A few years before there was LOGO, RuPaul’s Drag Race or any of LGBT programming to speak of, there was Here TV. And as LOGO has retreated somewhat from its lesbian and gay programming and began seeking wider, Bravo-esque appeal with shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Here TV has stayed committed to its focus on LGBT-created content for LGBT viewers… … and now the groundbreaking network is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
“When we launched the network, a purely LGBT network was met with great skepticism and tremendous resistance,” said Josh Rosenzweig, Here TV’s Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Development. “The television and film projects that have aired over the past decade have all been part and parcel in entertaining and inspiring our LGBT audiences and motivating our allies to help us change hearts and minds across the country.”
Indeed the cultural landscape has changed since Here TV first aired. In 2004, gay and lesbian Americans saw their hopes for marriage and equal rights dashed at ballot boxes across the country.
Now over eight years later, we have a president who acknowledges the right of gays and lesbians to live as full-fledged American citizens and a Supreme Court case that could help lay the groundwork to marriage equality nationwide.
Everyday, more and more LGBT characters appear on TV screens worldwide, and Here TV is an important part of that. Not only is Here TV now offered in many premium cable packages around the U.S., but this last year they partnered with online services like Hulu, YouTube, Amazon, iTunes, and Blockbuster so that people can see their programming on demand from anywhere in the world.
It’s kind of amazing when you think of how available that makes queer content to people who just a decade ago didn’t have many gay stories or TV characters to choose from. And with an eye towards the next decade, Here TV has launched the New Frontiers Film Project as a way for LGBT filmmakers to submit projects for broadcast in the coming years.
“We are proud of the work Here TV has done in showcasing the work of LGBT filmmakers,” Paul Colichman, Here TV’s CEO, and Stephen P. Jarchow, Here TV’s Chairman, said in a joint statement. “We look forward to the next decade of bringing unapologetically gay programming to audiences across the country and around the world.”
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Story by Daniel Villarreal, courtesy of Gay.net.