Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to honour the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. It is said that the Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States and today, it is celebrated universally in the form of parades, parties, and even workshops.
Over the years, several movie makers too celebrated the community on screen and many also broke several grounds, thus pushing cinema as a whole way forward. However, LGBTQ+ films have essentially always been focused on dramas, documentaries, biographies, and comedies in the past but not anymore. Off late, many Hollywood films and shows are focusing on genres like action, horror, and thriller films.
Here is a list that shows how the West, which didn’t move away from the usual genres of having LGBTQ+ representation until quite recently, has entered newer ones with these movies and shows.
Eternals: Marvel is finally featuring its first LGBTQ relationship with an onscreen kiss after over a decade of superhero movies. Eternals is an upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film that stars Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) as Phastos, a.k.a. the first openly gay superhero in a Marvel movie, and Haaz Sleiman (Little America), who plays his husband.
Spiral: Spiral is a one of its kind, queer-themed horror film in which a same-sex couple moves to a small town to enjoy a better quality of life and raise their daughter with strong social values, but when their neighbours throw a very strange party, nothing is as it seems in their picturesque neighbourhood. The film, which is unapologetically gay, creates horror in the prejudice as it highlights a society where the worst of us will hurt and exploit minorities for our own sense of strength and pleasure. Spiral is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video in India.
Benedetta: Set in the 17th century, the film follows a lesbian nun who was prone to visions and displayed the stigmata – supernatural wounds that mimic the injuries inflicted on Jesus during the crucifixion. This Paul Verhoeven film is adapted from Judith C. Brown’s book Immodest Acts: The Life Of A Lesbian Nun In Renaissance Italy.
The Old Guard: While this film could easily be termed as a classic action movie with plenty of guns and blood, there’s a lot more going on inside The Old Guard. One of the biggest key elements to the story is a gay relationship between two members of the immortal ‘Old Guard’, the characters of Joe and Nicky. Greg Rucka, who wrote the original graphic novel and also adapted the screenplay, has said that the relationship was very important to him as he wanted the audience to see a queer relationship that was perfectly happy.
WandaVision: WandaVision is a sitcom that gave the Marvel Cinematic Universe its very first gay character Wanda Maximoff’s (Elizabeth Olsen) son Billy (Julian Hilliard). Billy aka Wiccan is one half of Marvel’s most prominent gay couple in the comics. Ever since the grown-up version of Billy made his debut, he’s been romantically entangled with another teen superhero called Teddy Altman, otherwise known as Hulkling. After Billy, the next LGBTQ+ representation we will see in the MCU is The Eternals.
Velvet Buzzsaw: Jake Gyllenhaal played a queer art critic in Netflix satirical-thriller, Velvet Buzzsaw, and this was his first gay role since his 2005 Brokeback Mountain. Gyllenhaal’s character, Morf Vandewalt, is a conceited and pretentious art critic, who begins the film in a relationship with a man. While Vandewalt’s sexuality is never explicitly stated in the film, the character gives a rare example of sexual fluidity in the film as he quickly becomes enamoured with Zawe Ashton’s character, a gallerist named Josephina.