1977: The ABC sitcom, Three’s Company, premieres. The “sit” in the sitcom is that an unemployed straight chef (John Ritter‘s Jack Tripper) moves in with two female roommates, but in order to satisfy the landlord’s suspicions that there might be sexual impropriety, pretends he is gay. The show stays in the Nielsen Top Ten for the next six years.
1983: A West Virginia kindergarten teacher, Linda Conway, is forced to resign from her job after parents complain that she LOOKS like a lesbian. She files a $1 million lawsuit against the school board. However, three years later the state supreme court confirms the school board’s right to dismiss her because of her appearance.
1985: A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that AIDS is most likely NOT spread by casual contact.