The Stereotyping of Gay Humor

By: Jordan C.

One of the first comedy television shows to approach depicting gay characters and their daily lives, was the show, Will and Grace. Because of the fact that they were the first mainstream show that had gay characters on TV, the creators of the show had the ability to introduce topics revolving gay relationships and even homophobia that hadn’t been topics in previous sitcoms (Valdeon 72).

Common stereotypes for gay men depicts misconceptions on the show, Will and Grace. It shows a gay man who has several feminine qualities while another gay man who becomes successful as a lawyer, but does not appear to be flamboyantly gay. In fact, the character Grace who lives with the lawyer named Will, first thinks that Will is straight when she meets him (Valdeon 71). On the other hand, when she meets the flamboyant and feminine gay man named Jack, she immediately knows he’s gay and treats him as she would treat any other of her female friends.

Both of these situations present stereotypes that the viewers who don’t know much about gay people could take from it. The show displays the idea that if a man is gay, he will either be flamboyant and extremely obvious, or a person won’t know unless they were specifically told that he was indeed gay. It also creates the stereotype that by judging other people before getting to know them could cause one to think that a man is gay just because he may act more feminine than other males. This continues to subconsciously or even consciously put pressure on male viewers to act in a more masculine way if they don’t want other people to think of them as gay.

This video shows some common stereotypes with gay people shown on the popular sitcom, Will and Grace.

Works Cited

Valdéon, Roberto A. "Schemata, scripts and the gay issue in contemporary dubbed sitcoms." Target: International Journal on Translation Studies 22.1 (2010): 71-93. Communication & Mass Media Complete. EBSCO. Web. 15 Nov. 2010.