Thoughts on the lack of queer representation in the media
One thing I’ve learned over time is that it’s often the little conversations with people that really make you think. I was sitting on the couch in one of my friend’s houses after a particularly lazy weekend filled with a sheer never ending supply of movies and TV shows, when one of my friends remarked that she had never seen an asexual character on TV before.
I agreed with her because yeah, I had never seen one either but didn’t think too much about her commenting about it until I got home later that evening. I understood that the reason why she pointed it out was that she identifies as asexual herself. And while there’s the occasional gay sidekick on a show, featuring an asexual character is not a thing most TV producers would do. I also understood that if there had ever been any representation of an ace character on mainstream media before, she may have had figured her sexuality out a lot sooner and it would have been a lot less scary.
The reason why the representation of minorities in the mainstream media incredibly important, and it goes way beyond me being completely bored by watching the same old white-straight relationship drama over and over again.
Picture a young boy in front of the TV, watching their favorite show. A character on that show has two dad’s instead of a mum and a dad. The boy watches it and grows up without thinking that his family is not normal.
Imagine a fourteen year old girl sitting on her bed, watching the ‘Princess Diaries’ for the first time. All she can think about is how much rather she’d be with Anne Hathaway than Chris Pine and she’s scared out of her mind because obviously she can’t be lesbian. She wants children, wants to get married and has only ever been crushing on boys before. She’s never even heard the term ‘pansexuality’ before.
A boy that’s always been ridiculously close with his best friend. Years later, when they haven’t spoken to each other in months and he’s more hurt about it than he’d ever like to admit, he thinks about what may have happened if he hadn’t ruled being in love with him out right away.
Imagine my 21 year old friend seeing an asexual character on TV for the first time after having struggled with her sexuality for ages.
I’m not saying that some healthy representation in the media will completely normalize queerness in our society, just like a court rule allowing us a piece of paper will fix all of our problems. Not when people are still scared to hold each others hands in public and when my chancellor is denying people their right to get married because she has a bad feeling about it.
There will always be narrow minded people and as much as I’d like it to, no TV show or book can simply change that. But if it helps struggling young people finding themselves, I’m all in for it.
In times like these, and until we have full equality in all countries, it’s all about standing proud and strong and most importantly together.
You are not alone:
US: (877) 565-8860
Canada: (877) 330-6366
The Trevor Project (LGBT+ Lifeline) (America):
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (America):
1800 184 527
030-44 01 06 07 (English)
(International Helpline Berlin)
0800 1110 111
0800 1110 222
Videos to watch:
Having Pride (Thomas Sanders)
Chosen Family: Stories of Queer Resilience (Tyler Oakley)
Heaven (Troye Sivan)
Coming out (Connor Franta)
Coming out (Troye Sivan)
Dustin Lance Black & Tom Daley Send A Message From London! (Tom Daley)
So Proud! | When We Rise! (Tom Daley)