This book examines queer characters in popular American television, demonstrating how entertainment can educate audiences about LGBT identities and social issues like homophobia and transphobia. Through case studies of musical soap operas (Glee and Empire), reality shows (RuPaul's Drag Race, The Prancing Elites Project and I Am Cait) and 'quality' dramas (Looking, Transparent and Sense8), it argues that entertainment elements such as music, humour, storytelling and melodrama function as pedagogical tools, inviting viewers to empathise with and understand queer characters. Each chapter focuses on a particular programme, looking at what it teaches-its representation of queerness-and how it teaches this-its pedagogy. Situating the programmes in their broader historical context, this study also shows how these televisual texts exemplify a specific moment in American television.
Ava Parsemain is an Educational Developer at The University of New South Wales, Australia