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Film and TV

People are sharing the first time they saw queer characters on screen – and it’s a blast from the past

Patrick Kelleher February 2, 2021
Queer characters Mrs Doubtfire

People have been reflecting on the first time they saw queer people on screen. (YouTube)

People are sharing the first time they remember seeing queer characters on screen, and it’s the blast from the past we all needed.

LGBT+ representation in film and television has come a long way over the last 20 years, with queer characters now a regular feature in many television shows and films.

But that wasn’t always the case – once upon a time, LGBT+ characters often only appeared as the butt of a joke, or worse, only appeared in fleeting moments where they experienced shocking violence.

The result is that many queer people grew up searching desperately for some kind of positive representation of themselves – and that kind of representation was in short supply.

When Netflix Twitter account The Most asked people to share their memories of the first time they saw a queer person on screen, the LGBT+ community did not disappoint.

Many shared their personal stories, revealing how seeing queer people on television and in film helped them to understand their identities better – even when those depictions were problematic.

Queer people reflected on characters in Mrs Doubtfire and Dawson’s Creek

A number of people reflected on Robin Williams’ 1993 film Mrs Doubtfire, which featured Harvey Fierstein and Scott Capurro as “Uncle Frank and Aunt Jack”. It may not have been the best LGBT+ representation ever, but for many, just seeing a gay couple on screen was enough to help them better understand themselves.

For many others, the first moment they saw a queer person on screen came when Ellen DeGeneres came out – both in real life and in her sitcom – in 1997.

Plenty of others spoke about the first time they saw legendary drag queen RuPaul on television.

Plenty of people also reflected on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the first time they saw queer representation on television, for obvious reasons, while others paid tribute to Dawson’s Creek.

But it wasn’t just television that made the cut – some saw queer characters on screen for the first time in the likes of The Devil Wears Prada and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

For others, their first taste of queerness on screen came in the form of Scar in Disney’s The Lion King. While he never explicitly states his sexuality, we think we can safely claim him as one of our own.

Others reflected on seeing queer characters in soaps like EastEnders, while some heaped praise on shows like Will and Grace and the original run of Queer Eye for representing LGBT+ people when doing so was not yet the norm.

While all of those television shows and films made their own contribution to LGBT+ representation on screen, it’s incredible to see just how far things have moved on since.

 

More: Dawson's Creek, Ellen DeGeneres, Mrs. Doubtfire, the devil wears prada, the lion king

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