Television is becoming all the more aware of the present age and its demands. With much more attention to the LGBT community than ever, there are many gay characters sprouting in TV series, sitcoms and moves. Media is taking a big step in this movement showing the world what it needs to see. However, apart from side-lined characters, humorous representation of the gay and sexual connotations, gay characters have nothing else to play in such shows. This is why TV shows have at many instances failed to portray reality. The self-obsessed narcissist is what media has made of gay men. Media’s power to construct an idea and propagate stereotypes has definitely worked its way through, in the representation of the gay community. Gay mannerisms have been repeated over and over again and most TV show characters hold exactly the same behavioural traits. They are usually the ones who bring an element of humour along with them and they are in most cases put aside.
Will and Grace, a well-known sitcom, was definitely accepted by many and received much appreciation. The gay characters in the sitcom took the center-stage although they were curbed to stereotypical feminine qualities. Gay humour was definitely one aspect that took the show forward. This is the case for most gay characters on screen – feminine, loud and comical.
Modern family, again an American sitcom that represents a gay couple, with Cameron and Mitchell holds many stereotypes. Feminine traits are represented profoundly to represent gayness. The characters keep the audience laughing by projecting gay traits in an amusing and sometimes offensive manner.
Ugly Betty also has prominent gay character that drives the show; Marc St. James is the typical fashion guru, holding a clichéd representation of gay men as fashionable and flamboyant.
Shows such as Simpsons have attempted to create an anti-homophobic theme with the intervention of episodes such as Homer’s phobia.
In Greek, Calvin Owens is gay and his storyline and plot is highly dependent on his sexual orientation. Such characters on television make gay people as nothing but gay.
Glee, again a TV show that holds realistic homosexual characters is an exception. However, the gay character still possesses an ability to keep the audience laughing with the many high school stereotypes. Santana Lopez is a highly sexualised lesbian character and not much more than that.
Apart from TV shows and misrepresented homosexual characters, there are real life characters like Ellen DeGeneres who came out on national TV representing the real world and making aware to people how normal it is to be gay.
Though there are few that bring out realistic characters, most mainstream TV shows picture gayness as humorous or negative. It is quite obvious that, a heterosexual’s identity does not depend on his sexuality but a gay guy’s identity is always focussed on his sexual orientation and his queer behavioural traits. In the name of popularising and creating awareness, the media has also stabbed the identity of the gays.