Transitioning to a Better State: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

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The LGBT community is a group that often falls victim to negative stereotyping. LGBT is an acronym for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender that categorizes a community of individuals that are a part of the sexual minority (Swain, 2007). One community that falls under the umbrella of the LGBT acronym is the transgender community. This community consists of transgender individuals, a general term to describe those who do not conform to typical gender roles, transsexuals who desire to be recognized as a member of the opposite sex, and transvestites who dress in clothing associated with the opposite gender. Transsexuals are a group that are largely ignored on television, and when they are portrayed they usually belong to roles in which they…show more content…
The punchline character is one in which the transsexual character is recognized as trans, often by exaggerated visual cues, but this recognition is surrounded by jokes and situational comedy related to the character's transition. Along with the major character types, other common stereotypes associated with MTF trans characters are that they are all homosexual, males are overly-feminine before transition, transsexuals are hermaphrodites with both male and female parts, and/or that their desire to transition to the opposite gender is a choice rather than an innate medical condition. The portrayal of characters on television can fall into one of three different categories: assimilation, pluralist, or multicultural. The levels of portrayal were used in one study to determine how African American individuals were depicted on television, but this classification system can by applied to numerous minority groups. In the study, Assimilation indicated that African Americans played characters on a show, yet issues surrounding racial differences were not discussed; pluralist was indicative of a group of African American characters who lived and interacted in a world that functioned parallel to the real world; multicultural defined a level of portrayal where issues surrounding African Americans

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