Blog Archives

Homophobes Gone Wild

Homophobes are always in the news, and their antics are becoming less tolerable by the minute. Over the last couple of years, the entertainment industry has been at the forefront of battling for equal rights and against homophobia. While TV shows do this through the creating more diverse characters, sometimes entertainment institutions and entertainers  use their business savvy to put a halt to homophobia.  Here is a short list of homophobes being held accountable for their actions.

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Sending the Wrong Message

Naya Rivera, actress behind Glee’s Santana Lopez, one of the most high profile lesbian characters on TV, is dating in a very public fashion, the misogynistic, (homophobic) rapper, Big Sean.  (I can hear the groaning from here, but stick with me. This is important. Also please note, the focus here is Naya and how her actions are perceived and the much larger problem they represent.)

As is usually the case with an actor, especially actors who play LGBT characters, the actor behind favorite characters become just as special to the fans as the character themselves. Naya Rivera, because of Glee, has become one of these beloved actors, and she has, until now, returned the favor.

In interviews and the causes she supports, like GLAAD and the Trevor Project, has stated the importance of Santana’s role for the LGBT community and been incredibly supportive of the community.  As a matter of fact, Naya’s popularity and career exploded once Santana began her journey to come out and love Brittany on Glee.

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Up Close and Personal with GLAAD

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) administers a “Network Responsibility Survey”, which looks at, among other information, how the general public feels about the LGBT community. GLAAD then goes a step further and asks how many of those people’s opinions were influenced by LGBT characters they had seen on TV.  Every time that question is asked, the majority of people answer that, indeed, LGBT characters have influenced their thoughts on the subject.

GLAAD Logo

GLAAD, as an organization, bases its goals and projects on the truth and reality that TV shapes public opinion:

What people see in the media has a huge impact on how they treat others, how they vote and their perceptions. GLAAD bring stories to national audiences and to local communities through the media that build understanding and acceptance.  LGBT people are an important part of our culture. By showcasing the common ground we all share, GLAAD helps Americans embrace their gay and transgender family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors.”

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Mia Kirshner on Representation

Mia Kirshner, the actress behind Jenny Schecter on The L Word had the following to say in a recent interview with AfterEllen about lesbian and bisexual representation on network television:

“Yes, I’m still not comfortable with the portrayal of gay women on television, especially network television. We’ve still got a long way to go. Hopefully, it’ll change. Gay women are such a diverse community; there’s so much to explore, so many stories to tell. It doesn’t have to stop at coming out stories. Those are important, of course, but there’s so much more. And I think TV is really the only medium that infiltrates people’s homes, so seeing those portrayals of gay and bisexual women extinguishes all sorts of hate and ignorance toward gay people. I think TV has a duty to show these stories, these complicated and diverse stories.”

Mia Kirshner

Thank you, Mia Kirshner!

A New Approach

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, reflecting, reading, listening and talking recently about Brittana, Glee and the ongoing battle of the fans.  And you know what? It might be time for testing a new approach.

The traditional model of fighting for equality involves just that; a lot of fighting.  Everything from advocating for government change through rallies and protests, all the way to TV and boycotting advertisers, or letter writing campaigns.  That’s what the model looks like; something isn’t right, we take up our pitch forks and picket signs and fight like hell.

But equality is most likely not won by fighting alone.  That’s part of the reason culture changes more from TV than anything else. People develop an attachment to or understanding of their favorite characters.  Sometimes those characters are lesbian, gay, or otherwise different from ourselves, and we extend our new found love of those characters to a new found acceptance of real life people similar to those characters.

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Rainbow Fandoms Ship Passion – And Win

I have a theory; a highly unscientific, observational and unabashedly biased theory.   It has to do with why fandoms of TV lesbian couples have a tendency to dominate in the world of online shipping.  (I guess the same goes for gay couples, but sorry, not really my focus here.)  I have an example for you…

So, E! is having their annual shipping tournament across all TV couples.  The initial round started with 64 of the most nominated TV couples.  (These had to be well established canon couples at some point.)  Couples are pitted against each other in pairs and then voted on by fans.  The couple with the highest percentage of votes in each bracket advances to the next round.  The tournament is currently on the 3rd round, which closes this Sunday, and is down to only 16 couples.

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Glee – The Great Inequality Continues

Glee is just pushing all the wrong inequality buttons.  Back to Twitter for this one…

The official Glee Twitter account, @GLEEonFOX, has so far posted two fan favorite couple teasers, complete with photos about their journeys as couples.  One for Finn and Rachel (Finchel) and one for Kurt and Blaine (Klaine).

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Brittana Fans Launch a Counter Attack on Glee

Glee is not a show unfamiliar to fan uproars, outrages and campaigning via social media, and I will probably write a lot about it.  The various divisions of the Glee fandom have a HUGE, LOUD social media presence.  This time, fans are going after the double standards for queer women on the show as displayed in a recent episode of Glee titled, “Swan Song” (Season 04, Episode 09).

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