Good and Bad Representation of LGBTQ+ in the Media


Tiani Olguin, Reporter


[There are spoilers: for The Umbrella Academy, Riverdale, and Yuri on Ice] 


Is all representation good? There are many shows and series that have both good and bad representations of the LGBTQ+ community. In shows like The Umbrella Academy they incorporated a character named Vanya; her character in the first season is dating a man, then in the second season is attracted to a married woman with a son. The two proceed to be together but it makes what she did justified when his wife cheated and cheating is never good. If a person doesn’t have a good understanding of what being bisexual means it can be harmful to have bad stereotypes in the media that’s feeding misunderstandings.

Senior Eva Black said, “Oftentimes people will assume bisexual people enjoy [being promiscuous] and they use it fetishized us.”

Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community has many stereotypes attached to it and the media also contributes to these harmful stereotypes. 

In shows like Riverdale directed by Rob Seidenglanz; the characters Kevin Keller and Moose Mason. Many of Kevin Keller’s relationships in the series end up being abusive. His boyfriend Moose for example he is dating another girl in the series as a screen so his dad wouldn’t find out he was gay. This makes Kevin’s life extremely hard. 

There is also good representation such as the movie Love, Simon. The premise of the movie is that everyone deserves love and needs love, although it also includes the threat of being forcibly outed, which is a source of fear and trauma for many LGBTQ+ individuals. 

Some movies and series like the anime Yuri on Ice also have great representation. Yuri and Victor are the main characters and they are professional skaters and throughout the series they get closer and by the end they have rings which indicate that they plan to get married.  

Senior Joey Stutsman said, “[I’ve seen] Misrepresentation of trans men and frightening amounts for autistic people.”

It’s also nice to simply have a character that is a part of the community because it shows that people care. Like Klaus from the Umbrella Academy he is funny and creative. He has good and bad relationships, which every person goes through, but he wasn’t just put into the series because they thought it was going to bring in viewers. To just have characters thrown in there makes it seem as if it’s a hassle to show support or as if they just want to make more money. 

  Having bad representation sends the wrong message and people who don’t have real life experience sets a bad example. Especially since being a part of that community doesn’t make you any less human. 

“I think that the best way you represent us is just by making it known that we’re just people and we aren’t any different, especially when most people don’t even know until I tell them, so what’s the point in treating me any different than before? I still like ice cream, rom coms and free food, I just happen to like girls… and guys. In the end we just want to be represented as equals,” said Black.

The golden rule applies to everyone no matter what their sexuality is. We are all human and treat people the way you want to be treated and the media isn’t an exception to this rule.