I was a child in the 80s and 90s. I wasn't sheltered or raised in an intensely religious way. I didn't know that homosexuality existed for most of my childhood.
I wrote about this elsewhere on the thread, and someone pointed out that homosexuality did have a presence in media, but you wouldn't encounter it unless you wanted to. I do remember seeing a gay character on an MTV show when I was in middle school, but other characters discussed being against it. It was presented differently than it would be today. I remember not understanding it. I didn't know anyone openly gay and I never thought about it.
Media in general was very limited. Most people didn't have cable like MTV, or the Internet. You really just had a few channels to watch, a few radio stations, and a few movies you'd see each year. The internet was starting to be in people's homes, but it was a very basic version.
Child of 70s/80s here.
The pushing of Homosexuality and transgenderism was in prime time tv in the late 70s for sure. And we only had 3 channels so if you watched whatever was popular you were exposed
This show was a massive hit in the late 70s. Here we have a sophisticated jewey looking homo having to deal with the ignorant redneck Texan.
The viewer must think, am I a dumb redneck Texan who doesn't get homosexuality? So I want to be on that side?
When you see a show that features characters being "against" homos, such as mentioned re MTV it will always be a character the viewer will want to distance himself from.