The Most Memorable Queer Characters Of "The Golden Girls"

    The Golden Girls has always been popular among the gays. Here are the LGBT characters who popped up throughout the years.

    Coco ("The Engagement")

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    As writer Marc Cherry puts it, "The fascinating thing is, you would just write what was a really great joke, and you put it in Bea Arthur's mouth, and it comes out gay."

    Jean ("Isn't It Romantic?")

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    From that episode, Sophia expresses her approval of the gays. "If one of my kids was gay, I wouldn't love him one bit less," she offers. Then there's Blanche's classic "lesbian"/"Lebanese" confusion.

    Gil Kessler ("Strange Bedfellows")

    Laszlo ("The Artist")

    Clayton Hollingsworth ("Scared Straight," "Sister of the Bride")

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    Here's Blanche uncomfortable with the idea of Clayton dating men.

    Blanche and Dorothy ("Goodbye, Mr. Gordon")

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    OK, this one's just silly: Blanche and Dorothy agree to appear on a talk show about women who live together, without realizing what "women who live together" really means. But in order to save Rose's job, they go along with the charade and pretend to be in a lesbian relationship. It's all for laughs, but it does point to The Golden Girls' queer subtext: The relationships these women have with each other are always stronger than the relationships they have with men.

    Bonus: Blanche's "AIDS is not a bad person's disease" speech.

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    The Golden Girls did occasionally delve into serious subject matter, and AIDS came up more than once in the series. While the show did not include gay men with AIDS — both instances focused on HIV-infected blood from transfusions — Blanche's speech in "72 Hours" is a clear response to the discrimination faced by those suffering from AIDS, which at the time, was largely the gay community. "AIDS is not a bad person's disease, Rose," she says. "It is not God punishing people for their sins."

    And, of course, Sophia's lovely take on marriage equality.

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    Remember, this was 1991.