Depictions of queer and trans people have been present in the film medium since its inception more than 100 years ago. But due to censorship and varying degrees of prejudice against the LGBTQ+ community at different points in time, representation onscreen has a long, complicated, and often coded history. While gay characters were frequently used for laughs or not explicitly stated to be queer in most early mainstream Hollywood films, a brief relaxation in Germany’s film production code in the early 20th century allowed for LGBTQ+ classics like Anders als die Anderen and Mädchen in Uniform . In Hollywood, the strict Hays Code forbade explicit depictions of homosexuality on film for three decades, during which there were a slew of queer-coded villains. Afterwards, gay characters appeared more, but often in tragic stories like 1961’s The Children’s Hour . Although LGBTQ+ representation remained sparse over the next few decades, queer camp in the 1970s saw a rise in popularity with the increased prominence of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the films of John Waters. Later, the New Queer Cinema in the 1990s flourished, as many independent filmmakers (many of whom were gay) told fluid, empathetic stories about queer individuals. Moonlight… Read full this story
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