Role of the Electronic Media in promoting the Gay agenda in Kenya- a study of Galck (Gay and Lesbian coalition of Kenya)
Muiruri, Clara N
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Everywhere you look nowadays, you cannot avoid the topic of homosexuality. It is in the news, television shows, movies, books, magazines, Internet and most recently in politics. Being a minority group, gays are viewed very differently by the society. Though many people think there is nothing wrong with being gay, there are many who still believe it is immoral and unnatural. With all the conflicting views about gays, different portrayals and stereotypes can be seen everywhere. These portrayals send intentional or even unintentional messages to the people witnessing them, thereby moulding how people view gays. Since the media has such an immense impact on how gays are viewed, it is extremely important that I discuss these stereotypes in order to understand the various messages they send. There are a variety of ways that the media affects and tracks the attitude that the public has toward gays, for example through dissemination of information, marketing, television shows and public opinion. Gaysm is a topic that few would want to discuss, but in this time and age, we cannot really avoid this topic as gay men are here with us and are here to stay. They are our colleagues at work, our friends, brothers, cousins or uncles. The purpose of this study then was to find out how the electronic media has promoted the gay agenda in Kenya. It was a case study that focused on gay men who are members of Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK). Specifically, the study aimed at finding out how these gay men were affected by the electronic media, the negative and positive effects ofthe media, how the media portrayed them to the public, the influence of role models and media for they watched on television and find ways of providing information to the public about gay men without being discriminative, or creating destructive stereotypes and portrayals. To get the population sample, stratified random sampling was employed in this study. By the use of a web based calculator available at (www.surveysystems.comlsscalc.htm) the number of respondents was arrived at using the confidence interval of +/- 10% given a confidence interval of 95% (Mugenda, & Mugenda 2003). Then weighted sample size per group was calculated, after which simple random sampling was used to select the respondents from each stratum. Upon arriving at the figure to be interviewed, the questionnaire was used as an instrument to collect the data. This questionnaire consisted of open ended and structured questions. I also conducted interviews with some of the gay men. It is therefore the researcher's hope that this study helped towards creating more awareness and providing information about gay men and also discarding the stereotypes created by the media. It has also helped the public know how the electronic media affects the gay men whether socially, physically or mentally. The study revealed some of the different ways in which gay men utilize the media to shape their identities, particularly during important processes such as realizing their gay identity and coming out to others .