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“What If I’m Gay?” (1987)- CBS Schoolbreak Special

Back when CBS had their afternoon Schoolbreak Specials to compete with ABC’s Afterschool Specials. I loved both, but always felt the ABC specials were better overall. But the CBS specials were good too. This one actually started in 1978 under the name “CBS Afternoon Playhouse” and in 1984 was changed to “CBS Schoolbreak Special” with more mature topics. In 1994 it won the Best Children’s Program Emmy award.

I remember this one episode specific, and was trying to remember what it was called. I found it on YouTube. It’s a great special (and deep for tackling teenagers dealing with homosexuality in the 80s). It was one of the better written and acted episodes, handled with maturity and grace.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 94July 7, 2024 6:32 PM

Due to the mature theme, parental guidance is advised!

by Anonymousreply 1June 20, 2024 1:21 AM

And no one on that special ever got a decent role again!

by Anonymousreply 2June 20, 2024 1:32 AM

Evan Handler and Gabrielle Carteris never got a decent role?

by Anonymousreply 3June 20, 2024 1:33 AM

Ok Evan maybe. But Gabrielle-/who are you kidding?

by Anonymousreply 4June 20, 2024 1:35 AM

R4 ok, but she had a good role after this. She was one of the main cast members on 90210, a huge hit. You claimed none of them ever had a good role. She did. And Ed Marinaro (the teacher) was already a tv star.

by Anonymousreply 5June 20, 2024 1:37 AM

Is that Jason Gould?

by Anonymousreply 6June 20, 2024 1:38 AM

It was 90210—my god. Get the joke…

by Anonymousreply 7June 20, 2024 1:39 AM

R6 a young Evan Handler

by Anonymousreply 8June 20, 2024 1:42 AM

Daytime Emmy

by Anonymousreply 9June 20, 2024 1:43 AM

I haven’t heard arched it yet. What does Gabrielle Carteris play? A late-in-life lesbian?

by Anonymousreply 10June 20, 2024 2:08 AM

I think you're all missing the point. We were a lot more progressive then, then we are today, sadly.

by Anonymousreply 11June 20, 2024 2:09 AM

How so, r11?

by Anonymousreply 12June 20, 2024 2:12 AM

That’s not a valid point. We missed nothing…

by Anonymousreply 13June 20, 2024 2:13 AM

HBO also did one of those short coming out films in the 1980s

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by Anonymousreply 14June 20, 2024 2:49 AM

R11 the world was not more progressive for gays in the 80s than it is now. wtf.

by Anonymousreply 15June 20, 2024 2:57 AM

r15 Really? You think any broadcast network would dare air a program like this today?

by Anonymousreply 16June 20, 2024 3:13 AM

R16 they aired it then because being gay was so taboo. Do you know what Afterschool specials were? Gay was not accepted. They wouldn’t air it now because it’s redundant in modern day.

by Anonymousreply 17June 20, 2024 3:15 AM

Now they would have to make a special 'What if I'm cis-gendered and straight?'

by Anonymousreply 18June 20, 2024 3:18 AM

How many middle-of-the-road, mass appeal TV shows have an LGBT character, r16? Too many to name. Having a show where a character's homosexuality is not even worth commenting on is more progressive than a Very Special Episode where viewers are given permission to be gay.

by Anonymousreply 19June 20, 2024 3:35 AM

They COULDN'T air it now because every nutjob person and group (Kirk Cameron, Million Moms, etc.) would get the FCC involved and the Supreme Court would rule in their favor.

by Anonymousreply 20June 20, 2024 3:36 AM

r19 How many of those shows are targeted specifically at children?

by Anonymousreply 21June 20, 2024 3:54 AM

[quote]would get the FCC involved

Most likely something like this today would go on cable and/or streaming, over which the FCC has no authority.

by Anonymousreply 22June 20, 2024 3:57 AM

R21 this was aimed at middle school to high school kids. Not children but teenage and pre-teen.

