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As The World Turns


Van Hansis and Kit Williamson Interview – EastSiders Season Finale!


Today is a not-to-be-missed episode of’s hit web series EastSiders, starring the brilliant work of Van Hansis and Kit Williamson.

Throughout the nine episode arc viewers have come to love, hate, be shocked, and take a look at their own lives and the decisions they make in their own relationships, as we have watched the train-wreck of a once loving duo, Thom and Cal, fall apart amidst infidelity, trust issues, and bad, very bad, communication skills.

Written and produced by Williamson, this self-effacing, dark, poetic story tells the tale of the dissolution of a young gay couple, as well as the story of the relationship of their friends, Ian (John Halbeck) and Kathy (Constance Wu).

On-Air On-Soaps has covered the series throughout its run, and today brings you this special look into the heart and soul of the story as we head into the season finale with a terrific conversation with Van and Kit.  Do not miss the finale episode beginning today at 3PMEST/12PMPST!

Let’s first go back to episode three, which is critical to the story of EastSiders.  Cal ends up sleeping with Jeremy!  The same guy his boyfriend cheated on him with!  What happened there?


KIT:  Cal actually goes into Thom’s office and gets Jeremy’s address, and goes over there to confront him, and he finds out Jeremy had no idea who he is.  And … they get drunk together and actually have sex.

Did Cal just not care at all about what he was doing at that point?

KIT:  I think he cared, but the other thing he found out was Thom really never ended things with Jeremy.  He just kind of stopped, and he stopped talking to him.  I think Cal sleeping with Jeremy was done part from a place of revenge, and part from a place of hurt and drunkenness.  He was kind of lashing out at the situation, which we later see Cal do more and more of, as time went on.

Then, another key moment in the series was when Thom got clued into what was going on when Jeremy showed up at the bar with two envelopes … one for Thom and one for Cal!  But when did he put two and two together?

Photo Credit: Kenneth Dolan

VAN:  It was Thom is in the car with Kathy, and Kathy makes a comment.  Thom is sitting right there, so he kind of puts everything together.  So at the end of episode six you saw Cal come home drunk.  Thom has just dropped Kathy off at home, and Thom is waiting for him, and Cal walks and … boom!

So, is Cal sleeping around (with a few guys in the series) because he just feels so betrayed by Thom, and so he acted out? 

KIT:  He in many ways defined his life by his relationships, and when his vision of life with Thom was shattered, Cal really does not know who he is anymore, and he is lashing out in ways he has never done before.  Another thing people found out in episode three was Thom is actually the only person Cal has slept with before the series starts.  At the beginning of the series, Cal in many ways, and through all his cynicism, is a romantic. Never in a million years would he imagine that something like this would happen to him and his relationship.  So I think he is very lost and does not know what to do to make the feelings subside, but in the story, a lot of time has passed.  If you are going to stay together, you have to forgive somebody for their indiscretions … IF you are going to stay together.  

Val and Kathy had that moment in episode six, where he says to her something along the lines of, “I am a bad person.”  Does he truly feel that way?


VAN: I think with Thom it is sort of like, he knows he has a problem, like with some sort of addiction, and when you know you have that problem you are constantly having this notion that you have to keep yourself in check.  There is that thing out there that you could fall into, but you are trying desperately not too.  I think that Thom is kind of trying to be the good person he knows he should be, and be very contentious about Cal, but I think that is very hard for him.  Cal is not making it easy for him.  I think throughout most of the series, Thom has this feeling of constantly being in the “dog house”.  Cal says he forgives him, but he does not know if things will ever get back to a place from the first initial mistake he made, and that is what he wants to see.  So I think that Thom is very wary of doing anything that will throw that off balance.   I think his way of doing it is he keeps looking inward.  That is why with Kathy he has that line that I love, about “What I do tomorrow, will make me a good person.”  He is literally taking it one day at a time.  Like “Don’t screw up today, and maybe tomorrow you will take another step, and then another step. Then, maybe you will be the person who won’t hurt the person you love most in the world, anymore.”

How did Thom feel when he realized that Cal has been cheating on him all this time?


