Lesbi Reasonable: Have YOU ever seen an LGBT+ film?

Caitlin Saunders 21 May 2014

“Am I bitter? Absolutely.” So ends one of the greatest scenes in the history of cinema. No, really. It’s from Trick (1999), the tale of two men who meet on a train in Philadelphia and then spend one beautiful night roaming the city streets together, trying to find somewhere to bang. Whether it’s civil rights, the perfect wedding or a private room, there’s nothing quite like the magic of two characters bonding over a shared vision.

The quote in question follows a five minute rant from Coco Peru, a shimmering drag queen who throws a spanner into the works for our horny heroes – but don’t worry, love at first sight is love in its truest form, and it prevails here against all odds.

Coco Peru is great in so very many ways.                                                                 Credit: YouTube

Nevertheless, the title of ‘Best Sassy Drag Queen Rant’ is still destined for another: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), in which two drag queens and a transsexual travel across the Australian desert in a huge pink bus. There’s ABBA, glitter, and more ABBA – trust me, it’s way better than Mamma Mia, and if there’s anyone who isn’t desperate to see Hugo Weaving in bright orange spandex then they need to re-evaluate their priorities.

Let me ask you: have you ever seen an LGBT+ film? Not a rom-com with a gay supporting character like Four Weddings, but something where a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person takes front and centre? (And no, Tootsie doesn’t count). They’re truly remarkable things, each as hilarious and depressingly awful as the budget was low, but every now and then, something a little better creeps through.

Trick is not one of these well-funded fugitives – there you’ll be thinking more along the lines of Brokeback Mountain (2005), A Single Man (2009) or Lilting (2014), all of which ensure at least one half of their three gay male couples dies before or during the story. Pricilla has more funding, but it still manages to kick off with a faceless gay man’s funeral.

Brokeback Mountain is probably the most well-known film centred on LGBT+ issues.    Credit: YouTube                       

On the other side of the gender binary, Imagine Me & You (2005) is often hailed as the best lesbian/female-bisexual film around, and since it stars Cersei Lannister as a hot florist with a taste for married women, it’s definitely everything that’s right about British cinema.

But the shocking and confusing 94 minute epic that is Judas Kiss (2011) definitely takes the biscuit. This is one plot you won’t see coming – a 38-year-old who dreams of being a high-flying director accidentally makes a journey back through time, where he accidentally (again, I know) sleeps with a younger version of himself. Yeah. Back to the Future has nothing on that, eh?

Judas Kiss is arguably quite awful. But in a funny way.                                               Credit: YouTube

I’m by no means a connoisseur of queer cinema – if anything, I’m a complete newbie. But anyone can watch LGBT+ films, not just the LGBT+ community, and more people should. If you pick one out of the haystack and it turns out to be a gem, then you’ll have the chance to really cherish your good luck. If it’s a bit of a train wreck, then you’ve got a funny story to tell. I still love Pride and Prejudice even though I’d rather Lydia than Darcy, and if LGBT+ films can find a wider audience, then better funding (and films) will doubtlessly follow.