Watched *Tonight's The Night* this week, purely for the Doctor Who segment (I'm shameless), which reminded me of something that's been bothering me about John Barrowman's career lately.
On British TV, gay men are almost inevitably cute, campy hoofers who alternate between bitchiness and a kind of girl's-best-friend attitude, and who, while they may be gay, never really produce much evidence of their sexuality beyond a bit of innuendo: Larry Grayson, John Inman, Graham Norton (OK, he doesn't dance, but he's got the rest of it). Then along comes John Barrowman. He's gay-- but he's macho, looks like a taller Tom Cruise, he's not campy, bitchy or girl's-best-friendy, and he's willing to talk frankly about his life with his partner (and subsequently husband). Fantastic, I thought. Finally, we've moved beyond the stereotype and we can treat gay men as normal human beings who just happen to have a particular sexual orientation.
Fast forward to *Tonight's The Night*. Barrowman, dressed in a Nortonesque shiny suit, is all out there with the campiness, the girl's-best-friend attitude, a couple of dances to show tunes, and the real life with the husband is firmly out of sight. And then it's announced that Barrowman's playing the lead in *La Cage Aux Folles*. And it just feels like we haven't made any progress at all since the 1970s, and I'm slightly disappointed.