From Ellen DeGeneres' coming out to the popularity of 'Will & Grace,' the entertainment world increasingly accepts homosexuality

By EW Staff
Updated October 06, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Five years ago, when ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY published its first issue devoted to gay entertainment, Ellen was still heterosexual (well, on TV anyway), gay men never kissed on prime time, and pretty much the only lesbians on the air were the lingerie-wearing, pillow-fighting types found on late-night pay-cable. What a difference a half decade makes. As you’ll see inside the pages of EW’s second gay entertainment issue, Hollywood has done a lot of growing up — not to mention coming out — since 1995. A sitcom about a gay man is now one of the biggest hits on TV. Openly gay men and women now take the power seats inside executive suites at networks and studios. And, perhaps most importantly, audiences are more accepting of gay entertainment than ever before. Sure, there are still barriers to be broken, but the numbers of those fighting to break them are growing fast; in this issue, you’ll meet 101 of them. Actually, if you like movies, TV, books, or music — in fact, if you’re any kind of entertainment fan at all — you’ve met a lot of them already. And if that isn’t progress, we don’t know what is.