A Critical Look at Queer Media: What The L Word and Queer as Folk are Communicating




Castro, Alma Y.

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This study looks at the pay cable television series' The L Word (TLW) and Queer as Folk (QAF), two shows that focus predominately on gay and " lesbian life. I analyzed the first seasons of the shows to explore how they perpetuate normative ideals about gender, race and class. Employing queer theory and ethnographic content analysis, I found that gay men on QAF were feminized and lesbians on both shows were masculinized. Heteronormative couplings were present within the same-sex couples in I both shows and race or class often marked the member of the couple that was' given the opposing gender role. While the masculinization of lesbians in the shows was done textually and contextually, visually the women of the shows adhered to a typically feminine look and style. The men on QAF upheld notions of males and masculinity by emphasizing the nature of the male sex drive. Because both shows maintained the divisions between the binary oppositions of gay/straight, male/female, and masculine/feminine, they reproduce heteronormative ideology and help maintain dominant ideological paradigms.



gender identity, mass media, queer theory, television programs, media, The L Word, Queer as Folk


Castro, A. Y. (2006). A critical look at queer media: What The L Word and Queer as Folk are communicating (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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