So Teh Gayers are over represented in movies then?

Hollywood studios only give gay, lesbian and bisexual characters 13% of roles… and they\’re mainly cameos, GLAAD report reveals

Given that the LGBT (etc, never know when to stop with that acronym) community is some 3 or 4% of the population, tops, an organisation like GLAAD should be campaigning for more hetero characters in the movies, right?

31 comments on “So Teh Gayers are over represented in movies then?

  1. “etc, never know when to stop with that acronym”

    It’s perfectly obvious that you stopped far too early Timmy – everyone else knows that the full expansion this week is LGBTQUCIT2ASAPHO (though as noted in the Pikiweedia article, the order of even the first two letters, let alone the rest of it, hasn’t yet been agreed on…)

  2. But Timmy, teh gayers are far more than 13% of the entertainment industry.

    And then you’ve the whole confusion caused by straight actors playing gay parts, gay actors playing straight parts, and vice versa.

  3. Wasn’t life far more straightforward [sic] back in the olden days, when it was just Ls, Gs, and Bs? Modern life is just so complicated.

    What’s the letter for heterosexuals?

  4. Unless you’re making a point you don’t need to go past LGBT. The rest are mostly there for scoring purposes in the oppression Olympics.

  5. @Matthew L, if they manage to define in 50.1% of the population into the group of various sexual deviants does that make them the new oppressors?

  6. Just in case any members of the offence-taking industry are reading “sexual deviants” is meant with a tongue, or body part of your choice, in the cheek.

  7. “‘We are moving in the right direction,’ Butler said. ‘But not nearly quick enough. It’s not enough.’

    How quick is quick enough? In all of human history there’s probably never been a shift in attitude on this matter as the one that has been happening for the last 40 years or so

  8. “Given that the LGBT (etc, never know when to stop with that acronym) …”: I abbreviate it – BLT.

  9. Nobody knows what percentage of the population is homo and/or bi-sexual (I’ll leave the other letters out to avoid a headache) since any such calculation can only be subjective and rely on polling and thus self-reporting.

    Given recent and indeed current attitudes it is likely many do not report truthfully, particularly the ones who are married with children or have girlfriends so their mates and families don’t guess, leading a ‘normal’ life.

    It is reasonable to suppose therefore that such polling will under report, and 3 to 4% figures are wishful thinking by those who for reasons they best know themselves would find it uncomfortable to believe the real proportion might be higher, and they might be unknowingly rubbing shoulders or dealing with ‘that sort’ more frequently than they care to imagine.

    Suppose you carried out a poll to find the percentage of paedophiles in the population, the results would be (please choose): completely accurate; close estimate; an incredible 0%.

    However why some believe in quotas for any group is beyond me. Society finds its own levels which shift anyway with time.

  10. Fuck the fuck off. If there is one industry where teh gays don’t get to moan about being discriminated against then it’s the entertainment industry… of which Hollywood is a rather prominent part.

    Sure.. there’s some ongoing battle to banish various remaining prejudices and discriminatory practices blah blah.. but the entertainment world has consistently been well ahead of the curve. If an ‘advocacy group’ can’t find anyone better to advocate at, then whoever is giving it money really needs to stop doing that.

  11. Persons in the minority LGBT groups are perfectly described by the descriptive plain English word “deviant” can they not? Who could take offence?

  12. Curious how in the alphabet soup they completely overlook something that doesn’t fit in with their prejudices. Context influenced sexuality.
    There’s a lot of people who, while totally heterosexual as individuals, will be much more flexible in threesomes & moresomes. That’s the whole swinging scene, for a start. There is a whole world of difference between what a couple of same sex partners will be up for in the presence of & with the involvement of member/s of the opposite & exclusive same sex action.
    Strange outlook, really. Sex isn’t generally regarded from a purely individual perspective. It does generally require at least one other participant. (Unless you’re Arnald, of course)

  13. Magnusw>

    Of course there have been many more radical shifts in opinion in shorter periods. One notable example is the fairly recent shift towards (claimed) distaste for homosexuality. It blew up almost overnight around the start of the nineteenth century, in this country, and in just a few years an anti-gay witchhunt had swept the country such that casual male touching – hugging a friend and so-on – had all-but disappeared. Prior to that it would not have been uncommon to see two (straight) men walk down the street arm in arm.

    John B>

    Spot on. We have no idea of the proportions. We don’t have any data on the rate of change, either, so couldn’t even give a shelf-life to figures if we did come up with some reliable ones.

    Tim Worstall>

    You appear to be confused between the existence of a role and the screentime it gets. 10% of roles, but only 1% of screentime (or less) since most of the roles are cameos would mean 1% was the relevant figure for comparison.

    Everyone>

    Honestly, who the hell cares what some Hollywood advocacy group says about anything? It’s bound to be daft.

  14. I just read the Mail report. Only 14 films of 101 had a gay character. Not 14% of characters were gay. But I do wonder at who counts. A gay newsreader is mentioned – but his appearance was so brief we might not notice. So is he on the list or not?

