Saturday, 21 January 2012

'A Day In Gay America'

The Link above is a website for the American magazine, ‘The Advocate’ a LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual and Transgender) monthly magazine focusing on news and entertainment of interest to LGBT people. My first impression of the website homepage was that they appeared to have developed the status of being gay into a brand, through the use of putting their mark on typical magazine topics for example ‘Travel’ one article in particular ‘Gayest cities in America’. Although not believing sexuality should define a person, they believe being gay is of high importance and to be respected. The website has a ‘community’ feel to it shown through its connection to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, where readers can follow the magazine’s headlines, feedback and socialize with other readers.

The article I looked at in detail was ‘A Day In Gay America’ which was a reader-generated photo project where reader’s around America were asked to send a photo of themselves taken on August the 12th. A quote I found particularly insightful was ‘Each photo we received is both a stark reminder of our multiplicity and incontrovertible proof that we are everywhere — from Alaska to Maine — and deserve the right to live and love and celebrate ourselves as we choose’. Through the use of the inclusive ‘we’ and ‘our’ throughout, emphasises the ‘community’ feel, the idea of people standing together as one against the discrimination that was suffered in the past and in some cases, existing today. The right to be treated the same as straight American Citizens is a common theme through the website, which can be seen through ‘equality references’ in particular the ‘equality guide’ enforcing the idea that LGBT American’s are people and not something that can be categorized. This expresses how identity should not be treated as a label but instead, who you are and your actions as a person. Although ‘being gay’ is the main theme throughout the website it is merely something that binds like minded people together, rather than something that wholly defines a person.

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