Last week's topic on sexuality in the media was very interesting in light of all of the media coverage of NBA player Jason Collins coming out, opening conversations about gays in the public sphere. When we watched the video Celluloid Closet last week, I was surprised that the sexuality of gays was present in the black and white films. I was disturbed with the portrayal of gays as films as with many of the other films we have watched in class. In our class discussion, the question of whether or not it is better to have bad representation or no representation at all still hangs over the class discussion every week.
In this case, I think it is better to have bad representation of gays than no representation at all. In the film, one of the commentators said that she would search for any discreet signs to show the character was gay even though that may not have been the intention from the screenwriters. By having no representation of gays in the media, it would be dangerous because it would be justifying the invisibility of many gays out there like they don’t exist. The media reflect the society’s culture and so having visibility of the gays in the film industry is very important for the millions of gays out there who look for someone they can identify with, even if the character is a bad guy/woman.
In this week’s reading, “News Media Suck at Reporting Transwomen”, I was really shocked about the violent attacks from gay men towards the transwomen. I assumed that the gays and transsexuals would generally get along and know that they are on the same team to fight for rights, equality, against prejudice, etc. I am curious to know why there is such a lack of solidarity in the LGBT community towards the transsexuals and since this was written back in 2009, if it had gotten any better. Amongst the many different women we have studied in class, transwomen have to be, in my opinion, the least visible and represented in the media. However, I do think that very slowly, more people are exposed to transwomen in the media because there is always a “shocking” story on a talk show or in an interview about a transwoman who feels like they are trapped in the wrong body.