PERCEPTION OF SEXUALITY AND GENDER IDENTITY IN ANIME: HOW POSITIVE REPRESENTATIONS COULD BE USED TO COMBAT LGBTQ+ DISCRIMINATION.
by Xuetao Wu
Abstract – People within the LGBTQ+ communities are often stigmatized and rejected. Most occurrences of LGBTQ discrimination are actually microaggressions or ostracism that is performed subconsciously due to our inherent bias. One possible way to address the adverse effects of unconscious bias is by introducing entertainment into the lives of children and adolescents through a hidden curriculum designed to normalize LGBTQ+. Hidden curriculum has shown to have a direct influence on a person’s ideology and behavior. This research paper will focus on how the hidden curriculum found within Japanese animation or anime can combat discrimination against LGBTQ+ communities. Animes were selected utilizing criteria set within the article, and 4 were chosen for in-depth analysis. Specifically, the author reviewed examples of internalized homophobia and interpersonal discrimination, and prejudice found in these animes. It is discovered that promoting animes (or any type of media) with a positive representation of LGBTQ+ could diminish a person's bias and prejudice to an extent. Therefore it is crucial to use television shows and movies (anime or not) as pivotal educational tools in promoting equality.