  15. Some questions:

    Aren’t the Ls just a subset of the Gs?

    Why do the Ls and Gs (who don’t think there is anything wrong with them – fair enough) feel any need for association with the T’s whose issues are quite different (they do think there is something that needs fixing, major surgery, changing their name, their whole life etc).

    And as for the Bs – what are their problems in life?

  16. @ Dave

    “10% of roles, but only 1% of screentime (or less) since most of the roles are cameos would mean 1% was the relevant figure for comparison.”

    Actually, it’s screentime whilst being identifiably gay as a percentage of total screentime whilst being identifiably anything that’s the relevant figure. Most people in the movies, just as most people in life, are just going about their days without anyone knowing or caring what flavour genitals they bumped the previous evening. Those who claim about under representation rather assume that everyone is straight unless it’s stated otherwise.. which is odd, as they’re usually keen to fight against the idea of straight being the default position.

    “Honestly, who the hell cares what some Hollywood advocacy group says about anything? It’s bound to be daft.”

    Undoubtedly. And when people say daft things, other people are entitled to point that out.

  17. “Nobody knows what percentage of the population is homo and/or bi-sexual (I’ll leave the other letters out to avoid a headache) since any such calculation can only be subjective and rely on polling and thus self-reporting.”
    Is being homosexual subjective? Self reporting in a poll would seem like a reasonable way of finding out how many homosexuals there are, I’m not sure how else you could do this without resorting to a rather intrusive level of surveillance. There are methods of making such poll questions confidential but still informative.

  18. XX Given that the LGBT (etc, never know when to stop with that acronym) community is some 3 or 4% of the population, tops, an organisation like GLAAD should be campaigning for more hetero characters in the movies, right?XX

    Same with fucking Niggers. And not only on T.V, but in REAL life.

  19. Indeed. I used to work with someone and it was two years before I realised he was gay. And then only because of what someone else said.
    All that time I just thought he was mildly eccentric in always wearing tight white jeans, a white shirt and being immaculately groomed. White jeans and black shoes.

  20. Self reporting in a poll would seem like a reasonable way of finding out how many homosexuals there are, I’m not sure how else you could do this without resorting to a rather intrusive level of surveillance.

    Bad data remains bad data, even when you have no way to acquire better data.

  21. “Bad data remains bad data, even when you have no way to acquire better data.”
    Why would the data be bad? As I said, there ways of asking questions on tricky subjects which preserve confidentiality but still give a correct overall result.

  22. On the off chance these are serious questions…

    Aren’t the Ls just a subset of the Gs?

    Ask that in a dyke bar and see how far you get.

    Why do the Ls and Gs (who don’t think there is anything wrong with them – fair enough) feel any need for association with the T’s whose issues are quite different (they do think there is something that needs fixing, major surgery, changing their name, their whole life etc).

    Because a lot of the issues are the same. Discrimination, being beaten to a pulp or murdered, that kind of thing. Plus LGB sounds like some kind of secret police agency.

    And as for the Bs – what are their problems in life?

    Same thing – not nearly as serious as what gay and lesbian people suffer but there’s still a lot of discrimination. People have been fired for coming out as bi. The fundamental problem with attitudes to bisexuality is ignorance about what it means actually, other than that their issues fold into the gay and lesbian issues.

    Plus LGT sounds like some kind of idiotic tax proposal.

  23. Eddy-

    Because self reporting is notoriously unreliable. Even in anonymous situations, people tend to misrepresent themselves. There was a famous example of this when American TV ratings switched from self-reporting by the viewer sample to using automated monitoring of their viewing. When self-reporting, there was a heavy bias towards saying they had watched “worthy” programmes, documentaries, etc, but monitoring their TVs showed they were actually watching much more schlocky stuff.

    Human beings just don’t do objective truth very well; not through deliberate malice but by nature. That’s why if you want facts, you have to use specialised formal systems- scientific method, blinding and double blinding and so on. It’s thus relevant to note that “activist science” tends to rely on bad epistemologies like surveys where subjectivity can run riot.

  24. Thanks Matthew, these were genuine questions.

    The tiny sample of lesbians I have known unashamedly referred to themselves as ‘gay’ and I took that word to cover both men and women.

    Maybe my sample is too small, or maybe they develop an attitude when they go to the bars, who knows.

    As for why they team up with the Ts – if the common ground is discrimination and getting beaten up, OK, fair enough, but if that’s the link, shouldn’t they then include everyone vulnerable to these problems? Ethnic minorities? Nerds? Overweight people? Loners?

  25. Are they talking about the actors/actresses or the characters here? If the latter, they seem to be suggesting Hollywood studios ought to be rewriting scripts to include an openly and obviously gay character.

    To which I respond by pointing them in the direction of any Tom Cruise film.

  26. > The tiny sample of lesbians I have known unashamedly referred to themselves as ‘gay’ and I took that word to cover both men and women.

