of this blog: My name is Ron Carlivati and I am the Head Writer of General Hospital. I am also an openly gay man. I created the character of Felix Dubois, the "lipstick-wielding gay male nurse," and I am frankly appalled by the intolerance and internalized homophobia expressed in this post and in the majority of its comments. During my career, I have brought no fewer than six gay characters to daytime television: male, female, Black, White, Hispanic...all shapes and sizes. I have written coming out stories, gay bashing stories, gay marriage stories, gay parenting stories and gay love stories. I wrote the first love scene between two gay men that ever aired on daytime TV. I won a GLADD award for these stories. What exactly is it about this character that is causing such righteous indignation? The fact that he carries a tube of lipstick in his scrubs? SPOILER ALERT: Felix sells cosmetics to put himself through nursing school. This will be revealed on Monday's show. Not because I think gay men love lipstick, and certainly not to "establish" himself as gay. But even if that were the reason, so what? Does this make him too queeny? Not straight-acting enough? Is that the only type of gay character allowed on TV now? As far as I'm concerned, to be offended by this character is what is offensive. And just FYI, the majority of women (our core audience) I have heard from thus far about Felix have expressed to me how much they like him. The only people who seem to have a problem with him are certain gay men who are apparently afraid of a gay character who might be portrayed as a little bit effeminate. Well, I say shame on you, and shame on Andy Towle, too. Oy, indeed.

    Posted by: Ron Carlivati | Dec 8, 2012 12:08:10 AM

  8. Sorry, I meant GLAAD.

    Posted by: Ron Carlivati | Dec 8, 2012 12:13:06 AM

  9. what's wrong with helping a lady with her lipstick? ya'll need to get over your hyper machismo bs. inclusion includes every brand of everybody. ^_^

    Posted by: Alexander | Dec 8, 2012 12:45:23 AM

  10. Who cares?

    I had bigger issues with the olives on my pizza tonight then I do with this.

    Posted by: Michael | Dec 8, 2012 12:51:42 AM

  11. Femme dudes are the ones killed most often in hate crimes because they cannot hide or live true to themselves. You butt fracks are a bunch of weak ass sycophants who want to be straight despite the fact that straight people are more messed up than we are. Like black people wearing colored contacts. Be proud.

    Posted by: Kissyfur | Dec 8, 2012 1:31:05 AM

  12. Ron, I love your reply and thank you for writing it. I was going to write something similar to it, but could never have put it so perfectly. We come in all shapes, sizes, ages and TYPES, so they should all have a voice on television, just like every straight character type has a voice. Well done to balancing the portrayals and including EVERY TYPE of gay character. If I was in the US and able to see this, i'd certainly tune in!

    Andy, there does seem to be a lot of baiting stories very recently. I loved this site before for it's ability NOT to do this kind of journalism and just report. I have faith that will return and look forward to that day.

    Posted by: Isaak | Dec 8, 2012 4:13:05 AM

  13. @Ron Carlivati:

    Thanks for writing, but you are completely missing the point of these comments. The issue isn't that we have a problem with a man carrying lipstick. I think it is fair to say that most of us couldn't care less. What is appalling is that you - knowing that gay men are stereotyped as effeminate - choose to put this forward as a representation of a gay character. And you did this even when it was completely gratuitous. There was absolutely no reason this character couldn't have sold vacuum cleaners to put himself through school. You chose to link him to cosmetics and you chose to turn him into a lipstick carrying "girlfriend" who is at the ready to help a woman with a touch up. I doubt you ever considered anything similar with a straight male character. You are responsible for promoting stereotypes. Shame on us? No, sir. Shame on you. You clearly believe, at some level, that these foul stereotypes are true and that is why you promote them.

    Also, if you were responsible for writing Luke/Noah storylines on ATWT, I can also tell you that you are a terrible writer. They were nothing but a series of time wasters, involving murders and abductions and a mystery woman from Iraq, in other words an assortment of nonsense. You couldn't even competently write a love triangle plot, one of the easiest plot devices to write. You never gave that relationship the respectful exploration that it deserved. If that was your doing, I again say shame on you.

    Posted by: Jeff | Dec 8, 2012 4:32:43 AM

  14. So a gay man who has a tube of lipstick is not a good gay role model? I just want to make sure I know where we're going with this new homophobia. Felix has been on the show for one day, people!

