Queering TV

 Sex and the City’s Depiction of Gay Bars Felt ‘So Radical’ to Billy Eichner

For comedian, actor, and writer Billy Eichner, Sex and the City had a huge impact on his personal and professional life due to how it depicted the lives of gay men in gay spaces. Without it, there may not have been Billy on the Street and Bros

In an op-ed for People Magazine, Eichner discussed how influential the long running series Sex and the City (SATC) was for him as a gay man having his identity reflected in queer spaces on-screen. The HBO series followed the professional, romantic, and sex lives of four women, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte (Kristen Davis), and Samantha (Kim Cattrall), living in New York City. The Bros star wrote about how the show mirrored his relationships with his friends, who were gay and women, navigating life in NYC. 

“I would have people over to my apartment every Sunday night and we would watch it religiously,” said Eichner. “It was one of the only shows that created what, at that time, felt like a more authentic — not perfectly authentic —  look at gay men and our relationships with women.”

Eichner went on to discuss how SATC was one of the great modern romantic comedies, while being a TV series. He also detailed how the HBO series inspired his work. For his romantic comedy, Bros, Eichner wrote about how Carrie’s on-and-off-again relationship with Mr. Big (Chris Noth) inspired the relationship between his film’s characters Bobby and Aaron Luke Macfarlane. 

“It definitely inspired Bros, not only in the way that we romanticize New York City, which has always been a classic location for romantic comedies, but as we developed the script,” said Eichner. “We talked about the ‘Carrie Bradshaw-Mr. Big’ dynamic being one of the inspirations for the way that we built my character Bobby, and the unique unexpected chemistry he has with Luke [Macfarlane]’s character, Aaron.”

As Eichner’s op-ed highlights, LGBTQ+ representation in media makes a difference on the lives of queer people. According to GLAAD’s 2023 Where We Are on TV report, 10.6% of series regulars in scripted primetime broadcast series were LGBTQ+ characters. That number seems small compared to the amount of non-LGBTQ+ characters on screen, but it’s still an improvement. In GLAAD’s 2006 report, two years after SATC ended, LGBTQ+ characters represented “less than 2% of all characters on the broadcast networks.” 

With Gen Z being the most openly queer generation out of Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials, having their identities reflected on-screen may inspire more LGBTQ+ people to be their authentic selves. 

Don't forget to share:

Read More in Entertainment
The Latest on INTO