The Danger of the Media

I like to think that the media has the potential to be used as force for good, though unfortunately it has been trying to prove me wrong. This week looking at the LGBT community and how the media is involved, it reminded me of the backlash a lot of TV shows were getting a few months back when it seemed like every week a different TV show would kill of an LGBT character. So I looked into it a bit and discovered that it’s an actual trope in TV called, Bury Your Gays, which basically means that any LGBT character could not have a happy ending. In the video below it shows some examples of this toxic trope.

In the video the narrator says something that really stood out to me, they state “How motivating is that to a 14 year old kid who hates themselves, to see that hey there’s no happy ending in life anyway you might as well end it now”. I think this really shows how powerful this medium is, in this situation I feel like these shows are almost kicking LGBT people when they are already down. As the narrator states that they already hated themselves at this point in their life, and I can imagine then they turn to their TV to try and escape the problems of their own life, but then any character they see that is like them gets killed, and then that becomes what they feel the world thinks of them.

This is also why I think positive representation is vital, for every group of people, but especially marginalized groups such as the LGBT community. This is how I think the media can be used as a force for good and it can work at reversing this trope that it started in the first place. I also think part of this can be done very simply too, these shows could just not kill off LGBT characters for shock value. Obviously that doesn’t mean a show can’t ever kill off another LGBT character, it just means that there should be a decent reason to kill of that LGBT character, and really they should do that for every character. This along with just generally better representing LGBT people, by not just showing them as a stereotype, and not having their whole story line revolve around their sexuality. So LGBT people too can turn on their TV, and see a character like them get a happy ending.