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Challenging Heterosexism from the «Other» Point of View

Representations of Homosexuality in «Queer as Folk» and «The L Word»

Dana Frei

As opposed to many of their more reserved predecessors, modern television serials such as Queer as Folk and The L Word, which concentrate predominantly on queer characters, dare to include numerous highly controversial story lines, feature explicit sex scenes and reflect upon previously tabooed aspects in their depiction of homosexuality.
Challenging Heterosexism from the Other Point of View discusses how these specifically queer shows fulfill a function of challenging institutionalized attitudes of society, such as dichotomous notions of gender, heterosexism or homophobia. Moreover, the question is raised whether they also serve to do the opposite unintentionally, by reinforcing stereotypes and potentially creating a rather rigid image of the concept of homosexual identity. The complexity of the cultural impact suggested by these series defines the focal point of the qualitative content analysis of these innovative media products.