10 Years Later, Jane Lynch Hosting Emmys in Different TV Landscape than Ellen DeGeneres

Jane Lynch and her minions Fox photo

Soon-to-be Emmy host Jane Lynch didn’t hesitate a moment this week when asked by a member of the press whether she felt any responsibility to make sure there were gay-centric elements to this year’s show.

“No,” she replied.  And, when pressed further on the matter — did she think there  should be gay moments, gay humor on the Emmys? — she made her feelings even more clear:  “I’m a person, not just a gay person, so I don’t focus on things like that.  I just focus on good shows and being funny.”

The hugely-funny lady, who won Emmy honors for her unforgettable work as Coach Sue Sylvester on “Glee” last year, was fielding questions about the Sept. 18 Emmys.  She’s already a couple of weeks into show prep.  And by the way, yes, she’ll be changing costumes at each break.

It’s been a decade since the first Emmy hosting by an openly gay person — Ellen DeGeneres, who received standing ovations several times at the event, which was delayed twice due to the Sept. 11 terror attacks and their aftermath.  At that time, openly gay characters were still a novelty on TV.  Now, going into the 2011-2012 season, the TV landscape has never been more highly populated by gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters — plus transgendered Chaz Bono and gay Carson Kressley competing on the forthcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars.”  Gay couples are featured on shows from “Modern Family” to the upcoming animated “Allen Gregory,” gay comics inhabit late night (e.g. Fortune Feimster on “Chelsea Lately”) and gay characters and storylines are featured on “Gossip Girl,” “90210,” “Glee,” “Secret Life of the American Teenager” and on and on.

All of which just might make it easier for Lynch to focus on the funny stuff she does so well, rather than being weighted down by a burden of cultural responsibility.