For so many of us who grew up watching almost uniformly negative representations of our lives on the screen, finally seeing a semblance of our community and our stories reflected in all their glorious diversity brings great joy despite how far we have yet to go.
Queerty is highlighting six creators, all of whom identify as LGBTQ, and all of whom have created provocative, queer-themed work designed to educate and enlighten audiences. Their contribution has made a striking difference in what we see on TV: GLAAD's annual Where We Are on TV report found that of all the LGBTQ characters on television, 47% are people of color--a record high.
From timely subjects to groundbreaking levels of visibility, their passion, their risk-taking, and their artistry have given us pride not just in them, but in ourselves and our community. True representation still has a long way to go, but these fine people are working to make that day come faster.
5. Alice Wu
Alice Wu‘s The Half of It debuted on Netflix in Aril, the perfect companion project to her debut film Saving Face. Both focus on the intersectionality of being Chinese-American and lesbian—something Wu, who resides in San Francisco, knows from lived experience.
The Half of It didn’t come easily. It generated buzz in 2018 when it circulated Hollywood, eventually landing a spot on The Black List, a collection of the best, unproduced screenplays in town. The utterly authentic and natural way in which Wu is able to show how respect for diversity actually helps people learn and grow is one of the strengths of the movie.
The film reimagines Cyrano de Bergerac in a high school setting. It follows the story of a Chinese-American student named Ellie hired by a football jock for her writing skills to help him woo one of the most popular girls in school, Aster. As Ellie starts penning love letters to Aster, she begins to realize that she actually is in love with her, too.
I think I write a lot to understand both myself and the world. I thought I want to set this in a small, rural town. I don’t want it to be a menacing town. I wanted there to be an affection for it. I thought it was a way for me to understand, and also, that some kid or adult would watch this movie and say “Oh, that’s just like the town I live in” or “the one I grew up in.” And it might make them think about that one immigrant family, or that one POC family, or that one kid who is different and coming out as queer or trans or different in some way. I thought it was my best shot at affecting the cultural conversation.