Date of Submission

Spring 2020

Academic Program

Political Studies

Project Advisor 1

Samantha Rose Hill

Project Advisor 2

Robert Hardwick Weston

Abstract/Artist's Statement

After decades and decades of invisibility and harmful stereotypes, marginalized queers have finally made their way to the media scene, now represented more than ever. Although positive representation deserves recognition, the inclination to celebrate accentuates the urgency to question, and think critically about, what lies beneath this representational surface. Not only are assumptions still being made about queer people by representational media, thus creating new stereotypes and normalizing ‘new’ queer identities, queerness is now more profitable than ever due to its increased societal acceptability. While media representation is important for those who have been systematically erased from visual history, especially in the US where media plays an influential role in everyone’s lives, the cultural idea that civil rights changes can come from inclusion in the consumer sphere often leads to a belief that representational media is a sign of progress. But media that represents queers is not exempt from the system that perpetuates economic inequalities throughout the US and the world, even if it promotes a socially liberal agenda; in fact, representational media successfully absorbs queerness into the capitalist system that many queers continue to be negatively affected by. In this paper I aim to make apparent the unsettling relationship between positive media representations of queer and transgender people, and the capitalist predisposition to make a profit.

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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