Golden Girls: Playful and Progressive LGBT Dialogue from the '80s

Chloe Whisperwillow

Updated Monday, July 1, 2024 at 12:00 AM CDT

The '80s were a transformative time for television, pushing boundaries and exploring themes that were often considered taboo. One shining example of this progressive spirit is found in the beloved TV show, "The Golden Girls." A recent image sequence circulating online captures a memorable and humorous dialogue from the show, showcasing its commitment to addressing LGBTQ issues with both sensitivity and wit.

In the first screenshot, a woman with short, styled light brown hair is seen in a yellow sweater, visibly conflicted. She says, "I don't really mind Clayton bein' homosexual, I just don't like him datin' men." This line humorously illustrates her struggle to understand her brother's sexuality.

The second image shifts to an older woman with short white hair, wearing a dark purple patterned sweater. With an amused expression and a gesture, she replies, "You really haven't grasped the concept of this gay thing yet, have you?" Her line serves as both a comedic punchline and a gentle nudge towards greater understanding.

Returning to the first woman, now deep in thought, she speculates, "There must be homosexuals who date women?" The background shows a cozy, decorated home, underscoring the intimate and personal nature of their conversation.

The final image features the older woman once more, now in a blue blouse and green knitted cardigan. With a confident and slightly raised finger, she clarifies, "Yeah, they're called lesbians." This line not only delivers a laugh but also educates audiences on sexual orientation in a straightforward manner.

"The Golden Girls" was ahead of its time, tackling issues that were often overlooked or mishandled by other shows. Comments from fans highlight the show's lasting impact. One user nostalgically recalls, "The golden girls was and still is one of the best shows ever written, and Sophia trained my sense of humor." Another user adds, "Bea Arthur raised money for q**** kids put on the street by their parents; Rue McClanahan was an advocate for gay marriage..."

The show's ability to blend humor with important social messages remains relevant decades later. As one commenter aptly puts it, "There was a lot of progressive stuff in the '80s. This hasn't been a steady uphill battle...but on the whole, we are moving forward."

For those looking to revisit or discover the cultural significance of "The Golden Girls," this image sequence is a perfect reminder of why the show remains a cherished part of TV history. Its approach to LGBTQ representation was both groundbreaking and inspirational, proving that comedy can indeed be a powerful tool for change.

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View source: Imgur

Top Comments from Imgur


And I'm surprised I can't understand the post title 😂


This was the generation that watched their gay sons dying left and right.


The 80s were a wild time for LGBTQ representation on TV. While many shows lampooned them, even to the point of offense, many times they were quite sensitive.


The golden girls was and still is one of the best shows ever written, and Sophia trained my sense of humor. It was more liberal then than a lot of shows now.


The Golden Girls TNG: Jenny Agutter, Meryl Streep, Whoopi Goldberg, Sigourney Weaver, Rita Moreno


If I recall correctly, the actress who played Blanche was uncomfortable playing the homophobe, but realized how it was important for the message.


There was a lot of progressive stuff in the 80s. This hasn't been a steady uphill battle. There are many times when progress was gained to the point where it seemed like it couldn't be stopped. Eventually, the regressives push back, and we lost some ground, but on the whole, we are moving forward.


In Canada we had Kids in the Hall in the late '80s early '90s. Not all of it has aged well, but it was very progressive for its time.


Every one of the actors on that show's main cast was some level of advocate and supporter of q**** rights. Bea Arthur raised money for q**** kids put on the street by their parents; Rue McClanahan was an advocate for gay marriage and did benefits in support of it. Betty White too. But Estelle Getty had come up through a very gay-friendly theatre scene, and she was a vocal advocate for q**** people throughout her career.


Have we forgotten again about bisexual people?

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