Heather Kahn

Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Mass Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Margaret Williams, M.S.

Advisor Department

Mass Communication and Journalism


Television is an ever changing medium used in mass communication, and people often rely on this medium for knowledge about different subjects. This study demonstrates how television depictions of marginalized groups can change over time. Focusing specifically on a subset of the LGBT community – parents – this study documents the evolution of LGBT parents on American television. A total of 14 television shows were selected for a qualitative analysis. The parents depicted in these shows were analyzed according to gender, race, class and sexuality. The results were then summarized and put into historical context. This study contributes to the fields of both media research and queer studies.