Tons of shows aimed toward that age group have gay characters.

by Anonymousreply 23June 20, 2024 4:01 AM

R19 has it right. Specials like this were aired during a time when gays were forced to remain hidden. These specials were aimed at TEENAGERS in hopes to make them realize it’s ok for people to be different. You don’t need to agree with them but you can coexist in peace. That is the literal message. That is redundant in 2024. Gay characters are in everything now. That wasn’t the case in 1987.

by Anonymousreply 24June 20, 2024 4:03 AM

I love how the low rent Madonna knew before them all. She fkin knew.

by Anonymousreply 25June 20, 2024 4:07 AM

R10 no.

The most popular guy in school, who is hot and beloved and the star jock is a closet gay. His best friend who he grew up his entire life figures out he is gay and outs him then turns on him. Everyone turns on him. Gabrielle and Evan are two outcasts who accept that he’s gay and see no issue with it and end up befriending him. In the end he talks to the teacher about what’s going on (he already knew the rumors) and he encourages the jock to basically confront his former friend who was now his enemy. He does this and basically tells him that he doesn’t need to agree with who he is nor accept him, and they don’t need to be friends anymore but that doesn’t mean they need to be enemies. They should be able to coexist in peace. The former friend replies “who needs enemies?” In agreement with him and they walk away from one another. The jock walks out of frame with his two new friends and the episode ends.

by Anonymousreply 26June 20, 2024 4:17 AM

I’m so glad they replaced this sort of story with tokenism.

by Anonymousreply 27June 20, 2024 11:17 AM

R27 gays are viewed as tokens dude.

by Anonymousreply 28June 20, 2024 12:19 PM

R19, I get what you mean, but in the 1980s gay men and women were not "forced" to remain in the closet. We were coming out more and more.1987 when this aired was at the height of the Aids Crisis. The prejudice was palpable. I just started watching the story, but the kids use "queer." I still think it's a slur, but people used "f@gg*t" and "F@g" much more and worse. I remember the "joke" "What does gay stand for? Got Aids Yet?" Real funny. I was 24 in 1987. Specials like this and "An Early Frost" helped even a 24-year-old like me adjust to who I was. They were small, but necessary, steps.

We now see gay characters with well-adjusted lives and stable relationships are portrayed more and more in films and tv. And gay sex is getting its due. Specials like this one would get pushback from the theo-fascists and their ilk today.

Ed Marinaro still gets me hard...that hair!

by Anonymousreply 29June 20, 2024 12:57 PM

R12 Then the media format explored feelings with logic in a slower, digestible way.

Now with more instant media, we can't explore, we're told the answer and we're expected to dam up and feelings to the control we're incorrect.

The other change I've noticed is I rarely see actors fully inhabit a character to the point they disappear. You can feel them holding on, waiting for the buzz of fame and what the role will do for their career. There's no more getting lost in the moment.

It's interesting to see how people change from generation to generation.

by Anonymousreply 30June 20, 2024 1:13 PM

^ dam up feelings and go with the "correct way." Or else people social shame them like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of Body Snatchers.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 31June 20, 2024 1:16 PM

“Then you’ll get AIDS and die.”

by Anonymousreply 32June 20, 2024 1:18 PM

🎶 If I were a gayyyyyyyy

Even just for a dayy 🎼

by Anonymousreply 33June 20, 2024 2:46 PM

Imagine having Ed Marinaro as a guidance counselor.

by Anonymousreply 34June 20, 2024 3:46 PM

[quote]Most likely something like this today would go on cable and/or streaming, over which the FCC has no authority.

Which is why I clearly stated that no BROADCAST NETWORK would dare air such a program today.

by Anonymousreply 35June 20, 2024 6:37 PM

[quote]What does Gabrielle Carteris play? A late-in-life lesbian?

This deserved more respect than it's gotten so far.

by Anonymousreply 36June 20, 2024 6:46 PM

Just finished watching this. It was wonderful. I cried remembering some of the slurs thrown at me.

by Anonymousreply 37June 20, 2024 7:10 PM

If this aired today - HEADS would EXPLODE!

