When looking at the intersectionality of Gay and Lesbians in media what came to my mind was the delivery of entertainment media. In the last few years there has been an increase of popularity in instantly streamed media like Netflix and Hulu.
Netflix instant streaming allows for people all across the nation to select from hundreds of TV shows and movies to watch instantly for their enjoyment at any time they want. With this market for viewership Netflix certainly seems to be trying its best to try and strike a chord with its potential audience by having many categories to select from when browsing to fit just about any type of potential audience that you can imagine. Categories like Horror, Drama, Comedies, Documentaries, Foreign Films, and as I noticed while looking through the categories over spring break there is even a “Gay & Lesbian Movies” category. It really seems that the service is trying to go great lengths to reach all different types of potential viewers and seems to show a great trend in expanding what is shown to the public and increasing awareness of the LGBT community.
However, does Netflix’s “Gay & Lesbian Movies” really do anything to challenge the controlling imagery of homosexual individuals in popular media or does it only manage to reinforce controlling, mocking, and even potentially negative stereotypes of LGBT relationships. I took a look at the films listed under this section and was quite surprised at what I saw, Room in Rome, Water Lilies, Summer Lover, The Fish Child, I Can’t Think Straight, and other titles like these that could be easily described as steamy lesbian romance dominated the section with over half of the titles being of this nature. There were also comedies like Another Gay Movie which while being a parody is a bit more of a mockery of the community than really pointing out issues. The problem with a majority of the selection is that it seems to be catering more to titillation than someone exploring gender identity. There are some good examples of this topic among the selection that was given like two films about fathers dealing with the coming out of their sons and a documentary on gay teenagers. I personally would have liked to see more films like The Birdcage, Philadelphia Story, and Rent. Along with shows that have strong representations of gay characters like Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer also being placed in this category rather than focusing on lesbian girls making out.