By the time Dawson’s Creek entered its second season in 1998, Jack McPhee, played by the 10-year-older Kerr Smith, became a cultural icon for American teenagers. McPhee marked one of the first gay characters to appear on network television with a targeted teenager demographic. Gay or straight, teenagers were able to relate to his struggles in earning acceptance from his peers and family. More importantly, they were able to relate to his journey in seeking self-acceptance of his identity. When Creek’s third season aired in fall 1999, McPhee found new confidence in his sexuality, and you better believe the writers of Creek were going to explore the life of a newly out-of-the-closet male teenager.
This fall television season marks thirteen years since McPhee shared the first U.S. prime-time television male-on-male on-screen kiss with his then boyfriend Ethan (Adam Kaufman). American television has come a long way since 1999 in respects to representing homosexual characters, but there has yet to be a prime-time television show solely centered around the life of a gay couple…until now.