Gay Mormon Characters In The Arts Step Out Of The Shadows

Religion News Service
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May 24, 2013

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.