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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. @Ron Carlivati:

    It is too bad you won't address my point. Why do you put lipstick in the hands of a gay character, when you have never done that, nor would ever consider doing that, with any straight male character? You claim that you are not promoting stereotypes and argue that I shouldn't have any problem with the portrayal of an effeminate male. I don't. My problem is that you would only make a gay character effeminate. That's the stereotyping at work. That is the manifestation of your underlying homophobia. It would be absurd to you and the other writers to make one of the straight males wield a lipstick tube, but it is perfectly natural to impose these predilections on gay characters. You have precisely the same biases as the TV writers of the early 1960s-70s. You just dress it up as something supposedly bold and progressive. Too bad you couldn't get Richard Simmons to perform gay minstrelsy. Maybe next season.

    Posted by: Jeff | Dec 9, 2012 1:24:06 AM

  2. I'm sure Felix isn't the only man who is going to be working for Lucy's cosmetics company (which is where I assume he'll be working). Why not wait and see before everyone makes a judgement?

    And for those people who keep saying that Ron needs to create an ultra masculine gay character, HE'S ALREADY DONE THAT! To great success! It's obvious a lot of the people who are complaining haven't see his writing. He's created lesbian characters, gay characters and this is just the beginning of Felix.

    Posted by: Chris B | Dec 9, 2012 1:36:29 AM

  3. "...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."

    @Little Kiwi: I know you've stated that many times, but I see no evidence that it's true.

    BD Wong is a wonderful actor who has played characters who were NOT portrayed as gay in All-American Girl, Oz and Awake.

    The only regular gay character I know of that he has ever played on TV was in Law And Order: SVU. In that case, the character's orientation wasn't written into the show for most of the series' run, until Wong's 19th-from-last episode ("Hardwired")when it was casually mentioned and tied into a storyline about an ugly and false stereotype.

    BD Wong is a great gay ACTOR, but when it comes to the most memorable gay CHARACTERS of television, those last few episodes of ONE series pale next to Will Truman's 187 gay-from-beginning-to-end episodes or the many-times-more-numerous episodes of Six Feet Under where David and Keith's relationship was explored and developed.

    As far as General Hospital goes, my first reaction is, indeed, "Oy." It seems at first glance to trivialize both gay males and men who are nursing students that he just happens to have this pink cupcake lipstick at the ready.
    I would have the same reaction if the only black nursing student at General Hospital just happened to shuffle his feet down the hallway carrying a bag of watermelon and chitlins around the workplace just in case anybody's hungry, or if the only Asian doctor wore a karate uniform to work and made his way around the hospital yelling "hah-ya!"

    This character may well be developed in a way that will eventually make more sense, but I can't help but think that it wouldn't have occurred to the writers to depict a straight male doctor who's eager and always ready to give his female co-workers a make-over.

    Posted by: GregV | Dec 9, 2012 2:35:37 AM

  4. I dunno. I've been Out since my teens. I don't get my knickers in a twist about "stereotypes"

    i stopped worrying about that nonsense eons ago. feel free to man up and join me.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 9, 2012 2:51:28 AM

  5. @LittleKiwi:

    Are you aware that every single one of your comments is misogynistic? Every single one, without fail, equates the male anatomy or being male with goodness and a lack of same with inadequacy. One of your comments a few days ago was overtly racist, written in a caricature of African American slang. You are a disturbed person, IMO. It is not surprising that you would find a kiindred spirit in Ron Carlivati.

    Posted by: Sammy | Dec 9, 2012 3:33:13 AM

  6. @Chris B:

    It is no victory for gay people if Carlivati creates an "ultra masculine" gay character. That characters is just reflecting more of Carlivati's neuroses about gender. We don't want a cartoonish stereotypical queen and we don't want a cartoonish masculine goon. The point is that the gay characters should be given the same gender treatment as the straight characters. Why does Carlivati think that gay men are not simply men, but rather are gender confused people who gravitate toward the extremes of girlishness or hyper-masculinity?

    This is Carlivati projecting his own internal gender struggles, if not his internalized homophobia. He is imposing his baggage on his gay characters and by extension, on all of us.

    Posted by: Sammy | Dec 9, 2012 3:40:10 AM

  7. @RonCarlivati You have done such tremendous work on "General Hospital" it's indescribable. The scenes with Jane Elliot, Finola Hughes, Nancy Lee Grahn, Leslie Charleson...I could go on and on.

