Queer Community In Popular Culture: Film Analysis

1242 Words5 Pages
Within the last several decades the perception and inclusion of the queer community in society has vastly changed, largely for the better. As both in law and popular culture, the wellbeing of LGBTQ persons has become an increasingly popular topic. In Western culture, we appear to look back with self-congratulatory pride at how “far” we have come in liberating the LGBTQ community through the inclusion of LGBTQ characters in shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Glee, and Orange is the New Black. However, alongside the rise of the queer movement in popular culture there has also come the development of a set of stereotypes attached to LGBTQ labels, which for the most part remain constant in media portrayal of LGBTQ characters. Many would argue…show more content…
There is certainly a value, and need for the representation of all minorities in the media, however the representation of such minorities can often lead to the creation (and subsequent acceptance) of offensive and untrue generalizations. Media journalist Trevor Norkey argues that the reason “why we need more LGBTQ characters in popular film is to help those who are gay, bisexual, transgender, etc. become more open with themselves and with others about their orientation.” (Norkey, 2015) I would not debate the notion that the inclusion of LGBTQ characters in popular culture certainly is important to not only celebrate diversity, but to offer role models for LGBTQ individuals. Norkey’s examples of positive gay male role models in the media included Kurt and Blaine from Glee, Mr. Chow from The Hangover, and Cam and Mitch from Modern Family, all of whom are particularly feminine characters who fit the mold of the gay archetype. These characters may be relatable to the males in the world who identify as gay and are also feminine, however these representations completely undermine the idea that one’s sexuality can be separated from their expected gender role, and may in fact reinforce the heterosexist idea that sexual attraction to men is synonymous with a more feminine gender role. The relationship between popular culture and heteronormativity is eloquently described by Robert Westerfelhaus & Celeste Lacroix: “In the past, the dominant features of this order were clearly articulated through the promulgation of restrictive secular laws and the preaching of an equally limited--and limiting--view of moral law. Today, popular culture exercises perhaps the greatest influence in promoting --and policing--the values of
Open Document