Historically, popular media has functioned as a window into society’s ever evolving idea of normalcy. Children’s popular media, which contains elements of both entertainment and didacticism, is further burdened with the responsibility of influencing the perspectives of upcoming generations. This truth is particularly salient for the LGBTQ+ community, who have faced consistent misrepresentation or utter erasure from children’s media in the recent past. While there have been marked improvements in both the quality and quantity of queer representation in children’s media since 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges case, there is still a significant need to acknowledge intersectional queerness and queer gender expression. This essay combines content analysis with case study in order to evaluate several representative pieces of children’s media before and after the legalization of gay marriage in the United States with the aim of isolating examples of harmful portrayals, recognizing recent progress made in representative media, and suggesting strategies for future children’s media attempting to incorporate diverse queer viewpoints.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Nikolai Endres, Ph.D.
Children's and Young Adult Literature | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Other Film and Media Studies
Stevens, Sarah, "Kids, Culture, and Queerness: The Progression of LGBTQ+ Representation in Children's Media" (2022). Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 987.