“Before 1970, almost no gay characters could be found on television, and their relative absence from the screen continued until the 1990s.”(2) Representation of the LGBT+ community has always been a problem in television and media. Marc Stein, author, agrees adding that “In an era when homosexuality was considered a crime, an illness, and a sin, and when many people assumed that homosexuals were child molesters, TV was not about to deal openly with sexual and gender minorities.”(8) During this time period people still lived in fear of the “different”. Anyone a part of the LGBT+ community were immediate targets for people’s ignorance.
Ignorance is a key contributor to the misrepresentation of the LGBT+ community on television. It’s almost as if people felt they would “catch the gay” if they were to be seen on television. As years went by you could slowly see the increase in representation but that alone wasn’t enough to combat the damage that had been inflicted.Many had gone through the years watching television where heterosexual couples were the main characters. These people watching television also includes LGBT+ people. According to Deborah Fisher, research scientist, “Most lesbians and gay men grow up in a straight community with few gay role models; thus, they are particularly vulnerable to the portrayals of gay people in the mass media.
”(2) Imagine growing up and you start to question your sexuality; you need guidance and help. However, turning on your television it’s hard for you to find someone like you. Television is often a place people turn to – to figure out what is “normal” and what is “abnormal”. Quite often television shows represent the “majority” community. They are portrayed as being successful and happy and acc. .
or Female-to-Male transgender people. However, the injection isn’t made into a “big deal” like someone would expect. As a matter of fact Tony’s presence isn’t blown out of proportion on the show. In Caroline Siede’s, freelance writer from Chicago, review of the episode she says, “Tony Sawicki is a trans man. As Felix explains as he corrects Art’s use of female pronouns, “He’s trans…Just another variation in my sister’s skin.”(7) The last sentence there is very important.
Throughout the episode Felix corrects Art’s use of his pronouns when he speaks about Tony. Eventually Art gets the hint and starts using his pronouns to correctly address Tony. The way in which this situation was handled made many LGBT+ persons excited. Transgender people have had to deal with ignorance from others and people who often misuse their pronouns when referencing someone who is transgender.