Brb, just having an existential crisis about the construct of time
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY SUNDANCE SELECTS
Onscreen LGBTQIA representation has come a long way in the last 10 years, and even more in the 10 before that. While there’s still lots of room for improvement, this moment in culture is often referred to as the “golden age” of queer visibility.
If like me, you easily get thrown into existential dread when you think too much about the concept of passing time, you may want to grab a stress ball as we dive into the queer films and shows that officially hit the decade milestone this year.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour
Ever since it first hit UK cinemas in 2013, this film has divided the room among queer circles. It’s one of the most well-known sapphic films within the mainstream and it caused quite a sensation. It sparked controversy for its nine-minute-long sex scene. For our April issue, we conducted a survey to give DIVA readers a chance to share their thoughts surrounding onscreen sapphic/queer sex. Many respondents shared that this film is the first sapphic sex scene they can remember seeing onscreen. And when it came to whether Blue Is The Warmest Colour served up positive or negative representation, 60% voted negative and only 10% for positive.
This animated show instantly sparked joy within the hearts of many queer viewers who wished this kind of show had existed when they were younger, myself included. First premiering in 2013 and running up until 2019, there were many memorable moments. I’m still not over the beautiful sapphic wedding, which the show creator fought hard for several years to show. Over its runtime, Steven Universe spread a much-needed message about love and acceptance.
I must confess, I’ve never seen this show – but I’m including it as I know that, for many, it was the first time seeing a show that centred on queer parenthood. The Fosters follows the lives of lesbian couple, Stef and Lena, and the highs and lows that come with raising their children in San Diego.
Orange Is The New Black
I think we all remember where we were the first time we watched Orange Is The New Black (OITNB). This groundbreaking comedy-drama received much praise for humanising prisoners and the ways in which it explored race, sexuality and gender. Laverne Cox’s powerful portrayal of Sophia blazed a trail for more authenticity in casting trans actors to play trans roles.
While we now have so many LGBTQIA shows to choose from on Netflix, nowadays it’s rare to see a show centring WLW characters getting to run long enough to see a satisfying finale. Just look at Netflix’s cancellations of hugely popular shows such as First Kill and Warrior Nun. Has the streaming platform forgotten the characters who were largely responsible for the platform’s success? In 2016, three years after it premiered, OITNB was Netflix’s longest-running original series and it’s most watched.
Kill Your Darlings
In this biographical drama, Daniel Radcliffe takes on the role of renowned American poet and writer, Allen Ginsberg. It’s 1944, and a murder draws together Allen, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs, the poets who formed the core of the Beat Generation.
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.