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Summar of Readings:“There’s No Such Thing As A Gay Hero”: Sexual Identity and Media Framing of HIV-Positive Athletes

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Robb Travers

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SOC309 Readings 9) “There’s No Such Thing As A Gay Hero”: Sexual Identity and Media Framing of HIV-Positive Athletes NOTE: article is VERY repetitive. 9) “There’s No Such Thing As A Gay Hero”: Sexual Identity and Media Framing of HIV-Positive Athletes Faye Linda Wachs and Shari L. Dworkin - Members of the straight community who engage in high-risk sexual behaviour are somewhat absolved of the stigma of AIDS because they are, in the case of “promiscuous” men, conforming to dominant IDEOLOGIES about male virility - Heterosexual male athletes and AIDS, women are constructed as responsible for both putting themselves at risk and bringing risk to the athletes - Continuous struggle over what is labelled as “good sex” and what is marked and stigmatized as “bad sex” - Surveillance is carried out in a variety of ways, one being the confessional - Team sports were considered male appropriate, whereas sports that emphasize grace were associated with femininity - Johnson- participation in basketball, is part of the cultural discourse that defines and (re)produces not only masculinity but also hegemonic masculinity  Icon/examplar of “how to be a man” including sexual access to women - Johnson is framed as a hero for living with a stigmatized illness  Louganis is framed as a carrier who was morally responsible for alerting the heterosexual community to this risk - Social and cultural assumptions about the acceptability of sexual practices and the identities conflated with these practices - The mass media frame and accept, condemn, and deny behaviours - The data demonstrate that Johnson’s redemption appeared to be inevitable, whereas Louganis’s redemption was impossible given the news frame of sexual identity and the AIDS virus - Johnson framed as a hero for 2 primary reasons: 1) For encouraging public awareness of the AIDS epidemic, particularly in heterosexual and minority communities 2) For gracefully and honestly dealing with a socially stigmatized illness, taking the “sting” out of HIV/AIDS - Louganis as a carrier where he is discussed with reference to his moral obligation to inform others of this status (still framed as having morally debatable actions) - 7 out of 11 articles mention Louganis is gay, none mention his long-term partner, th
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