(This post was originally published at GLAAD Blog.)
That’s the direct question we ask in a recent column for The Root.com, that both addresses the pervasive lack of diversity in Hollywood and the news media, and how that translates to a lack of visibility for the issues LGBT people of color face.
“When media fail to show LGBT people color struggling to live ordinary, everyday lives like other Americans, their audiences don’t realize the inequalities that LGBT people of color face in their communities and workplaces. For example, while people may know that same-sex relationships aren’t legally recognized in most states, many don’t know how that lack of legal protections affects couples with children.”
We also pointed out the lack of recognition for films such as Pariah and Gun Hill Road -- both of which are nominated for a GLAAD Media Award this year -- by the predominately white and male Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – “the voting body that decided what is, and perhaps more importantly what isn’t, culturally legitimate.”
“In 2011, breakthrough films such as Pariah and Gun Hill Road told the stories of young people and their journeys to be recognized for who they are, providing a glimpse into the experiences of present-day LGBT people of color. And while these compelling and well-acted films received notable praise (Pariah was awarded the 2012 NAACP Image Award for outstanding independent motion picture and Gun Hill Roads’ Harmony Santana was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for best supporting actress) the films were overlooked by the Academy—a move that is indicative of the mindset of the Academy.
GLAAD continues to advocate for more representations of LGBT and ally people of color in the media and encourages people living at the intersection of race and sexual orientation to continue to speak out and tell their story.