Gay men in media


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Researchers, advocates, and policymakers, and producers should take into account how cultural contact through media can shape opinions and values, even across national borders. Television, film, radio and the Internet remain powerful socializing mechanisms through which younger generations come into contact with previously invisible minorities. In making our case, we do not wish to minimize the contributions of direct, interpersonal contacts to processes of attitude change. Indeed, our data may show joint effects from media contacts and personal contacts.

Another route for change may have occurred as new media portrayals increased the interpersonal visibility of gay and lesbian people and the likelihood that they would come out and openly reveal their identities to friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

Approaching Queerness in Media

Importantly, we are not arguing that enhanced visibility generated by the media always improves the lived experiences of gay and lesbian people. It depends on the context and exact media content. Media portrayals may arrive in contexts already somewhat open to gay and lesbian people, or in contexts where discrimination and hostility hold sway. In addition, given media portrayal can highlight more or less sensational or controversial aspects of gay life, and indeed often neglects the broad array of issues experienced by members of this diverse community. The takeaway of our research is that as the liberalization of attitudes towards gays and lesbians has occurred in many countries across the globe since the s, change has been encouraged in part by communications climates — within and across nations — that allow for the free transmission of minority viewpoints.

Yet gaps in tolerance and freedom of expression remain between free countries and those that restrict the sharing of controversial content or minority viewpoints. To close gaps in tolerance and cultural change, movements and leaders must encourage various forms of media to tell more accurate stories about lesbian and gay people. Promoting a more inclusive and representative depiction of queer people in the media may expand tolerance toward all kinds of stigmatized minorities, even across national boundaries.

At the beginning of HIV epidemic, in many countries gay men and other men who have sex with men were frequently singled out for abuse as they were seen to be responsible for the transmission of HIV. Sensational reporting in the press, which became increasingly homophobic, fuelled this view. LGBT people face specific challenges and barriers, including violence, human right violations, stigma and discrimination. Moreover, research has shown that men who have sex with men may exhibit less health-seeking behaviour and have greater levels of depression, anxiety and substance misuse because of stigma they face 6 For example, a study published in on men who have sex with men in China found that depression experienced by Chinese men who have sex with men due to community norms and feelings of self-stigma around homosexuality directly affected HIV testing uptake.

A global study in found that young men who have sex with men experience higher levels of homophobia than older men who have sex with men, and also face greater obstructions to HIV services, housing and employment security. Interestingly, participants in the study who reported higher levels of engagement with the gay community were significantly more likely to have had an HIV test and received the result; to have participated in HIV prevention programmes and, for those living with HIV, were significantly more likely to be retained in care, giving them higher odds of viral suppression.

The study cites evidence of HIV-positive men who have sex with both men and women yet avoid affiliation with the LGBT community out of fear of homophobia.

It argues that innovative strategies are needed to engage non-gay-or-bisexual-identifying men who have sex with men in HIV testing programmes without exacerbating experiences of stigma and discrimination. A large proportion of men who have sex with men in both West and Central Africa and East and Southern Africa also engage in heterosexual sex, often with wives or other long-term female partners. The provision of HIV services that are specific to the needs of LGBT people remains inadequate in many countries, as the needs of people from these groups are not given priority by governments.

As a result, these groups have very limited access to specialised programmes, even in comparison with other key populations such as people who inject drugs and sex workers. Despite the important number of countries repealing laws that discriminate against LGBT people, same-sex sexual acts were illegal in 73 countries and five entities as of June This is a decrease from 92 in Such criminalisation can deter men who have sex with men from seeking out HIV prevention, testing, treatment and other services when they need them.

Societal opinions about the acceptance of homosexuality vary between regions, with acceptance prominent in North America , Western Europe and most of Latin America. Secular countries, as opposed to religious countries, are more accepting of homosexuality. The first year findings included responses from 54 countries and revealed strong regional differences.

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Gays and Lesbians in the Media - Communication - Oxford Bibliographies

This is because stigma and discrimination based on sexual orientation and identity can result in fewer earnings, and fewer employment opportunities, for people who are LGBT, which results in less money going towards a country's gross domestic product GDP. The barriers to health care faced by people who are LGBT, coupled with violence and mental health issues experienced by this population due to homophobia, can also cut short the number of years LGBT people are able to work, which again affects GDP.

The closer the HCI is to 1. Public campaigns have proven successful in reaching large numbers of people with messages challenging homophobia. This marked the beginning of the Gay Pride movement and the explosion of hundreds of Gay Pride events that celebrate people who identify as LGBT in order to combat the stigma and discrimination that arises from homophobia. InterPride, which represents Pride organisers around the world, estimates that more than Gay Pride events take place each year.

Increasingly, Pride events are being held in countries with explicitly hostile environments for LGBT people. For example, Pride events began in Rwanda and Jamaica in and , respectively. For example, in May Crimea passed legislation which effectively prohibits any public displays of LGBT activities, which resulted in the banning of Crimea Pride in August LGBT organisations in Uganda have been holding Pride events since , which include a lesbian and bisexual night, a transgender beauty pageant and the distribution of lubricants and condoms in Kampala.

Reading lives, reading cultures.

New York Univ. Whereas most work on queer representations focuses on film, video, and television, this edited volume delves into some of the lesser-explored areas of representation of homosexuality, including literature and photography and the other visual arts. Dyer, Richard, ed.

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Gays and film. New York Zoetrope. Originally published in Dyer, a British film theorist, is responsible for some of the earliest and best work on representations of gay men and lesbians in film. This volume is critical, as it argues for a special relationship between gays and the cinema that extends beyond simple representations.

How the Media Has Helped Change Public Views about Lesbian and Gay People

Dyer, Richard. Now you see it: Studies on lesbian and gay film. As the title implies, this work examines some often-forgotten examples of lesbians and gays in film. More important, Dyer looks at the intricacies of gay and lesbian cultural production. Gross, Larry. Up from invisibility: Lesbians, gay men, and the media in America.

Why TV shows have better gay characters than movies

Between Men—between Women. Columbia Univ. Gross is one of the most well-known scholars studying sexual minorities and the media, and this book is a culmination of his theories and insights on the topic. Easily readable, the book draws on cultivation theory of which Gross was very involved, alongside George Gerbner and poses serious questions about just how far images of gay men and lesbians have come since the gay liberation movement of the midth century. Gross, Larry, and James D.

The impact of "media contact" on attitudes toward gay men.

Woods, eds. The Columbia reader on lesbians and gay men in media, society, and politics. Although not focused exclusively on media representations, this sprawling edited volume, with more than one hundred entries, provides excellent historical perspectives on how the media are inseparable from politics, culture, and most other aspects of gay liberation. Excerpts from early news publications are particularly useful in understanding the historical trajectory of gay and lesbian representations.

Russo, Vito.