Opinion: LGBTQ Representation in Media

By Tina Avondet.

In recent years there has been a bigger push for more representation in American media to reflect the diverse generation of today. Up until the past twenty years, minorities were typically not showcased positively in American media. Similarly, it’s only in very recent years that the LGBTQ+ community has been given leads and character representation in media, especially in 2018’s top films.

Many people have found comfort in the band Queen’s music throughout the years, and a new resurgence of Queen fans has already begun. Bohemian Rhapsody is a film that tells the story of Freddie Mercury, the band’s now deceased lead singer, and how Queen came to be. A big focus in the movie was Freddie’s love life. Many people wouldn’t think twice of the notopm that a star’s love life was highlighted in film, but the movie’s depiction of Freddie’s homosexual relationships in a normalized manner is a huge step forward in the entertainment industry. Freddie’s homosexual lifestyle would have been career ending while he was alive, but Bohemian Rhapsody captures the struggles that Freddie went through coming to terms with his sexuality and having to face his fears. Even though the movie dramaticized many events to give it more “Hollywood  Flare,” the movie normalizes his relationships and shows how the community has faced discrimination.

Love, Simon was another very successful film of 2018 that had a gay protagonist. The film is teen coming-of-age story about  Simon, Nick, Leah and Abby, a group of high school friends, and their endeavors to figure out high school life. Simon is keeping a secret from everyone, he’s gay, but he’s recently found another gay kid at his school under the alias “Blue,” and they’ve been anonymously messaging each other. Throughout the film Simon tries to find the mysterious “Blue” and ends up getting caught up in the middle of everyone else’s high school relationship drama. His messages with Blue eventually get out and Simon is then bullied relentlessly throughout the school, but is supported by the one other openly gay student, his family and his friends. In the end, Simon finds out who Blue blue is and all of the relationship problems in their friend group are fixed. The film is a charming tale ofthe struggles of being a out-of-the-closet high schooler and just the general complicated nonsense that high schoolers go through. Love, Simon also shines light on the idea that teens aren’t alone in the way they’re feeling, and they shouldn’t be afraid to be themselves in a safe environment around their friends and family. A film like this could speak volumes to teens and kids who don’t understand why they are the way they are and encourages them with a positive character that shows that there’s hope.

After many years of being ignored and frowned upon by the media and general public, it’s a huge step forward to present strong LGBTQ+ characters to a new generation and for the older generations who never got see representation in their youth. Having normalized LGBTQ+ characters will hopefully move people to be more open minded to the progressive times that are ahead.

**The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various column authors on this Website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Royal News Staff or North Royalton High School.

Tina Avondet is a senior at North Royalton High School. She is heavily involved in North Royalton High School’s choir department as she participates in Royal Harmony (show choir) and Royaltones (a cappella ensemble). Outside of school, Tina enjoys working at Marc’s. When she’s not at rehearsal or rocking her Marc’s polo, she enjoys writing, sewing and hanging out with her friends. Tina has big plans after her senior year as she hopes to enlist into the Navy.