LGBT culture
2 min

Butch dykes and soft porn

I love films. I can happily sit for hours watching B-rated movies — especially gay
and lesbian ones. They are normally badly acted, under budgeted and lacking in good
lesbian sex scenes.

With the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival just two months away,
I found myself looking at news clips on new queer-themed films. In doing so, I found a
report by the BBC on a recent survey by the UK Film Festival — which officially
closes its doors on April 1 — that gays and lesbians feel they’re
stereotyped in films. Almost three-quarters of lesbian, gay and bisexual audiences
believe that films focus on queers as having problems rather than being
everyday people. Gay men said they were depicted too frequently as being camp
while lesbians said they were portrayed as male fantasies and sexually
aggressive.

Really?

Every queer film I see portrays lesbians as tall, beautiful,
dressed in designer clothes and wealthier than their gay counterparts.
Sex is usually relegated to one pathetic kissing scene, which can hardly be seen as playing
into men’s fantasies.

I hope that this year’s film circuit will
put an end to that.

The London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival opens on April 1 in the UK; a few of the chosen films are already making waves.

For lesbians, the film to see is Gigola — described by the Guardian as a blend of pulp and
soft porn. Set in the 1960s, a “stylish butch, Gigola” entices
“pretty femmes away from their pimps, breaking hearts and making a few enemies
along the way.”

Guys can break away from camp portrayals (not that there’s anything wrong with camp) with the House of Boys, which looks like a great bet. The film follows Frank in
Amsterdam as he finds a home in a “bar cum brothel.”

Moving away from London and into Malaysia, there are reports
that a gay film called Dalam Botol is generating controversy. In it a Muslim man undergoes a sex-change
operation because he thinks it will please his boyfriend. The two hug but do
not kiss and are played by straight men.

In a country that still maintains a law against
sodomy, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, the film has been accepted by a general audience. However, it is not popular with gay, lesbian and
transgender folks, who feel they are portrayed as unhappy with
their sexuality.

If you’re in Toronto and are thinking about volunteering for Inside Out, representatives will be at The 519
April 10 for a big, queer volunteer fair. And in the meantime, here’s the Gigola trailer to whet your appetite…

 

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