- 'I need to confess something': Coming out on national television
- Discourse & Communication
- Volume | Issue number
- 9 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
This article takes a (discourse) critical look at the television show ‘Uit de Kast’ (‘Out of the closet’) that has been broadcast on Dutch public television for the past three years. In this program, young male and female lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) participants, who have not come out yet for various reasons, reveal their homosexuality to their family, peers, and colleagues while being documented on camera. We problematize the compatibility of the genre ‘reality television’, which by definition focuses on personal emotions and conflict, with subjects that have emancipatory goals, such as the creation of more awareness for and acceptance of homosexuality. The data reveal that in the show LGB emancipation is framed as a personal problem and not as a socio-political issue with moral and ideological dimensions. In the end, we argue, the effect could very well be that the show does not promote but rather - ironically - hinders LGB emancipation.
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