    You’re right, gay is often used to refer to both men and women, to the point where “gay men” is often used when the distinction is needed. I think the main reason for even having the distinction is that gay men and gay women do have different issues in a lot of ways. Gay men are more likely to be beaten or attacked by the government for their sexuality, gay women are more likely to be raped or emotionally abused. Plus the obvious difference in sexual expression. The HIV response was mostly driven by gay men, for instance – it’s an issue for lesbians but not nearly as much as for gay men. There’s also a kernel of truth in the accusation that lesbians don’t want to be lumped in with gay men because they don’t want anything to do with men, full stop.

    In practice most people use gay and lesbian interchangeably when referring to individuals, but solely lesbian when referring to communities.

    OK, fair enough, but if that’s the link, shouldn’t they then include everyone vulnerable to these problems? Ethnic minorities? Nerds? Overweight people? Loners?

    Well L, G and B are all sexualities and their issues overlap significantly, so it makes sense to put them together. Having the T in there is more recent (the old acronym was GLB), and I do see your point – gender and sexuality are linked but not as closely as different sexualities. I think the main reason is that trans activists have successfully hitched onto gay rights activists, not least by sidling up beside the drag queens and mingling with them.

    This isn’t without tension though. There’s a lot of transphobia in the lesbian community, for instance, and if you hear “you can’t be a real woman if you were born with a penis” you have to check if they’re reading the Daily Mail or Valerie Solanas. You also see a lot of transsexual activists whining about gay marriage and how it’s nice all the fags are getting their sparkly wedding cakes but what about THEIR issues.

    The other reason is that the opposition to transsexual and GLB people comes mostly from the same sources. The attacks on the other groups you mentioned are a lot more diffuse and less mainstream.

    The next lot who are winding up the whine machine are the asexuals, who have a lot less to complain about than they think, and the “demisexuals” (people who only experience sexual attraction when they’re already in an emotional relationship) who have fallen for a sarcastic parody and haven’t realised it yet.

  27. I think the main reason for even having the distinction is that gay men and gay women do have different issues in a lot of ways.

    Hmm. Not so sure about that. It’s more that they are an alliance for political ends and don’t traditionally really like each other, very much. The main reason for that being the nature of lesbianism as a political project.

    The gays were hedonists who just wanted the right to fuck each other unmolested. The trajectory of lesbianism is more complex. It consists of two distinct groupings. One group- we’ll call them “innate lesbians” for want of something better- are, like gays, women who fancy other women. The other group- we’ll call them “political lesbians”- are women who have chosen to reject men and adopted the label “lesbian”. Typical of the PL group is Sheila Jeffries who stated-

    “We do think, that all feminists can and should be lesbians. Our definition of a political lesbian is a woman-identified woman who does not fuck men. It does not mean compulsory sexual activity with women.”

    In other words, women with no innate sexual attraction to other women, who are better described as heterophobic, frigid or androphobic. A study by lesbian feminist Marilyn Frye into their sexuality concluded that “whatever it is we do, we don’t do very much of it”. They are anti-sexual people. They thus felt no kinship with sexually enthusiastic gay men, seeing lesbianism as basically a celibacy project.

    These sexophobic “fake” lesbians have dominated the lesbian movement (and Feminism itself for more than a century, since Frances Willard, Jane Addams etc) and like all feminists, suffragists etc, dreamed of a social (sexual) purity in which people fucked, at most, for procreative purposes. (Shulamith Firestone of course helped kick off the Second Wave with a book that dreamed of a technological reprodctive solution in which you don’t even fuck to make babies, let alone for fun). So there was no natural alliance between gays and political lesbians. Indeed, in the early days of the Second Wave many Radicals (radical and lesbian feminism being broadly synonymous) were overtly anti-gay, such as the New York Redstockings. They ended up aligning pro-gay for pragmatic reasons- a gay man is not a rape threat, and gay rights already had sufficient success that being anti-gay would have too easily revealed that the Fems were just ultra-reactionaries, which would have been disastrous in the liberal 70s). But the last thing any Political Lesbian- prudish, sexophobic, plagued by their hysterical penis phobia) wanted to be thought of as was “gay”- that is, a female version of the same nature as hedonist male-sexual focussed men.

    And so, “Gay and Lesbian” or “Lesbian and Gay”. The innate lesbians probably wouldn’t have minded, but they weren’t running the Feminist movement, so nobody asked them.

  28. I don’t know any political lesbians like you describe Ian, so my comments were referring to the innate lesbians of my acquaintance.

  29. Matthew, your anecdata is not really relevant. You tend to do this, “well that’s not like my feminist friend” or whatever. It’s about political movements, not some person you know personally.

  30. I’m still puzzled by TW’s original assertion that the “LGBT community” is “some 3 to 4% of the population”.

    I genuinely don’t know what this means, and on the face of it would seem to be in conflict with available expert data. The Kinsey Report might be a good starting point.

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