I think the phrase "visibility at any cost" is problematic. My reasoning for this is because this is an easy way for stereotypes to be created out of negative images. Movies made in the 30's gave a very feminine quality to gay men and a butch image to lesbian women. Theses stereotypes still very much exist today and they are partly becuase people keep producing these images in the media. For instance, Jack in Will and Grace fits the sissy role of the 30's perfectly. In the 60's the only gay exposure was used to show that alternative sexualities ended death. This was surely a very powerful image to a queer audience and as such I can see how one may long for their identity to be represented in their culture. This makes me think of the "don't ask don't tell policy" and how it was implented to supposedly give a safe-haven to the gay, military population when all it really did was erase gay existence by pretending that it was something that was not worth discussing and therefore didn't exist. So I am troubled in either regard; if we implement negative images to a culture who learn who they are partly through movies than we negatively, one-dimensionally and misrepresentatively define an entire group of people but if the trade off is no exposure due to an oppressive structure than we give no voice to an entire group of people. Though this would be an accurate reflection of our culture, we either place GLBT folks into a box and call it representative and then make decisions to take away their voice based on these narrow stereotypes. With this cheap representation of queer in the media comes almost a complete lack of transgender folks, bisexual folks and queer people defined as much more than their sexuality (ie lack of accompaning race, ethnicity, religion or ability). In sum, there needs to be more than "visibilty at any cost", there needs to be a push to portray the GLBT community as the multifacited people we know and love.
Celluloid Closet Response
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