While Harvey Fierstein argues for "visibility at any cost," stating that he'd rather "have negative than nothing," I would have to disagree, at least for the most part. On the one hand, it is great to have queer people visible in the media, because it does remind the public that we exist, and the more queers are shown in the media, the more frequently people will be reminded. So, therefore, as Fierstein has said, it is usually better than having nothing at all. However, negative stereotypes shown in the media can do more harm than good. If every queer person on TV and in cinema was portrayed as their silly stereotypes, and that was all people knew of them, then I am sure they would be inclined to think that the stereotypes are true. For example, many films and TV shows have portrayed all gay men as silly effeminate, and often sexless characters. That stereotype still lives on. I knew people who would watch Will and Grace because they thought it was cute and funny, but even though the show featured two lead gay male characters, I believe there was only one male/male kiss on the show, and the sex lives of these two characters were largely ignored, focusing more on the lead female, heterosexual character, Grace. And I think we all know how much damage Queer Eye for the Straight Guy has done... So, I guess this is a pretty difficult question. I mostly disagree with Fiernstein, but in some ways I do think that he has a valid argument... But, we have probably moved past that by now. At this point, I do see a lot of queer people in pop culture, so it is probably best to work on making sure that they are not portrayed as only stereotypes.
The cost of visibility
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