BY VICTORIA MARTIN
Since the ‘50s, television has been a staple in households across America. Television has allowed for many aspects of diversity to be presented on a bigger platform. As technology continues to grow, so does the representation of minorities in TV and movies.
Streaming sites such as Hulu and Netflix have grown in popularity over the past couple of years, with some families even making the switch from cable to streaming sites. These websites have not only gained popularity because of their easy-to-access platform, but their viewing numbers have gone up because of the increase in diversity shown in Netflix TV shows, especially in regards to the LGBT+ community. LGBT+ representation in today’s society has become an important topic for those both in and out of the community.
“I love that Netflix is increasing LGBTQ+ representation,” LGBT+ Club President Amelia Wesley said. “It always feels good to see yourself in another character and I think it helps people outside of the community to better understand us.”
“It always feels good to see yourself in another character and I think it helps people outside of the community to better understand us.”
The increased representation has allowed for society to gain more knowledge about LGBT+ people. Those inside the community are also gaining more knowledge about themselves and other aspects of the community. Having a relatable character in TV and movies has become very important for teens, as it can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity. This increase is viewed as a great accomplishment for the LGBT+ community but many want more.
“I think the increased representation is great if a little late,” senior Aliceon Clemmensen said. “However, I’ve not yet seen as much diversity in the community as I’d like to. There’s still a lack of representation in the BT+ part of LGBT+.”
There are many things missing in the representation of the LGBT+ community. Other aspects of the community are largely overlooked and underrepresented in relation to other more-covered aspects. Most of the LGBT+ community wants equality when it comes to representation of subgroups within the community. If this representation was displayed more equally, there may be more clarity for those both in and outside of the LGBT+ community.
“What we have seen though has been fantastic for the most part,” Clemmensen said. “I have been denied the idea that it’s normal for so long- that being myself, not just a part of myself, is valid.”
“No person should have to go through life without being able to relate to the people that they look up to.”
This representation is evident on streaming services but not on cable TV. Many cable TV networks are missing the representation that some of their viewers need. With increased representation on regular TV networks, viewer count may even increase on these networks and the differences between cable and streaming platforms may begin to dwindle.
“I hope that one day all streaming services have LGBTQ+ characters and that isn’t something that’s outside of the norm,” Wesley said. “No person should have to go through life without being able to relate to the people that they look up to.”
Netflix is such a large, popular platform that the representation increase has been extremely beneficial to the LGBT+ community; but this is not enough. More representation is wanted by the community- not only on Netflix, but in other parts of society. There also needs to be an equal balance of representation in the community itself. No matter how beneficial representation has been to the LGBT+ community, this has only been a small step to true equality.
Photo by Carly Cuoco