PART TWO click for PART ONE
Why There is a Need for Change:
The Hollywood industry must include a more accurate representation of the LGBTQ+ community. If they don’t, our world doesn’t get to learn about this community. That is a whole huge group of people left with little to no representation on television. Meanwhile, the viewers stay uneducated on the most update society and they stay stuck in their old stereotypical ways and thoughts about the LGBTQ+ community. Many people get their information and knowledge from the media so – whether they know it or not – media teaches the public, therefore they need to be teaching the public correct information. The lack of knowledge from the TV show watchers and misconceptions on the actual TV shows are not okay.
Many people might find themselves in a similar position as Piper’s mother from Orange is the New Black, wanting a definite answer. Piper taught her mother that it is not always that simple and that is okay. That is a lesson right there to a Netflix watcher. One viewer may have never thought of it that way before but it opened their eyes in a different way without them even realizing it. They knew they were watching entertainment but who knew that it can also be educational.
It is important that TV displays more characters like these because as Egner states in his article, only a mere four percent were considered LGB (not even the TQIA+. Just to clarify: lesbian, gay, bisexual, not transgender, queer, intersexual, or asexual.) So how could people get educated on the subject and truly increase their knowledge when the subject is only a small 4 percent of TV? In the article, “Representation Stereotypes and the Queer Prestige Film: Over the Rainbow,” David Crewe discusses the weight of the issue.
“Many teenagers form their opinions regarding queer individuals and lifestyles through the media rather than peers or role models; it is therefore important to critically evaluate these representations.”
Whether it is queer or straight individuals, they all learn about the queer community through television. Especially since young people turn to the media for much if not all of their information, it is crucial that what they receive is accurate. Bradley J. Bond sums it up perfectly in his article “Portrayals of Sex and Sexuality in Gay and Lesbian Oriented Media: A Quantitative Content Analysis.” He writes:
“Media serve as vital sources of sexual information for adolescents exploring their sexual identities. Research suggests that mainstream media sanitize depictions of lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) individuals, preventing LGB characters from engaging in realistic sexual talk or sexual behaviors.”
A community cannot simply be sanitized just because the other group of people look or fit better on TV. Just because it is popular or because it sells is no excuse for not accurately representing the full population.
Show creators should accurately represent all communities on television because everybody should be able to relate to something on TV. Studies have found that the majority of television is white heterosexual cis gender characters. To continue with the Orange is the New Black example, a character like Piper is hard to come by on television. There could be some viewers that feel the same way as her but never could relate to a TV show so much until now. It is unfortunate that this is not the case more often.
Click for PART THREE