The LGBT community is never short of stereotypes, from the feminine queens to the butch dykes and slutty bisexuals. In the 60’s and 70’s we had the ever popular ‘Carry on‘ films which saw Kenneth Williams reprise the same role of an incredibly camp, sarcastic man in every addition to the series.
While people continued to love these films well after their release, there was a strong backlash in the 90’s where gay people demanded fair representation of gay characters in the media.
TV shows like ‘Little Britain’ however are still raved about despite having very stereotypical gay characters in them. The characters of Kurt from Glee and Damien from the popular comedy ‘Mean Girls’ are other characters that are still praised despite fitting the classic ‘cliché’ of a gay man with a feminine edge who uses an abundance of catch phrases.
Cut to other films like 2009’s ‘Brüno’ and the even more recent film ‘Stonewall’, the backlash is still very much present. The main reason here is that these films lack the fair representation of the LGBT community.
Some gay men and women argue that the idea of gay characters always having to stand out so flamboyantly from everyone else is exactly what the gay community is trying to move away from. then again, there are others who don’t see the harm in stereotypes and see them only as the humour they were meant to bring to the film and TV.
Look at the phenomenon that is ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’. The show is full of feminine gay men throwing around catchphrases like “fierce queen” and “sickening” while dragging each other and making innuendos at the lusted after ‘pit crew’. While we along with many others love that show, you could argue it does fall into stereotyping gay men… Yet is makes great TV!
What are your thoughts on this kind of issue? Do stereotypes still bother you? Are you indifferent towards them or do you actually enjoy watching them come to life on your TV screens?