Our congratulations go out to Associate Professor David Gudelunas, whose work presented at this year’s International Communication Association conference in Phoenix was named a top faculty paper in the “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies” Interest Group. The paper was titled, “Generational Differences Among Gay Men and Lesbians: Social and Media Change.”
Abstract: This essay looks at generational differences in the gay and lesbian community and specifically looks at how technology serves as a point of distinction in the coming out and socialization process of younger and older sexual minorities. Drawing on generational cohort theory, this essay begins with a review of literature related to ageing in the gay and lesbian community and then looks at qualitative and quantitative findings to establish key points of difference between older and younger cohorts of sexual minorities. Ultimately, the availability of technology including social media, online communities and other new media tools in the lives of gay men and lesbians is positioned as a critical distinction in the understanding and acceptance of an abstract notion of gay and lesbian community. While older gay men and lesbians sought out images of sexual minorities in media, younger respondents were more likely to create these images themselves and were thus less concerned about traditional questions of representation.