The 50 Greatest Gay TV Characters

7. Will Horton, Days of Our Lives

Actor: Chandler Massey
Character created 1996; Massey’s portrayal 2010-2013; actor Guy Wilson assumes role in 2014
Previous Rank: N/A

When it was announced that ancient NBC soap 

Days Of Our Lives would out teenager Will Horton, it was met with a healthy amount of skepticism. After all, this is the show that is infamous for its over-the-top storylines, including, but not limited to, satanic possession and they did once replace the entire town with replicas. But Will’s coming-out was treated with respect and dignity. Or at least as much of those qualities you can get on a soap. The more we got to know Will, the more we grew to love him. He didn’t make it easy at times, but with help from gay sensei Sonny, Will eventually took those first precarious steps out of the closet, kissing new friend Neil  (played appropriately, by the son of Kris Kristofferson, thus using The Streisand Gay Proximity Effect to its fullest), before freaking out and running away. But with help from his grandmother, who encouraged him to be his “delicious self,” Will gathered the courage to accept himself as a gay man … and then promptly slept with his ex-girlfriend. But she was just a momentary distraction, as Will realized that the love of his life had been by him all the time, and he and Sonny began their reign as Soap’s Gay Supercouple. It’s been a rocky road to happiness for the two of them, with various blockers thrown in their way (a murder charge, a previous attempted murder charge, blackmail, mothers), but they’re still together. Chandler Massey won two consecutive Daytime Emmy awards for playing Will Horton. We’re curious what actor Guy Wilson will bring to the role when he takes over in January. Even with a different actor we’ll continue to witness Will’s journey … and all the drama and ugly shirts that come with it. –s.


The 50th Greatest Gay TV Characters List

9. Sonny Kiriakis, Days of Our Lives

Actor: Freddie Smith
Previous Rank: N/A

Jackson Kiriakis (aka Sonny) (played with sincerity and intelligence by Freddie Smith) was the first openly gay character in the history of Days Of Our Lives. He was brought in to help guide blond basketcase Will Horton out of the closet. But along the way, something remarkable happened … Sonny found himself falling for Will, and the soap world was delivered one of its greatest portmanteaus, “WilSon.” It wasn’t an easy romance, due to Will’s initial tearful self-loathing, and there were many obstacles thrown in their way. Will had his own issues, but Sonny struggled as well, thanks to a hot interloper who tried to seduce Sonny with soft-core jazz and come-f*ck-me eyes. And Sonny was tempted, but he turned down this pretty little sex god … bless his heart. There were other issues to overcome, including Sonny’s mother Adrienne, who made it her life’s work to break up WilSon. Sonny stood up to her, though, and he’s managed to overcome every WilSon catastrophe, from a wedding day pregnancy bombshell, to old friends trying to lure him away from his new duties as stepdad. Through it all, “Saint Sonny” (a term that’s been used to both deride and celebrate him) has been the voice of reason. And let’s face it, he’s the sweet, honest, and stalwart boyfriend all of us wish for. –s.