It would be wrong to say that the media does not try to incorporate homosexuality, however the way in which this is done is what needs to be discussed and altered. It is rare for there to be an LGBTQIA+ couple that is positively portrayed within the media. Either one person must be a drug addict or suffer from other psychological issues and this presentation sends out a message to the rest of the world that members of the LGBTQIA + community are unstable and problematic, which further alienates them from the rest of society. The fact is anybody is prone to become victims of substance abuse and experience mental health issues and these problems are not exclusive to members of the LGBTQIA + community. Shows such as Orange is the New Black explore homosexuality but this is predominantly based on desperate circumstances such as being incarcerated. These presentations do not help to create the best image of the LGBTQIA+ community and it is becoming frustrating. Characters are not allowed to just be homosexual, there must be a background horror story that ‘caused’ them to be gay, suggesting that had such circumstances not occurred, they would be heterosexual just ‘like everybody else’. The conjunction that is accompanied with LGBTQIA+ needs to be eradicated, there needs to stop being a clause that de-normalises and ostracises the LGBTQIA+ community from the rest of society. People are not ‘gay but’, ‘trans but’, just let them be. The media is a key influencer of society and so it is primordial that the right message is portrayed. Hopefully there will be a day whereby there are characters who are members of the LGBT+ community who just get to be themselves with no complications or drama. That is the representation that is needed.
Paul Coker was murdered in the summer of 2016 by long running London based soap Eastenders.
The face of LGBTQIA +.
My opinion like others is the media’s presentation of people who identify as LGBTQIA + is both deplorable and laughable.
The notion that throwing in one white homosexual man to a television show or a series is somehow considered diverse is abhorrent. The stereotypical homosexual person is white, a man and an atheist, yet contemporary society defies this stereotype. It is not a coincidence that the LGBTQIA + flag is a rainbow; this is seen to represent the diversity of the community indicating that various types of people of various ethnicities are members. This is true diversity. There is a Ted Talks video in which Sabah Choudrey discusses being both transgender and Muslim, they share initial fears of belonging to more than one minority group. This is a well understood fear within the LGBTQIA + community, especially amongst ethnic groups.
People should not think that being a part of one minority group stops you from being valid within another minority group. A lot of people belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community also belong to ethnic minority groups such as Samira Wiley and Laverne Cox from the popular Netflix series Orange is The New Black, writer Wander Sykes and beloved Star Trek character George Takei.
This is the 21st century and it is hoped that with the ever-growing representation of minority groups within the LGBTQIA + community, the media will more accurately represent the face of LGBTQIA+ and portray it as the colourful community that it is.
Other platforms such as YouTube have become an excellent means in dispelling myths regarding the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly the YouTube channel Buzzfeed. They uploaded a video whereby people re-created the covers of famous romance movies such as Titanic and The Fault in Our Stars but incorporated LGBTQIA+, which I thought was an incredibly powerful concept. Times are progressing and in the foreseeable future there is hope that there will be more of an accurate representation of the LGBTQIA+ community and the film Danish Girl about a trans-woman released in 2015 will be followed by other predominantly LGBTQIA+ related movies.
LGBT+ through the ages
There have been discussions regarding the media’s presentation of the LGBTQIA+ community and whether incorporating LGBTQIA+ experiences into platforms designed for younger viewers would result in there being a more favourable perspective regarding the LGBTQIA+ community. Undoubtedly, this would introduce the concept of having an LGBTQIA+ community and would help to eliminate confusion felt by children regarding it. However, people do not want their children to be ‘different’ unless this ‘difference’ is something that is accepted and promoted in society, such as child geniuses. Being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community is stigmatised to the point where being called a lesbian or gay seems to have pejorative implications, making people not want to identify as such. Within society, there is this inherent desire to be considered ‘normal’ and to me it is baffling that people would want to strive for something so tedious and non-existent. It is time for society to start celebrating and embracing everybody, respecting and accepting the beauty of individuality. The idea that people regard the presentation of LGBTQIA+ topics as ‘corrupt’ and ‘immoral’ is saddening, it is also sad that they feel that by demonising homosexuality this acts as a means of prevention regarding their children ‘becoming’ gay. The media, being a tool of education, can help alter such archaic ways of thinking and people will soon start to see people past the label, realising that once you peel off this label a human being is present and that, ultimately is the only thing that matters. People should no longer see people as a ‘gay man’ or a ‘trans-man’ but rather a ‘hu-man’.
Maybe, rather than mash ups we need a real Disney lgbt love story.