Six Degrees of Gay
Laurie K. Schenden
Photo: Chris Cuffaro/FOX
With all the award shows this month, the accolades seem redundant. Look them over with a queer eye, they get a little more interesting. Using the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game (look it up), I’ve come up with a partial list connecting gay, played-gay or gay-friendly nominees from a month jammed with awards. (On Sunday, Jan. 17, is the 67th Golden Globe Awards; Jan. 20 is the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame induction; Jan. 23 marks the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Jan. 31 are the Grammy Awards. Not to mention the People’s Choice Awards that already took place Jan. 6.)
Start with Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer), nominated in two categories for SAG and Golden Globe awards.
Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) is nominated in the same categories, for best actress in a TV drama and an ensemble award for the entire cast.
The gay connection: Kyra and Julianna played a lovely lesbian couple in a terrific little film with a big cast called What’s Cooking (2000).
To add to the six degrees of gay, also in Cooking were Alfre Woodard, whose daughter Mavis is Miss Golden Globe 2010, and Joan Chen, who starred in the award-winning Saving Face (2004), a lesbian dramedy written by Alice Wu.
Another nifty bit of trivia, Kyra Sedgwick is married to Kevin Bacon.
Jane Lynch and Meryl Streep played sisters in Julie & Julia, for which Meryl Streep is nominated by both SAG and the Globes. Jane, openly lesbian, is nominated as part of the ensemble cast of Glee.
But Streep also played a lesbian in The Hours and was nominated for best female TV actor for her part in the AIDS saga Angels in America.
Lynch is also up against Chloe Sevigny for a Golden Globe in the category of Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie.
Sevigny had everyone from cast members to the straight director (she told me this herself) hot after her when she sauntered out in her butch persona for If These Walls Could Talk 2. She also played the girlfriend in lesbian director Kimberly Peirce’s heart-wrenching Boys Don’t Cry (1999).
In another six degrees of gay, Ruby Dee is nominated for a SAG award for America. She is the widow of Ossie Davis, who portrayed Bette and Kit Porter’s father on The L Word.
There are just as many if not more connections with male nominees, I’ll mention a few here to be fair. Kevin Kline is nominated for Great Performances: Cyrano de Bergerac. He raised brows with his big smooch with hunky Tom Selleck in the 1997 romantic gay comedy In & Out.
Michael C. Hall is nominated for best male in a TV movie or miniseries for Dexter. He played the gay brother on HBO’s Six Feet Under.
Neil Patrick Harris, openly gay, is nominated for supporting actor in a mini-series or made-for-TV movie, up against William Hurt for Damages, who played a gay man in Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985).
Glenn Close, also nominated for Damages, was nominated previously for her role as real-life lesbian Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer in Serving in Silence (1996).
Sigourney Weaver gets points for her nomination for Prayers for Bobby, playing a mother who changes from a religious zealot to a gay rights crusader when her gay son commits suicide.
Jane Adams is nominated for HBO’s Hung. The show is co-created and produced by Colette Burson, director of Little Black Boot (2004), a short produced by POWER UP, the organization created to support positive LGBT images in entertainment. Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S.) writes for the show. Also in the cast is Anne Heche, who directed a segment of If These Walls Could Talk 2 and is Ellen DeGeneres’ former love.
Two of the five series up for best TV Series, Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes, Glee and Modern Family, have regular gay characters.
I’m running out of space, so next week’s blog will explain the six degrees of Candice Bergen who, along with six men, will be inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame on Jan. 20.
Blogger Bio: For more than a decade Laurie Schenden has covered the entertainment industry for Curve, the Los Angeles Times and Germany's Spotlight magazine. Her cover stories for Curve magazine have included Sharon Stone, Melissa Etheridge, and the cast of The L Word. She’s also an award winning documentary filmmaker and one of the co-creators of the Laughing Matters film series, seen on Logo.