VAN:   I think he is devastated and incredibly upset.  All this time he was trying to make amends and Cal was going off and doing the exact opposite.  The whole series has been about not communicating with each other.  It is like two airplanes … one flying east and one flying west, and they are trying to parachute out of it at the same time.

KIT:  Thom disappears in episodes four and five.   What I was trying to suggest by doing that in the storytelling is that he was kind of isolated and doing penance.

VAN: That is what I felt too, when I was watching it!

KIT:  He just wakes up, and goes to work, and comes home!  He does not have any friends or any other outlet to talk to but Cal.  He is just ignoring all these text messages and calls from Jeremy, and trying to not dig himself into a deeper hole.

VAN:   I think that is something, in watching it, I realized.   We shot all the episodes at once.  So we were going from episode four, to episode nine, back to episode four.  Everything was shot out of order, so when you see it all together, you really get that sense of the story.  I remember when I watched the first couple of episodes I was like, “Oh man, Thom is kind of a shit.”   Then I was like, “Oh, poor Thom!”

Kit’s writing is so complex!  Constance Wu’s performance after her character, Kathy, has an abortion was amazing!


VAN: You should have been sitting in the car next to her!  It was incredible!

Kit, I understand you got some serious backlash on the way that abortion was portrayed on EastSiders!

KIT:  When they see an abortion represented on television, there is an expectation that a person is going to be punished for it.  I did not want to go that route, because I don’t believe a woman should be punished for choosing to have an abortion.  It is her body.  It is her reproductive rights.  I wanted to approach the issue without any judgment.  I wrote an article on the Huffington Post about this a few weeks ago.  I just had wished that the story point would have started a discussion, instead of vitriol back and forth.  We are not use to seeing, for lack of better term, a non-melodramatic abortion.  We are not use to seeing it handled in the way, that most of my friends that have undergone the procedure have relayed their experiences to me, that it was not a traumatic experience for them. The very fact of representing a character not being haunted by her abortion is upsetting to some people.

I called EastSiders, “Riveting to watch”!  Then I got some backlash from fans saying, “How can it be riveting, when all it is everyone sleeping around with everybody?”

VAN:   Well, that can be riveting! (Laughs) You know, there is not a sex scene in the whole series.

Good Point!


KIT:  I am not opposed to sex scenes, and it’s not something I will never write, but for this story it felt like the sex was so incidental.  It was the emotional ramifications of the sex, and in many ways thematically.  It’s a story about self-sabotage, and a story about emotional dishonesty and not just infidelity, but the way that we hide ourselves from people we are in relationships with.  Thinking we are protecting ourselves and protecting the relationship, but really it is just leading to a path of destruction.

Van, how far ahead did you get to see the script before the seven new episodes were shot after the success of the Kickstarter campaign?  Just a few days?  Was there time to prepare? (Laughs)

VAN:  (Laughs) The script got sent two weeks before we started shooting.  I had some time to sit with it and go over it.  But one of things that was in the scripts that comes out and kind of shocked me when I was watching it back, was honestly, how dark it is. The script is so funny, and what the characters are saying is so funny, but this is Kit’s writing and the performances as well, but there is almost an undercurrent of sadness throughout the entire thing.  I think that is what you meant earlier by “riveting”.   I am a pretty happy-go-lucky guy, but there is always some edge in life.  I think there is a lot of darkness in the writing that I did not initially see.  I think that is what is really beautiful. It’s not just a lot of clever people saying very clever things to each other.  The cleverness and the funniness comes out of the darkness.

Van, when you first read that Cal was going to cheat too, were you shocked?


VAN:   No, (Laughs) because of the stuff with Jeremy I was not completely shocked.  I knew that Thom probably would not cheat again, because that would probably just make him a douche bag.  I don’t think Kit writes characters like that.  I knew there was going to be nine episodes and so something has to happen.  I did not know if Cal would sleep with someone else, or he and Jeremy would start a relationship, but I knew something was going to happen.

What is Thom thinking about Jeremy, now that he knows he slept with Cal too?

