LGTBQ Community: An Analysis

Decent Essays

The struggle is real for blacks. Things must suck even more for women. Shoot, think about how much life blows for gays. Now imagine being all three. For now, we’ll call this the good ole triple negative. Gay, black, and female are the least benefitted sexual identities, ethnicities, and genders. Benefits in this context refer to rights and privileges (equal pay and representation) in society compared to the opposite: straight white male. A big chuck of this is a result of our (me, identifying as a triple negative) position in society, unseen and when seen subordinate to our male counterparts. This invisibility isn’t by chance and if one looks hard enough, figuratively speaking, these absences become almost obvious. There is a clear downfall …show more content…

It was the late 1990’s when one superstar took that power back, even if it was more for herself than the gay community; that superstar being Ellen DeGeneres. It was 1997 when the sitcom Ellen featured an episode with an entirely new twist. The main character, Ellen Morgan, came out as gay on an episode late that year. In that time of history gay culture wasn’t part of many discussions, evident since the network went back and forth on whether or not to air the content. They were presumably aware of the power their media had on the public and what seeing a minority group might insinuate. But Ellen did it anyway. She went on later to explain how free and liberated she felt being out about her sexuality. Yet what was really happened here was Ellen got back the power she didn’t previously have. LGBTQ communities were rendered powerless because they were never visible but the second Ellen came out on the platform that the world tuned into, she gained that power back. She was seen and heard and now everyone knew. There was no hiding in the same way the media hid gay culture. “Foucault’s claim…to enter the confession ritual may be seemingly to escape from one power relation only to enter another (Dow 127). Even though representations may not always be accurate, this example of Ellen shows that even a little representation can give one and his or her community power; an aspect often …show more content…

Winston Napier successfully introduces this interaction; “If the sexualities of black women have been shaped by silence, erasure, and invisibility in dominant discourse, then are black lesbian sexualities doubly silence?”(Napier 486). The answer is yes. In 2015, black queer characters shared only 16% of television space, but this is inclusive of black men and women. And since black men are represented more than black women, that number grows even smaller. This shouldn’t be too surprising since gay culture wasn’t booming on primetime television this time ten years ago. LGBTQ characters currently only make up 4% of the characters on primetime television. Black people already struggle to be represented on television anyway. Then you dwindle down into the struggle of black females trying to find an image of straight black women in the media they can relate to, so imagine finding fellow queer ones. “Blacks are far more likely than Whites to identify with Black characters (Collin 292). Yet we do not have that, especially not in gay culture. But maybe that’s not a bad thing. Black female spectators only have such a unique position in this grand scheme of visibility because they aren’t seen on screen very often. A unique position can be established here as well. The place for black queer female spectators is even

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