No longer relegated to the realms of innuendo and secrecy, today we see a wide range of gender identities and sexual orientations represented on television and in mainstream film alongside cisgender people. 2SLGBTQ+ (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans, queer and gender and sexually diverse communities) people see their reflections on screen in a wide variety of roles. And yet, there remain many challenges.
In this lesson students consider how well their favourite TV shows, movies and video games reflect the diversity of Canadian society.
Though 2SLGBTQ+ characters, situations and themes are becoming increasingly prevalent in the media, it is sometimes difficult to interpret representations.
2SLGBTQ+ people have been involved in producing their own media for as long as alternative media has existed, but with the advent of the electronic age and cheaper and more accessible electronic devices for production, there has been an explosion of 2SLGBTQ+-produced media of all kinds. The following section explores the ways that 2SLGBTQ+ people have sought to claim space for themselves within media and culture.
As in other media, 2SLGBTQ+ people have gained a greater and more widely visible presence within the advertising world, with ad agencies courting the “Pink Dollar.” This is not surprising, considering that the 2SLGBTQ+ audience is estimated to be worth around $917 million in buying power.
In this lesson students learn about the history of blackface and other examples of majority-group actors playing minority-group characters such as White actors playing Asian and Aboriginal characters and non-disabled actors playing disabled characters.
In this lesson students consider diversity representation in video games by identifying examples of diversity in the games they play, comparing their findings to statistics on diversity in the Canadian population.
In this lesson students consider the meaning of the words “bias” and “prejudice” and consider how bias may be found even at the level of individual words due to connotation.