I feel like this post is going to be a really important one. I’ve had this post half-written in my drafts for months, not sure when I’d finish it but now that it’s Pride Month, I finally feel like this is the perfect time to finish writing it so here I am.
As of the last few years, more and more individuals have come to terms with their sexuality and come out to their loved ones. A few years ago, being gay or bisexual was something I never heard about – the word ‘gay’ was used as a way to insult somebody or something.
I grew up in the South. In the South, there are a lot of traditionalists that are usually put into three main titles – christian, straight, or white. Needless to say, I grew up around people who idealized going to church every Sunday, giving a tractor to the son and a doll to the daughter, and frowning at someone with different colored skin.
Not that anybody would ever bluntly say something terrible about something diverse, but they never tip-toed around their words. They never thought about their privilege or the way people of color were treated as compared to them.
Anyway, my point is, I never questioned the lack of LGBTQA+ representation in the media I consumed growing up and I never blinked an eye when a gay joke was made. I even caved into the jokes myself and started thinking like everyone else around me.
Without blogging and the internet, I truly don’t know whether I’d have the mindset I do now or if I would have become brainwashed by old Southern American ideals. I truly don’t know what I would think of diversity without my connection to the world outside of my little bubble and that terrifies me.
I don’t remember the first time I saw LGBTQA+ rep in media. It might have honestly been when Good Luck Charlie had a gay couple in 2014. Note that I have awful memory and this could be terribly inaccurate, but this was the first time I saw a same-sex couple on television without the entire ordeal being the butt-end of a joke.
Also, just last year, I believe, the Disney Channel show Andi Mack had a character realizing he has feelings for his male friend and there was an entire episode dedicated to him coming to terms with these feelings. Unfortunately, something a lot of mothers have said due to this is along the lines of “Please cancel this controversial series immediately. You will not have my support as long as you continue to veer away from family-friendly entertainment.” So… yeah. Nice try, Disney, I guess?
But to be completely serious, there is always going to be heterosexuals that try to vanquish homosexual voices whether it be in movies, television shows, books, and even in the music industry (example: i constantly hear about shawn mendes on the radio but wouldn’t know about troye sivan if it weren’t for youtubers and bts members covering his songs).
The live-action Mulan remake is also being made and… well. A lot of things are being changed. Mulan apparently has magical abilities, most all of the original characters are being switched out for new ones, and Li Shang, the bisexual Disney icon is being exchanged for a new character. This could have been such a wonderful opportunity for Disney to make itself right after the atrocious attempt at a gay character in the live-action Beauty and the Beast. But nope, I guess not.
Remember, this is all coming from someone that isn’t part of the LGBTQA+ spectrum so I’m not biased in any way. I’m just a bit informed on the topic and am very passionate about people being recognized as human beings that just want to be seen and accepted.
That being said, there’s also the entire conversation about Asexuality, Demi-sexuality and everything else on the spectrum. These sexualities aren’t even considered a real thing by some people within the LGBTQA+ community. This is just… so wrong. Include the A in LGBTQA+ (and make sure to add the + to include all of the others without having to write the entire thing because honestly that’s exhausting).
Anyways, what I’m trying to say is that seeing even a little bit of representation in the media means the world to those being represented because they feel lost or like they’re an outlier in society. When there’s even just one character out there in a show that somebody can see themselves in, they feel a bit less alone and a bit more like they belong. This is so important.
I am constantly learning about what is considered right and wrong representation and I’d like to thank the book community for educating me because otherwise I would probably still be blind to all of this.
LGBTAQ+ Blog Posts to Check Out:
- The Power of YA|Simon Spier and the rise of LGBT+ stories my friend Lia @ Lost in a Story wrote this wonderful post a month or two ago about the importance of Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda and how it has started a movement and the rise of LGBT+ representation in YA literature.
- YA Books with Queer Characters that You Should all be Scrambling to Read Right Now!! this post was written by the wonderful May @ Forever and Everly in celebration of Pride month. I found some new books to add to my TBR.
- Lu @ It’s Lu Again wrote a post on 18 must-read books for pride month! A lot of my favorite bloggers participated in this blog post which I find insanely awesome so check it out!!
- Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff wrote a post sharing her current writing ideas/projects ~ and they’re all gayyy *yay*
**I plan on hosting a Q&A for when I reach the big one triple zero. You can go ahead and send me questions over email (on my review policy page), on instagram, twitter, or just in a blog comment and I’ll add it to the Q&A questions 🙂
Have you written any Pride-themed blog post? Where do you stand on LGBTQA+ rep in the media? Let me know!