This week we are focusing on the concepts of “audience” and “impact.” Today’s theme was homophobia and media stereotypes about the LGBT community. Through examining various forms of media (including news, PSAs, social media, music video and spoken word), students learned about ways the media has both reinforced and challenged homophobia.
After assessing and building upon collective knowledge about the term “homophobia” we watched a news story about the Ugandan Activist David Kato, who was murdered after being “outed” in a Ugandan Newspaper in 201o. This led to a conversation about violence, bullying and outing.
Next we watched a video montage that portrays four major stereotypes about the LGBT community.
We then turned to the “That’s So Gay” PSA Campaign and the “It Get’s Better” social media campaign, an initiative created in response to a string of American teen suicides last fall that were directly linked to homophobic bullying.
During the free write, the REEL Filmmakers predicted how and to what degree the various media texts above are impacting audiences. Some identified techniques that were used to grab their attention and imagined how different audiences would interpret meaning. The filmmakers were also asked to describe how these particular texts made them feel.
Engaging these media texts led to a lively conversation around homophobia, violence, safety, peer pressure and fear. A culture of respect in our classroom allowed a safe space for questions, healthy debate and personal testimony.
REEL Filmmaker Ketty writes:
I think that the way most people treat gays and lesbian are wrong. If u are not gay that is one thing, but that does not give you the right to go around and bully others because of their sexuality. Today I watched videos that had an impact on me. One video music I watched was called “Faraway” by Marsha Ambrosius. At the end of this video it said “dear friends, every year over 1 million people commit suicide. Some were bullied because of their sexuality.” I don’t think that it is fair that people can treat anyone so bad that it leads them to suicide. If you think about it that person being bullied is some ones child, friend, sister, or brother. Can you imagine losing someone you love like this? I am not gay, but I have gay friends and I would never bully someone. If u are not gay that is your choice, so let others make their own choice too…