Historically, LGBTQ+ representation in blockbuster films has been flawed. Film studios view the inclusivity of the community as a political statement rather than a stand for social equality. Widely received media has overplayed their negative depictions of coming out, transitioning and mental health in the community. Nowadays, it is hard to know which pieces of media are viable to watch for an accurate, positively reinforcing message.
“Visible: Out on Television”
Recently, streaming services have been combating this by providing more options for viewers, especially when it comes to documentary film. One of the newest streaming platforms, Apple TV+, released the limited docuseries “Visible: Out on Television.” This show delves into the pop-culture history of LGBTQ+ representation in television. Each episode is ordered chronologically, with the first episode portraying the harmful roots mass media has planted in regard to queer characterization.
The episode titled “The Dark Ages” describes the portrayal of LGBTQ Folx, a gender-neutral way to refer to members of or signal identity in the LGBTQ community, as them being homicidal, suicidal and sexually deviant. Each episode then goes on to cover the events of the Stonewall Riots, the lack of coverage during the AIDS epidemic and queer representation of today.
“Visible: Out on Television” is successful in its message due to the emotional ties it holds in sentimental portions of pop culture. The use of celebrities and familiar tv shows allows even close-minded people to connect with their message.
“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson”
Additionally, despite the controversy surrounding the documentary “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson,” it is a good piece of media to reference in regard to the beginning of the ongoing LGBTQ+ Movement. Its placement on one of the biggest streaming platforms, Netflix, allows for its viewing to be not only consistent but capable of growth.
The documentary notes moments in LGBTQ+ history, which many either choose to ignore or have never been taught. The information in the documentary successfully integrates the historical value and events of Marsha P. Johnson’s life.
Lastly, Hulu joined other streaming services in providing accurate depictions of the community with the documentary “Kiki,” which delves more into the cultural side of the community. The significance of drag, vogueing and kikis are thoroughly explained to the audience as practices of continued strength in the community.
All in all, this pride month there are a variety of faultless, constructive media to take part in. With LGBTQ+ representation in the film industry increasing and being portrayed more accurately, audiences will be able to gain better understanding and appreciation.