the 100 most memorable moments in soap history
Ten years before "Will & Grace" provided us with a show about a barely gay man and his queeny best friend, ATWT gave the soap world its first major gay male character with Hank Eliot (Brian Starcher). He was a fashion designer from New York, and chaste (his lover was never seen), but his rugged good looks and masculine charm flew in the face of every bad stereotype about gays in the 1980s. His sexual orientation wasn't revealed at first, and when it was, teenager Paul Ryan (Andy Kovavit) still couldn't deny the strange attraction he felt for Hank. Ultimately, Hank was shot saving Paul from his father, James, and was written out of the show, but not before vanquishing the negative connotations from Paul's eyes, and starting a trend that would eventually lead to more fully rounded and realistic depictions of gay men on the small screen.