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How I Met Your Father’s Gay Character Is Just One of the Gang

‘How I Met Your Father’s’ Gay Character Is Just One of the Gang

‘How I Met Your Father’s’ Gay Character Is Just One of the Gang

"TV needs more of that," says star Hilary Duff.

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Nearly eight years ago, the beloved sitcom How I Met Your Mother revealed its titular secret and ended after nine seasons. This month, Hulu premiered How I Met Your Father led by Hilary Duff and Kim Cattrall.

It's not quite a reboot, more like a sequel, as the fresh group of friends take over the lease of the iconic apartment from the original series. (That also means there are opportunities for the original cast to return...)

Diversity is the most obvious update from the original series. We get some Latina and Asian American representation in the principal cast, and even an LGBTQ+ identity. 

Tien Tran plays Ellen, a recently-divorced lesbian who's happily overwhelmed by the much larger dating pool in the Big Apple. "I would say that she's a baby gay in the dating scene," Tran tells PRIDE of the character. "Since she has been married or she was married and is now separated from her wife and is ready to get in there."

For Tran, "what's so exciting about Ellen is that like her identity is not where her conflict arises from. She just gets to be one of the friends and she is like the rest of the friend group, struggling and also in some cases succeeding in different aspects of her life in living in New York City. I think it's just great to see that."

For anyone who's fresh out of a long-term relationship, Ellen's "trials and tribulations of being a baby gay is very relatable to anyone who's trying to get out there and date people in this very wild time."

Showrunner Isaac Aptaker says the character was "informed by our LGBTQ friends, who like arrived in New York and were a little bit like overwhelmed by choice as compared to the small towns that they were living in before. So we thought like what an interesting specific take, on a newly divorced character where she's been with one woman because she's from the middle of nowhere and there weren't a lot of options. All of a sudden, she's thrown into the middle of the dating scene in Manhattan where there's queer women everywhere she looks, and like what does that do to a person?"

A TV sitcom friend group that includes different races, ethnicities, and sexualities is overdue and, as Duff points out, true to real life. 

"In this day and age, there's no way to not include that," the "Sparks" singer says. "That is our normal and TV needs more of that. It's that time. Getting to be on Hulu, and not just race and sexuality, but just getting to act 30 and do things that 30-year-olds get to do," Duff says she is proud to see it.

Ellen's identity on the show was certainly purposeful, showrunner Elizabeth Berger add, as the writers included her character from the jump. "We wanted it to just be her identity and a part of her, but also not the only thing we're focused on." 

Tran is certainly just one of the gang, and we can't wait to see where her journey takes her. 

New episodes of How I Met Your Father premiere Tuesdays on Hulu. Watch PRIDE's interview with the cast and showrunners below:

Advocate Channel - HuluOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!