VAN:  At first he was really into Jeremy, but then when Thom realized what a cad he was being, I think he prioritized.  I don’t think Thom is just going to have in his lifetime just one person he is in love with.  I think there are a lot of people like that.  I think there are people who don’t have the ability to just love one person, and I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing.  I think Thom is always going to be the type of person, who falls in love with someone driving down the 101 freeway, and stops in traffic, and looks at him.  He might imagine a life together, or night together with that person, at least.  I think Thom was really trying to be what he thought his boyfriend needed him to be.  I think when he finds out that Cal had been sleeping around this whole time, it’s even more of a shock.  It’s like he feels, “I was trying to conform myself to you, and you are off doing whatever the hell you want without any regard to me, or how much I want to make this work.”  I think that is just in Thom’s psyche, to think of himself a lot!  (Laughs)

KIT:  The thing is, Cal is not having any fun.  I don’t think his cheating comes from a place of sexual indulgence.  He is really trying to stop the bleeding, as it were, for himself emotionally, as it were.  He is just going further and further down this path.  It only multiplies his hurt, exponentially, but he does not know what to do.

Episode seven was a jump in time, which was key to the telling of the overall story!


KIT:  Yes. We jumped ahead in time to the end of the month, and they are moving out of their apartment because they have broken up.  The entire apartment is in boxes.  It is kind of dividing up the silverware and navigating that.  Kathy and Ian have broken up as well, but have started sleeping with each other again.  Thom has started actually dating Jeremy.  You don’t see the actual break-up, but things are very raw between Thom and Cal at the very beginning of that episode.

What is the vibe from the fans of EastSiders that you have been getting now that we are at the series finale?  Are they still siding with Cal?  Or, are some siding with Thom?  Or, both?  Or, neither? (Laughs)

KIT:  I think that people’s allegiances have shifted.  Because at the end of episode two, everybody was very much on Cal’s side, but the tricky things about relationships is you can’t have one person be right, and one person be wrong, and maintain a relationship. I am not saying that Cal was right to level the playing field, but it is just as much for a toxic situation for Thom to be walking around with his head bowed all day, every day.  In that regard, something had to give in other direction.  I think people are really mad at Cal, and for good reason!  I just hope they remember how they felt a lot of empathy for him in the first two episodes!  I am not saying getting wasted, or turning to alcohol, is way to solve people’s relationship problems, it never works, but I understand why some people try.  (Laughs)


VAN:  I think some people love Thom, and some people don’t.  I look it more as the entire show, and not from a character’s point of view.  From what I have noticed, a lot of people who would not necessarily be the target audience, and friends of mine, or people who I saw on facebook who I don’t know at all, will say, “I saw your web series. It’s amazing!”   I think what I really love about this show is that it’s going in all of these directions, and the stories it’s telling, and it’s not about the sexuality of the characters. And, as far as who is on Team Cal or Team Thom?  I don’t really care.  I am not on either team, because I think the really interesting thing is that what Kit said is right, you can’t have teams.  Teams are for sports, not for defining people.

On today’s season finale, is there a cliffhanger?  What can viewers expect?

KIT:  Episode nine takes place on the last day of Thom and Cal’s lease.  It’s moving day, and nothing will ever be the same.

So EastSiders, Van and Kit fans, what did you think about the first season of the series? Today’s finale episode? The relationship between Thom and Cal, and the performances of Kit and Van throughout?  Weigh-in!


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Season one was wonderful….so many unexpected twists & turns, watching a loving relationship crash & burn.the writing was wonderful, Kit is brilliant in so many ways, & Van, someone i’ve been watching for years….he always gives 100% to any part he plays & becomes the character.Matt, Constance, & John were all wonderful.The characters were complex & we got to expect the unexpected.I’ll be moping around on Tuesdays & just hope there will be a Season 2.A great interview Michael…thank you….& thank you Van & kit….for everything….♥~

This interview highlights everything that is wrong with this web series. If the characters’ motivations had been clear to the audience, we wouldn’t need an endless interview pointing them out, would we? The show had a lot of potential and lived up to none of it.

Poor Van…..I wouldn’t include this in any “reel”… least the entire ordeal is a testament to the love the audience has for this incredible artist.Van is extraordinary.Even this dismal mess can’t permanently stain his career.

