Hey, guys! Today we will be discussing a somewhat controversial topic, and that is LGBTQIA+ rep in movies and TV shows and even books. Many religious affiliations, namely certain denominations of Christianity among others, have problems with this, and I thought it would be interesting to give my two cents on the subject, but I also really want to know what your overall thoughts are on this topic. I have experience related to Christianity, but I am curious what your experiences with other religions on this topic are. But let’s just go ahead and get into it!
As I am sure many of you are aware, the Beauty and the Beast movie released, and it proved to be pretty controversial in the Christian community because someone affiliated with the movie said something about some sort of gay element being incorporated into the movie. Obviously, this meant to the Christian community that the movie was going to be nothing but gay scenes, its poisoning the minds of young children, and blah, blah, blah. (I am practically quoting my own mother here, guys.)
I had a hard time being able to go see the movie, which was one of my most anticipated movie releases of the year, and this was because my mother was boycotting it on what was hearsay because she didn’t go see the movie herself. She was not going to give me a way to go see the movie since she is boycotting it on an alleged gay scene. I had been planning on seeing this movie for months. I was going to see this with my sister, but my mother would not let us go, which really upset both me and my sister. I mean it was kind of ridiculous.
Naturally, I saw it the second I had a chance to when I got back to University with my best friend who had already seen it twice and was so ready to see it again. It was fantastic and everything I wanted (I did a review, if you’re interested; its spoiler-free, so you can definitely read it regardless of you seeing the movie or not!), and because I saw it myself, I realized how absolutely ridiculous it was to be boycotting this movie because there was an alleged gay scene in it.
It was a little bit ridiculous anyway, to be boycotting something because there is a potential gay scene in it, but that’s how my mother still feels about it. Anyway, so I watched it, saw what “gay scene” the majority of the Christian community was so heated about, and realized that if they had actually seen the movie, they would realize their ignorance towards this scene. Now I realize not all Christians were like this, but many of them were, and I am a Christian who knew there is no possible way they could have seen the movie and say that was a gay scene.
I am obviously not going to tell you what scene it was because spoilers, but many arguments that the community had was that this was a kids movie and it was spoiling the minds of the children by including that type of content in it. First of all, it is not a children’s movie. Until I told my dad otherwise, he had no idea it wasn’t animated. So that argument is out. Its a movie that anyone can enjoy. It is not specific to one age group. It is for all ages, people.
And regarding the scene, it was maybe two or three seconds long, it was accidental, and there was no men kissing or anything like that. I almost don’t even think you could call it a gay scene. I mean, it is absolutely ridiculous. But this brings me to my next point. It isn’t just this movie that many people have a problem with. Many people think it is wrong to have any sort of LGBTQIA+ representation in TV shows, movies, and books.
I can honestly tell you that until about eight months ago, I wouldn’t even think about reading books featuring a gay major character. So it isn’t like I have always been super into advocating for gay rights for my entire life. I am still very uneducated regarding representation. Like Alec and Magnus from The Mortal Instruments series were the only gay characters I had ever read about in my life. You have to understand that I came from a fiercely conservative Christian home. My parents are super conservative (I am not), and now we differ on a lot of our views. But they 100% are against any sort of LGBTQIA+ rep. in anything.
I definitely watched TV shows and movies (mostly tv shows, to be honest) with this kind of rep in it. I watched Chasing Life until it was cancelled, and I think a good part of that show was the fact that the main character’s sister ended up identifying herself as bisexual. You saw her kiss girls, and at the time, I couldn’t hardly watch those scenes. My mother called it trash, despite the show having many other major themes going on like the topic of cancer and depression and sexuality in general, but my mother is most comfortable watching shows and movies and reading books with strictly straight characters.
My view has dramatically changed since I watched that show. And its not because I suddenly have different views. It is the fact that I actually started thinking for myself. It was not a good enough or even acceptable response to say that I believed something because my parents did. I can’t say I believe something because my parents told me to believe something. But I am getting very off topic…
I am now actively reading books featuring these themes. I am looking for books with this kind of rep because those stories need to be heard. I am very interested in reading a bigger variety of books. I would love to read books featuring a love story with two girls falling in love (I have a book on my TBR Pile with this, and I am hoping I can get my hands on it soon!), books featuring questioning your sexuality, bisexual characters, just a lot of variety of different representations of LGBTQIA+. (Also, if you have recommendations, feel free to drop them in the comments section below!)
I feel like it is severely limiting my world view to not even consider the side of those who are these different sexualities, of those who don’t identify as male or female, just a variety of different and diverse representations. Bottom line is I want to read more diverse books. I want to read books about a person of color, books with difficult themes like child abuse and police brutality. These stories need to be heard and just choosing to ignore these really important topics and themes just really makes you ignorant, in my opinion.
Regarding TV shows, if you are looking for a really diverse cast of characters, I highly recommend you check out Dead of Summer. It was a Freeform show that premiered last summer, I believe, and it was absolutely fantastic. I know there was a gay character, a transgender character, there was a person of color on the cast, and it really dealt with deep, important topics while also being scary as hell. This show was terrifying because it is a horror show, but I highly recommend it.
It was a very short first season, but it was totally worth it. I think this show is what originally had me questioning whether I agreed with my parents or not. I really enjoyed it, and it just really opened my eyes to a lot of topics and themes. Until I watched this show, I didn’t really have an opinion on transgender people. I don’t even think I was 100% sure what being trans meant, and this show actually let me see their side of things, how they felt. It just really opened my eyes and helped me understand not only what being trans means, but also the type of shit that they go through, and I absolutely loved that. I also did spoiler reviews of every episode of the first season, so if you watch the first episode, you can check out my first review. Also, it just got better and better with each episode, and I just loved that show so much. It was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time.
But I think I said pretty much everything I wanted to say. I am really sorry if I somehow offended you (if you’re a Christian, I might have. I am also a Christian, so hopefully I didn’t), but these are my opinions. And I figured this could potentially open up a discussion in the comments.
But there you have it! That was my experience getting to see Beauty and the Beast and a mini discussion on LGBTQIA+ rep. What are some books/movies/tv shows that you recommend with diverse themes in them? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!