Lesbians on Television is Now Available!
The twenty-first century has seen LGBTQ+ rights emerge at the forefront of public discourse and national politics in ways that would once have been hard to imagine. Lesbians on Television maps the contemporary shifts in lesbian visibility within popular media in Europe and North America and, from this, extracts a figure of the new 'lesbian normal' that both helps and hinders those it represents.
This book offers a unique and layered account of the complex dynamics in the modern moment of social change, drawing together social and cultural theory as well as empirical research, including interviews and multi-platform media analyses. Structured around five central case studies of popular British and American television shows featuring lesbian, bisexual and queer women characters – The L Word, Skins, Glee, Coronation Street and The Fosters – the book develops a detailed analysis of the shaping of a new 'lesbian normal' through representations of lesbian teenagers, cheerleaders, wives and mothers amongst other LGBTQ+ figures. With a focus on television, Kate McNicholas Smith also maps the lesbian figure through publicity materials, news reports, political speeches, legislative changes, social media, fandoms and audiences. Appearing in highly accessible media forms, such as the soap opera, and extending into the digital media platforms in which they are repeated and remade, new lesbian figures exist at a site of struggle over the possibilities of queer women’s intelligibility, intimacy and futurity.