The Politics of Sexuality in Mediated Cities
After reviewing key debates about sexual identities and the city as a space of both oppression and freedom, I look at the role played by media in the construction of the city as such space. Specifically, I explore how the travel-themed television series Round Trip Ticket and Bump! construct LGBT neighborhoods as spaces of consumption for sexual minority audiences. These representations draw upon a long history of such neighborhoods, which have, for centuries, provided safe harbor and opportunities for community building for sexual minority people. However, the desire to be among like-minded others is represented as a need that can be satisfied in the marketplace. The programs paint consumption as providing a means for the self-actualization of sexual minority viewers and an avenue for their participation in communities of people like themselves.