(September 30, 2017)
Media can be a force that shapes the way we understand the world. The news, movies, and television shows we watch all contribute to societal norms, such as those about the LGBTQ community. This isn’t always a bad thing — but it can be. Portrayals of gay and trans lives, for example, are often difficult to find. When they do exist, they are often littered with stereotypes.
The media don’t exist in a vacuum — things that are seen on screen often influence things in the real world. Increased visibility of LGBTQ people in the media has happened alongside a series of positive changes for the LGBTQ community.
In this episode, Outcaster Callie interviews Larry Gross, a professor of communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. He is a pioneer in the field of gay and lesbian studies and has written several books on the topic, including Up From Invisibility: Lesbians, Gay Men, and the Media in America, which follows the history of gay men and lesbians in the media.
In this interview, Professor Gross takes us through this history, from the invisibility and negative portrayals of LGBTQ people in the 50’s and 60’s to the impact of reality television in the '90s and today.
Larry Gross / photo: Maggie Taplin