A Look Back At Robin Williams’ Gayest Moments

tumblr_na60mtg5UP1qigaa4o2_1280We’re all still reeling from the news of Robin Williams’ death yesterday. There are few entertainers past or present who even come close to his prodigious talent. But it was his down-to-earth humanity that makes his passing really sting — he found a way into so many of our hearts not just with a quick wit and sharp tongue, but with that twinkle in his eye that seemed to say, “we’re in this together, let’s make it funny.”

Williams was also a vocal believer in gay rights, and didn’t shy away from playing gay characters. Even when he was joking about gay penguins or hilariously teaching Nathan Lane how to act straight, it was always clear that he came from a place of love. Always politically correct? Perhaps not, but he pushed the boundaries in all the right ways.

Here are some of our favorite gay moments from Robin:

His thoughts on homosexuality and the Vatican:

Parkinson gay penguins:

Teaching Nathan Lane to play straight in The Birdcage:

Going toe to toe with Graham Norton:

OK, one more from The Birdcage, because it’s just that good:

Robin publicly supported gay marriage, but that didn’t stop him from making a joke or two:

“You could talk about same-sex marriage, but people who have been married [say] ‘It’s the same sex all the time.’”

“The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying, ‘Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses. ‘ She’s got a baseball bat and yelling, ‘You want a piece of me? “, “We had gay burglars the other night. They broke in and rearranged the furniture.”

There was also a serious side to Robin. Here he is playing a gay radio host based off of the real life of Armistead Maupin in The Night Listener:

He also plays a married man coming to terms with his sexuality after meeting a young male street hustler in the film Boulevard, which screened at film festivals this year and also stars Bob Odenkirk and Kathy Baker.

Robin, you will be dearly missed.


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  • michael mellor

    I didn’t find The Birdcage particularly gay-friendly. It was a camp stereotype designed to amuse straights.

  • mezzacanadese

    Robin Williams was a treasure, and I will miss him. He was a friend of the gay community.

  • tommyswill

    I also found The Birdcage offensive. The acting was bad and very over the top. And as a gay man I felt it put gays in a bad light.
    That said, the world will miss a great talent.

  • joehandy

    Well…I guess I’l be the odd one here. I LOVED and still love, The Birdcage. It was hilarious and my favorite of Robin Williams’ performances. Not every gay themed movie needs to be bogged down in messages that any half way intelligent and feeling straight person has figured out/known forever…

  • zeekmaun94

    I too loved The Birdcage. I was a 90’s kid, and while everything from Jumanji and Aladdin kept me and my brothers busy, it was that movie that made me feel good. I didn’t know what was different about myself, but I saw it in that movie. It was my first exposure to the glbt community and despite the disagreement from some here, I found it fun and exciting. My parents wouldn’t let me watch it because of it’s “alternative lifestyles”, but my grandarents (big cher fans) would watch it with me. I’d come home doing the “Madonna, madonna, madonna” pose on the front porch (my obsession with her as a 7-10 year old already frightened them)… good man.

  • denny155

    I just hope I can laugh again………like that!

  • yaletownman

    I loved the Bird Cage too. Drag, flamboyance and being over the top has always had it’s place in gay culture. It’s just one aspect of gay culture and not all of it. I don’t think that a movie about two, effeminate gay men makes anyone look bad nor does anyone who inhabits the intelligent universe belief that the movie was a one size fits all image of the gay community. Anyway, the only way to ever truly embrace all of who we are is if we stop giving a damned about what everyone might think of us and just allow ourselves to be what they are.

  • cflekken

    Loved the Birdcage. No, it wasn’t stereotyping. It was depicting specific personalities that truly exist in the gay community. In no way was it saying that every gay man was what was depicted. Just because that’s primarily the behavior shown doesn’t mean it’s stereotyping. Would you say that Brokeback Mountain stereotyped gay men, saying they are all closeted, straight-acting men?

  • Vince Smetana

    I loved The Birdcage. Big, fun mainstream Hollywood movie with a cast full of great comic turns. Nathan Lane was genius and Dianne Wiest was hilarious, especially. And Robin Williams … sigh … that rehearsal scene on the stage is ICONIC.

  • ppp111

    I loved the Birdcage as well. More importantly, it showed gay couples could raise a healthy, well-adjusted child. Cool.

  • Charlie in Charge

    Will always be a favorite of mine, Nathan Lane, Robin Williams, and Hank Azaria were the height of hilarity.

  • hephaestion

    The Birdcage was great fun, though to a degree it was designed to please straights. I loved “The Night Listener,” which was wonderfully creepy & mysterious, and a great depiction of a gay couple.

  • cvdixon29

    @michael mellor: Sorry you feel that way, I think The Birdcage is one of his best works.

  • cvdixon29

    I loved The Birdcage and I watch it every time they play it on cable. Netflix has it too. Great Movie and he and Nathan Lane worked great together.

  • tomron

    Late to the party, but here’s my comment anyway: Whether or not you are in favor of the depiction of two swishy characters (they do exist, you know) – you must admit that they were also portrayed as two endearing, loving, lovely, sweet people. I think it would take a very heard heart not to like them.

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