chapter  5
Kevin and Scotty Get Married (and Hardly Anyone Is Watching): Queer Visibility, Privacy, and the Boundaries of Everyday Life on Television
Pages 30

When Kevin Walker and Scotty Wandell got married on ABC primetime drama Brothers & Sisters in May 2008, the episode received little more than a yawn in response. No extensive press coverage accompanied this wedding, and no one really cared that Luke McFarlane (the actor who plays Scotty) had come out a month earlier.1 In one of the few reviews discussing the wedding, Matthew Gilbert muses that, in contrast to the “brouhaha” surrounding Ellen’s coming out, “on the day of Kevin and Scotty’s nuptials, which arrives after much on-screen making out by the couple, there seems to be only TiVo-setting and shoulder shrugging” (np). All in all, Kevin and Scotty’s wedding in the season two finale of Brothers & Sisters was an utterly mundane event. By 2008, queerness had become a normal part of the mainstream media landscape. One might consider this development as a sign of the television industry’s and the audience’s increasing embrace of queer visibility in the form of gay and lesbian characters. In other words, the absence of frantic media coverage of Kevin and Scotty’s wedding could indicate that audiences have gotten used to seeing queer characters as part of television programming and have come to consider their presence as normal. However, it is precisely the apparently mundane qualities of Kevin and Scotty’s wedding that need further investigation as something other than a mark of progressive developments. The ways in which their wedding blends apparently seamlessly into the diegesis of Brothers & Sisters and TV programming in general reveal much about the normalization of queer media visibility and its function in regulating who can count him-or herself as part of the American nation in the early 2000s.