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The media is becoming widespread with the dawn of each and every day. We are living in a global world where information is imperative. The world of technology has offered the entire world to our proximity right at the bottom of our feet through a mere click of a button. We are living in a world surrounded by the media showing air brushed woman creature, good looking men, and ideal families and so on. The media has been in the fore front educating and informing the society on issues related to it. Everywhere we look these days, we cannot avoid the subject of homosexuality (Media Awareness Network). It is in the in the movies, magazines, television shows, books, in the news and as we have in the recent past seen, in politics. Being a minority faction, homosexuals are seen very different in the society. Since the media has a lot of impact in the way gays are perceived, it is very imperative that these stereotypes are viewed to understand the different messages they send. Thus, this essay asserts that, while many people think being gay is not a problem, there are some who still believe that it is unnatural and immoral as purported through media.
A number of the concepts of reality are completely ridiculous although they get individuals to settle down and pay great attention. People want to come up with programs which would capture the minds of people just to earn money. This is what we can call agenda setting theory practices. Agenda setting is the formation of a public awareness together with concern over salient matters through the mass media. Two elementary assumptions underlying many agenda setting scenarios include: the media and the press who do not show reality but instead filter information and shape it to conform to a particular preconceived idea and; the concentration of media on some few matters and subjects which automatically makes the public look at them as important subjects. With all the incompatible perceptions floating around concerning homosexuals, various stereotypes and portrayals are evident everywhere (Homosexuality in the media). Such exhibitions send intentional and involuntary messages to the individuals witnessing them, thus molding the way people look at the gays.
In recent times, homosexuality has been very visible in media platforms. Politics and elections in the United States recently played a big role in the way homosexuality was represented in the media. Candidates had a subject of legalizing homosexuals and gay marriages. People could vote in support of a legitimate amendment that would prohibit gay marriage or they could vote against it. There has been a lot of controversy in U.S. elections mainly where the subject of homosexuality has been involved. The media has contributed a lot in the debate over homosexuality. It has gone further in developing the perception that homosexuality was a significant ethical and moral issue. Homosexuality has been portrayed as a major issue that needs to be addressed. The act was dehumanized in a manner that made the public to forget everything concerning the gay community (Media Awareness Network). The constant coverage of the media concerning the rights of gay activists among other persons made the issue of homosexuality a highly contested subject. Moreover, homosexuality has ended up being a main determinate in politics, along with several other moral issues.
The present generation has brought about different changes to the ever developing world. Homosexuality has been considered as a taboo topic. Maybe, the greatest reason has been due to the rise of new TV shows featuring gay people (Connolly 1-18). Relationships and homosexuality are increasingly prevalent as a result of evolving mass media coverage. The first reality TV show to demonstrate a homosexual's life was MTV’s “The Real World” in 1992. This was initially seen as a shock. All the same, a close relationship of the viewers with the male cast member made them realize that they were typical individuals. Television shows also endeavor to exhibit that they do not all the time stereotype homosexuals. Due to the acceptance as seen in television shows, the homosexuals’ casting in different reality TV shows has increased. At present, there are many TV shows on key stations with a cast of homosexual as the main show character. This proves that homosexuals are not merely on their path to absolute acceptance, but in addition to the fact that individuals are ready to celebrate them for their bravery and openness.
With all of the present coverage of media on homosexuals, it comes as no surprise that many more gay-themed movies and characters are coming out from Hollywood. These movies and characters usually tend to completely personify the stereotypes of homosexuals that exist in the modern society (Ribeiro par. 2-5). Most of the gay-themed movies have moved through to the lime-light and homosexual characters are emerging in great numbers of mainstream movies. There are different messages that can be seen by way of looking closely at these characters and movies about homosexuals. Even though gay stereotypes are coming up in the movie industry, the generated stereotypes are very disparate from one another. The movies with gay themes usually create an image of homosexuals while movies in the mainstream appear to paint a completely different image (Media Awareness Network). Gays are demonstrated in what can be perceived to be negative means in a number of movies and in others the characteristics of the gays are emphasized in a good way.
Mainstream movies in modern times normally do not include many gay characters. With the inclusion of many minor, homosexual characters, countless stereotypes flourish in the mainstream movies. Regrettably, mainstream movies usually emphasize on the negative stereotype that have previously been generated through society, thus enhancing the effect they have on the views of individuals towards homosexuals (Media Awareness Network). The focus of the movies on surface-level facets of homosexuals like the manner in which they act, talk and look. In most cases, the movies do not dwell on deeper areas of such movie characters, thus sending the message that homosexuals are one-dimensional.
With all the conflicting stereotypes of homosexuals in contemporary movies, it is very imperative that people move back and observe the larger picture. They must look some of the lesser-known movies with homosexual themes so they get a more authentic look at gays. In most cases, people endeavor to peg gays as definitively acting out one or several ways, and in the event that we merely see movies that carry on stereotypes than our individual ideas of homosexual conduct will most certainly remain. Alternatively, it is imperative for people to have an understanding that, apart from those they sleep with, homosexuals are not different from other people (Homosexuality in the media).
With all the external stereotypes on gays out there, it is imperative to look at some other internal stereotypes also. Mainstream magazines on homosexuals are good sources to show how gays represent themselves in media. It is imperative to understand that such magazines are aimed towards homosexuals and are, in most cases, produced by homosexuals. There are a broad range of homosexual magazines but the most prevalent ones are such that emphasize mainly on homosexual men. Just like other kinds of media, homosexual magazines generate awfully disparate stereotypes. On one occasion, homosexual are shown as wild, party animals, sexy and on another side they are presented as cultured and intelligent political motivators. In essence, such stereotypes are merely how a small group of homosexuals desire to be presented. Magazines portray disparate homosexual images. The message send still send conflicting messages just like in other media platforms. However, while such stereotypes may be true in certain people of the homosexual community, they do not portray the entire gay population. Radio media also airs its own views which negatively portray homosexuals as immoral beings. All the same, there are those who have different views over the radio. It is however good o remember that even if gays present themselves in a particular way, it does not necessarily mean that it is the way homosexuals are (Griswold par. 3-9).
By looking at all the various portrayals and stereotypes generated through different media channels, optimistically we can all come to understand better the influence of media on the way society sees homosexuals. We are continuously being given completely different views of homosexuals, which takes many people to wonder which portrayal is the best. Maybe, all portrayals could be factual and correct. Indeed, some homosexual men can be considered feminine and some lesbians can be considered masculine. However, the same thing can be said of all heterosexual women and men altogether. We can unanimously agree that some homosexual men are sexually active, trendy and vain. All the same, it is in this contemporary consumer-driven society that defines a big portion of the population. These are the facts, so the reader can decide. The media has mainly portrayed a negative image of homosexuals delineating them from other groups. After all, if any other group of individuals and particularly the minorities, we can yet see all the different behaviors and personalities that are present in the given group. Thus, it is irrational and normally detrimental to stereotype a group as particularly being different in one or two ways. The fact remains that we are all different and stereotypes are merely small pieces for each individual. As a society, we should overlook such negative views and stereotypes if we will really appreciate the diversity in the human race.