There’s no doubt that the gay community has made huge accomplishments within the last few years. The legalization of gay marriage in certain states, politicians and even athletes coming out about their sexuality is all relatively new news to the media. Unfortunately our culture has yet to fully accept gays. Harassment, abuse, humiliation, inequality, and sometimes-even suicide are all different circumstances that the gay community deals with daily.
It is obvious that we live in a society where change or diversity is not quickly accepted and on Abs’s Desperate Housewives gays re successfully integrated with the rich, perfect, American Dream families. Meet Bob, a successful lawyer and Lee a successful real-state agent. The show introduces this stereotypical gay couple, season 4 as the neighbors watch them load their “fragile” boxes into their new house on the perfect street of Wisteria Lane. They are greeted at their front door with baked goods in a basket and crystal white smiles Just like everyone else did when they first arrived.
The first misleading portrayal on the how was the automatic acceptance, especially from wealthy, successful middle class families. Gay couples, in today’s real estate have a hard time finding perspective homes. Some can’t even finds real-estate agents to help them. If a gay couple catches a break and does find a home that fit’s their conformational and financial ability it is less likely that the neighbors would be as welcoming. The gay community struggles with acceptance daily. Going to the movies and holding hands they get awkward stares and people make them feel uncomfortable.
Going home decorating shopping gays get laughed at and scolded. But not on Wisteria lane. The second misleading portrayal of the gay couple is the idea that there’s always a masculine and feminine partner. In this segment character identification is being used. The idea that lee interacts with the audience. He fits the typical stereotypical gay “best friend. ” Bob is the lawyer, the breadwinner, and the masculine partner. He wears cologne, and likes to watch sports and play golf. Lee is the feminine partner who complains, and nags about everything.
Lee is the partner who comes to the costume party as Marilyn Monroe and who is best friends with all the housewives. This stereotypical depiction of masculine and feminine partners is not always true. The show constantly reminds the audience of their gender characteristics. Lee and Gabby Solos has a lot in common on the show. They love to shop, ignore responsibilities, and drink mimosas all day. Lee Joins in on the gossip sessions with the housewives and spends most of his time grooming himself. In some gay relationships both partners an be either masculine, or feminine.
Some gay couples are divided by stereotypical gender characteristics but Desperate Housewives does not stray away from stereotypical. The third misleading portrayal is the relationship between a partner in a gay relationship and a straight man. In the show Bob and Carols Solos have a great relationship. Carols and bob go on private golfing trips alone, Carols and bob watch sports together and even complain about the issues of their marriages. This portrayal is not accurate according to the media and the news. Just like anything else straight men.
In most factual stories about gay harassment and gay abuse, it is the straight man who is the perpetrator. Because of that, and because of other media portrayals of gays it is safe to say that straight men are actually less accepting to have relationships with gay men. Desperate housewives is all about reputation, and how hard people go to really keep their lives picture perfect. All of the housewives take their family photos, and pay to have their lawn kept but the truth is inside of each home nothing is what it seems.
After watching 7 seasons of Desperate Housewives I realized that the producers were entertaining, but also educated their viewers about the reality about the gay community. Stereotyping is something that we do in our culture all the time. Cultures, music, fashion and primetimes television is all outlets to express our stereotypical expectations of different people. The gay community has definitely made progress and of course there is more to be done but it is important that while we watch and listen to the media we remember that not everything is what it seems.