LGBTQ Representation in Movies


Liron Brunner

This year many records have been broken, for better or for worse, but one, in particular, has just recently been announced. This year, there has been a record-breaking amount of representation of LGBTQ in movies and TV shows. More and more characters are popping up everywhere, but this year, specifically, there have been many holiday movies featuring LGBTQ characters. 

Christmas movies are an annual tradition that many people look forward to every year, but this year, some of the plots and characters have been a bit different from the classic Christmas movie. “Compared to previous years, and the amount of LGBTQ-inclusive films that are out, it’s like night and day,” GLAAD’s (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) CEO and president Sarah Kate Ellis told CNN.

Last year, there was large controversy when Hallmark pulled a Christmas ad featuring a lesbian couple, which was eventually put back on the air. This put the spotlight on LGBTQ representation on the screen, and Hollywood realized that not only was this a way to represent these people, but it attracted a lot of attention as well. Hulu released two new Christmas movies called The Christmas House and Happiest Season, featuring gay main characters.

 The Christmas House is about the Mitchell family, who is going through a rough patch, but the parents call the family back home together for the holidays. Meanwhile, their son is married to his husband and is going through the process of adopting a kid together, while the other brother reconnects with his high school sweetheart. 

Happiest Season is about two women, Abby and Harper, who are a couple, but Harper hasn’t come out to her family. When they visit her family for the holidays, she claims that Abby is her orphan friend, and lies to her family until she feels comfortable enough to come out of the closet.

Several of the films and TV shows that feature or star LGBTQ characters have done very well at the box office. Directors such as Paul and Alicia Schneider have already announced that they are going to produce a new movie with LGBTQ characters called A Holiday I Do, in which a lesbian divorcée ends up in a whirlwind romance. 

Holiday movies are always predictable and end with a happy ending, giving us that familiar comforting feeling. Having more and more LGBTQ members in these movies makes this experience even more inclusive and uniquely comforting as many LGBTQ people may not get the same feeling from watching the classic heterosexual holiday love story.

It is unfortunate that the representation of LGBTQ people in the past hasn’t been great, to say the least. Many films only hinted at characters being LGBTQ, many of which were in the background. 

In fact, in the 1930s if the main character was LGBTQ, they would often end up being killed or corrupted. 

One of the movies that made a very large impact on the amount of representation in movies was called Boys In the Band (1970), where the members of the band openly came out of the closet, and introduced many Americans to the concept of “out” gay men, which hadn’t been portrayed on the screen before. 

Now, there are many movies with LGBTQ representation, but the trick is to portray them accurately. The year 2020 has been a very complicated year, but it is good to know that even in this year when up is down and left is right, that there are people who are doing their best to represent the LGBTQ community.