So sad!

by Anonymousreply 38June 20, 2024 7:36 PM

No. They would not. Don’t type like an hysteric.

by Anonymousreply 39June 20, 2024 7:42 PM

R29 you know nothing of the time and it shows.

by Anonymousreply 40June 20, 2024 7:43 PM

Even more impressive was the 1976 episode of FAMILY when Willie’s friend reveals he’s gay.

by Anonymousreply 41June 20, 2024 7:55 PM

Yes r41. Those were always special episodes. Why? Because that was taboo at the time. Shows loved doing shit like that back then.

by Anonymousreply 42June 20, 2024 8:02 PM

And they found Willie with his legs up in the air getting rimmed? That was a good episode.

by Anonymousreply 43June 20, 2024 10:19 PM

His sister watched! And learned.

by Anonymousreply 44June 20, 2024 10:25 PM

What if I am gay? What happens?

by Anonymousreply 45June 21, 2024 1:59 AM

You present hole, R45.

by Anonymousreply 46June 21, 2024 2:03 AM

Things were much more progressive in a Germany. In the 80s, we had a TV movie entitled “What if I’m Into Scat?” It helped a lot of people.

by Anonymousreply 47June 21, 2024 2:40 AM

What If I'm Into Swallowing All Of The Semen The Guy I'm Having Sex With Ejaculates 🍆?

by Anonymousreply 48June 21, 2024 2:42 AM

[quote]What if I am gay? What happens?

10% discount at the DataLounge Department Store.

by Anonymousreply 49June 21, 2024 3:02 AM

“What if I don’t put it inside and do other things?”

by Anonymousreply 50June 21, 2024 3:10 AM

Well, WAS HE?

by Anonymousreply 51June 21, 2024 3:13 AM

I wish we had this in France in the late 80s. Back then the thinking was that, if you were gay, you should find a much older woman who was over sex, and marry her.

by Anonymousreply 52June 21, 2024 3:17 AM

“I Think I Might Be An Insatiable Pig Bottom”.

by Anonymousreply 53June 21, 2024 3:49 AM

That made me cry for some reason.

by Anonymousreply 54June 21, 2024 5:11 AM

The pig bottom comment? Weird.

by Anonymousreply 55June 21, 2024 6:52 AM

Yes, R51. It's actually good by TV movie standards.

by Anonymousreply 56June 21, 2024 10:35 AM

[quote]What does Gabrielle Carteris play?

A 45-year-old Special Needs student.

by Anonymousreply 57June 21, 2024 11:00 AM

R52- That seems like what Macron did.

by Anonymousreply 58June 21, 2024 11:47 AM

[quote]Things were much more progressive in a Germany. In the 80s, we had a TV movie entitled “What if I’m Into Scat?” It helped a lot of people.

Brought to you by 'Easykleen Glass Top Coffee Tables'

by Anonymousreply 59June 21, 2024 3:39 PM

I miss these after school specials that would air in the afternoon for young people. I loved them. I remember one with a very young Jessica Alba in the 90s. She was on the ABC special. I remember Drew Barrymore in one too, I think. But she was on a CBS special. Maybe I’m wrong.

by Anonymousreply 60June 21, 2024 6:26 PM

R60- The 1990's- big deal

I remember the ABC After School Special from the 1970's.

The episode I remember best is Dinky Hocker with dl fav Wendi Jo Sperber and John Waltham from the Waltons.

by Anonymousreply 61June 21, 2024 8:23 PM

What If I Win The Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes?

by Anonymousreply 62June 21, 2024 9:01 PM

The youngsters are having fun with this thread, but those of us at the right age remember what life was like when this aired. Kids today don't know how good they have it...

by Anonymousreply 63June 21, 2024 10:53 PM

R63 that’s a fact. I get embarrassed by today’s youth, and annoyed when they try telling us what the past was like as if we weren’t the ones who had to live it. It’s actually crazy and signs of mental illness.

by Anonymousreply 64June 21, 2024 11:21 PM

Strangers With Candy probably made a lot less sense to those who didn't grow up on the Afterschool Special.

by Anonymousreply 65June 21, 2024 11:59 PM

[quote] Kids today don't know how good they have it...

