The Importance of Representation

By Julia Kemp

Movies, books, TV shows—these influential media forms have been overwhelmingly white and straight since the beginning of the entertainment era. In most popular stories, characters and romances have been catered to straight people, with fairy tales and rom coms perpetuating the perfect, normal idea of a straight relationship. However, in recent years, media has started to incorporate LGBTQ+ couples in stories. The shift to a more inclusive representation of love in media has positively shaped the stigma surrounding pride, and it’s extremely important that these stories are shared with LGBTQ+ youths around the world. 

One important reason why LGBTQ+ representation in entertainment should be stressed by media creators, parents, and teachers is because of the vehement resistance to LGBTQ+ rights. Politicians who ban books and movies that include LGBTQ+ representations undoubtedly support the removal of LGBTQ+ rights and support. The erasure of LGBTQ+ media leads to the banning of discussions on gay rights and acceptance of gay relationships in society. It’s important to emphasize LGBTQ+ representation so that people within the community feel accepted in areas where they are ostracized and discriminated against. Not only should discussions on gender and sexuality be present in schools and homes across the country, but representation should celebrate LGBTQ+ culture and relationships to show young people who might be questioning their gender or sexual identity that people like them exist. Gay or straight, trans or cis— every person should be able to identify with a character in their favorite movie or book. We should ensure that everyone has equal representation that reflects the diverse population of today. 

To ensure that LGBTQ+ youths witness representation, here’s some of my favorite books, tv shows, and movies that portray successful LGBTQ+ characters and loving LGBTQ+ relationships. 

Movies: Booksmart, Love Simon, The Danish Girl, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Call Me by Your Name

TV shows: Sex Education, Young Royals, Heartstopper, Euphoria, Modern Family, The Fosters

Books: Song of Achilles, They Both Die at the End, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Some Girls Do