I thought the show was complex, exciting and really well written. What were you confused by, exactly?

I liked Luke-Reid-Noah very much; still do and always will. But, since, Van has indicated, that comparing EastSiders, Thom to ATWT, Luke is like comparing a pea to a potato; and since, Cal-Thom-Jeremy SL is nothing like Luke-Reid-Noah SL; there is no point in drawing out pros and cons of the 2 SLs.

Fantastic show!! Loved seeing Van Hansis starring in it and a newbie Matthew McKelligon is one to watch! Thanks Kit. I think it ended just right.

I really wanted to like this series because of Van but I was very disappointed. I won’t be tuning in to season 2 if there is one.

I am loving this series, I really hope there’s a second season.

Sorry, but this is such a sad waste of Van Hansis’ talent. Kit Williamson is who exactly? If it was not for the Van fanbase this piece of dreck would never have been made. Having the series more or less center around the oh-so-uninteresting character of Cal is a major fail. I know I can’t sit through any more of wishy-washy Cal and his passive-aggressive woe-is-me routine. A better, more charismatic actor (Eric Sheffer Stevens?) might have made the part worthwhile. Poor Van deserves way better than this.

To be fair,none of the characters are interesting…..all pathetic.Poor Van.

You’re right Eddie. A show about people posting spiteful, petty comments on an interview would be much more interesting. The characters in EastSiders are definitely the pathetic ones here.

lol Your version of “spiteful”,”petty” comments is real criticism Van would/will face if he ever gains real fame…..he won’t be handled with kid gloves like he is among his fans and the soap press…….

At least it got Van on screen again Eileen and just for that we all love Kit!! Surely Van has moved on from working with Eric again and Jake.

Eric was just a suggestion since my only exposure to Van was ATWT and he was his strongest acting partner on that show. I would be glad to see Van work with a lot of worthy actors. Kit W is not one of them. He is bland and generic. As for being grateful to him (Kit) you do realize that Van was the one whose name attracted the fundraisers. No one ever heard of Kit.

No but they know Kit’s name now esp with his success in Mad Men.

Three episodes as a copywriter with little to no dialogue does not a star make.

I thought Eastsiders was really good the characters were believable and complex, who wanted to strive to be good. It was great to see Van again and thank you Kit for giving him the role, it was a good casting choice, all the characters were well cast and strong. Kit, Eastsiders was brilliant and you should be so proud of your work!

Brilliant?! You haven’t seen much have you?

Eileen go take your uncalled insults elsewhere.

I saw every episode and enjoyed every episode. And I’ve also seen a lot of Kit’s other work too, so i have seen a lot. He’s a really versatile actor and remember he was writing, directing and starring as well as having other projects and work on at the same time as making Eastsiders. He is a very hard working and dedicated man to his craft.

Uh Eileen is giving her opinion,which she’s entitled to do……..just because everyone in the Van fandom gushes ad nauseum over everything he does,doesn’t mean we’re all without objectivity……Van has never been more bland than in this “role”….complete snoozeville….I can barely endure a 15 minute episode…..

Val dear chill out and take your meds. A comment page invites all opinions. If you want everyone to agree with you don’t go to one. I think Van deserves much better than this crap and if you like it, good for you. As for “uncalled for” just who gets to decide that. Grow up.

lol Rock on, Gold Dust Woman.

Well ok then. I enjoyed the show and seeing Van on our screens again. End of.

Eileen and Eddy, it’s funny how you say that “a comment page invites all opinions. If you want everyone to agree with you don’t go to one” while you attack people for stating their opinion. You attacked Hannah for liking the show and then you attacked Val for defending her. Seems to me that calling your comments “uncalled for” was Val’s opinion. So yeah, she does get to decide what is and is not uncalled for. Other people are also entitled to their opinions, not just you. The only difference is that the other people commenting here seem capable of civility, whereas the two of you are rude and hateful towards other commenters, the show, the characters and even the actors involved. Why on earth you would even watch a show you seem to hate made by people you seem to hate is beyond me. I know I’m just feeding the trolls here, but I sincerely encourage you both to evaluate what, exactly, you gain from spreading so much negativity online.

