Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Deborah Smith-Howell

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Lipschultz

Third Advisor

Dr. Karen Falconer-Al Hindi


Mainstream advertising in the gay media has become more prevalent in the past few years as marketers discovered an untapped source of profits. This study examined mainstream advertising in the gay media and its ability to connect with its targeted audience as a diverse consumer group. The study looked through the lens of Berger and Luckmann’s (1966) theory of The Social Construction of Reality and the ideological perspective that gays and lesbians are an oppressed group. The objective of the study was to determine whether or not these advertisements presented a worldview that reinforced stereotypes of gays and lesbians in a negative way, ignored them altogether or presented an inclusive, positive worldview. Results of this study showed two worldviews: one with gays and lesbians as visible consumers; and one with gays and lesbians as invisible consumers. The majority of advertisers presented worldviews that ignored the gay and lesbian audience, which reinforces the cultural dominance of heterosexuals in society.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of NebraskaIn Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Masters of Communication University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Dawn M. Cripe August, 2004