In the past I’ve written about a number issues I have when it comes to gay men in films and films that are gay-centric in particular. One of these issues is that they are usually sold on sex, making us all fit into the sexual deviant paradigm that so many people have afforded us, the other issue I’ve written about is why we have to have gay films – after all why can’t they just be films.
This being said, ‘gay films’ are here and for the foreseeable future they are here to stay, because let’s face it, many Hollywood studios are still reluctant to release a mainstream gay-centric film, despite the success of Brokeback mountain almost a decade ago. This then brings up the issue that most of the gay men that we see in films are the flappy, fashion conscience, witty, bitchy character whose retorts and comments are used for comic affect.
These characters can be found in many rom-coms, such as Bridget Jones’ Diary, as well as teen flicks like Mean Girls. We are undoubtedly being put into more films now and being allowed to be openly gay – and all exposure is good exposure in a way, I suppose. Even if the studios are still a little worried to make us the leading star, at least we are there.
However, I can’t get over the fact that many gay-centric films made by LGBT production companies and filmmakers have to use these characters as well. I’ve reviewed and watched a few films recently that heavily feature characters like this. Yes, there are gay people like this, but would it hurt the filmmakers and studios to feature more down-to-earth, non-stereotyped gay characters in a gay movie? After all, we’re bombarded with these stock characters in nearly every romantic comedy that gets churned out.
It looks as though whilst we are getting some representation in mainstream movies, the issue of being stereotyped will always be there. It’s just a shame that gay centric comedy films and rom-coms don’t display enough diversity, to show other gay men and people in Hollywood that we aren’t all like that stock character they know so well. Perhaps if the entertainment made for the gay community were more varied in its depiction of gay people, a little more of that diversity would seep through into the mainstream.