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Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

LGBTQ: representation that matters

33June 26, 2015 marked an important date for many in the United States. It was on this day when the U.S officially legalized gay marriage across the nation. Various couples rejoiced and planned their weddings right away, celebrating that they no longer have to be wed in secret. However, even after the legalization of gay marriage, has discrimination towards the LGBTQ community changed at all?

Many still scoff at the idea of same-sex relationships, mainly those who are strictly religious. There have still been cases of those who identify themselves as part of the LGBT community facing discrimination, such as when a gay couple was rejected from having a wedding cake made for them.

This can cause the younger generation to be fearful to come out to their family and friends. Additionally, LGBTQ characters in shows have often been characterized in a stereotypical fashion, such as gay men being overly feminine or lesbian women being overly tomboyish, when this isn’t the case for every gay man or woman out there. It is essential that people start to showcase the fact that people who identify with the LGBTQ community are just normal people as well.

A great example of a positive gay character is shown in the movie “Love, Simon”, which follows the journey of a male teenager who comes to realize he’s gay. It shows us his internal struggle and the outright blackmail or bullying which potentially comes when one admits their sexuality being anything other than heterosexual.

The movie also follows his battle with accepting himself and coming out to his intimate family, which allows our own family and friends to become more sympathetic towards their children or peers who are gay.

Recently, there has been a rise in showcasing LGBTQ characters in various famous cartoons, movies, and shows. A very popular example, though subtle, was recognized in the movie Frozen when the innkeeper, Oaken, was shown to be married to a man. This moment in the movie brought a positive response from many and was a big victory to celebrate, knowing that Disney is one of the biggest animation studios worldwide.

Another prime example takes place in Legend of Korra, a Nickelodeon animated show and sequel to the well-known Avatar: The Last Airbender. This proved to be one of the biggest accomplishments as the main character, Korra, is shown as bisexual and at the end of the series is shown kissing another essential female secondary character. It is heavily implied that they end up dating as well.

Gillian Geist, an openly pansexual senior at Pleasant Valley High School, stated “I feel that there is minimal representation of LGBTQ characters and characters who are lgbt in tv shows typically fall victim to inaccurate stereotypes. I also think that shows use characters who are or may become lgbt for views”. She stated that queerbaiting is a very real problem in modern media, and that it’s important that there are more gay or trans characters being featured in television.

The recent rise of LGBTQ representation in media nowadays proves to be a positive influence, as it’ll give young children who identify with the community someone they can relate to. It also offers inclusivity and takes us one step closer to equality for all–no matter their gender or sexual orientation.

 

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Haleema Waheed, Copy Editor
My name is Haleema Waheed and I am a of the Copy Editors for the Spartan Shield. I have a passion for the arts and enjoy reading in my spare time as well. I have two brothers, one older and one younger. I look forward to my year on the Spartan Shield team!  
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LGBTQ: representation that matters