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Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender 2015 Abstracts

“A Symbolic Sacrifice”: Journalists’ Coverage of Queers Challenging The University of Texas • Jose Araiza • The Gay Liberation Front (GFL) made Texas history in 1970, as group members tried to become the first officially recognized student organization on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin. This paper represents a qualitative analysis of the media coverage as the university’s administration denied the group official recognition, setting the stage for a series of demonstrations and hearings that garnered widespread attention. This textual analysis focused on the media coverage from the city’s mainstream daily newspaper, the university’s student-operated newspaper and a local weekly liberal magazine. This project found that while the group faced exclusion from the larger public sphere, mainstream media and the university’s own student operated newspaper marginalized and delegitimized the group of students who were challenging the status quo.

Use of Pro- and Anti- GLBT Organizations in the News: A Longitudinal Content Analysis • Joseph Cabosky, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Rhonda Gibson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • “A content analysis of New York Times and Washington Post from 1977-2013 examined use of pro- and anti-GLBT organizations as sources to explore change over time and differences in coverage of mainstream vs. radical organizations. Stories about marriage/families, entertainment, AIDS, and politics were most likely to source GLBT organizations. Only AIDS and protests/boycotts were more likely to source radical organizations. Anti-GLBT organizations were used as sources in one-fifth of stories. Implications of how story topic trumps time in source selection are discussed.”

Inching Away from the Toy Department: Daily Newspaper Sports Coverage of Jason Collins and Michael Sam’s Coming Out • Bill Cassidy, Northern Illinois University • This study examined daily newspaper sports coverage of the coming out of NBA veteran Jason Collins and college football All-American Michael Sam. A content analysis of 248 articles published in the first 30 days after each athlete’s announcement revealed that while there were significant differences, individual and present frames dominated for both. Results also suggested that a substantive amount of coverage addressed pertinent issues related to gay athletes in major professional sports.

The Role of Ideology in Media Framing of Same-Sex Marriage, 1998-2014 • Dominic Lasorsa; Jiyoun Suk; Deepa Fadnis • In an attempt to advance understanding of how media frames are constructed, this paper uncovered a link between a newspaper’s ideological orientation and how it has framed the issue of same-sex marriage over 17 years. A random sample of articles about same-sex marriage published in the years 1998-2014 in the ideologically conservative New York Post and the ideologically liberal New York Times were analyzed. It was found that whenever one of the newspapers framed same-sex marriage it did so either in terms of morality or equality, which replicates previous research. Furthermore, it was found here that while the two newspapers employed the morality frame about equally, the Times employed an equality frame much more frequently than did the Post. Shifts in framing over the 17 years also were identified, with the morality frame generally decreasing over time and the equality frame increasing over time. It also was found that most articles merely mentioned same-sex marriage without engaging in framing, and that newspaper articles designed to persuade (editorials, op-ed pieces, letters) engaged in no more framing than did news articles. The implications of these findings for the advancement of media framing theory are discussed.

Egalitarian Values and Media Use: An Examination of Gay Rights Supporters’ Traditional and New Media Habits • Tien-Tsung Lee, University of Kansas; Gary Hicks • While social and mobile media are fertile ground for hate groups to spread their messages, these new media platforms can be used by equal rights activists to advocate their causes. Using a large survey of American adult consumers, this study examines the traditional, social and mobile media habits of consumers who are sympathetic to equal rights for gay couples. These potential targets frequent social networking sites, and often send as well as receive text messages.

The Instagrammed Trans Body: The Renegotiation of Gender and Bodies in the Instagram-Based Transgender Community • Minjie Li, Louisiana State University • Instagram has formed a new type of online transgender community through hashtags. Through the lens of visual journaling personal transgender experience in the public sphere, this study examines how transgender people renegotiate the relationships between gender and body, public and private, and self and politics. The findings indicate that while enhancing traditional gender scripts through encouraging transgender people to make medical transition and prompting gender policing, instagram also makes emerging forms of resistance order visible.

Can we talk? Kenyan LGBTI advocates and media representatives launch a conversation • Teresa Mastin, DePaul University; Alexandra Murphy, DePaul University; Dustin Goltz; Jason Zingsheim, Governors State University • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons in Kenya face an array of legal, social, and political discrimination. “Homosexual” sexual activity is criminalized, punishable by years in prison. Many sectors of Kenyan society are openly hostile to LGBTI persons and organizations contributing to a high level of stigma and discrimination. This study chronicles an ongoing university-LGBTI advocates-media collaboration designed to broach a relationship between Kenya’s LGBTI community and Kenyan society-at-large.

Harvey Milk’s Political Columns, 1974-1978 • Heidi Mau, Temple University • This paper examines Harvey Milk’s political columns published in the local gay press in San Francisco, 1974-1978. Harvey Milk’s assassination happened less than eleven months after he was sworn into office – local mass media barely had time to document him once he arrived on the larger media radar, but Milk’s political columns for the San Francisco Sentinel and the Bay Area Reporter, provide over four years of Harvey Milk’s presentation of his public, political self.

The heartbeat of a locker room: Reactions to Jason Collins and Michael Sam coming out • Monique Robinson, The University of Kansas; Timothy Luisi, University of Kansas; Mugur Geana • Jason Collins (National Basketball Association) and Michael Sam (National Football League) announced their sexual orientation, becoming the first openly gay athletes in their sports leagues. Under the lenses of hegemonic masculinity and inclusive masculinity theories, quotations (n = 405) from U.S. newspapers were analyzed to discuss the mediated representations of reactions from the sports industry. The findings highlight differing levels of acceptance of openly gay athletes in popular U.S. American sports.

Strategic Communication Through Social Media by LGBTI NGOs • Nathian Rodriguez, Texas Tech University • The plight and struggles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees from around the globe often go unheard. Currently, at least 78 countries have specific regulations persecuting LGBTIs. Without protection, these global citizens are forced to seek asylum in other countries. This paper investigates how LGBTI-specific refugee/asylee NGOs (Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration and International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission) are using Facebook and Twitter to build organizational-public relationships. Research provided here uncovers the use of social media messages as functions of information, community and action. Furthermore, it shows whether the conventional public relations measures of cognitive learning, affective responses and resulting behaviors are manifested within these functions. The research also reveals the social media messages focused more on the global regions of North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Additionally, the NGOs linked their messages/posts to more to LGBTI-specific entities around the world.

2015 Abstracts [1]