And that's why they're going to lose for all of us the very rights they take for granted.

by Anonymousreply 66June 22, 2024 4:34 PM

r66 every young generation in history didn't know how good they had it and every old generation in history made your comment

by Anonymousreply 67June 22, 2024 4:42 PM

Well, no, R67, because I'm in the generation that secured you the very rights you don't seem to realize weren't just handed to you. So I had no rights to lose based on being gay but you go ahead with your ignorance.

by Anonymousreply 68June 22, 2024 4:57 PM

What if I’m an eggplant? 🍆

by Anonymousreply 69June 22, 2024 9:07 PM

You are, R69, you are!

by Anonymousreply 70June 22, 2024 9:11 PM

My neighbor just asked me if my pussy is tender and juicy. I’m not a woman!

by Anonymousreply 71June 22, 2024 9:18 PM

Is that where the man go up inside the man?

by Anonymousreply 72June 22, 2024 9:20 PM

I rubbed one out to Ed Marinaro a few times.

by Anonymousreply 73June 22, 2024 9:22 PM

Arrest me!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 74June 22, 2024 9:23 PM

r71 Does your neighbor have a Lhasa Apso named Mitzi by any chance?

by Anonymousreply 75June 22, 2024 9:42 PM


by Anonymousreply 76June 22, 2024 9:45 PM

R67 that doesn’t even make sense. We just got our rights a little over a decade ago. You clearly don’t know history at all with that comment you just made.

No previous generation had gay rights. They were non-existent.

by Anonymousreply 77June 22, 2024 11:32 PM

I'm probably older than you r68. I'm sorry you went through all the trouble and aren't getting the adulation you feel is rightfully yours.

by Anonymousreply 78June 23, 2024 11:11 AM

R78, it isn't about adulation. You said something stupid, you got called out for it twice, so just shut the fuck up.

by Anonymousreply 79June 23, 2024 12:32 PM

we do get bitter with age, don't we?

by Anonymousreply 80June 23, 2024 4:10 PM

R71, does your neighbor by any chance run a pie shop?

by Anonymousreply 81June 23, 2024 5:11 PM

I don't expect adulation -or even thanks - but I do expect the younger generation to hang onto the rights we secured for them! 300,000 men died during this struggle. We owe them at least the minimal effort to maintain what they fought and died for.

Don't think it could happen to you? Talk to any woman in America about abortion and birth control...

by Anonymousreply 82June 23, 2024 6:23 PM

Marching in the streets doesn’t work anymore. It’s a brave new world.

by Anonymousreply 83June 23, 2024 9:36 PM

Sitting on your ass at home doesn't work, either. ;)

by Anonymousreply 84June 24, 2024 3:39 AM

Children, assume the appropriate air of solemnity in this thread. Your elders fought and died to bring you this after school special.

by Anonymousreply 85June 24, 2024 11:08 AM

No, R85. This after school special was a milestone along the way, not the end of the road. Your elders fought and died for you to live in a world where gay people can live openly without getting locked up in a mental institution. Or fired. Or evicted. Where you can marry. Where you can see people like you on television and in movies -and not just as murderers and their victims. And we're not completely there yet... None of us should take our civil rights for granted. SCOTUS has agreed to take on several trans rights cases, along with cases threatening access to birth control, and the possibility of overturning marriage equality. Don't think it won't impact you. When anyone's rights are taken away, everyone's rights are at risk.

by Anonymousreply 86June 24, 2024 8:26 PM

What if I'm bi?

by Anonymousreply 87June 30, 2024 11:19 PM

What if I’m not gay?

by Anonymousreply 88July 1, 2024 8:25 PM

Whah if?

by Anonymousreply 89July 1, 2024 8:25 PM

Turn your card in, R88.

by Anonymousreply 90July 1, 2024 8:27 PM

What if I’m a side with a gender-neutral foot fetish?

by Anonymousreply 91July 2, 2024 12:07 AM

Thanks for showing this OP.

It’s pretty clear from watching this why out of the three guys one has worked consistently for the past 40 years and the others didn’t:

by Anonymousreply 92July 7, 2024 5:54 PM

R78 REALLY needs to get laid. Jesus Christ. I mean, even LORNA was molested!

by Anonymousreply 93July 7, 2024 5:56 PM

What if I'm ACE?

by Anonymousreply 94July 7, 2024 6:32 PM
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