Why Gay Men Still Love “The Golden Girls”

Although I’ve never actively sought out reruns of The Golden Girls, I have loved watching them in the past and still do if I find them on tv. Sophia is my favourite character, naturally. LOL

The first season of HBO’s Looking came to a close on Sunday night, not with Patrick (Jonathan Groff) embracing Richie (Raúl Castillo), the hairstylist he’d been pursuing on and off since the pilot, nor with Patrick falling into the arms of his partnered boss Kevin (Russell Tovey), although the two finally gave into their palpable sexual tension earlier in the episode.

Instead, Looking ended its first season with Patrick in bed with four women: Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia. Watching The Golden Girls on his laptop, Patrick laughed as the screen faded to black and the credits rolled. The familiar music began to play: “Thank you for being a friend, travel down the road and back again…”

Early on, I praised Looking for its honesty and relatability, but I had not seen a clearer snapshot of myself in the series until that final scene.

I know I’m not the only gay man who feels that way. The Golden Girls, which premiered in 1985, remains one of the most popular sitcoms within the LGBT community — particularly among gay men. And while some credit the raunchy humor and female characters for its appeal (surely part of the equation), I think its enduring power speaks to something larger. Its pervasive themes are innately queer, which is why the show has been and continues to be a comfort to men who are gay or just questioning. The Golden Girls isn’t just a TV show: It’s family.

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