Do you remember the first time you saw a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) character on TV or at the movies? You may have the perception that LGBT people are seen everywhere, but we are sorely underrepresented or misrepresented in the media.
When LGBT media images are fair, accurate and inclusive, LGBT people find themselves increasingly welcomed into a society that respects difference. But when stereotypes and misinformation pollute the well of cultural acceptance, we become vulnerable to anti-gay forces working to create a world where we do not exist.
At GLAAD, we are in the business of changing people's hearts and minds through what they see in the media. We know that what people watch on TV or read in their newspaper shapes how they view and treat LGBT people around them. And we have a responsibility to make sure those images foster awareness, understanding and respect.
As recently as ten years ago, there were few positive gay images in television and film. Now, there are LGBT characters on broadcast networks and in big-budget motion pictures — and there are all-gay cable channels!
Fair, accurate and inclusive media images shatter stereotypes. They prove that we are connected through common, human experiences. These are stories that we — and the media — have a responsibility to share. You can report to GLAAD about defamation in the media.