Parinita Shetty

Episode 9 Destabilise Heterosexuality As A Default: Queer Representation in Media and Fandom

Episode 9 Destabilise Heterosexuality As A Default: Queer Representation in Media and Fandom

Parinita chats with Diana Floegel about queer representation in media and how fandom engages with queerness. Media industries and their cultural products reflect the structural heteronormativity prevalent in the real world. Mainstream media has popularised a more palatable version of queerness. It expects assimilation into the heteronormative default rather than exploring alternative structures. It also largely overlooks intersectional identities. Queer media representations – when they do exist – perpetuate limited narratives of being queer. They also promote troubling tropes and stereotypes which further reflect the lack of structural diversity. Fandom can act as an alternative to mainstream media where people encounter queer ideas and content for the first time. Fan communities explore different sexual and gender identities. Fan campaigns demanding more queer representation in media can popularise fringe ideas and expand mainstream imaginations. Fan spaces feature both debates against as well as examples of the more problematic aspects of queer representation. Even fandom can reinforce dominant ideas when it features different levels of acceptance for different kinds of queerness. However, some fan communities have offered a supportive space for queer people and their experiences. Find our conversation about all this and more in today’s episode! 

Duration: 1 hr 12 min

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