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Television's fashion gay teens: Justin Suarez and Kurt Hummel

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Over the last fifteen years there has been an increase in the number of positive portrayals of gay people, including teenagers, on television. This article takes as a case study the characters Justin Saurez from Ugly Betty (2006-10, created by Silvio Horta) and Kurt Hummel from Glee (2009-11 (ongoing), created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuck and Ian Brennan) and addresses the role that fashionable clothing and appearance plays in the formation and discussion of their sexual orientation. It argues that the very matter of their fashionability acts as a shorthand to announce their teenage sexuality.
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Keywords: Glee; Ugly Betty; designer labels; fashion; gay; teenagers; television

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 9, 2012

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  • Film, Fashion & Consumption is a peer-reviewed journal designed to provide an arena for the discussion of research, methods and practice within and between the fields of film, fashion, design, history, art history and heritage. The journal seeks to stimulate ongoing research on these topics and to attract contributions not only from scholars researching in these areas but also from practitioners, who are traditionally excluded from academic debate. The journal thus aims to unite and enlarge a community of researchers and practitioners in film, fashion, consumption and related fields, whilst also introducing a wider audience to new work, particularly to interdisciplinary research which looks at the intersections between film, fashion and consumption.
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