This article originally appeared on Outsports
Growing up, I don’t know if I could’ve named a positive representation of the LGBT+ community in film. It was as if we were invisible. Either that, or a punchline. And what’s worse is that 20 years later, there is no difference. GLAAD recently reported that in 2016 we were still virtually invisible or only in a film to be made fun of. “Zoolander 2” might be the best recent demonstration of us being a punchline.
Sure, television is much better with its representation than film, but it’s still not good enough. We often get a storyline only for it to be about someone’s coming out and then they’re virtually written off the show. We do have good examples with shows like “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Empire,” “Sense8” (RIP), “The Real O’ Neils” (RIP) and “Dear White People.”
But not everyone understands just how important representation in the media is for underrepresented groups, whether it be people of color, LGBT+, women or Muslims. Instead some people complain that it could cause their kids issues by seeing LGBT people happy on screen. Seeing positive and happy portrayals of people like me would’ve made coming out and dealing with who I was so much easier.
Movie studios seem to want no part of films that are LGBT+ oriented, no matter how liberal Hollywood claims to be. Independent film does a far better job of representing our community, so if you’re looking for an LGBT+ film, that’s where you have to look.
Another issue I have is that when we do finally get one of our stories told, it’s often done by straight people. For some films, that’s fine. But virtually every single one? Straight actors, writers, directors. This is how you end up with the entirely unrealistic sex scene in “Brokeback Mountain.” I love Ang Lee and the movie, but … really? That tent scene was not okay. “Moonlight,” “Carol,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Call Me By Your Name.” All…