Welcome to Gay Iconography, a new feature where we present highlights from a pop culture gay icon and ask you to weigh in on their impact for the LGBT community.
It's tough to remember what life was like when Roseanne first premiered on ABC twenty five years ago. The brash comedian came out swinging with a sitcom that wore its feminist ideals proudly on one sleeve and its Middle-America, blue-collar values on the other. Then, with both arms, Roseanne embraced the gay community.
Inspired by her gay siblings, Roseanne populated the fictional town of Lanford with LGBT characters. There was series regular Nancy (played by Sandra Bernhard, a lesbian icon in her own right), Leon (Martin Mull) and his husband Scott (Fred Willard) and even Roseanne's mom, Bev (Estelle Parsons). Then there were marquee guest stars like Mariel Hemingway and Morgan Fairchild, who both played Nancy's girlfriends. The show was daring enough with its portrayal of LGBT characters to warrant backlash from the network and advertisers, but, in its prime, mainstream audiences couldn't get enough. The show's rank was in the top four in the Nielsen Ratings for six of its nine seasons.
Relive some of Roseanne's pivotal gay moments and tell us what you think,
AFTER THE JUMP...