    But, this appalling stereotype and his lipstick...I'm crestfallen. How could you not get it? The whole country isn't New York City or Los Angeles. Most of us live in places where we have to work everyday to prove to people-and ourselves-that we can being gay simply means we are attracted to other men. It's about sexual orientation. Not sexual or gender confusion. We're not caricatures, cross-dressers, hair-stylists...make-up ladies with a penis.

    It may seem like a clever bit of shock value to you, but to me and the vast majority it is embarrassing, insulting and it undoes the hard, frightening, risks we took when we came out in small towns, in red states, in pretty much anywhere except Manhattan and Hollywood.

    @Rick is right. Mocking us hurts our feelings, but it destroys gay youth. You might be interested in how I feel since I watch GH, play it on my ABC App, Get Glue it, Video-On-Demand it and Tweet about it EVERY WEEKDAY because I want to save the show. Probably that doesn't interest you, I learned from "As The World Turns" the visceral dislike soaps can have for gays.

    But, gosh can't you take a minute to care that you are helping to strengthen bigotry, reinforce ignorance and hurt, or cause hurt, for people-and for what? Cheap, reductive, shock value? It's not worth it.

    Please read what @Rick has to say. You need to know that the entertainment industry bubble you've lived in for years now is not representative of the country as a whole. It's getting much better out here, but that's because so many of us are pushing in the right direction. Please don't set us back. Please don't make me have to stop watching "General Hospital."

    And if @Rick's not interesting in writing a script about a regular guy who just happens to be gay. How about giving something I write a chance? I sure wrote a ton of comments, posts, Tweets, Facebook messages and emails promoting you and your show.

    Posted by: Ron Klopfanstein | Dec 9, 2012 4:52:33 AM

  8. I'm sorry but I just had to laugh when I heard Ron Carlavati say that GH was a good show.

    If anybody has watched any of his writing at all I can't see how they would be surprised at how this Felix is done. Ron C. only writers in stereotypes and over the top buffoonish mess. I have watched his work on both OLTL and GH and believe me I have never seen one character that he has done is that fully fleshed out.

    His Oliver and Fish started out nice and that boiled over in to one of the most cliched messes ever. It was so groundbreaking and well done that OLTL's ratings were sinking faster than the Titanic at one point. Enough so that the network put a kibosh on the whole mess. What could have been a great and groundbreaking story was ruined by his writing and handling of it. He can brag about one scene but it would have been nice if we could have bragged about the whole story and not one scene of lovemaking.

    I had very little respect for Ron C. after seeing him overact on Twitter so much that I had to quit following the buffoon.

    The man seriously needs to stay off the Internet or get him some prozac. Every time he is faced with any kind of criticism of his writing at all, he goes onto Twitter or here and goes on another rant. Truly unprofessional Ron C.

    And sorry but only a writer so full of himself as you are would go online and boast about how good he is. Sorry but as a good friend used to say I would love to buy you for what you are truly worth and then turn around sell you for what you and your Kool-Aid drinking fans think you are worth. I would never have to work.

    Oh and by the way come down off your cross -- someone out there needs the wood.

    Posted by: Johnny B | Dec 9, 2012 8:21:36 AM

  9. Ron C. is the man. He doesn't deserve this sh*t - seriously. If you watched the show (you should), it is becoming clear that the point of Felix (at least initially) is going to be to act as Sabrina's confidant and help style and transform her for the ball. It's an ugly duckling/Cindarella story featuring a very fresh young actress and it's pretty cute.

    So what if Ron made the friend character an effeminate gay black man? It's a type. And until we can accept all "types" as equally legitimate and representative we still have a hell of a long way to go.

    Ron, if you ever need another writer I'd love to work on the show. Can't wait for "Love in Maine!"

