Workshop to discuss LGBTQ+ representation with ‘The Simpsons’


Screenshot from "The Simpsons" via SBS TV

A workshop organized by spectrum will show an episode of “The Simpsons” to address LGBTQ+ stereotypes and representation.

Caroline Hohner, Assistant Editor

The Spectrum LGBTQ+ alliance will hold a virtual workshop on Zoom to address LGBTQ+ representation in animation on Oct 21 at 2-3 p.m. Students and faculty members alike are invited to watch an episode of “The Simpsons” and engage in a group discussion. 

The workshop was created to mark October as LGBT History Month. 

“We wanted to do something and acknowledge it and be visible for students who identify and for students who might be struggling with their identity,” said Deb Foote, a middle school world language teacher who is also Spectrum adviser. 

 Attendees will watch and discuss an episode titled “Homer’s Phobia,” which first aired in 1997 during a period when LGBTQ+ identities first began to appear in  pop culture. 

“In 1996, I was in my first year of grad-school, and there were no gay people on TV. And so even in animation, it was good to see myself represented,” Ms. Foote said. “Looking back now … 25 years later, they seem like horrible stereotypes and are offensive. But at the time, seeing those horrible stereotypes, it wasn’t a big deal because we were seeing ourselves.”

Ms. Foote based the workshop on The Simpsons as Satirical Authors, a class she teaches at Columbia College. In the last month of the course, Ms. Foote covers the show’s portrayal of under-represented identities such as  LGBTQ+.