The majority of your diatribe quotes Eileen so she can address that if she so chooses… for rude and hateful……I can always defend my comments/opinions … can’t be hateful to a “show” or a “character” for they don’t have feelings and can’t be hurt……both are figments of anothers imagination…..Van Hansis and Kit Williamson are both big boys….they’ll survive the criticism….ultimately Kit may bring about “The Emancipation of Van Hansis”….for it’s surely his influence that has Van finally discussing his “partner”…….

Ha ha ha ha The Emancipation of Van Hansis – Jeez does that bring back some memories of a group on facebook ha ha ha An idiot ran it if I remember correctly and even Van deleted the nutter from his Facebook….ha ha ha

“James” or whatever your real name is, I am not being hateful. You really need to grow up. I don’t find Kit Williamson that talented and I think he is bland and generic. I am a fan of Van’s and wish that he would get something of much better quality. Being rude and hateful towards “characters” and a show???? Whatever. Who does not like some characters on a show or in a movie and vice-versa. You seem way too involved in this that you are taking offense so easily over someone who is not praising the show. I was flip to Val, but it was a joke. I also did not say anyone was not entitled to their opinion. I just find some of Van’s fans, including you, very lacking in objectivity. I am also not a troll. I watched the show because I was anxious to see Van again and watched it all to make an honest evaluation (and given the brevity of the episodes it did not take time). In my opinion it got increasingly less interesting and not that good. I will not watch another season. As for evaluating what I get out “spreading negativity” – I gave an opinion on a show I happened to think stank. If I liked it, it would be positive. Pretty simple. Using your logic, people should only post comments if they liked something. Also, for the record, I don’t personally hate anyone, including KW, associated with the show – I don’t know them. I don’t, however, think he is a very good actor. Van is fabulous, but this was not his best role.

I only watched this web series because Van Hansis was in it. Thankfully, his career will not be defined by this generic series. Van Hansis is a magical actor and deserves far better material than what he was given here. Let’s be clear: this series would have never been given more episodes unless Van’s name was attached to it.

It’s ironic that some of the same people that made digs about Jake Silbermann during the run of ATWT are now outraged that others take shots at Kit Williamson.Actors are fair game.Of course I’m tough on Van……“To those whom much is given, much is expected.” ………….

As The World Turns

Soap Alum John Wesley Shipp Shares Health Update

John Wesley Shipp, best known to daytime fans for his roles on As the World Turns, Guiding Light, One Life to Live et al, and primetime fans for his role in The Flash, shared a heartfelt health update via his Instagram.

While Shipp did not go into specifics, he did say he underwent surgery earlier in September for an urgent medical issue.

In his post, accompanying by his photo, John expressed: “Hello out there! Friends and contacts have written recently, like, “where are you? are you ok?” Well, here’s the deal: I had surgery early this month for a health issue that had to be dealt with immediately. All went well, but I’ve had to postpone a theatre production and personal appearances as the recoup will take some weeks. I do read and appreciate what you share with me, that you entrust me with your thoughts and feelings. You are ever on my mind and in my heart, and I look forward to getting active and out there again as soon as possible. Until then, remember to play nice, be kind, and stay engaged! Our futures depend on it.”

Photo: JPI

John’s soap resume is quite impressive having portrayed: Dr. Kelly Nelson/Victor Laszlo on Guiding Light, Doug Cummings on As the World Turns, Martin Ellis on Santa Barbara, Carter Jones on All My Children and Eddie Ford on One Life to Live. Shipp won two Daytime Emmys along the way.

More recently, John has appeared in primetime’s, Arrow, The Flash, Stargirl and countless other TV appearances.

Share your well-wishes for a speedy recovering to John via the comment section below.

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As The World Turns

‘As the World Turns’ Alum Martha Byrne Speaks Out On Conviction Against Her Husband, Michael McMahon: “We are Fighting Till the End”

If you have been following two-time Daytime Emmy-winning actress, Martha Byrne’s (ex-Lily, As the World Turns) social media accounts or have been following news reports, Byrne is adamantly speaking out about charges and a conviction levied against her husband, former decorated NYPD sergeant-turned-licensed private investigator, Michael McMahon.