    Posted by: Nick | Dec 9, 2012 9:05:36 AM

  10. well this certainly has brought out the insecure closeted ninnies, eh?

    what do you think is going to happen? that due to this portrayal all of the anti-gay straight men who watch General Hospital (!?!?!?) are going to ....what, exactly?

    it's beautifully ironic, however, that this did of course veer into the typical barrage of "i hate effeminate gays! they make us look bad!" comments from our resident cowards.

    for all the hate they spew at gay men who don't care to cater to the affectations preferred by insecure and ignorant heterosexuals, they cannot stand up, themselves, to be counted.

    who is the G.H. demographic? do you think this character portrayal will have a negative impact on how gay people are perceived by this very-specific demographic?

    really? i can't imagine why. after all, if all your faux-macho posturing to the straight men you're living in fear of hasn't helped you Come Out yet, perhaps it's time for a new tactic.


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 9, 2012 11:52:32 AM

  11. Every gay character I've seen on daytime has been portrayed as a victim who doesn't want to upset the 'order of things'.

    When are we going to get some gay characters who don't give a damn what people think and aren't used as creatures of a dominant female? Even better, when are we going to get gay characters that aren't even preoccupied with their own right to happiness, that see the world for what it is and refuse to be victimized by the insecurities of others? Where are these characters? The soaps on the current line-up, especially GH and Days, are laughably unadventurous. Everything is so watered down and cloyingly inoffensive. Get real soap writers.

    Posted by: Beacon | Dec 9, 2012 12:30:10 PM

  12. @Ron Klopfenstein:

    Very well said.


    If you think that all "types" should be seen on TV, then why not ask Carlivati where are the straight male characters who carry around lipstick and are happy to give makeovers to women? That is a "type" as well. But no one, including Carlivati, seems to think that that is a viable option for a character. No, this isn't about portraying different personality types. It is explicitly about portraying gay male characters as something other than men. The very stereotypes that we would condemn if they were promoted on Fox News or CBN.

    Posted by: Jeff | Dec 9, 2012 1:04:20 PM

  13. From reading the comments, those who are the most angry about Felix seem like their sense of what a gay man ought to be is limited to masculine, "straight-acting" men. They couch it in terms of countering society's stereotypical construct. But it is apparent that there is no room in their mind for different kinds of gay men. Rather than showing that gay men come in all different stripes, they are engaging in reverse stereotyping by wanting to socially engineer that gay men must be masculine as the counter example. Sounds like a cliché but this is internalized homophobia and projection of what they hate within themselves.

    Posted by: ah123 | Dec 9, 2012 2:23:54 PM

  14. ah123: That's not exactly true, in fact the most prominents gay characters on american tv right now are almost all effeminate, some of them are interesting and fully developed characters, but the truth is, if there's a type of gay that is never underrepresented is the effeminate type.

    Posted by: jjose712 | Dec 9, 2012 5:01:56 PM

  15. Seriously, though, there is that token lip stick wielding gay man in society still today.
    It adds a little campiness to GH, and GH is all about campiness. That's why people like watching soap opera's.

    Like the Gay story line in Days of our Lives, it is so cheesy and stupid and hard to watch, but i still watch it because it is cheesy, stupid, and hard to watch.

    Posted by: alan | Dec 9, 2012 5:02:48 PM

  16. Carlivati apparently doesn't watch prime time, as in Modern Family, The New Normal, the now defunct Partners. Does he remember "Just Jack" ~ outside of the slob on Happy Endings what kind of "straight acting" [hate that term] characters are out there? The lipstick was totally unnecessary. He would have been better off giving Brett Claywell's Kyle a job in the hospital and re-establish all the good will lost by abruptly killing his story line on One Life to Live. I could go on about Carlivati's ridiculous lesbian story line for Dorian. Anyway, the point is that there is a better way to tell a gay story line even for an effemiinate character without whipping out the cosmetics.

    Posted by: Giovanni | Dec 9, 2012 6:26:48 PM

  17. I've been watching ABC soaps for some long while, with a few breaks. I remember when Donna Pescow portrayed a lesbian character on AMC. I'd heard a few days prior to the intro that a new gay character was coming to GH. It was going well, then, honestly, I cringed when the lipstick appeared.

