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Outspoken: Chris Colfer, k.d. lang, Conan O’Brien and more

Chris Colfer on

“A lot of gay kids are very promiscuous and non-exclusive with each other when they have relationships, which is really sad. But I think with Kurt and Blaine, I would hope would set an example of what something should be and could be. You know, two people finding each other and really loving each other and wanting to give the world to each other.”

— “Glee” actor Chris Colfer (Kurt) on his love scene this week with Darren Criss (Blaine), in which the two gay teens lose their virginity to each other. (E! Online, Nov. 7)

“Justin Bieber looks just like a lesbian, so I’m gonna say hot as shit.”

— Lesbian singer k.d. lang, asked on an Australian talk show to answer the random question, “Justin Bieber: hot or not?” (SheWired.com, Nov. 7)

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From Chaz to ‘Glee’ to ‘Modern Family,’ fall TV packed with LGBT

While gay and lesbian characters are increasingly visible on TV, the biggest news of upcoming fall fare is the rare addition of a transgender person — a household name, to boot — on one of the most mainstream programs of them all.

Chaz Bono competes in the new season of “Dancing With the Stars,” airing Mondays and Tuesdays starting Sept. 19 on ABC. Bono was known to millions as Chastity before undergoing surgery to become a man.

Matt Kane, associate director of entertainment media for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, says the inclusion of Bono is a tremendous step forward, especially since there tend to be few transgender characters on the tube.

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Fall TV preview

From Chaz to ‘Glee’ to ‘Modern Family,’ fall TV packed with LGBT

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Spring TV: LGBT characters, plots proliferate on the small screen

Fox's hit show Glee teams up with Lady Gaga in the spring

As inane as reality shows can sometimes be, they seem to have created a new standard for LGBT visibility on TV. The tokenized “gay character” has extended beyond shows like “The Real World” and “Survivor,” so much that it’s almost unfathomable for a new show to not include a queer character.

While having an LGBT “slot” in programs risks being patronizing, reality-based and scripted shows have become more sympathetic and authentic in their portrayal of LGBT life.

“It doesn’t feel like we’re soldiers for anything anymore, we’re just here telling stories that incorporate gay people in organic ways, and that’s all I ever wanted,” Liz Brixius, the co-creator of “Nurse Jackie,” told TV Guide earlier this month.

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[Video] GLAAD Media Awards highlights

GLAAD logoLast night, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) held the 2011 Media Awards in Los Angeles. Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones, from NBC's Parks and Recreation, hosted the show.

“Well, I guess you could say I'm coming out tonight!” a bubbly Dolly Parton said when she came to the stage to present the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Chairman of NBC Entertainment Robert Greenblatt.

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Outspoken: Rachel Maddow, Darren Criss, Boy George and more…

Actor Darren Criss on the hit Fox show

“You know just because you don’t like the way it sounds when I say it or you don’t like my haircut or you don’t like that I’m gay, it does not mean that what we say is not true. If you squint a little bit, it is true I do sometimes look like a dude, and I am definitely gay.”

Rachel Maddow, host of “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC, denying claims that she erred in reporting on the Wisconsin labor union controversy. (On Top Magazine, Feb. 27)

“Obviously, there are social-political connotations of playing a gay character, especially as a straight actor, but I really find it no different than … Max Adler, who plays a homophobic football-playing bully, which couldn’t be farther from who he is, and Heather Morris, who plays, you know, like a dumb cheerleader, also a character."

— “Glee” actor Darren Criss (pictured) on playing gay student Blaine Anderson, who Criss says is ready to kiss gay student Kurt Hummel, played by Chris Colfer. (Access Hollywood via On Top Magazine, Feb. 28)

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Collections of small screen faves make great holiday gifts

As you gear up for holiday shopping, several gay favorite TV shows have released season compilations on DVD — perfect for snuggling on the couch and reliving your favorite scenes, or exploring a series that never made it to your radar screen before.

“Glee: The Complete First Season” (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment): “Glee” has become one of the third-rate network’s greatest assets. LGBT folks especially can’t get enough of the series, with gay bars all across the country regularly hosting “Glee” events on the nights that the program airs.

The irony that the anti-gay Fox should be home to one (make that two, if you include “American Idol”) of the gayest shows on television is not lost. That said, by the fourth episode of the insanely popular series, the gay issue is addressed with more sensitivity than one might expect when glee club member Kurt (out actor Chris Colfer) comes out to his father and to friend Mercedes (Amber Riley).