    Posted by: Matt | Dec 8, 2012 6:17:13 AM

  15. Thank you, Ron, for putting these homophobic homosexuals in their place! They need to get over themselves.

    Posted by: J L | Dec 8, 2012 6:51:21 AM

  16. No he wasn't responsible for Luke and Noah, but it was responsible for Oliver and Kyle on One life to live, and that wasn't good (at least he wasn't responsible for blaming the gay storyline for the bad ratings of the show).

    As i say, playing withe stereotypes is a complicate thing, there are a lot of efeminate gay men who are great characters, three dimensional and charming. But i find difficult to find that kind of characters on a soap (straight or gay).

    Days storyline for example, is cliche after cliche. They have two handsome guys who are decent actors, but instead of give them something interesting to do, they give them totally plot driven storylines.

    I still think that the first scenes of GH gay character weren't a good form to introduce the character, but at least it seems there's a rational explanation, so maybe there's some hope.

    I know it's difficult for soap writers introduce gay characters, because the main audience is generally conservative. But i think it's something you need to do fully (Days storylines is not good, but they are not shy with physical affection) because if you let the story in the middle ground, nobody is going to be happy.
    Luke and Noah were a big big success, but then they feared the backlash, and totally degay the characters (they were virgins two years later) and start to write that awful storylines for them, not taking profit of their popularity.
    Adultery, blackmail and kidnappings are expected, this is a soap, but at least with the characters some development and treat them like the straight ones

    Posted by: jjose712 | Dec 8, 2012 7:31:24 AM

  17. @Jeff: I thought the issue we were discussing here was whether or not this character was promoting stereotypes. Now you're attacking me for my storytelling ability? A little off the subject, but also a little misinformed. I did not write Luke/Noah on ATWT. Secondly, my writing the stereotype of a gay man selling lipstick (since when is this a gay stereotype???) was not "completely gratuitous." There is actually a story reason why it had to be lipstick and not vacuum cleaners, which will also become apparent on Monday. That's the thing about soap operas, they're on every day, and you actually have to watch them to get to know the characters. You don't learn everything there is to know about them in one day. So in spite of your misinformed opinion, I am not ashamed of Felix. I am proud of Felix. He is sweet and kind and charming and would never be caught dead selling vacuum cleaners.

    Posted by: Ron Carlivati | Dec 8, 2012 10:57:19 AM

  18. I think it will turn out that Felix is a drag queen, and he will perform (in Drag) at the Nurses Ball. I think that He will also be HIV Poz. (African Americans are a High percentage) This will give a current face of the cause. 15 years ago it was Gay white men, IV Drug users and women. (Jon Hanely, Stone and Robin) I am still hoping that Lucas Jones comes back and is in a good story. I am also hoping the next black character is Tommy Hardy, Jr. (He would be the same age as Lucas and Maxie).

    Posted by: MK | Dec 8, 2012 11:04:24 AM

  19. @Ron Carlivati It is out-of-touch Hollywood types like you that are responsible for destroying the self-esteem of young gay men by presenting them with nothing but images of effeminacy and pseudo-womanliness in the media. Imagine how a young gay male athlete in Kansas or Mississippi feels when he sees such portrayals on television. It reinforces everthing the homophobes around him have told him about his attraction to males equating to a lack of masculinity.

    But people like you don't give a damn about that, do you? You are so far gone in your "gender-non-conformity" Disneyland that only exists in the narrow little cocoons that people like you live in that you probably actually believe that you are doing a good thing.

    Your whole mindset is revealed by saying that the WOMEN who watch your show have told you how much they like "Felix." Yeah, of course they do, the way women always like effeminate gay men--as playthings, social accessories, confidantes, and pets......but never as actual men to be taken seriously as men in respectable society. The fact that you don't care what men--including other gay men--think of the character demonstrates that you populate the very space I have referred to as the culture of effeminacy--idolizing women, living vicariously through women, and having hostile attitudes towards men and anything masculine. Your principal reference group is clearly WOMEN, not men, whether gay men or straight men.

    And you don't even seem to realize that you are just being used as a tool by your hetero bosses who delight in the entertainment value provided by stereotyping of gay men for a straight audience.