    Posted by: Drummond | Dec 9, 2012 6:50:58 PM

  18. Wow. Firstly, Kudos for Ron for saying something and sticking to his guns quite elequently in the face of seriously self homophobic people who DO NOT WATCH the show or are familiar with Rons work on OLTL. Ron created Kyle and Fish on OLTL.. two NON STEREOTYPICAL gay men, one being a doctor and the other a COP, who wound up raising a daughter that Fish had with a way ward stripper while he was comng to grips with later in life coming out. Both were not effeminite men. But whats the deal if there is an effeminate gay black nurse who has lip stick in his pocket. Apparently people do not watch the show because actually a Nurses Ball is coming up, which is going to be a full on show where the characters will most likely do Broadway style numbers for a good cause, HIV fundraising. It's disgusting to me that just the idea that gay effeminate nurse would cause such an uproar when in reality, as a gay man livin living in San Francisco... um... you'll run into queens at your local hospital. They have a part in our world too, and Ron , i thought it was a brilliant move, made sense.. I'm seeing more Indian Doctors on GH too..and you know what... It's true.. You have Indian Doctors in real life.. You all sorts of gay men. I find THIS more refreshing than the gay character who tries too hard to not be gay as to not offend straight sensibilities. True is.. WE.. gay men..are NOT like everyone else. From Butch to femme. Give the head writer a break. If he were'nt on GH now.. there would be NADA gay representation. Ron is responsible also for one of the BEST odes to gay culture ever on Daytime TV.. he wrote an ode of Grey Gardens on One Life to live!! How awesome was THAT!! xxx Luv yaRon and i tune in every day.

    Posted by: Jack Taylor | Dec 9, 2012 7:03:03 PM

  19. How about a character on daytime who happens to be gay? Not afraid to be gay, hiding he is gay, getting drunk to sleep with guys...How about a gay super couple?

    Posted by: Glen | Dec 9, 2012 9:53:40 PM

  20. Rick is obviously dealing with some demons!

    Posted by: Bobby | Dec 9, 2012 9:57:08 PM

  21. I don't care if you ARE a gay writer. You still don't speak for all of us. To introduce such an overtly stereotypical gay character to a mainly straight audience is irresponsibly perpetuating that stereotype. Shock value is rarely an effective overture to acceptance. If you want the character to be a cosmetic salesperson or even a transgendered person, you could at least introduce those aspects slowly instead of throwing them up into mainstream America's face like a tube of lipstick (never mind the hygiene aspect).

    Posted by: G. Underwood | Dec 9, 2012 10:32:19 PM

  22. Jeff, you're a wimp with capers for testes. Thanks for sharing.

    How is it that this one character "is explicitly about portraying gay male characters as something other than men."?

    that makes no sense whatsoever.

    how is his carrying lipstick somehow making him something other than a man?

    how does this one character magically negate the plethora of diverse gay male characterizations in other forms of media?

    you trolls are always so pathetically the same.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 9, 2012 10:32:30 PM

  23. What's wrong with not being masculine? He may not directly reflect every or even most gay men but He is out there. And nowadays it find it easy to find a balanced representation of gay characters on TV and in movies. To move through the world without the slightest chance of ever 'Passing', even for a split second, is a very different journey than it is for "un-stereotypical" gay men, even if you are out and proud and never hesitate with your pronouns. I find your thought that he is 'Damaging' far more Damaging.

    I think the fight is to accept/respect, or in the very least tolerate, everyone whose behavior you don't understand but does not hurt anyone else. This post is informed by listening to far to many self proclaimed 'masculine out and proud gay men express absolute disgust towards queens and fems.

    Posted by: jpk | Dec 10, 2012 11:30:30 AM

  24. @Ron Carlivati, I am a huge fan of yours who still misses the characters of OLTL and really wish they could come back (bring Vicki to Port Charles PLEASE) and I've been enjoying GH since you came on board. I do think you could bring a strong gay male character on board very easily. All you have to do is resurrect Bobbie Jones' son!! Bring him back as a cop or a hit man that goes after Sonny. He disappeared from the canvass days after coming out to his mother, it was very odd.

    Posted by: realitythink | Dec 10, 2012 1:04:48 PM

  25. Well I am watching the Felix Dubois scenes...and is that Anne Hatheway "Princess Diaries" opposite him as a student nurse? The "Hospital" itself is looking pretty glam but then it always had that "Department Store" look as far as I can remember. I always liked Ron's writing. I may not have enjoyed all his characters, but they all seemed to have a reason be on the canvas and always remembered they were tied to the core, not so far out of left field. I think the nice thing is Ron diversifies the shows he works on...though that comment made about telenovelas is intersting.

    Posted by: Erik Weinke | Dec 10, 2012 3:44:55 PM

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