Saturday, April 5, 2014

Queer Youth Readings

a.  Canada's Centre for Digital and Media Literacy 
(Queer Youth Readings)

b. I chose to write freely this week on the four texts, though it is kind of a reflection too. Starting with, Queer Representation in the Media, the key issue that this text rose are the negative portrayals of queer representation. These may include  sissies, butch, fag, and the list goes on.  The negative portrayals remind me of something from the reading, Cinderella Ate My Daughter. "When I was growing up, the last thing you wanted to be called was a "princess": it conjured up images of a spoiled, self-centered brat.."(19). There seems to always be stereotypes for people, no matter their sex, age, race, class, etc. Sadly, it seems that there is no escape from stereotypes. 

 The media can give inaccurate representations of how queer people behave, what their desires are, points of view, etc. The media may just give images of what gets the ratings good reviews, rather than actually portraying a more realistic image.. which may actually be really hard because everyone has their own representation of themselves. In the media, gay men can be represented as extra feminine and lesbians as extra masculine. Can you think of shows that portray this idea?

 In Queer Representation in Film and Television, the key issues are pretty much the same as the ones found in the media, since television and film are forms of media anyways. In television and film, there are often stereotypes being portrayed by actors/actresses that are not accurate, and this is key issue that the readings mention. In film and television, it often seems that queer representation can be seen as a negative thing, when it should be seen as something positive, especially since teenagers are the majority watching films and television series. If queer representation was presented in a more positive way more often, maybe it would give queer teens more confidence in being who they are, and knowing that it’s okay to be outside the "norm". This was another key issue in the readings.  This reminds me of what Croteau stated in Media and Ideology. "Media sell both products and ideas, both personalities and worldviews; the notion that mass media products and cultural values are fundamentally intertwined has gained public acceptance,"(161). This piece by Croteau relates extremely to the readings on queer representation in the media. "The implications of our popular media images and the apparent lessons they teach about society,"(162). Media images can become controversial because they can possibly promote ideas that are objectionable. These images can also suggest what is "normal" and what is "deviant", which can be especially problematic in the queer community. Something that I found to be problematic from the reading was when it talked about how queer media does not rely on queer people being the intended audience, or that queer people even be affiliated with a cultural product in any way other than as consumers. What did you think about this when you read it? As seen in the reading, Hollywood can give out negative depictions of homosexuality, and the portrayals that some Hollywood films portray may marginalize and silence the queer community. In many television series and films, those who identify as queer feel like they have to be embarrassed or keep their homosexuality a secret or hidden from friends and family. This reminds me of the HBO series, looking

   Another issue that the text raises is how Hollywood in the past has presented homosexuality as an object of ridicule and laughter. Homosexuality was even portrayed as being dangerous, violent, predatory or suicidal. I find it quite disturbing that networks on television were willing to feature queer characters as long as the shows drew high ratings and if they generated profits for advertisers. Some shows that were mentioned in the readings included Will & Grace, Glee, etc. In Pink Dollar Marketing and Queer Representation in Advertising, one of the key issues is that companies continue to employ negative or restrictive stereotypes of queer people in order to give there ad campaigns an edge. Advertising can also put queer people into certain stereotypes, just like the media, films, and television. The ads can be problematic and represent homosexuality as a punch line. In the reading, it is seen that mainstream companies such as McDonald’s, are courting for queer dollars. In Strategies for Engaging with Queerness in Media, one of the key issues being talked about it whether or not queer characters, situations, and themes are being balanced.

C. What was your overall reaction to the readings? Do you believe queer representation in the media/films/television have been accurate? If so what? If not, why? 


  1. to answer your last question. i dont think queer representation in the media has been accurate. i think that as much as we as a nation accept being gay, we also deny it. i think the topic has a lot of similarities to women's rights and the fight that women had to endure to gain the same rights as men, and even still, there are sexist comments and unspoken "rules" that people abide by. even racism. it is illegal but everyone knows it still exists. i feel like queer representation will be our generations tackle if you will. it will be our fight to get the same rights for everyone but even after, i think it will still exist.

  2. I agree with you, stereotypes will always exist unfortunately and to answer your question I believe queer representation is so poorly displayed on televsion. Most shows only focus on the notion that the character is gay. making them overly obnoxious, fake, and sexualized. for what reason??

  3. I really liked your first image of the t-shirt! Thought it was perfect!

  4. Queer representation in the media is not accurate by any means. What is most noticeable is that the men are always portrayed as very feminine and the women as masculine. I would really like to know if this portrayal helps with ratings or reviews. Because otherwise, what is the reason?

  5. Great post ! I believe that the representation isn't accurate at all because everyone is different and theres no sure way to represent everyone all the time

  6. I agree with everyone above! Queer representation is NOT accurate, and could be used in a much more positive, educational light to show the large teenage audiences a healthy and accurate representation of the Queer community outside of the feminine gays and masculine lesbians stereotypes.

  7. Queer representation in the media in general is totally not accurate. Firstly, there are more kinds of queer than anyone could even imagine. Secondly, most of those kinds of queers don't make it to media because people don't understand them. What I see the least of are asexual folk, genderqueer/nonbinary folk, and especially nonconforming gender folk. I focused my discussion on the gay elite because more often than not queer representation will focus on cisgay men who are middle class whites. You rarely see a trans POC - except for Laverne Cox.