On GLB identification. Certainly, both studies proposed that Ellen DeGeneres is probably the most influential lesbian part models within the news. This information presents a comparison with a criticisms that Ellen DeGeneres’s coming out had not been adequately governmental and did little to subvert conventional norms for representing GLB figures into the news (see Dow, 2001, and Hubert, 1999, for conversations). In reality, Ellen had been spontaneously mentioned by many people participants in both studies, demonstrably designating her as a figure that is influential the GLB community. One participant in research 1 described her as “a part model and good example but additionally a creative human being, ” and another participant stated I am gay and it’s okay. That she“gave the energy to express” possibly one of many good reasons Ellen ended up being therefore influential is because her show was one of the primary to freely explore the problems and problems surrounding being released ( Ryan & Boxer, 1998 ). Both on television and in the media at large (see Gross, 2001, and Tracy, 2000) in addition, she and her popular television character both came out simultaneously, increasing GLB visibility. Although her choice ended up being mainly individual, it became an extremely influential governmental minute in Western tradition. As Ryan and Boxer noted, her show inspired GLB that is many to find treatment due to their being released problems, and many more adopted Ellen’s instance and arrived on the scene for their family and friends.
The obvious significance of GLB role models such as for instance Ellen shows that the accessibility to positive GLB part models within the news should escalation in purchase to raised meet with the requirements of GLB people.
Consistent with this specific idea, Bringaze and White’s (2001 ) findings that successful lesbian leaders thought that positive part models aided them within their coming-out procedure means that having positive part models may enhance GLB individuals’ potential to accomplish a completely recognized identification also to become leaders within their community. Due to the fact current research implies, featuring good depictions of GLB people when you look at the news may enhance GLB people’ feeling of self-worth and might finally motivate them to be effective leaders.
Another possible benefit of increasing role that is positive within the news is the fact that it might probably additionally relieve a few of the mental problems that lots of GLB people experience, such as for example low self-esteem ( Frable, Wortman, & Joseph, 1997 ). Offered the amount that is substantial of suggesting that good role models enhance individuals’ self-esteem ( Cheung & Yue, 2003; Ochman, 1996; Wohlford et al., 2004 ), it appears plausible that increasing the representation of positive GLB media figures might also increase GLB people’ self-esteem. Nonetheless, the news is actually maybe not the cause that is sole of psychological difficulties of GLB individuals. As Frable et al. (1997 ) demonstrated, homosexual guys with a higher level of stigmatization from their own families are apt to have insecurity, which can be more likely to additionally be real for lesbian and bisexual people. Hence, societal prejudice against GLB people has to be considerably reduced so that you can enable GLB people a higher possibility to attain functioning that is healthy. Centered on findings that contact with negative portrayals of GLB individuals could cause heterosexuals to espouse reasonably lasting negative attitudes toward this team whereas experience of good sexy ebony girls portrayals of GLB individuals trigger heterosexuals to espouse more positive attitudes toward this team ( Levina, Waldo, & Fitzgerald, 2000; Schiappa, Gregg, & Hewes, 2005 ), it may be argued that enhancing the good representation of GLB news numbers can be an crucial step that is first reducing societal prejudice resistant to the GLB community.
In conclusion, the research presented right here had been some of the very very first to utilize both quantitative and qualitative ways to explore the partnership amongst the media and GLB identity. Research 1 unveiled a number of the ways that are different which GLB women and men utilize news to contour their identities, especially during crucial procedures such as for instance realizing their GLB identity and being released to others. Research 1 additionally examined GLB individuals’ criticisms and desires in regards to the news’s representation for the GLB populace, plus the positive components of the news, including its power to provide GLB role models. Utilizing a qualitative approach, research 2 explored the findings from research 1 much more depth and illuminated a few of the ways that media role models influence the understanding, development, and phrase of GLB identity. As formerly discussed, both studies offer guidance when it comes to news with regards to changing its depiction for the GLB populace to be much more representative and less stereotyped and harmful. These modifications may lead the media further far from the “sissy” and “dyke” archetypes toward brand brand new archetypes resembling good part models such as for instance Ellen DeGeneres and may even be an essential step in reducing societal prejudice and discrimination toward this number of individuals.
The writers want to thank Dr. Sandi Nenga, Dr. Jacqueline Muir-Broaddus, Abigail Riggs, Ryan Giuliano, Jason Dolloff, and Travis Norton with their efforts into the article.