The couple share three children together and have been married for over 30 years.  Last week, McMahon was preparing to go back to work. However, Michael was blindsided when a Brooklyn federal court convicted him and two others accused of stalking a New Jersey couple on behalf of China.

McMahon told the New York Post, that he felt betrayed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).  Clarifying further, Michael felt he and his family with Martha Byrne where being made scapegoats in the DOJ’s first case against Operation Fox Hunt, which is the Chinese Communist Party’s anti-corruption campaign that targets Chinese nationals abroad.  It also targets former government officials and others suspected of economic crimes against China.

In the case against McMahon, he was hired in fall of 2016 by what he believed was a translation company from New Jersey to do surveillance on a luxury New Jersey home occupied by a relative of Xu Jin and Liu Fang, and to use public records to find companies and other assets registered to the couple.  He was then informed that Xu and Liu had had stolen money from a construction company, and the people who hired him wanted to find where the cash had gone. However, McMahon says what he was not told was that Xu was a former official in Wuhan, who had fled China amid allegations of corruption.

McMahon said that when he conducted surveillance as he had done on numerous other cases.  However, what he did not know was that his work was used in a civil suit in New Jersey in 2018 against Xu and others by a Chinese construction group that alleged that they had embezzled millions from that company.

Things took a bad turn in October of 2020 when 12 federal agents surrounded McMahon and Byrne’s home.  Michael was arrested, but it wasn’t your normal arrest, he detailed.  McMahon didn’t think he needed a lawyer so he spoke to the FBI agents. He had wanted to help the government.

Photo: MBryneFacebook

Byrne shared, “He was being as transparent as he possibly could. Instead, they turned everything against him and made him look like the devil in court. I’ve never seen such dark forces trying to portray him as an unlawful person.”

McMahon was charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act by working for the Chinese government without telling the State Department, and with conspiracy to commit interstate stalking.

Byrne answered one soap fan’s inquiry to clarify what exactly happened to her husband in a Facebook post. She expressed: “He was hired to find assets on a civil matter. never asked to do ANYTHING illegal. The FBI let the Chinese agents flee, who were operating some scheme separately and unbeknownst to my husband, so the FBI turned their attention to an innocent man to save face. They took legal work as a PI and deemed it criminal for their own purposes. This is VERY VERY scary for every US citizen.”

In the NY Post account, it details that the DOJ shifted its focus to Operation Fox Hunt, targeting private investigators across the country, including McMahon.

Currently Michael is not allowed to be a private detective until this case is overturned.  He shared: “I didn’t harass or stalk anyone, and if I had been asked to do so, or if I had suspected that my clients worked for the Chinese Communist Party, I would have contacted the FBI right away and not proceeded with the job.”

Byrne expressed: “The DOJ knew this problem existed, that private investigators were being used, they knew the patterns well, but they communicated none of this until after Mike’s arrest … We are fighting to the end.”

McMahon’s lawyer will file a post-trial motion next month to overturn the conviction.

Photo: NATAS

On her Twitter account, Martha shared their lawyer’s, Lawrence Lustberg’s statement: “We are obviously very disappointed with today’s verdict and feel strongly that it is not consistent with the evidence in the case but more importantly, is not consistent with the truth.  That truth is that Michael McMahon never had any idea that he was working for the Chinese Government.  If he had, he would not have taken the job or done the work he did.  His work in this case was the normal every day work of a private investigator and Mike’s conviction on the stalking counts, as a practical matter, criminalizes the work of private investigators in every case.  We will file post-trial motions and, if necessary appeal, until all possible appeals and lawful avenues to challenge this verdict have been exhausted.  And I believe that we will ultimately prevail because this conviction is a terrible injustice, one that I do not believe our legal system will allow to stand.”

What do you think about the conviction of Martha Bryne’s husband, Michael McMahon and by all accounts how he has been wrongly convicted? Comment below.

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All My Children

Pride Month Celebrating LGBTQ+ Soap Supercouples: Nuke, Kish, Otalia & WilSon … Which Stands the Test of Time?

