The Meaning Construction of Queer: The Case of Club Friday the Series

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Ronnayut Ueatrirat

Abstract

            After Thailand replaced the analog TV transmission system with a digital system, digital channels have competed in producing various dimensions of lakorns (soap operas). This leads to an interesting phenomenon towards Thai lakorn, that is, queer masculinity can have their roles as male or female protagonists. The question needed to be answered is to what extent lakorns construct queer masculinity identity. In this study, the language use, roles, and signs have been investigated from Club Friday the Series (Secret of the heart that is not true) Episodes 1 and 2 in three points which are (1) queer masculinity: family acceptance, (2) queer masculinity: assertive behaviors in public, and (3) queer masculinity: love and sexual intercourse through the lens of the social construction of reality. The findings revealed that lakorns reproduced stereotypes of queers in the following points. First, if there was a queer masculinity child in a family, family members, especially the father, would not be able to accept the child’s true self. Second, queers were required to portray masculinity in public in order to hide femininity portrayals, which were one of their ways of living. In contrast, when queer masculinities were among people who had similarities in sexuality, they chose to reveal themselves freely. Next, lakorns emphasized on love and sex intercourse from one dimension (i.e. love ended in tragedy). The reasons why queers were usually failed in love were that they often changed partners, cheated their lovers, and were not satisfied with their love. To analyze this, it appears that the meaning construction of queer did not reflect queers in reality; rather it reproduced such ideology to the society.

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References

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