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Entertainment, Opinion

Beyond white coming-out stories: Bringing more to queer films

While finding queer films is becoming easier as entertainment evolves, most are still stuck in the same old tropes. 

More real-life queer people than ever are playing queer characters, but much progress needs to be made in the depiction of the queer experience. 

Most films with queer characters focus on being stuck in the closet, living in a homophobic religious environment, or coming out.

Of course, depicting those situations for queer people isn’t negative. 

They are all very real and shouldn’t be disregarded – but they aren’t the only situations that we face in the world.

This repetition doesn’t do much for actual queer audiences but feeds into the idea that these are our only stories worth telling.

Queer white characters are also still at the forefront of movies, like Brokeback Mountain (2005), Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013), Carol (2015), Love, Simon (2018), Call Me by Your Name (2017), and Happiest Season (2020).

Moonlight (2016) was a groundbreaking success for Black queer cinema but remains one of the only movies of its kind. 

We need more stories like it, where queer people exist within other marginalised groups; focusing on how other identities intersect with being queer is beyond important. 

Understanding that the queer experience isn’t universal educates people in and outside of the community. 

Queer movies also shouldn’t always be based in tragedy.

Why can’t there be queer comedies that focus on found family? 

More dramas from a queer perspective that focus on personal issues outside of queer identity? 

Horror movies with queerness not the monster? 

A modern thriller like Atomic Blonde (2017) but with queer women of colour? 

Film could go endlessly beyond the limitation and redundancy in queer storytelling.

More diversity among those behind the movies makes a difference too. 

Having more queer directors, writers, producers, and actors will allow for different energy and depth, not just discussing diversity but practising it. 

Maybe in the coming years we’ll see more queer movies that go beyond the typical formula. One can surely hope.

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