Hetero-ever-after: Homonormative happiness for gay and lesbian characters on US network television towards and after Marriage Equality.

Billinghay, Jasmin (2020) Hetero-ever-after: Homonormative happiness for gay and lesbian characters on US network television towards and after Marriage Equality. MRes thesis, University of Lincoln.

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Hetero-ever-after: Homonormative happiness for gay and lesbian characters on US network television towards and after Marriage Equality
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Item Type:Thesis (MRes)
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Abstract

The Supreme Court’s decision on Marriage Equality legalised same sex marriage across the United States, and marked the culmination of decades of legal struggle, political partisanship and social activism. This thesis examines how network television has used same sex marriage as a happy ending for its gay and lesbian characters, and how this perpetuates a narrative that Marriage Equality signifies a happy ending for the LGBTQ rights movement. By using theories from cultural, sociological and economic fields this thesis constructs network television as neoliberal, and examines its output not just as an artistic product, but as a reflection of the political positions of its audiences and its financiers. By drawing on the works of Sara Ahmed and Lisa Duggan, this work argues that the connections made between marriage and happiness, privilege homonormativity as happiness causing and casts queerness as the source of gay unhappiness. The programmes analysed portray their characters’ problems as solved by marriage, reinforcing the idea of Marriage Equality as a solution to the problems of the LGBTQ community. However, as the political landscape has changed, so has the way network television engages with gay and lesbian unhappiness, allowing space for its gay characters to experience unhappiness as an impetus for political action.

Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:44211
Deposited On:04 Mar 2021 12:23

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