Commentary: Remembering Betty White for the indelible impact her ‘Golden Girls’ HIV story left on me

When comedic actress Betty White died last week, she left behind a legacy of laughter for many Americans, including members of the LGBTQ community, many of whom cherished the sitcom where White played gullible, yet lovable, Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.”

Debuting in 1985, the Emmy award-winning NBC sitcom was ahead of its time when it came to LGBTQ representation on television, so much so that gay bars would often host Golden Girls watch parties.

The show often addressed complex social issues important to the gay community, like homophobia and marriage equality, with grace and empathy. And there’s one episode that still stands out to CPR’s Vic Vela, more than three decades later. It deals with AIDS, an issue very personal to our “Back from Broken” podcast host.

Listen here for Vic’s audio essay on the late, great Betty White and her starring role in the Golden Girls episode titled, “72 Hours.”

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