Queer Representation In Media Essay

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Aasif Mandavi once said, “If you don’t acknowledge differences, it’s as bad as stereotyping or reducing someone.” Queer representation in the media has been a point of contention for the last several decades. Throughout history, media critics have studied how lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and gay individuals have been portrayed as villains or victims in television shows and movies. By having these individuals take on the role of a victim or villain, it enhances stereotypes present that gay men are effeminate and flamboyant and lesbian women are manly and unattractive. Because society is prone to think in terms of gender binary and heteronormativity (through not acknowledging differences), lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals have been marginalized from traditional culture today. “Gender beliefs only allow for the existence of two sexes.” Because of this, I will discuss how the representation of queer individuals in media and society consists of false stereotypes and fabricated images. This will be done through a discussion of heteronormativity and gender stereotypes present in today’s culture as well as through specific episodes and examples from the show Modern Family on ABC. As consumers of media, individuals are surrounded by dominant ideologies everyday. Specifically, the ideology of heteronormativity is so prevalent among media outlets that it is often times overlooked and neglected. However, this dominant ideology present in media and society today is the leading cause of the marginalization of LGBTQ individuals. By definition, heteronormativity is denoting or relating to a worldview that promotes heterosexuality as the normal sexual orientation. Additionally, Urban Dictionary defines het... ... middle of paper ... ...n unfair depiction of their actual lives. The ideology of heteronormativity and the stereotypes present in our media today encompass a worldview that is skewed and foggy. When queer individuals are represented in media, it is not an accurate representation; in fact, it’s a misrepresentation or an underrepresentation of their lifestyle and beliefs. If television shows begin to depict queer individuals as normal characters, as opposed to the stereotypically viewed ones, the problem of misrepresentation will go away. It will be important in upcoming years that LGBTQ individuals begin to fight for what they believe in with regards to the media. Because conglomerates control the media, the views of few individuals are being depicted and shown. Although Modern Family believed they were making strides with queer representation, they are in fact only enhancing the problem.

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