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LGBT Pandering in the Media

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by SabreBear, Jan 17, 2017.

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What do you think about the media pandering to the LGBT community?

  1. I think it's a good thing

    17 vote(s)
    77.3%
  2. I think it's a bad thing

    5 vote(s)
    22.7%
  1. SabreBear

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    So I've always wondered what the general consensus is on the media pandering to the LGBT community. Most of the time when I go on sites like tumblr, all I see is negatives of pandering, and how it's harming the community.

    I very strongly disagree. If anything pandering in the media gets us more attention, and it helps us see ourselves in characters in different medias. All the same, I guess I can kind of see why people would dislike it. What I don't get is when people complain about us not having enough attention/places in the media, but then spitting on pandering as a whole.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Creativemind

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    Very strongly depends on the situation. There are situations where I view it as a positive, and situations where It's a negative.

    I think representation is very important in the media. Trying to censor LGBT characters out completely is not a good thing, and I have been happy when authors include us.

    On the other hand, pandering is a negative when someone feels pressured by the community to make gay characters only just to have gay characters. I want to read about extremely interesting, well developed characters, that just happen to be gay, bi, or trans.

    It just depends on the media as well. As a lesbian myself, I hated "The L word" because a lot of the sexuality stuff was forced and they put all the characters under one specific stereotype that I could not even relate to as a lesbian at all. I related to many straight characters so much more just based on personality, relationship preference, etc. Except that we were attracted to different genders. So all I ask is to do your research and make all of your characters unique. You can follow gay stereotypes if it fits that characters personality, but other characters can be the opposite.
     
  3. ForNarnia

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    Representation is very good, so long as they are respectful and truthful.
     
  4. kibou97

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    I honestly don't know. I guess I lean more towards that it is helpful since technically any pandering will provide some level of exposure to those who aren't LGBT. At the same time though, the common stereotypes that the media keeps using for a lot of the time when they are doing said pandering aren't helpful with providing that all kinds of people can fall somewhere under the LGBT spectrum.
     
    #4 kibou97, Jan 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  5. Aussie792

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    I think it's important to note the distinction between realistic depictions of LGBT lives which are designed for both LGBT and non-LGBT consumption, and acts of 'representation' which are designed to depict negatively, or avoid actually depicting, LGBT people and their lives, designed for quasi-progressive non-LGBT consumption.

    To suggest that perniciously designed LGBT presence in media, which provides a less than human or in-depth portrayal of the lives of LGBT people is positive is an obviously contentious statement.

    Examples of this are (largely heterosexuals) celebrating 'representation' of characters who are for all meaningful purposes scarcely LGBT. ParaNorman, for example, reveals a buff, jock-ish character as gay at the very end in a surprise twist - but in no actual way does it even depict his relationship or make positive light of what homosexuality actually is in everyday life. It then can claim diversity, with the ridiculous narrative of 'not making a big deal out of his sexuality', while not actually doing the meaningful work of depicting same-sex relationships in realistic, positive ways. That narrative pushes LGBT people to the side, subordinate to and without the rich, meaningful lives of heterosexuals in minor but clear ways.

    The subversions of stereotypes that merely assert rather than demonstrate a character's sexuality enforce two harmful ways of thinking. The first is that viewers are made to like the character as a heterosexual and only then have homosexuality revealed. The second is that it continues the bizarre and hurtful idea that gay relationships should not be in any way public (the 'not making a fuss' narrative) or that one can be pro-gay and still dislike the public demonstration of same-sex affection ('I don't mind what two adults do in their bedroom'), normative beliefs which are seemingly minor but deeply affect same-sex couples' behaviour and comfort even in nominally progressive places.

    That act of pandering also comes with the irritating belief from viewers and producers that something has been done for gay rights or the role of same-sex couples in society and media, despite the continuance of originally homophobic narratives and an active attempt to avoid depicting actual homosexuality. It says you've done something as a creator or viewer where you've actually participated in a negative behaviour. You cannot actively decline to depict same-sex relationships and be lauded for inclusiveness towards gay people.

    I'm not saying that these acts fundamentally change how people view LGBT rights or the role of same-sex couples or transgender people in society. It does not require boycotts, rudeness or necessarily even anger.

    Nonetheless, it is absolutely valid to criticise them and expect better, because the use of subtly homophobic narratives in ostensibly inclusive media harms LGBT people in minor ways by perpetuating unfair expectations about the public role of LGBT people.
     
    #5 Aussie792, Jan 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  6. Kodo

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    This is a very well-put analysis that I can agree with.

    In short, I will echo previous posters in saying that it honestly depends on the circumstance of LGBT portrayal. It is important to be truthful and accurate. And just like how movies have a plethora of examples of absurd and inane heterosexual relationships, the same exists for depictions of homosexual relationships (though seemingly in greater proportion). And the mere mention of homosexuality in a character, without showing a relationship, can also easily be mishandled by making either too little or too much of it. A happy medium with a strong grasp on authenticity is needed.
     
    #6 Kodo, Jan 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  7. purplewolf6

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    Depends. I like that we are gaining more representation but I'm all for diversity too. Not all gay guys are camp and most lesbians don't hate men either(First stereotype more prevalent imho). In the end, we need to be the change we want to see and support the roles we feel display us accurately. Positively and Negatively.

    Don't get me wrong, we all fall to stereotypes here and there but one personality doesn't cover a whole gender/sexuality.
     
  8. Creativemind

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    Related to the hate men thing, I honestly see more lesbian characters who are forced to like men in a sexual/romantic way. The whole ends up with a man in the end thing. And that's what I don't like.

    Because most of this is pandering to sexist straight men, not to the LGBT community.
     
  9. Jellal

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    I am unimpressed and unexcited about mere "representation." Like, OK, your show has gays in it. But is it good? Are they good characters? Are they interesting? Do they feel like real people?

    If the answer is yes to all those things, then there's no problem. In the end good storytelling is what matters most. I've seen cases where people who are extremely skeptical (even more than myself) about the "necessity of inclusion/representation" in movies will put every last one of their complaints aside if the end product is strong. (And besides, don't you want to be 'represented' in something that's actually good? I see it as a matter of priorities.)
     
  10. Bolt35

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    It's a matter of opinion and perspective for me. Some people are going to feel a bit indifferent about it because there's not enough representation for them to relate to. Maybe there's too much of the typical stereotype gay man that everyone so often recognizes, or the butch lesbian that ride motorcycles and dons elvis style. Others will just say that it's enough for people to be slow exposed and adjusted to the fact that we do exist and that this is who we are. I think as we gain more representation, there will be a lot more people that will complain about it not being accurately well, but hey, it's the media, they like to fabricate reality. It's a bit better than having just straight characters all the time in the media, and with LGBT being intergrated, it's refreshing and reminds us that there are a lot more to the world, then just a boy and girl falling in love with each other. it's better than what it was back when you have to go underground just to see a glimpse of what the LGBT community was now.
     
  11. An Gentleman

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    Is the character a well developed character in their own right? Good! Being LGBT as well is icing on the cake, and one that I'd be happy about.
    Are they just there for the sake of having an LGBT character? Are they yet another tired stereotype? Then I'd be annoyed. Tokenism usually makes things worse, not better.
     
  12. tranonymous

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    As long as they aren't portrayed in a negative way, then I think it's a good thing.
    I'd prefer to have well meaning but not quite spot on representation, then have no representation or have negative representation.