A study has just been released which claims that the portrayal of gay men on screen is found to to be 'unrealistically positive'. And to that I'm like...yeh...I mean duh? Welcome to Hollywood where, since it's creation all those years ago, both women and men alike have been represented by those thinner, taller, funnier and all round better than the rest of us.
I don't want to undermine the survey's findings, which were conducted by the psychologists from Angila Ruskin University Cambridge, that suggests that 'seemingly positive stereotypes have the potential to be damaging as they paint gay men as one-dimensional figures and prevent people from seeing someone's true personality'.
Researcher Ashley Brooks said 'On the face of it, stereotypes associated with gay men, such as being fashionable or witty, appear positive and may even hold some truth to them,' but he went on to say that such assumptions can lead to unrealistic expectations of how real men behave.
To which I'm a bit like yeh... so what?
I understand that for a gay man who has no interest in fashion whatsoever, who is on a sports team and enjoys drinking beer with the lads, this stereotype must get incredibly tiresome, just like, I suppose, it does for women who feel the same way.
Although of course, to a certain degree, we are influenced by what we see on television, we are all smart enough now I hope, to take everything that we see with a pinch of salt.
Or should we be expecting a study any day now damning James Bond and suggesting that Daniel Craig is causing men in the UK to feel inadequate when they are unable to shoot a man, get women into bed with no more than their names as a pickup line, or look sensational coming out of the sea?
On that logic I would like to complain about Sex And The City please. I'm a writer too and my life looks NOTHING like Carrie Bradshaw's...
I know it's different and I know that I am being a little facetious here, but you get the point. Of course the role of a gay man is exaggerated, and that may not be right, but by establishing that it's a 'positive prejudice', all you have determined is that it is exactly the same for them as it is for everyone else.
Most of us feel like we will never live up to what we see on television, for me I know that to be the case from the minute I get out of bed in the morning, because unlike the films, I'm not wearing a sexy silk nighty, nor do I have perfect hair and I certainly don't wear lipgloss to sleep (and if I did it would be on the pillow now not my face).
It wasn't all that long ago that you would have been hard pushed to find a gay man on television anywhere, let alone a longstanding character, and it is great that that has changed. But what is worth remembering, before everyone starts jumping up and down about this, is that the results from this survey would be exactly the same on whatever group of people you tested.
Welcome to Hollywood where everything is always 'unrealistically positive'.