Queer narratives in film have become a hallmark of 2018. With the Beatles mania-esque effect of Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name to the wildfire virality of Love, Simon, these films have been able to bring visibility to experiences felt by members of a historically marginalized community. A new film from Netflix is set to do the same.
Alex Strangelove tells the story of Alex Truelove, a Gen-Z teen in high school who embarks on a journey to figure out his own queerness, navigating a landscape in which sexual fluidity and experimentation are stops along the way. It deals with many of the same issues as the aforementioned films: falling in love, coming out, and hiding (or waiting to share) the news with parents.
But beyond portrayals of homosexual romance and moments of self-exploration, these films have something else in common. They all seem to adhere to a common typecast, where the actor who plays each role is white, lanky, and brunette, providing a very one-dimensional view of what today's young gay men look like. What further does it say that so far they've been played by straight men?
Amber Rose's take on the #MeToo movement comes to mind. "Just don't leave us out," she told TMZ when asked about her support for the movement. “They have my support. Every woman deserves justice. I just feel like a black woman started it, she just didn’t get the recognition she deserves.”
While queer narratives can hardly be confined to one specific person, race, gender, etc., there needs to be some serious contemplation on the repercussions of exclusion. Several men of color have come out as gay, like Pedro Almodóvar and Tyler, the Creator. Perhaps Hollywood could use this handy dandy list for their next feature film.