Sunday, June 5, 2016

Celebrate Pride Month: Can Gays Get Their On-Screen Happy Ending?

Over recent years, I've noticed a recent trend of LGBTQ films that depict their main characters attempting to independently carve out their own happy ending. Films like Carol, Blue Is The Warmest Color, Pariah, Weekend, and Tangerine. 

To me, that is a sign of progress because usually when the LGBTQ community is depicted in more mainstream cinema, they are depicted as a stereotype and are used a punchline. We also get Oscar bait like The Danish Girl, The Imitation Game, and Dallas Buyers Club that focus on what a pity it is to be queer. I'm not saying that films like the three I just mentioned shouldn't be told. But I'm saying that there are other ways to depict the LGBT experience.

I think Hollywood reinforcing the troubles of the gay experience is a contributor to the fear that there is no audience for mainstream films depicting gays taking charge of their own stories. It's just like how there is an ongoing fear that there is no audience for movies about people of color despite that being disproven time and time again. Hollywood is a town where the only color they know is green and the aforementioned films in the opening paragraph are within the independent landscape where films within that landscape aren't expected to do huge box office business. In fact, a lot of the best films depicting the gay experience come from a foreign and/or independent landscape.

I want to see Hollywood give the LGBTQ community a chance to take charge of their own stories and prove that there is an audience for them. I know there is because one is right here typing this post. As somebody who has a passion for movies, I crave to see the world of film reflect the world we live in that includes a community I'm proud to be a part of. If Hollywood were to make films about gay or trans people falling in love or saving the Earth, it would prove that any type of film could be made in any landscape.