As marriage equality in all 50 states becomes increasingly inevitable, it can be hard to reconcile the fact that, as recently as the past decade, it seemed like an impossible dream. While the finish line has yet to be crossed (and there’ll be a lot more work left to do even once it has), sometimes the best way to recognize where you’ve come from is to look at what was happening in pop culture on the journey.
To that end, there’s a lot of context for how gay relationships have been perceived through the years in this supercut from the ACLU. With footage dating back to the late eighties with the film Longtime Companion and the TV show Thirtysomething–whose “gay episode” famously forbid the two male actors in the scene to touch one another or interact physically, and which still proved to be too much for advertisers in 1989–to last year’s gay wedding on Modern Family, the video highlights how far even relatively open-minded media has come when talking about gay rights. Gay audiences have gone from seeing themselves represented in relatively niche media like In And Out and Will & Grace to being in everything from The Wire and Orange Is The New Black to Transparent and Parks & Recreation, and the days of a “gay marriage episode” of any show being surprising or controversial appear to be well behind us. And as the ACLU points out, the Supreme Court is about to do the same thing for gay couples everywhere.