The mediated visualization of shame and pride: News images of same-sex marriage in the alternative and mainstream press of New Zealand
On 19 April 2013, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage was passed by the New Zealand House of Representatives, which made the country the fifteenth in the world to give homosexuals the right to marry. This research examined the images accompanying 654 articles about gay marriage in The New Zealand Herald, a mainstream news outlet, and GayNZ, an alternative publication in the calendar year surrounding the bill’s passage. All photographs were analysed through the framework of shame and pride, given the centrality of pride (and conversely, shame) to the gay and lesbian political movement worldwide. This study explored the connection of shame to the visual representation of marginalization, anonymity, othering, dependence, heteronormativity and sadness. Pride, in relation to same-sex marriage, was examined through the visual framework of collectivism, accountability, inclusivity, independence, homonormativity and happiness. None of the individual variables examined for this research would suggest a uniform visual representation of either emotional position. However, when all 654 images were examined in accordance to the host of variables constructed for this study, a pattern of visual representation emerged that suggested a continued heterosexist representation of gay shame.