Audiences out of the box : diasporic sexual minorities viewing representations of sexual diversity
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
European journal of cultural studies. - London, 1998, currens
, p. 690-707
University of Antwerp
Much has been written about the representation of sexual minorities in the media, but the meanings of such representations for audiences have hardly been explored to date. Moreover, most of this writing only addresses Western representations and White, Western audiences, so the current picture is limited and culturally specific. This article draws on in-depth interviews with (children of) migrants living in Belgium, discussing their readings of representations of sexual diversity. In media from their country of origin, but also in Belgian and Western media, they identify many of the old problems discussed in the literature on lesbian, gay and bisexual and transgender representation: invisibility, negativity and stereotyping. While they are also critical about the lack of diversity in the media, particularly in terms of non-White, non-Western representations, they generally make do with what is available This research shows how patterns of representation are all but even across the world, and how strongly the meanings and implications of these representations depend on the readings of audiences, situated in particular cultural, social and media contexts.