Twenty years ago, a gay Mormon character stepped onstage for the first time. His name was Joe Pitt, and he was in Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches.”
Pitt lived in New York with a good reputation and a bad marriage to a woman addicted to Valium. As colleagues dealt with the devastation and uncertainty of AIDS – it was the 1980s – he grappled with openly acknowledging his sexuality. He was Mormon. And gay. And the two didn’t mix.
Before Pitt, there was a gay Mormon character in a novel: Brigham Anderson, in Allan Drury’s “Advise and Consent,” published in 1959. But words like “gay” and “homosexual” weren’t used; it was all innuendo.