Study: Screen Gays are Stereotypes
Seventy-per cent of the 1,705 people surveyed by Harris Interactive said that films tend to focus on gay people having problems rather than being everyday people.
And 63 per cent said that gay characters are too often defined by their sexual orientation.
I have a bit of a beef with accusations of stereotyping. As I see it, you can have a Camp Man in a film provided that’s not all that he is. And you can have an Angry Lesbian in a film too, but there has to be more to her than that. I feel like every time there’s an effeminate gay man in a film or on television, people immediately shout, “stereotype” regardless of how good the character is.
Overall, in the study, LGB respondents were more likely to be unhappy with the representation of gays in film, which makes sense, because we’re the ones most likely to care.
To be perfectly honest, the characters I though were least stereotypical (the lesbians from The Kids are Alright) angered me the most. They were bad people. Mean to each other. Ridiculously clueless parents. And while A Single Man didn’t include any actually camp characters, George is pretty much defined by his problems (which are made worse because he is gay), but I think that film comes across as genius.
Do you agree with the findings of this study? Which characters in film made a good or bad impression on you?
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