LGBTQ+ Representation in Pop Culture – Part 1

Pop Culture – Part 1 – TV and Movies

Youth feel better when they see their intersectionalities represented around them.

Let’s admit it, we all feel a little safer in the world when we see successful people in TV and Movies that represent parts of who we are. Whether it’s a Jewish family at Christmas time, an African American attending a major university on scholarship, or a pansexual person having successful relationships with differing genders. It’s the stereotypes that we yearn for, wanting to see them around us, to assure us of our normality- but what is the cost?

Why is it acceptable for most gay males on television and in the movies to be extremely flamboyant and have a great sense in fashion? Why does almost every lesbian live, having broken through the glass ceiling, serving in a butch/male career field? Or worse, why are all lesbian relationship oversexualized?

Why is it acceptable for a bisexual character to be nearly non-existent on the big screen? If they are present, they end up either straight or gay as the credits role.

Why is it that the transgender individuals we see on TV and in movies all lead this stereotypical life where their transition ends in surgeries or ultimate beauty; passing 100% is soooo yesterday! Why do we only see people who are realistically defining their own transition journey and ending in documentaries on YouTube, with acne cream advertisements next to them?

Why are we accepting these things?

It is not only dangerous for our LGBTQ+ community members to attempt to live up to stereotypes [that really don’t define real life], but it is extremely scary to know that the families, friends, colleuges, classmates and acquaintances of those same LGBTQ+ community members have these stereotypes as examples and make yet another box for our community to fit into. What if being gay didn’t mean flaming? What if a transgender person didn’t have instant access to wigs, while their hair grows out? What if polyamory wasn’t just found in Mormon communities of sister wives?

While you’re thinking about this, our Fort Collins SPLASH Youth have come up with a list of TV shows and movies that have [both good and bad] representations of LGBTQ+ people. Feel free to add to the list in comments!

TV & Movies (just a ten-minute brainstorm list)

  • The Fosters
  • Sens8 (adult themes)
  • Supergirl
  • Legend of Korra
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • How to Get Away with Murder
  • Person of Interest
  • Lost Girl
  • Penny Dredful (Adult themes)
  • Modern Family
  • Orange Is The New Black (Adult themes)
  • Schitt’s Creek (Adult themes)
  • Grace & Frankie (Adult themes)
  • Almost Adults
  • Carmilla
  • Imagine Me & You
  • Jenny’s Wedding
  • Pump Up the Volume
  • Rent (Adult themes)

Next blogpost coming soon