Logo Poll: Young Gays Want Home, Family, and Queer TV

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday August 13, 2008

Not so long ago, the dream of every gay kid in heartland America was to survive long enough to grow up, move out, and embrace his real life and his true self in a big city like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Too many gay kids didn't manage the survival part of the plan, and many of those that did never made it to the big cities. Even if they did, they didn't necessarily know what they wanted from their authentic gay lives once they began.

All of that might be shifting, according to research undertaken by gay cable TV network Logo, the channel carrying GLBT shows like the Del Shores series Sordid Lives.

According to a press release from Logo, "New research from Logo in partnership with Simmons and TRU reveals a new generation of LGBT people who expect to be fully integrated into larger society but connected to gay culture and community."

Logo, a division of Viacom's MTV Networks, released the results of its research earlier this month, showing that across the nation, younger gays have new expectations of themselves and their communities.

For one thing, younger gays now expect to stay put: no more running away to be gay. Rather than heading to big cities where gays are more readily accepted, young gays are planning to put down roots and raise families in small-town America.

That means younger gays fully anticipate, and demand, acceptance from their local communities. At the same time, younger gays don't see a great need to depart from most cultural norms as expressed by their heterosexual peers; while wishing to be open and honest about their core identities, young gays also wish for the support and purpose of family.

The expectation of a spouse and children is common among younger gays, whereas the research indicated that only about a third of gays 35 and older shared that same desire. Overall, gays polled by the study said their top priority was marriage equality, followed by the environment, health care, and the economy.

Younger gays also indicated that they had equal numbers of gay and straight friends, the research showed.

Said Executive Vice President and General Manager of Logo Lisa Sherman, "We're trading in West Hollywood for West Texas and big disposable incomes for disposable diapers."

Added Sherman, "Most important, we're integrating without abandoning our community or sense of identity."

Said Sherman, "These developments are good for LGBT people and good for America."

Even as younger gays wanted to stick closer to home and family, they still wanted to feel part of a larger gay community, and part of that desire included gay media like Logo.

Said the Logo release, "This finding supports Logo's efforts to develop programming like the recent Sordid Lives: The Series that tell authentic LGBT stories, sometimes with many LGBT characters and sometimes only a few."

Said the release, "Logo's research was concluded earlier this year and involved a qualitative study in partnership with TRU Research of 21-45 year olds in New York and Dallas as well as a qualitative national survey in partnership with Simmons of 1,800 21-59 LGBT people."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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