Category Archives: LGBT

What do movies communicate to audiences about gay/lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender people and relationships? With this group of films, we take a broad look at the history of LGBT issues.

Steven Soderbergh: Another Steven in Hollywood

Steven Soderbergh, director of this month’s movie, Behind the Candelabra (2013), can boast an impressive resume. He has spun out movie-making magic with Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989), Traffic (2000), the Ocean’s Eleven series (2001), and Magic Mike (2012). His movie Erin Brockovich (2000) won him a much-deserved Oscar.

Yet, he is not the best-known Steven in the movie-making business. Soderbergh’s inspiration came through his serious exposure to movies from his movie-buff father, coupled with an awe-inspired viewing of Jaws (1975) — directed by Steven Spielberg. Continue reading Steven Soderbergh: Another Steven in Hollywood

Liberace: Staying in the Spotlight

Entertainers, musicians, movies, and all popular cultural items come and go, but some manage to keep their profiles high across multiple generations:  Elvis, The Beatles, Star Wars are examples among many.  It is a safe bet that our great-great grandchildren will be reading books on a certain boy wizard named Harry.

While these cultural icons survive the test of time, there are those that belong to only the generation that first embraced them. Liberace — American pianist, singer, and actor — is clearly one of those. Continue reading Liberace: Staying in the Spotlight

Gender Differences: Why the Sudden Concern?

Gender differences are suddenly a front-burner concern for citizens of Mississippi, North Carolina, and Georgia — possibly frightened because of the Supreme Court decision last year that gave same-sex couples the right to marry  (Liptak, 2015). Their particular concerns about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have led to passing laws that have drawn reactions nationwide (Mele, 2016), Continue reading Gender Differences: Why the Sudden Concern?

The Danish Girl: The Plight of Transgenders Today

The Danish Girl is an proper choice to continue Movies on My Mind’s LGBT theme, as transgenders are prominent in the news of late. This movie, directed by Tom Hooper and starring the accomplished actor Eddie Redmayne, was released in November 2015 and was later nominated for four Oscars. Alicia Vikander won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Gerda Wegener in this film.

2015 a Banner Year for LGBT

Producers of The Danish Girl chose an auspicious time to release the movie, as 2015 was a banner year for the LGBT cause. Continue reading The Danish Girl: The Plight of Transgenders Today

The Celluloid Closet: Viva Vito’s Gay Rights Legacy!

On June, 26, 2015, the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, and the world erupted in joy to celebrate gay rights. Rainbow flags flew with pride, the White House lit up in rainbow colors, and millions of Facebook users commemorated the occasion by adding a rainbow to their profile pictures. However, in the midst of the euphoria, there was not one mention of Vito Russo that I remember. That is akin to Americans forgetting Martin Luther King, Jr. while appreciating what the Civil Rights Movement has achieved for African-Americans. Continue reading The Celluloid Closet: Viva Vito’s Gay Rights Legacy!

Human Diversity: Are You Still Blissfully Ignorant?

It seems strange that our understanding of human diversity is still so shallow in 2016, especially about our gender differences. Shouldn’t this particular human difference be one that we all know a lot about by now? It’s often the case however that we cover our ignorance or discomfort with certain topics by laughing about them. Continue reading Human Diversity: Are You Still Blissfully Ignorant?

Wilde vs. Public Morality

We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow.
–Oscar Wilde, 1907

My dear boy, people who love once in their lives are really shallow people. What they call their loyalty and their fidelity is either the lethargy of custom or lack of imagination. Faithfulness is to the emotional life is what constance is to the intellectual life, simply a confession of failure.
–Oscar Wilde, 1890

Oscar Wilde was a witty, prolific, and very successful literary figure who suffered imprisonment for refusing to deny his gay behavior. However, when one’s livelihood requires popularity and acceptance, revolution is a stance that should require thoughtful consideration of its risks. Thus, his story is a conspicuous example where the rules of society, which reflect a society’s conception of moral behavior and its conception (or misconception) of humanity, dictated that a person of enormous talent and intellect must be disguised, marginalized, and/or extinguished. Continue reading Wilde vs. Public Morality

Wilde: The Rise and Ruin of Oscar Wilde

I recently attended a memorial service for a lifelong friend. One of the speakers stated in a remembrance that a person dies three times; he dies physically, he dies again when he is memorialized then buried, and he dies a third death when nobody on Earth remembers him or mentions his name again.

Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde

It has been well over a century since Oscar Wilde’s death, yet his name keeps popping up in enough cultural references to the point that it seems every educated person today knows this renowned playwright by name and famous works Continue reading Wilde: The Rise and Ruin of Oscar Wilde