Representation: What is it and why is it so important?
Representation can take many different forms in media. It can take place through culture, race, identity, sexuality, gender and many more! In this blog, I’ll be showing why LGBTQ+ representation is so important following the campaign ‘Cardiff Pride: More Than A Month’.
To gain a better understanding on the topic, I interviewed with two of my friends who are part of the LGBTQ+ community to explore why representation is so important to them!
An Interview with Theo, 16
Q – Who is your favourite LGBTQ+ character in a show or film, and why?
A – Personally, I think that Elle from Heartstopper because she’s transgender, POC and demonstrates a demographic that I never saw growing up. I know a lot of other people growing up also wouldn’t have seen this, and I think in this day and age it’s really powerful that we have this type of representation on TV.
Q – What is your favourite movie or TV series that includes LGBTQ+ representation?
A – I really love Steven Universe and The Owl House because you know, those shows really expand out into all regions. They’re engineered towards young children that teaches them that from a young age, you can love who you want to love and be who you want to be. The shows that I watched at a young age weren’t as inclusive as they are now.
Q – Why do you think it’s important to have representation in the media?
A – I think it’s really important because having positive representation means that everyone has someone they can relate to. Growing up, the media portrayed people like me in negative stereotypes to the point where it negatively impacted me because I thought I was queer. I assumed I was this ‘horrible person’ because that’s how the media was portraying people like me.
Q – What shows or films would you recommend to someone who is new to the LGBTQ+ community?
A – I would definitely recommend Heartstopper and Steven Universe because of how inclusive they are, and the fact that they explore topics in a realistic way.
Q – What would you say to someone who is struggling to figure themselves out or having difficulty coming to terms with themselves after discovering they may be a part of the community?
A – Don’t feel pressured to put a label on it. Give yourself time and space to figure things out. Don’t feel pressured to put yourself in a category and don’t be scared to change how you identify because like everything, things change.
TV shows with good LGBTQ+ representation:
There are now many TV shows that you can watch with great LGBTQ+ representation. These include:
- Heartstopper – Netflix
- Steven Universe – Amazon Video and Apple TV
- Orange is the new black – Netflix
- Sex education – Netflix
Lots of TV shows and films now also include reference to LGBTQ+ history. Check them out!
Hopefully, these TV recommendations and the interview with Theo has shown you how important representation is in media is, not just for LGBTQ+ people, but how other cultures, races and identities need to be represented.
Find out more about Pride and read TheSprout’s LGBTQ+ campaign: ‘Cardiff Pride: More Than A Month’.
And lastly, from the writer Lily-Rose Chapman, happy pride month! 🙂