This week it was revealed that the Yellow Ranger in the new Saban’s Power Rangers movie would be a member of the LGBT+ community, with the character becoming the first big screen superhero the world has ever seen. While the move is a fantastic one, LGBT+ visibility in Hollywood is still something that has a lot of work left to be put in. Despite that, today we’re celebrating five of the characters that have already helped fill that void, and who have made big impacts in theatres across the globe…
4. Le Fou, played by Josh Gad in Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Lots of people kicked up a stink about Le Fou becoming Disney’s first exclusively gay character, cementing the fact that there is still a lot of prejudice out there when it comes to acceptance of the minorities included within the LGBT+ community. Though it’s a little controversial to have your first homosexual character’s name literally translate to ‘The Fool’, it’s good to see Walt Disney Studios finally stepping up to the plate in bringing LGBT visibility to their family-oriented movies. Hopefully, this is the start of something huge for the company moving forward. Perhaps soon we’ll have our first LGBT lead Disney character?
3. Rayon, played by Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Though we of course always prefer trans actors taking on trans roles in the world of movies, Jared Leto’s portrayal and mastery of the role he was given in Dallas Buyers Club as Raya cannot be denied. Despite immediately being portrayed as a drug addict and HIV-positive member of the trans community, Rayon proves that through all of that you can be a BOSS, and begins setting up business with Matthew McConaughey’s character, Ron Woodroof. The result is the Dallas Buyers Club, where they charge $400 per month for alternate medication for those who are suffering with HIV. An eye-opening look into the America that first discovered the disease and slammed anybody who had it.
2. Lisbeth, played by Noomi Rapace in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
As one of the most compelling and intriguing characters in modern day popular culture, Lisbeth Salander has become a hero of the bisexual community. When Rooney Mara took on the role in the American adaptation of the best-selling novel, she and those who worked on the film were unafraid to delve deep into her sexuality, showing her up, close and personal with fellow actress Yasmine Garbi, who played Miriam Wu. Lisbeth is everything a queer character should be; unafraid to be herself, ready to kick ass and showing signs of having weathered a lot of stuff in the past. Rapace played the role perfectly.
1. Laurel and Stacie, played by Julianne Moore and Ellen Page respectively, in Freeheld (2015)
Based on the short documentary film of the same name, Freeheld follows the story of Laurel Hester and her fight against the Ocean County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders who won’t allow her pension benefits to be transferred to her domestic, same-sex partner, after she’s diagnosed with terminal cancer. If you’re looking for an emotional ride, this is certainly the movie for you. Moore and Page do brilliant jobs in their roles and shine a light on a hugely important topic in American politics.