June is Pride Month, the time when across the U.S and the world there are celebrations and commemorations to recognize all who identify as LGBTQ and their allies.

Daytime soap operas have had a rocky road when it comes to the representation of same-sex couples.  The soaps have been at one time leaders in portraying key social issues of our time, as well as treading lightly on other subjects, as to its concerns to ‘turn-off’ its core audiences.

When you look back at the groundbreaking first same-sex weddings, and the first gay kiss, the soaps have come far in some ways in their representations of gay characters, but there is always work to be done to serve and to shed light on the under-represented.

As we reflect back to the then and the now, which LGBTQ soap supercouple remains your favorite and had made a lasting impact? Let’s take a look at four duos who captivated many viewers.

Nuke  – Luke Snyder and Noah Mayer – As the World Turns

Van Hansis (Luke) and Jake Silbermann (Noah) were a key part of the evolution of, and representation of LGBTQ character on the soaps.  ‘Nuke’, as they were known as, became the first gay male soap couple to share an on-screen kiss back in 2007.  ATWT also became known as the first soap to depict a fully realized romantic male couple as an integral part of the show.  There was plenty of backlash along the way for the long-awaited kiss to happen, but when it did, the show moved forward to tell their love story.

Otalia – Olivia Spencer and Natalia Rivera Aitoro – Guiding Light

When Crystal Chappell (Olivia) and Jessica Leccia (Natalia) began to play the love story of Otalia, they had to show their affection by a kiss on the head, or holding hands.  It took quite some time for GL to move forward to have two women, two moms, no less, share a lip lock. The complicated love story featured Natalia being conflicted to face her true romantic feelings for Olivia, because of her value system and religions upbringing, and that made this all the more riveting and frustrating at the same time.  In the end, the rabid fan base for this duo was so great that Chappell wound up creating her own series, Venice, to honor and serve them, remaining one of the LGBTQ communities greatest allies.

Kish – Kyle Lewis and Oliver Fish – One Life to Live

In 2009, One Life to Live’s Kyle Lewis (Brett Claywell) was an out lab tech in Llanview, who back in college had a relationship with Officer Oliver Fish (Scott Evans).  It imploded when Oliver denied he was gay.  For years, Oliver remained in the closet, before finally coming out to himself and Kyle.

Kish had been a big success with the media and One Life’s gay audience. LGBTQ-advocacy groups honored the couple and the story.  However, Kish was cut short when the network felt that the data showed that the storyline was not resonating with the show’s core audience.

WilSon – Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis – Days of our Lives

Days of our Lives delivered daytime’s first-ever gay male wedding in 2014, between Will (then played by Guy Wilson) and Sonny (then played by Freddie Smith).

In an interview with EW, Days of our Lives executive producer, Ken Corday shared on the union, “Will and Sonny have been together for a while and it was the natural progression of their love story. We didn’t feel like there was anything we could or couldn’t do, we treated them like any other couple on the canvas and continued to grow their romance as such.”

In addition, the coming out story of Will Horton was critically praised and noteworthy for the performances of Chandler Massey, who won three Daytime Emmys for his work in the Outstanding Younger Actor category 2012, 2013 and 2014.  Freddie Smith also won in the same category in 2015.  Will has been played over the years by Chandler Massey and Guy Wilson, while Sonny has been portrayed by Freddie Smith and Zach Tinker.

There have been several other key LGBTQ couples throughout the course of daytime history including All My Children’s Bianca (Eden Riegel) and Reese (Tamara Braun). These two characters were involved in the first same-sex lesbian wedding on daytime. Problem was … Reese kissed Zach (Thorsten Kaye) before the wedding, making this infuriating for viewers at home.

Other notable LGBTQ couples through the years have included: Bianca and Maggie on All My Children, Mariah and Tessa of The Young and the Restless played bv Camryn Grimes and Cait Fairbanks, Maya and Rick on The Bold and the Beautiful, Lucas and Brad on General Hospital and others.

Which couple do you think has had the most lasting impact on the history of LGBTQ representation on daytime soap operas? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Airdate: 7-24- 2023