[April Wilson | TV Director]
While love is very much the focus of modern day media, there is undoubtedly less representation for queer characters; whether that be on TV, in films or comics. This list (by no means exhaustive) covers a range of platforms. Also, some of the couples on this list were instrumental in opening up their platform for the showing of queer characters in popular media.
1. Twist and Shout
This is a fanfiction, but it’s beautifully written and is guaranteed to make you cry. The story takes the characters Castiel and Dean Winchester from the hit TV show Supernatural, but turns the queer subtext into text. The story places the characters in America at the height of the Vietnam War, where their relationship must remain a secret.
2. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
The infamous “gay cowboy movie”, once again strays into the tragic “doomed love story” area. Still the highest ever grossing queer film, it will leave you sobbing. It explores not only how hard it must have been for the queer characters in that time, but their spouses too.
3. Carol (2015)
Released this year, this film once again chooses to explore what life was like for queer individuals in decades past. However, this time the time period explored is the 1950s. We follow Carol and Therese as their blossoming friendship gradually turns into something more, and as the pressures of society try to constrain them.
4. Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
Famous for its graphic sex scenes, this film charts the sexual awakening of Adèle as she meets Emma, an older art student at a gay bar. Winner of the Palme d’Or award at the Cannes film festival, the film is critically revered. Note however, that this is despite comments from the stars of the film about how they were treated by the director.
5. But, I’m a Cheerleader! (1999)
Hilariously satirising de-gay camps, this film charts the sexual awakening of Megan, as she comes to terms with how her femininity can also fit in as a part of her sexuality; while still trying to tackle the attempts of those who aim to sexually stifle her.
6. Willow and Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Although their romance is not as explicitly shown as other characters in the show, Willow made history as one of the first openly queer characters on television. Her sexual re-reawakening showed viewers that sexual identity was not fixed; it could change and be fluid. Willow and Tara also just happen to be one of the cutest couples on television.
7. Northstar and Kyle Jinadu (Astonishing X-Men #51)
This pair made history as being Marvel’s first ever depicted gay marriage. They may not be the first ever gay marriage in the history of comics – DC and Archie Comics got there first – but their marriage represented the outburst of new support for gay marriage at the time, specifically from Barack Obama.