    SO, YOU, SIR, ARE THE PROBLEM.....and the sooner the culture and mindset you represent are eradicated, the sooner gay men can both be accepted and respected AS MEN into the company of other men and into the social mainstream generally....and can find some self-esteem so as to avoid the kind of self-destructive behavior that invariably results from immersing themselves in the culture of effeminacy.

    Shame on YOU for your irrespnsibility and for the damage you do to young gay men.

    Posted by: Rick | Dec 8, 2012 11:12:17 AM

  20. @Rick: Wow. First of all, I'm not a Hollywood-type, I live in New York. Secondly, you don't know my bosses are hetero. Thirdly, you don't know my bosses at all, so how do you know what they do and do not delight in? Fourth of all, as I already pointed out in my first comment, I have created at least six gay characters in my career, and I have had tons of feedback from many gay men, both young and old, that these characters helped them in some way. I don't know if any of them were young gay male athletes in Kansas, but I think there are plenty of other role models out there for them besides gay Black nurses on General Hospital, although I still think, as role models go, they could do a lot worse.

    Posted by: Ron Carlivati | Dec 8, 2012 11:43:08 AM

  21. All the negativity. Oy! I'm really happy for my friend Marc! Congrats! Hope they keep you around for a really long time. And give you a really hot boyfriend too.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 8, 2012 11:44:22 AM

  22. Ron's been a pioneer in putting gay people on television in positive portrayals. He also has a sense of humor, which plainly cannot be said of some of Andy's readers. If you can't enjoy the many aspects of gay life - and has any gay man on the planet not run into this kind of character? - then they should simply enjoy their abercrombie sweatshirts in silence, and consider lightening up.

    Posted by: Mark | Dec 8, 2012 11:51:57 AM

  23. @Ron Carlivati Hollywood, New York, whatever. Same difference when it comes to this issue.

    When I look at network TV now, practically all I see in terms of gay male characters is effeminate men--"Modern Family", "The New Normal", "Glee", the list goes on and on.

    So let me make a suggestion to you. Why don't you use your talents as a writer and your connections in the TV industry to create something really new and original: a strong, masculine gay male character who exercises authority and is respected and even feared by other men in mainstream society.

    Make that character the lead on a cop show like Hawaii Five-O--a tough, non-nonsense guy who is clearly in charge.....make him the in-charge boss/executive on a show in a corporate setting....make him the star football player on a major university campus, the team leader and the envy of all the men on campus.....make him a truck driver who likes to hunt and listens to country music.....

    Go ahead, I dare you to.

    You certainly cannot argue that there is not enormous potential for both comedy or drama with any such characters....and if you have created so many gay characters before, I don't see why you would not be able to create one of these and present the idea effectively to network executives who can get such a program on the air.

    If you are willing to do that.....and if the network executives who make such decisions are willing to air such a program, then I will take back all that I said.


    Posted by: Rick | Dec 8, 2012 12:01:07 PM

  24. thank you Ron!

    and just remember this - your angriest "critics" on here are cowardly grown-adults who aren't Out yet. hence their anger.

    and the reality is that there are TONNES of diverse gay male characters on television. they just choose to ignore that so they can come online to anonymously complain about...well, you saw the comments.

    i've said it before yet i'll say it again, BD Wong played gay characters in non-traditional gay roles on TWO hit TV series for more than a decade.

    and yet....people don't mention this as an example of "gay male diversity in the media"?

    Why? oh, right. Because he's Chinese-American. These anonymous trolls don't think "it counts" unless the character is white, apparently.

    so take solace, Ron. The guys who are on here angry at you are merely angry that even as they're pushing middle-age, they're still not Out. and of course it's not YOUR fault. you're empowering diversity. what are they doing? complaining from the back of the online proverbial Closet that...other gays aren't doing what they themselves give excuses to not do.

    keep it up.

    as i said, it's not the "type" you portray - it's HOW YOU ARE ABOUT IT.

    and in this clip, we see a guy helping a woman out. that's a good thing.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 8, 2012 12:06:11 PM

  25. hey Rick! - provide the URL where you show us all what a strong manly empowered example of a confident gay man you are.

    then your words may be taken (at most) semi-seriously.


    of course not. you dont' have the balls.


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 8, 2012 12:10:04 PM

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