Filmmakers Play a Significant Role in Promoting the LGBTQ Culture and Community

Visibility and positive representation are always key in increasing knowledge and acceptance. After all, the unknown is frightening. In no situation is this more true than with the LGBTQ community. Each and every time the community is shown in a positive light makes a tangible difference.

Filmmakers have a substantial platform on which to work. The projects on which they focus have enormous reach; they are viewed by millions across the country and around the world. Thus, when they tell the stories of those who identify as LGBTQ or positively feature LGBTQ characters in their movies, they provide an important point of view, share information, and help those in the community as well as their friends and family.

For years the LGBTQ community has been represented in films, but it has not always been positive. At times gay characters were used for comic relief or in sad stories.  This type of visibility was not helpful.

However, times have changed. LGBTQ characters and topics have been addressed in a more positive and honest manner.  In the 1970s, The Rock Horror Picture Show premiered - and it is still popular today.

More recently, other filmmakers have made movies that have had a positive impact.  In 1993 Jonathan Demme’s “Philadelphia” premiered. The film, which starred Tom Hanks as an attorney who was fired due to an AIDS diagnosis, shared valuable accurate information on this health crisis. It also showed that portraying a gay person was not the end of a career in Hollywood (basically, being gay was okay).

Just six years later Hilary Swank won an Oscar for her role as a  transgender teen, She starred as Brandon Teena, who was tragically murdered several years earlier. Made by filmmaker Kimberly Peirce, this film increased the visibility of the violence those who identified as transgender faced in our country.

Filmmaker's other projects featuring LGBTQ characters and important storylines include Moonlight (which one the Best Picture Oscar in 2017), Too Wong Foo, and Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, and Brokeback Mountain, by Ang Lee (and starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhal). 

Finally, in 2021 the animated film, “The Mitchells v. The Machines' ' introduced an LGTBQ character in a children’s film. It is the decision to include characters like this, in both adult and children’s films, that positively impacts both self-acceptance and the view of the LGBTQ community on a more widespread basis.

At Rainbow Depot, we applaud filmmakers who shine a truthful and positive light on our community. Your work is valuable and greatly appreciated. We urge you and others to continue to showcase us accurately and we encourage all those in our community and our advocates to support their work.