For this week’s article, I’m delving into a controversial topic, but it’s one that I feel that as our society has matured and grown throughout the years, should be addressed—the pairing of same-sex couples on daytime TV.
Now, for as long as I’ve been watching soap operas, I can honestly think of only three shows that have delved into this social topic—One Life to Live, Passions, and now Days of our Lives. For a quick background on the other two soaps, One Life to Live paired a cop with a lab technician, while Passions had its first transgendered male who tried to get with one character, while blackmailing others. For me, I actually enjoyed watching this topic play out in the storylines. It brought a sense of real life issues that for people who are struggling to come out, can relate to. This same fact holds true in the storyline of Will Horton on Days.
Will has always come across to me as being very awkward and unsure of himself. I mean, given all he watched his mother go through, I can’t say I blame the kid. Here he was growing up watching Sami lie to her family, and the men in her life, to jumping from one bed to the next, and then obsessing over one guy and then another, plus enduring pregnancies, etc. With no true stability in his life, how was he supposed to grow up and NOT have issues with developing into the person he wanted to be?
Will coming out as a gay character was a brilliant move on the part of the writers and producers of Days of Our Lives. Given his history, it makes sense for him to come full circle and realize how all these feelings he’s had over the years have accumulated into making him the person he is today. I applaud both the actor and the writers for how they portrayed the struggle Will had in first coming to terms with who he was as a person, going so far as to test the waters first by sleeping with Gabi in a moment of desperation, and then having Sonny come into his life and making Will question exactly who he wanted to be, and then finally giving himself a voice to exclaim in a way to the public (and his family) exactly who he was—a gay man living in Salem. The best part for me in Will’s confession was in the way the show portrayed Lucas and Sami’s reactions. You have one parent who is totally shocked and suddenly withdraws for a time from his child, while you have Sami who, though at first struggled with Will’s lifestyle choice, suddenly does an about-face and totally accepts her son for what he is. It was this acceptance that finally made Will start to take a step forward and breathe a sigh of relief and realize that it’s totally OK to be the person he is.
Pairing Will and Sonny was a bold move, but one that had to be done, contrary to what some viewers may believe. Here you have Sonny, who is totally comfortable being a man in love with another man, his parents accept him for what he is, and he’s proud to be who he is. Sonny was another crucial point for me in having Will come out and be who he is. I think in a way, Will looked to Sonny and thought “if he can do this, why can’t I?” When Adrienne butted in and tried to get Will away from Sonny, I admit, I wanted to slap her silly. However, given Sami’s past history, I totally understand her reasoning for wanting to butt in—she was trying to protect her son from enduring a history that Will brought to the table thanks to his own mother. When Adrienne finally realized just how genuine Will could be, and lent her full support to the pairing, I was thrilled.
Having Will and Sonny take the next step in their relationship seemed very rushed to me, however, it was also another crucial point that had to be shown, despite what viewers thought true. Kudos to Days for not bombarding viewers with images that they did not want to see, but rather, they allowed the viewers to truly see the connection Will and Sonny were having, and felt it both naturally and expectantly to progress their relationship to the next level, just as you would in a man/woman relationship. This part nailed home for me how one shouldn’t be judged by whom they choose to love, but rather, they should be accepting of the fact that people today have the right to love whomever they want, and that as long as they’re happy with their chosen mate, isn’t that all that really matters?