Please Remember Stanford Blatch

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- Sex and the City -
Please Remember Stanford Blatch

Everybody loves Stanny. And from everything I have ever read, everybody loved Willie Garson. When news broke yesterday about his passing, it was hard to believe. Not only because he was young (he was 57) and it seemed so sudden, but because after 27 episodes and two movies, Willie Garson felt more like a friend than an actor. Some roles just do that. Stanford Blatch was one of them.

I came to Sex and the City early in its run and was hooked immediately. I am not sure 10 year old, black, gay kids in Baltimore were their target audience, but they had me. Most likely, the show simply having "sex" in the title was what piqued my interest originally, but I stayed for the world. No character better embodied the appeal of Carrie Bradford’s fictional Manhattan than our Stanny. He was funny, fashionable, and unapologetically queer. Pat Field’s signature styling ensured that the character led with his queerness, and for me, that was a revelation.

Stanford certainly wasn’t the first gay character I had encountered on screen, but he was the first I recall whose queerness wasn’t the issue. This wasn’t Rickie Vasquez struggling to carve space out for his authentic self and escaping abuse, it wasn’t Carol and Susan being the butt of the joke or tantalizing fodder, and it certainly wasn’t the surprise ending of The Crying Game. Stanford Blatch was gay... and there was nothing wrong with that. It seems fitting that Will & Grace would follow in September of 1998.

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