A Look Back at How the LGBTQ+ Community Has Been Represented in Hollywood Films
Even less than a century ago, blockbuster pictures like Fire Island, Brokeback Mountain, and Call Me By Your Name would have been impossible to make.
The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America adopted the Motion Picture Production Code, sometimes known as the Hays Code, from 1934 to 1968, which governed what was judged ethically permissible to display to moviegoers. This had an impact on whether or not films included topless women, obscene language, or even men and women sleeping in the same bed.
The restriction on representations of same-sex couples, however, was the most detrimental regulation. As a result, until the early 1970s, when the rating system was implemented, the LGBTQ+ community in America was mostly unrepresented in films.
Some filmmakers, like Nicholas Ray, who made Rebel Without a Cause and was thought to be bisexual, got around the Code by giving small hints about the characters’ sexual orientations, especially Plato Crawford’s.
However, it wasn’t until films like Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) that the LGBTQ+ population was fully featured on the big screen.
Since then, Hollywood has made significant progress in portraying underrepresented communities, but there is still work to be done. Check out our collection to discover how far the industry has come in telling LGBTQ tales and the improvements that may be made for the better!