LGBT Representation on Television
March 4th, 2013; Posted in Emotional & Mental Health
Television representation of any population is usually skewed but none more so than the LGBT population. The majority of representations of gay men in television portray them as thin, well dressed and into fashion, flamboyant, and dramatic. Lesbians are portrayed as muscular and tough with short hair and dressing like men. Transgender individuals have been shown as looking male but dressing and acting as a female. Every person is different, whether homosexual or heterosexual and these television stereotypes give the public an untrue idea of the LGBT population, who they are, and what they represent.
Another strong assumption is that these individuals choose to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and are bullied by their peers. The TV show ‘Glee’ shows a relatively accurate portrayal of the bullying LGBT individuals withstand. For example, in Season 2, Episode 6 ‘Never Been Kissed,’ Kurt finally has the courage to stand up to Dave, who has bullied him throughout high school. One of the best lines is: “You can’t punch the gay out of me any more than I can punch the ignoramus out of you.”
It causes one wonder, if someone is choosing to be gay and then they are bullied, why would they choose to be continuously harassed, even killed as Matthew Shepard was, if being gay was a choice? Obviously, no one would choose to be bullied, just as LGBT individuals don’t choose to be gay. In addition, in this episode, Dave is finally coming to terms with the possibility that he has bullied Kurt all of these years because he recognized certain characteristics in Kurt that he saw in himself. He has feelings for Kurt and he is terrified to admit that he might be gay. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that every person just wants to be happy and loved.
There are a few things to think about with this article. First, consider your thoughts on bullying. Is bullying only physical? Or can it also be mental and emotional? Bullying can happen anywhere and to anyone, not just children and teens at school. It can even happen in the workplace. What are some ways you can help to stop bullying? Second, what are some stereotypes you believe about the LGBT population? Where did you learn these and how can you change them, if you are willing to do so?
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