MTV Canada and MTV have taken the time to recognize and acknowledge change. They began in 1983 by airing music by black artists and in 2007 launched a television dating show for Tila Tequila, a bisexual woman seeking love. Many were sceptical and disturbed at the thought of a bisexual dating show. There were many who argued Tila and said that they didn’t think the show should be aired. Despite the critics a Shot at Love with Tila Tequila aired its first episode on October 9, 2007. Tila found love with a guy who soon after left her. By Aprill 22nd of 2009 the second season of a Shot at Love had aired, this time leading Tequila to find love with a female. MTV pushed through yet another barrier to airing a show that documented a bisexual woman; they had yet again done the unthinkable.
In 2009 MTV Canada released the show 1 girl 5 gays. The show was formatted as a talk show. Host Aliya Jasmine asked open and obscure questions to 5 gay men from Toronto. By 2010 American company Logo picked the show up and began airing it in the United States. Jasmine does not hesitate to ask the gay gentlemen questions regarding their sexuality, the discrimination they have faced, and questions about their sex life. Each week there are 5 new gay men who are all from differing backgrounds and different views. Beyond discussing their own lives, Jasmine and the guys talk about issues such as HIV, rape, and abortion. 1 girl 5 gays has started a ripple effect on the gay community thus making it acceptable and interesting to walk into the on screen lives of 5 different gay men. I recall watching one episode where one of the gay men on the show remarked that a girl saw him on a street car and said, “Hey, you’re that gay guy on MTV”. Gay people in our community are now being recognized and rightfully acknowledged for their sexuality which is something that the gay community has struggled with for many years.
MTV Canada recognizes adversity and has acknowledged the struggles of the gay community. MTV host Dan Levy (son of Acton Eugene Levy) is openly gay. They have also included gay men and women in shows such as Real World. Openly gay Real World cast member Pedro Zamora struggled with HIV and lost his battle shortly after the season finale of his year was aired. MTV has made waves in the gay community by recognizing them and accepting them into their world of popular television. 42% of MTV programs air gay people. This is recorded to be more than any other television station.