A Different Perspective

On The Representation Of LGBTQ People In The Media

It’s been a while since I sat down to write a new post for my site.  I’ve been busy promoting my new book and publishing others.  I am sorry if I have been scarce on your site…  It’s nothing personal.  Just got lots on and looking forward to when I can start reading and contributing more to our Blogging community.

Alright, so I have a post idea for today.  It came to me while watching a sitcom on the television with my husband this morning.  Well, I wasn’t really watching it.  Just having breakfast, while the TV was on, and NOT using my phone or anything, which I normally do.  In the sitcom, I saw that there was a ‘good’ representation of the LGBTQ community in the show.

What do I mean by ‘good’?  I mean good, as in proportionate to the reality on ground.  As in, they had presence.  In the past, they were NEVER represented in the media.  And it was only of recent that many shows began to have token members of the LGBTQ society in their movies or shows.  You know, like the token Black people, which is still the case in a lot of sitcoms and movies.

Okay, so where am I going with this?  Well, honestly, in the past (not too distant), I used to HATE to see LGBTQ people in the media (not in real life – honest!).  I really believed (and still do actually) that they were being shown to normalise their lifestyle within society, so as to combat stigma against this group of people, and also to promote their lifestyle as good or cool.

While I didn’t think much of the first reason, I really disliked it because of the latter reason, being the promotion of the lifestyle.  And I still dislike any media (whether blog or show or movie) which denies the link between our sexuality and our faith.  As far as I am aware and concerned, the LGBTQ community denies that their practice of sexuality is immoral.  This, we will continue to disagree on.

But that aside, suddenly today, I APPRECIATED the representation of the LGBTQ community in the TV show.  The truth is that whether we like it or not, they do form a significant proportion of our society, and they are growing.  It would be WRONG and discriminatory if they were not at all represented in the media.  Whether or not their lifestyle and values are promoted is another thing.  But even in fiction, they have to be included in the narrative, so that it is RELEVANT and so that those watching (or reading) who may associate with this group, will also be able to appreciate our content.

Now, casting all LGBTQ people as bad or demonic or losers or failures is also a wrong and bad representation, because it is not realistic!  It doesn’t show that they are HUMANS too, and in fact, among them are those who are really smart, or kind or even spiritual…  However, casting the few represented in the programme or story as the heroes, or victims or all good, is also not realistic.  It is probably compensating, but it is still pushing across an agenda.

This is particularly relevant for me now, because in my last series, A Small World, I introduced my first Lesbian character, Zainab.  She’s not only Lesbian but Muslim (and spiritual).  I wasn’t really sure what I was doing bringing such a complex character into my story, but I felt it was important to address the reality on ground.  That such people are among us, and they are real and human, and have challenges, and need understanding…  We can’t ever relate or connect with them if we deny their existence and create a fake world where people never meet others who are homosexual, or have those thoughts, feelings and struggles themselves.

I believe as I continue the story series, God will guide me on and teach me more about how we can relate with and reach out to the LGBTQ community without denying that they exist or what they believe and do.  I pray that I will grow in wisdom and understanding, as I embark on this ministry.  I also pray that my friends (yes, I have them) in the LGBTQ community, will be understanding with me, and appreciate that my beliefs on sexuality differ from theirs, and I can never judge them as I am not God.  We all have to be sincere to the truth we know.

Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com

If you liked this post, you might like NO UNCLEAN THING – ANOTHER LOOK AT HOMOSEXUALITY

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2 replies »

  1. all i will say is…Just because sensitisation about HIV/Aids has been done, doesnt take away the stigma or the fact that we have to be vigilant
    Just because contraception helps doesnt mean its okay for our 10 year olds
    so just that media is appreciating LGTBQ makes it right. certain things can never just get appreciated and accepted…


    • I think I agree with what you are saying. I am not saying that I accept LGBTQ lifestyle as normal or okay (I know that there is an argument over the definition of normal… anyway). I am saying that we can’t ignore them. In our narratives, in our world, they are present. And since they too are human, understanding them and relating with them is important, even if we disagree.

      Cheers, Ufuoma.

      Liked by 1 person

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