Today in class we were talking about white privilege because of the term we talked about “quare,” a term that is usually for LGBT people of color to use instead of Queer. I was thinking about how recently, LGBT people have been showing up in advertisements more often, in television and other media. It is interesting to see though, that usually, it is two white men portrayed in advertisements or two white women. It is funny to see that the way we are introducing the queer community into the media is through using white people to warm up the public. Famous gay people like Ellen and Neil Patrick Harris are constantly treasured (not that I don’t also like them, but they have no trouble being accepted by the public, having talk shows and multiple tv appearances). How many LGBT people of color can you name off the top of your head? Yet Ruby Rose, Kristen Stewart, Anderson Cooper, etc., seem to pop up right away. Even a search on google for lgbt celebrities will gladly redirect you to Ellen and Neil Patrick Harris in big font.
I think we are moving away from this though thankfully. Recently, Lush’s valentines day advertisement showed what appeared to be an interracial gay couple sharing a bath. However, the lesbian couple they showcased indeed was white. Also Laverne Cox has a role in a popular netflix series and presents awards on award shows. However, Caitlyn Jenner seems to be more of a transgender “icon” compared to Laverne Cox, due to fame and also most likely her whiteness. Despite Caitlyn Jenner being extremely problematic, she represents the trans community more than Laverne does in the public’s eye. RuPaul’s television show isn’t even on ordinary cable, even though it has won awards and is several seasons in.
While I think we have made some strides, it would be great to put more LGBT people of color in media. I can understand why “Quare” is used in place of “Queer” for people of color considering the public, due to the media, associates Queer people as being white.