For bits and pieces over the last month the daytime soap Days of Our Lives has featured Paul, a closeted gay baseball player, who is intent on breaking up Will and Sonny, one of the few married gay couples on television.
It's actually that last piece that is particularly encouraging. Soap operas are (at least somewhat) about murders, cheating on wives, back-stabbing and all of the other overly dramatic elements of lives that will draw in viewers. It's nice to see that a gay relationship doesn't get spared. Instead of portraying the married gay couple as always happily married, introducing an old flame - and a pro athlete at that - to create a love triangle reflects the show's writers' interest in treating it just like every other marriage.
That the athlete is a pro baseball player is largely secondary to the rest of the plot. Of course, the athlete is "afraid" of coming out even to teammates. It's become a tired cliche, but one that is sadly still played out prominently in pro sports.
If only they had this character when I watched the show with my mom in the late Eighties.
Check out some of the show below and decide for yourself if it's worth tuning in.