How Lifetime and Hallmark Finally Made the Yuletide Gay With First-Ever LGBTQ Holiday Movies

”I was at first concerned that we were going to get something that was really saccharine and ‘Afterschool Special,'“ Lifetime’s Amy Winter says

This year marks the first season in which Lifetime and Hallmark are including LGBTQ characters and storylines in their holiday movies in a prominent way: Hallmark with “The Christmas House,” featuring Jonathan Bennett and Brad Harder as a gay couple looking to adopt, and Lifetime has “The Christmas Setup,” the channel’s first-ever movie starring gay leads, played by married-in-real-life couple Ben Lewis and Blake Lee.

While Lifetime’s movie is a bigger stride, as it features a gay couple as the leads rather than part of an ensemble, both projects mark significant turning points for the holiday-TV-movie landscape, which has seen a lack of LGBTQ representation in years past.

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Jennifer Maas

TV Reporter • jennifer.maas@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jmaasaronson