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A history of LGBTQ+ representation in film

Fox 2000 Pictures

A history of LGBTQ+ representation in film

Edison Manufacturing Company

1894: ‘The Dickson Experimental Sound Film’ as first gay film

The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company

1915: Charlie Chaplin is ‘A Woman’

Lone Star Corporation

1916: ‘Behind the Curtain’ employs the first gay gag

UCLA Film & Television Archive

1919: ‘Anders als die Anderen’ advocates for LGBTQ+ acceptance

Paramount Pictures

1922: ‘Manslaughter’ includes film’s first ‘erotic’ gay kiss

Nazimova Productions

1922: Gay collaboration during the filming of ‘Salome’

Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation

1927: Two soldiers kiss in the first Best Picture winner

Nero-Film AG

1929: ‘Pandora’s Box’ features cinema’s first lesbian character

Donaldson Collection // Getty Images

1930: In ‘Morocco,’ the leading lady kisses another woman

Deutsche Film-Gemeinschaft

1931: ‘Mädchen in Uniform’ tells an explicitly lesbian story

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

1933: ‘Queen Christina’ includes hints of its subject’s lesbianism

Kurt Hutton // Getty Images

1934: Hollywood’s Hays Code is strictly enforced

RKO Radio Pictures

1938: ‘Bringing Up Baby’ uses ‘gay’ in a queer context

Warner Bros.

1941: A newly queer-coded villain in ‘The Maltese Falcon’

Warner Bros.

1948: Gayness and murder collide in Hitchock’s ‘Rope’


1950s: ‘Pit of Loneliness’ broaches 1950s lesbianism

Warner Bros.

1955: ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ features the ‘first onscreen gay teenager’

Allied Film Makers (AFM)

1961: ‘Victim’ criticizes British homophobia

The Mirisch Corporation

1961: ‘The Children’s Hour’ portrays sympathetic yet tragic lesbianism

Shirley Clarke Productions

1967: ‘Portrait of Jason’ explores ’60s Black gay identity

Palomar Pictures (I)

1968: ‘The Killing of Sister George’

Evening Standard/Hulton Archive // Getty Images

1968: The Hays Code is officially lifted

Art Theatre Guild (ATG)

1969: ‘Funeral Parade of Roses’ explores Tokyo’s gay scene

Cinema Center Films

1970: ‘The Boys in the Band’ centers on a gay friend group


1972: ‘Pink Flamingos’ cements John Waters as the ‘Pope of Trash’

Warner Bros.

1975: ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ brings a real-life gay crime to the Oscars

Twentieth Century Fox

1975: The pinnacle of queer camp

Barbara Alper // Getty Images

1978: ‘Word Is Out’ highlights 26 queer documentary subjects

Lorimar Film Entertainment

1980: ‘Cruising’ inspires backlash

IndieProd Company Productions

1982: ‘Making Love’ sets out to produce gay role models

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

1983: ‘The Hunger’ becomes a queer cult classic

Desert Hearts Productions

1985: ‘Desert Hearts’ gives lesbians a happy ending

Rondo Productions

1986: ‘Parting Glances’ deals with the AIDS crisis

Art Matters Inc.

1990: ‘Paris Is Burning’ spotlights New York ballroom culture

Fred Hayes // Getty Images

1992: B. Ruby Rich coins ’New Queer Cinema‘

TriStar Pictures

1993: Tom Hanks and ‘Philadelphia’ break down barriers


1995: ‘The Celluloid Closet’ chronicles LGBTQ+ film history

Universal Pictures

1995: ‘To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar’ makes drag mainstream

Dancing Girl

1996: ‘The Watermelon Woman’ becomes first film by Black lesbian

Fox Searchlight Pictures

1999: Hilary Swank plays a trans teenager in ‘Boys Don’t Cry’

HECTOR MATA // Getty Images

1999: Pedro Almodóvar wins big for ‘All About My Mother’

Focus Features

2005: Audiences can’t quit ‘Brokeback Mountain’

Bryan Bedder // Getty Images

2010: ‘The Kids Are All Right,’ and they got a Best Picture nomination

Chicken And Egg Pictures

2011: ‘Pariah’ announces an exciting new lesbian filmmaker

Daniele Venturelli // Getty Images

2013: ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ wins the Palme d’Or

Duplass Brothers Productions

2015: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor star in ‘Tangerine’

Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal // Getty Images

2017: ‘Moonlight’ wins Best Picture

Kevin Winter // Getty Images

2018: ‘A Fantastic Woman’ wins Best Foreign Language Film

Scott Ehler // Getty Images

2018: ‘Love, Simon’ tells a gay high school love story

Pascal Le Segretain // Getty Images

2018: ‘Rafiki’ becomes the first Kenyan film at Cannes


2019: A record year for representation, with notable asterisks


2021: ‘The Mitchells vs. the Machines’ brings LGBTQ+ character into mainstream children’s entertainment

Article Topic Follows: stacker-Entertainment

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