civil rights movements among african americans B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e
I’m working on a communications discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
Overview of the topic
Sexuality (or sexual orientation) refers broadly to an individual’s physical and/or emotional attraction to a person of the same or opposite sex. LGBTQ, which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning), has become the common shorthand to inclusively reference this diverse set of sexuality and gender-based identities. Historically, many have been intolerant of homosexual, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Media has played a role in both perpetuating and resisting this state of affairs. While there has been an increase in LGBTQ representation in the media since the late 1990s, there are still very few prominent LGBT characters in the mainstream media.
Media creates meanings about sexuality (or sexual orientation) and plays an important role in the way we understand the role sexuality plays in our identities, our history, our social institutions, and our everyday lives.
Sexuality (or sexual orientation) refers broadly to an individual’s physical and/or emotional attraction to a person of the same or opposite sex and is typically broken into identity categories. These categories include gay and lesbian (those attracted to the same sex), heterosexual (those attracted to the opposite sex), and bisexual (those attracted to both sexes). LGBTQ, which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning), has become the common shorthand to inclusively reference this diverse set of sexuality and gender-based identities and communities.
When we discuss sexual orientation, it’s important to note that we’re not talking about someone’s sex (male, female, intersex) or gender (masculine, feminine, transgender, non-binary) specifically. In many instances, however, sexual orientation, sex, and gender get conflated and confused. The terms transgender and queer also complicate the picture, because they do not refer to sexual orientation, but instead are used as umbrella terms. Transgender describes individuals whose gender identity does not match their sex (e.g. a female who identifies as masculine or as a man). Queer (which originally had derogatory connotations) refers loosely to all the non-heterosexual groups listed above (LGBT). The term is also used to underscore the fact that gender and sexual orientation are fluid and should not be rigidly categorized. Echoing this sentiment about fluidity, the “Q” in LGBTQ further can indicate a “questioning” or uncertainty about one’s gender, sexuality, or sexual orientation.
Historically, many societies have been intolerant of individuals who do not adhere to heterosexual norms. LGBT individuals have been persecuted as criminals or labeled mentally ill simply because they were “different”; they have been (and still are in many cases) classified as different, abnormal, or wrong. The bias, fear, and hatred of LGBTQ individuals (also called homophobia) largely stems from culturally constructed ideas of what is “normal.” These ideas often reflect assumptions and biases about what is morally “right” and a desire to uphold the values (or ideologies) associated with the traditional nuclear family.
Beliefs, social policies, laws and even media representations that work from the assumption that straight is normal, “right,” or the way things should be are often called heterosexist or heteronormative. These terms help to explain why individuals who do not fit the norm (i.e. who are not straight or heterosexual) may be marginalized, invisible, or rejected altogether.
The historical prevalence of homophobia and heterosexist norms has informed the way we see and understand LGBTQ individuals in a simplistic binary in relation to their straight counterparts. The binary positions “straight” as normal and right, while relegating LGBTQ to abnormal and wrong. Historically, the straight category has been valued over LGBTQ, yet this does not mean that straight individuals are (or should be) superior to LGBTQ individuals. Organizations and grassroots movements have attempted to address this lopsided value system since at least the 1960s, and have worked to establish LGBTQ rights in social, political, and economic spheres. Specifically, these groups have challenged homophobic and heterosexist norms and the resultant discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. The 1969 Stonewall Riots are seen by many as a foundational moment in the history of LGBTQ civil rights in America. Paralleling other civil rights movements among African Americans and feminists as well as anti-Vietnam protests during the same period, the Stonewall Riots called attention to the regular targeting and raiding of popular gay establishments by New York City police. The riots became a symbolic rallying cry for the acceptance of openly gay individuals. They also inspired a burgeoning gay liberation movement, which continues to tackle change at both grassroots as well as legislative levels.
Master of None is a dramatic comedy created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang for Netflix, which stars Ansari as Dev Shah, a 30-year-old actor living in New York City. This clip from Master of None intercuts two coming out scenes. In one scene, Denise, a black lesbian, comes out to Dev as a child, and, in the other, she comes out to her mother as an adult. Dev’s accepting attitude is contrasted with her mother’s disappointment.
– Compare Dev’s reaction to Denise’s mother’s reaction. How are they different? How can we tell based on their conversation, facial expressions, body language?
– Why do you think Denise’s mother is disappointed? How does she show it?
– How does this scene highlight the difficulties of coming out in the black community? Do you think this scene play out differently if Denise were a black man? A white woman?
– How does this scene compare to other coming out scenes you’ve seen in movies, television or online?
– Do you see and identify patterns in the representation of LGBTQ people in the media?
– How are the stereotypes of LGBTQ people being presented in the scenes? And how is the reaction of the environment to the characters own coming out?
– Do you notice specific representations and stereotypes in the characters? Are they accurate? Can we challenge those stereotypes without hurting the cultural backgrounds of certain groups?
– What are YOUR ideologies (ways of seeing) tied to identity groups (how do you see certain people with different sexual orientations) and what is the role media (on-screen and behind-the-scenes) plays in shaping those ideologies?