Show, Don’t Tell – The New Indian Express
Express news service
CHENNAI: From love to loss, from euphoria to exploration, from identity to isolation and acceptance to ambiguities, the world of cinema has, over the years, been taken out of its closet. of confirmatory bias and has progressively progressed, describing stories that go beyond binary.
This evolution has made it a platform for people outside the heteronormative to navigate life, break existing paradigms in society, and embrace their new voices and identities. To celebrate not only the sheer presence, but also the accurate portrayal of queer stories onscreen, people across the spectrum share recommendations that highlight, demystify, normalize and showcase the diversity of the LGBTQIA + community with Roshne Balasubramanian and Kannalmozhi Kabilan.
Sexualities beyond the binary and the relationships between people from these identities have always been overdramatized in celluloid. However, Moothon avoids such dramatization and it was worth it to me. Growing up in a household with extremist patriarchal ideologies and homophobia, watching this movie with my family, gave me the courage to go out with them. I don’t have a lover or a partner now.
However, when I saw the beautiful love story between the protagonists, two queer people, on screen, not only did I feel visible, but it gave hope that people on the spectrum can also find it. love and feel all the emotions that people feel. This is one of the reasons why such representations are important in movies. The duo’s life is portrayed with sensitivity while highlighting the intersectionality of gender identity and its vulnerabilities. In this relationship gangster drama, the fact that love is love is reintegrated with force and for me it is a film that shatters all or at least most of the stereotypes that people in the community face.
– Mathurnath Pradheepan, entrepreneur Available on: Zee5
Grace and Frankie (English)
I am a single parent and recently revealed my homosexuality to my 28 year old son. While I expected him to be angry, shocked and not so understanding, I was shocked when he smiled and gave me a long hug instead. Tears rolled down my cheeks. He then told me about a Grace and Frankie show and credited it with making him realize and accept other identities, one that people might continue to explore even in their old age. A few days later, we started watching the show together. This allowed us to discuss my identity and all its questions. Emmy nominated series, the series explores the lives of a group of seniors, two of whom, Sol and Robert, are gay. It beautifully portrays them exploring their identity and feeling at home in it, as well as their eventual evolution. Going out later in life is a conversation not many people have and I’m glad this show does it with such poignant tales.
– Amarnath P *, chartered accountant Available on: Netflix
Of all the shows I have watched Euphoria is the best at it. I like that they choose a trans person because we need people from the community to represent us. We’ve had enough people playing us (and doing a really bad job). I also love the relationship between Rue and Jules because the best friend / girlfriend dilemma is too real for many of us.
– Vijayalakshmi Devanathan, PR Professional Available on: Disney + Hotstar
I highly recommend this show! It’s super fun to watch and very informative. The actors who play the roles belong to the community, so I think that’s the right representation. It delves into the history and evolution of balloon culture. It portrays trans characters in a real, true, and good light, unlike a lot of other problematic shows and movies.
– Shivani Kulkarni, Founder, Queer Hub Available on: Netflix
Angry Indian Goddesses (Hindi)
This film was brave in showing a lesbian relationship in raw, real form, on the big screen. Innovative in many ways, the film revolves around seven girls. But instead of stereotyping their female relationships, the story takes a nice turn. The film in its duration also reveals several aspects of misogyny and gender equality. When it came out, it raised eyebrows several. But for those who identified as lesbians, the performance was a welcome and refreshing change.
– Heena *, teacher Available on: Filmy Duniya (YouTube channel)
Call me by your name (English)
It is one of the few LGBT-themed films to achieve mainstream success. The fact that the film was readily available on a streaming platform made this film special because it reminded me of unsuccessful love when I was growing up. The last scene where Elio cries by the fireplace brought me back to the moment I first had heartache.
– Ashutosh *, interior designer Available on: Netflix
I’m a movie buff and ever since I became a trans person, I wanted to see someone like me on screen. But often only cis actors are chosen as trans people and that annoyed me. If trans people had an acting role in a movie, it was only a comedic relief. But in 2019, when I watched Peranbu, I was overwhelmed. While the film doesn’t chronicle the life of anyone in the community, the storytelling and casting made it an absolute delight. A trans actor, Anjali Ameer, was chosen as a trans person and I saw this as a milestone in cinema. I had tears when after several years I finally saw someone like me on the big screen.
– Praveena, social worker Available on: Amazon Prime Video
Schitt’s Creek (English)
This show doesn’t make a bloody story of queer people. Many young homosexuals believe that they will never have a happy life or happy ending like cischets people have simply because of their gender or sexuality. I believed in it too. Seeing a lot of weird stories pick up on that kind of story, where something horrible happens to a person in the community, it restores that fear. Watching a gay couple have a happy ending here is like a breath of fresh air. Being happy and queer is not mutually exclusive. The more this kind of story exists, the more it makes us believe.
– Vijayalakshmi Devanathan, public relations professional | Available on: Netflix
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (English)
There aren’t a lot of movies that portray Sapphic love well, so this movie is close to my heart. It romanticizes the “feminine gaze” in a welcomed way. Most movies fetishize WLW relationships, so it’s great when a
the movie doesn’t do that. Most of them are sexual. It’s like all lesbian relationships are inherently sexual and there is nothing more. It is aimed at the male gaze and does not show you anything else. Or they tone it down completely and don’t show you any kind of privacy. It’s not like that here. This shows
all aspects of a lesbian relationship.
– Vijayalakshmi Devanathan, PR Professional Available at: Amazon Prime Video
Naanu Avanalla Avalu (Kannada)
The film is based on the autobiographical work of trans woman and Living Smile Vidya activist, I am Vidya. It highlights the life and challenges that people from the transgender community face in society. I have been following his work for a long time. She is a versatile actress, writer and seeing her life translate to the screen has been inspiring. It is not easy for people in the community to enter the film industry, to have opportunities and to build a career despite the struggle. But Vidya’s life story is a guide, a beacon of light for so many.
– Praveena, social worker Available on: YouTube
Marguerite with a straw (Hindi)
What does it mean to be normal? To be represented ? To be understood? For me, this film, while ticking all the right boxes with its description of several relevant issues, also shattered many preconceived notions society has established about female sexuality. Starring Kalki Koechlin, whose character has cerebral palsy, the film has become a major part of LGBT genre films. He explores female sexuality and disability; mixes the film with humor and bittersweet moments, making us laugh, cry and smile as it unfolds.
—Punita Harsh, Telecom Engineer Available on: Netflix
I wish I had seen this show when I was younger and trying to figure out my sexuality. I love the way Casey’s sexuality is handled. She started having feelings for Izzie while having a boyfriend. The show normalizes exploring your sexuality this way and shows how confused a young gay person can be because of the heteronormative society we live in. Her character has many layers both from this point of view and just like a 16 year old girl. Sexuality is a specter like everything else and the show gets that message home.
– Vijayalakshmi Devanathan, PR Professional Available on: Netflix
Happy Together (English)
One of the best LGBT-themed movies, Happily Together, was one of the first movies I saw when I was a teenager. I had to surf the Internet so much to get it. It represents well how lonely gay people are and how it affects relationships, no matter how strong the bond is. I saw it recently, and its importance has only increased; it remains relevant today. Emphasizing the loneliness of the community in the context of the handover from Hong Kong to China, the film explores many themes that are rarely seen in contemporary commercial cinema.
– Ashutosh *, interior designer Available on: Mubi
* Names changed