Making Out in the Mainstream: GLAAD and the Politics of Respectability

Making Out in the Mainstream: GLAAD and the Politics of Respectability

by Vincent Doyle

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Making Out in the Mainstream is the first full-length study of LGBT media activism, revealing the daily struggle to reconcile economic and professional pressures with conflicting personal, organizational, and political priorities. Documenting the rise and evolution of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Vincent Doyle presents a nuanced perspective on the complexity, contradictions, and ambivalences of advancing social causes through popular media. Based on participant observation, in-depth interviews, and archival research carried out at GLAAD’s New York and Los Angeles offices from 2000 to 2001, Making Out in the Mainstream analyzes the GLAAD Media Awards and the organization’s responses to controversial public figures such as Dr Laura Schlessinger and Eminem, and programs such as Queer as Folk. Doyle argues that the earlier political strategy of coming out to the mainstream, intended to dismantle closeted life and create a mass movement, has been supplanted by the market-oriented "making out" in the mainstream, which privileges respectable images of homosexuality in the pursuit of political and economic gain. He shows how this emphasis on respectability clashes with the development of a diverse movement that campaigns for greater inclusion and he offers a sophisticated appeal for more complicated understandings of assimilation and anti-normalization. Painting a complex portrait of a prominent gay and lesbian organization during a period of rapid social change, Making Out in the Mainstream reveals not only the limitations of “mainstreaming,” but also its political possibilities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780773598591
Publisher: MQUP
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 734 KB

About the Author

Vincent Doyle is assistant professor of media and cultural studies at IE University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: LGBT Cultural Politics in Neoliberal Times 3

1 Rags to Riches: GLAAD'S Rise to the National Stage 30

2 "We Want In": The Politics of Access and Inclusion 77

3 Insiders - Outsiders: The Dr Laura Campaign 124

4 Sex, Race, and Representation 176

Conclusion: Mainstreaming's Ambivalent Embrace 229

Notes 261

Bibliography 273

Index 281

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