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Sexism

Gays Fighting for Accurate, Deeper Roles in Television
© 2004 by Joe Kort. All rights reserved

Finally, gays and lesbians are portrayed in a positive role on television.

After years of being invisible or the subject of jokes, we are now seen as everyday people. Just as other minorities have had to fight for their right to be seen as proper role models and as commonplace, so now the fight comes to show lesbians and gays the same way.

Unfortunately, some people want to return to television when June Cleaver wore pearls while vacuuming.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has been working against the push for a Homosexual Content (HC) label before a television program begins with a gay or lesbian character. Executive director of GLAAD, Joan Garry, said, "The notion of adding a distinct label for 'homosexual content' is clearly based on ignorance and prejudice. Such a label could only serve to stigmatize members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender community by suggesting that something is inherently wrong with them."

Media-driven ministries, such as the Dr. Laura radio show, want to associate gays and lesbians with sex. This serves to fuel those who wish to put the HC label in place.

We are still somewhat portrayed as superficial in the media. GLAAD reports 28 lesbian and gay characters on broadcast and cable networks for the 1999-2000 season, the majority of these in small recurring roles. Gay and lesbian teens deserve to be shown with the wholeness they have, instead of feeling shamed and attacked. New ideas often frighten people.

No longer do people do their homework, but instead make instant decisions. Media-driven ministries continually quote sources that were written before gays and lesbians risked - or were permitted - to write about our own lives. The truth needs to come from the source.

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