How Heteronormativity And Media Stereotypes On Queer People Express Their Sexualities

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How heteronormativity and media stereotypes influences how queer people express their sexualities
Vanessa Gomes
Ryerson University

“Who is the man in the relationship?” “Who tops or bottoms?” These questions have become a fundamental part in queer people’s lives. Why do non queer people need for queer people and their relationships to imitate heternormative heterosexual ones to understand them? Why are all lesbian women portrayed as butch, and all gay men as flamboyant? Do these ideas being reinforced over and over affect how queer people view their own sexuality? When our society is
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In media, queer men and women are almost always portrayed in stereotypical roles, and bisexuality is almost always expressed as a phase or not real. These ideas affect how others view queer identities and how queer people view their own identity, and the social norms around them. Men are commonly described as “feminine” whilst women are portrayed as “masculine” (Tara Sarper, 2013). How did these widespread ideas come to exist and how do they continue to affect members of the community? These stereotypes can be harmful as they build a picture of what it means to be a certain sexuality, as well as the heteronormativity behind the stereotype. We often see queer people in relationships being asked who’s the dominant one, the man in the relationship, the top, etc. These ideas come from a heteronormative society that puts harmful misogynistic norms even in relationships where women might not be present. Where does the overwhelming pressure for there to be a “man” or “top” in the relationship come from, and why are those two associated with each other? Since same sex relationships go against the norm in society, society still puts pressure on heternormative ideas to be present in them. If two men decide they want to be exclusively a bottom or top, dominant or submissive, in either their sexual relationship or in their general dynamic, that is their choice and right to do so. However, a social constructionist would say
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