most of us know how important representation is, but i feel like we don’t always realize how vital it is for white cishet people to see representation as well. like my white cishet 65 year old mom’s favorite show is brooklyn nine nine, and when she first began watching it she was so perplexed by ray holt. she had never really seen black gay characters in television before, and the very few times she has they were stereotypes, so she was just so interested by him bc “gay people can be like this?”
like obviously it would be great if she already knew lgbt+ people aren’t the tired stereotypes that society tries to portray us as, and it would be great if she was more educated that Yes black gay men exist and are common. but she didn’t know that, because she’s never really seen it. but just watching brooklyn nine nine has educated her so much!! she’s seeing a black gay man run a police squad, she’s seeing a large black man be one of the most gentle people ever, she’s seeing women of color empowering each other and totally kicking ass, she’s seeing a jewish man repeatedly talking about issues such as transphobia, homophobia, anti-semitism, racism, and she’s also seeing all these characters understand when it ISNT their place to talk about certain issues
so my mom sees stuff like this and thinks “oh i was so wrong about these groups” and then she recommends these types of shows to her other ignorant friends, and she also corrects people when they say bigoted things that enforce the toxic stereotypes she is now educated on. all from some proper representation on a half-hour tv show!! like representation doesn’t just help minorities, it helps the privileged people who have ingrained bigotry in them to see what minorities are really like and what they can be and it’s so important!! and then these privilaged people can move forward and use their privilege to try and help minorities. representation of minorities helps the privileged too, and helps society to evolve!! so can bigots stop saying that it only benefits minorities. even if it did only help minorities that wouldn’t be a bad thing, but that isn’t the case so?? stop??