American Nationhood in Transition

Sexual Orientation, Race and the Media

  • Edward F. Kammerer, Jr. Idaho State University
  • Amílcar Antonio Barreto Northeastern University
Keywords: American Identity, Film, Homonationalism, race, television


The intersection of race, ethnicity and sexuality demarcate the boundaries of American identity. Historically homosexuality was tethered to unpopular racial, ethnic and ideological minorities. In recent years, popular film and television have contributed to redefining non-heterosexuals’ place in the American national imagination: from outcast to partial insider. While the history of the LGBT movement is replete with racial and ethnic diversity the US popular media have repeatedly emphasized one dimension – its white part. As homogenizing agents, the media have helped to generate a false image of an ethnically and racially homogeneous LGBT community, thus reinforcing whiteness as the apex of American authenticity.

Thematic Section