Krenzer, Kimberly A.
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Until 1975, the American Psychological Association considered homosexuality a mental illness. Since then, the attitude toward LGBT citizens has been slowly shifting. We cannot deny the fact that there is still a struggle for basic, civil rights. Today, marriage equality is a hotly contested issue. Though American society has made several progressive steps, in a relatively short period of time, lingering inequalities infect our population’s attitude toward LGBT Americans. It can be argued that this issue stems from the social construction of gender and heterosexuality. Society adheres to certain cultural inscriptions that create binaries and implement guidelines for how men and women should act. This creates a heteronormative hegemony that severely affects the way LGBT individuals are treated. Society’s attitude places women and homosexuality into categories as social minorities, despite women’s numerical majority. Several forms of media constantly demonstrate these ideas, further engraining them into our minds. The media is a notorious perpetrator of this regulation. Television is a highly consumed commodity and its treatment of minority groups, especially women and LGBT citizens, has been far from true. As a self-identified lesbian, I assert that our voice is the most effective tool we have in activism. We must work toward creating a new discourse that challenges the current social script; one that affirms female same sex sexuality. My research is focused on how queer affirmative language should be distributed among a wide range of demographics, specifically within the context of American prime time broadcast network television.