The Cinematic Universe of LGBT Youth and What It’s Telling You

Editor’s Note: The following article is a submission by a guest author and represents his views on the fight for equality that the LGBT+ Community has faced in the past and continues to face today. It is included on this site in light of some of the recent violence around the world such as is presented in these articles: and . is in agreement that media (and cinema in particular) pays a powerful role as an influencer of teens and youth. 

If you don’t know Malcolm X, he was an American-African civil rights movement leader who once said: “Media is the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

This is true and evident even in the world we live in today. For more than 4 billion years of living on this planet, times continuously change, and the guilty and the innocent change too…but not for the gays. No matter which timeline you live in, media almost all the time portrays being part of the LGBT community as a sin and as something you should be guilty of. Since the 1950s when different organizations were made to stop the oppression the LGBT community faces, they have continuously fought for their rights to be upheld and respected.

The Fire That Burns (1997)
The Fire That Burns (1997) – movie review

Even today, we still see active organizations that house and protect abused LGBT children, teens, and older people that continue to increase in number. And, you know what would help us in achieving this goal of equal rights and LGBT empowerment? Media. Because is it so wrong to be gay like how the media portrays it to be?

North Sea Texas (2011)- Review
North Sea Texas (2011)- Review

The 21st century, the century we live in today, has brought great progress when it comes to LGBT+ representation. More celebrities and influencers have come out and/or used their platform to empower and amplify LGBT voices. Even the media has taken steps toward progress. Whether through books, songs, films, or series, the LGBT representation continues to increase as time passes by, and there’s something we have to learn from this side of the media.

This being said, let’s focus on cinema. Take Lolo, for example. Lolo is an award-winning short film by Leandro Goddinho and Paulo Menezes that talks about the life of an 11 year old openly gay boy. Though more on the unconventional and imaginative side, this short film tells us that being gay doesn’t separate us from the rest of the group. And, just like other “normal” people, the LGBT community should have fun, have good friends, make memories and learn to love. I mean, who created these norms, anyway, that prevent people from doing ordinary things for being who they are?

Lolo tells us that gay people shouldn’t be treated like it’s a sin, but instead celebrated and respected. Though a simple and light story, it’s an empowering film especially for teens and youth who are on the road to self-discovery and acceptance. If there’s something we can learn from the three friends in Lolo, it’s to be unapologetically you and surround yourself with people that accept you…well… as you.


You Are Not Alone – an interview with Lasse Nielsen
You Are Not Alone – an interview with Lasse Nielsen

Now, on the shadows of the light shed on LGBT cinema, other films like Boy Erased, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, The Normal Heart, and Moonlight show the struggles and oppression of the LGBT+ Community. Take Normal Heart, for example. The Normal Heart is a film directed by Ryan Murphy that talks about the beginning and emergence of HIV-AIDS and how the homophobic society and government ignored them and their needs, left them dying simply because they’re gay.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post on the other hand shows the journey of a teenage girl sent into a gay conversion camp to “correct” the way she is. While conservatives, religious, and closed-minded people may watch these films saying, “Yeah, that’s right!” and “They deserve it,” these films were made to raise awareness about the oppression and fight it. It’s telling us that society’s all for human rights, but when we talk about a lesbian, a gay, a bisexual, a pansexual, or a trans person, suddenly…silence. It’s telling us that we are not treating other people with respect and dignity, all because they love. But, is loving so wrong?

Is it wrong to love and to be who you are? Why do we have to comply with society’s norms and why do we have to change to fit in? These are questions that probably come to your mind every time we talk about the LGBT+ Community. The answer is, NO. No, it’s not wrong to love and be who you are and, definitely, no, you don’t have to succumb to society’s standards to try to “fit in”.

Reinventing Marvin
Reinventing Marvin – Movie review

To be honest, nobody ever fits perfectly in, because standards are superficial and fake. Like every other person out there, every member of the LGBT+ Community deserves a happy ending, the way heterosexuals do. Movies like Saving Face and Love, Simon tells us this. And while the fight for Gender Equality and Rights is ongoing even in today’s time, here’s the reassurance that there’s nothing wrong with being you. Be gay! (Yes, gay as in homosexual, and gay as in happy at the same time.)

Sigur Rós – Viðrar vel til loftárása

Viðrar vel til loftárása [Official Video]

“At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you gonna be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you.” – Juan, from Moonlight

Written by: aimeebags

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