From Perverts to Fab Five: The Media's Changing Depiction of Gay Men and Lesbians

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-11-18
  • Publisher: Routledge

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From "Perverts" to "Fab Five"tracks the dramatic change in how the American media have depicted gay people over the last half-century. Each chapter illuminates a particular media product that served as a milestone on the media's journey from demonizing homosexuals some fifty years ago to celebrating the gay community--or at least some sectors of the gay community--today.The media, Streitmatter argues, have not merely reflected the American public's shift to a more enlightened view of gay people, but they have been instrumental in propelling that change. The book spans the breadth of communication venues. Individual chapters focus on major news stories, entertainment television programs, and mainstream motion pictures that captured the public imagination while, at the same time, sending powerful messages about gay men and lesbians. Ideal for any reader interested in the changing depiction of gay men and lesbians in the media over time, or as required reading in media courses, From "Perverts" to "Fab Five"challenges our very understandings of the words "public" and "media" both.

Author Biography

Rodger Streitmatter is a Professor and Senior Associate Dean in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. vii
Introductionp. 1
"Perverts" on the Potomac: Homosexuals Enter the News Arenap. 6
Stonewall Rebellion: Reporting on an Epic Eventp. 17
The Boys in the Band: Homosexuality Comes to the Big Screenp. 26
Soap: A Gay Man Comes to TV Landp. 37
AIDS Enters the News: Reporting on the "Gay Plague"p. 50
AIDS Becomes Major News: "Now No One Is Safe"p. 57
Gays in the Military: The Debate over Lifting the Banp. 65
Fleeting Images of Lesbians: Killing, Kissing, Being Chicp. 73
Philadelphia: "A Quantum Leap for Gays on Film"p. 83
A New Gay Man in Town: Hollywood Shifts to Positive Stereotypesp. 93
Ellen: Coming Out, On Screen and Offp. 104
Will & Grace: The Biggest Gay Hit in TV Historyp. 115
Queer as Folk: "An Unvarnished Treatment of Gay Life"p. 127
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The "Fab Five" as Gay Reality TVp. 137
Notes on Gay Visibility vs. Lesbian Visibilityp. 146
The L Word: Lesbians Move into the Spotlightp. 149
Same-Sex Marriage: A Journalistic Love Festp. 159
Brokeback Mountain: "A Breakthrough Gay Romance"p. 169
Conclusion: From "Perverts" to "Fab Five"-Progress in Three Stages ... and Waiting for a Fourthp. 179
Notesp. 189
Indexp. 217
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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