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Stage & Screen

LGBTQI+ theatre and cinema features queer plays and queer films on both stage and screen. They have played a significant role in the representation and visibility of the queer community. These art forms have provided a platform for us to share our stories, experiences, and struggles. They ultimately contribute to the broader movement for LGBTQ rights and acceptance.

Queer Theatre

In the realm of queer theatre, queer-themed plays have been instrumental in challenging societal norms and promoting understanding and empathy.

Modern LGBTQI+ theatre began to emerge following the struggles of the gay liberation movement. Mart Crowley’s play Boys in the Band, a gay-themed play by Mart Crowley, was staged off-Broadway in 1968. One of the first musicals to portray a gay relationship was ‘Boy Meets Boy’, first staged off-Broadway in 1975. The musical-comedy was set in 1936 in a world that normalised homosexual relationships as if they were heterosexual.

The 1970s also saw the creation of groundbreaking queer production companies in the UK, such as Gay Sweatshop, founded in 1975. 1979 Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square, London, staged Bent by Martin Sherman. The production later transferred to the West End. Playwrights like Mart Crowley, Harvey Fierstein, and Tony Kushner were able to bring LGBTQ stories to the forefront. They addressed issues such as coming out, discrimination, and the AIDS crisis.

These plays not only provided a voice for LGBTQ individuals but also educated and enlightened audiences about the struggles faced by our community.

Queer Cinema

Similarly, queer cinema has played a crucial role in representing diverse sexual orientations and gender identities on the big screen. The early days of queer cinema were marked by underground and independent films that explored queer themes due to the lack of mainstream acceptance.

However, with the rise of the New Queer Cinema movement in the 1990s (first coined by the academic B. Ruby Rich in Sight & Sound magazine in 1992), LGBTQI+ films gained more visibility and recognition.

Filmmakers like Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, and Kimberly Peirce created groundbreaking works that challenged heteronormative narratives and offered authentic portrayals of LGBTQI+ characters.

These films not only resonated with queer audiences but also helped to humanise and normalise queer experiences for wider audiences.

The impact of queer theatre and cinema extends beyond mere representation. These art forms have been instrumental in fostering a sense of community and empowerment for LGBTQI+ individuals. Creating and consuming LGBTQ-themed works provides a space for us to see ourselves reflected on stage or screen, validating our queer identities and experiences.

Moreover, queer theatre and cinema have also catalysed social change, challenging discriminatory laws and policies and promoting acceptance and equality.

Queer theatre and cinema still face challenges.

However, it is essential to acknowledge that LGBTQ theatre and cinema still face challenges and barriers. Despite progress, our queer stories are still underrepresented in mainstream media. Queer artists often struggle to secure funding and distribution for their projects. Trans artists have only recently been visible in theatre and cinema, and such appearances are still minimal.

Additionally, the portrayal of LGBTQI+ characters and narratives can sometimes be stereotypical or tokenistic, reinforcing harmful tropes and limiting the diversity of queer experiences.

In conclusion, queer theatre and cinema have played a vital role in the fight for LGBTQI+ rights and acceptance. These art forms have allowed us to share our stories, challenge societal norms, and foster community. While progress has been made, there is still work to ensure that our LGBTQI+ voices are heard and represented authentically in theatre and cinema.

The role of QX Magazine

QX magazine has been amplifying queer voices for over 25 years. We have been at the vanguard of trans visibility. We are delighted to be part of the growing movement that seeks to ensure that queer stories from all corners of our community are heard on the stage and screen and shared with the broader community.

You can visit the pages below to see some of the latest queer plays and films that we have highlighted.

Jayde Adams

The Ballad of Kylie Jenner’s Old Face – Jayde Adams on grief, drag and...

Fresh from her hit Edinburgh run and ahead of a special date in Bloomsbury, Fringe favourite Jayde Adams talks ditching the sparkle for a...
Bridget Riley review

Bridget Riley review – ‘eye-boggling retrospective of an op art icon’

Bridget Riley review ★★★★★ by Ifan Llewelyn Bridget Riley is a heavyweight of the British art scene. Her work is distinct, dynamic and undeniably appealing. There...

Rated X

For their tenth collection of gay-themed shorts, Boys On Film X, the fine folk at Peccadillo have gathered eight films in which young guys...
Nina Bowers and Macy-Jacob Seelochan as Celia in rehearsal for As You Like It

Macy-Jacob Seelochan writes about their role as Celia in Shakepeare’s ‘As You Like It’...

Hi! My name is Macy-Jacob Seelochan, I use all pronouns, and I’m playing Celia in As You Like It at Shakespeare’s Globe this Autumn.  I’ve...
Gay Panto in London 2019

Gay Panto in London 2019 – Top picks for the festive season

The QX Guide to the Gay Panto In London 2019 Season (Oh, Yes it is!) Reaching unprecedented levels of CAMP, the Christmas pantomime is a...

This queer London photographer is bridging the boundaries between art and porn with his...

Photographer Maciek Groman is tantalisingly talented, intravenously inspired and arrestingly affable. Originally hailing from Poland, he moved to London to pursue bright lights and big...

The Curing Room

One of the hits to come out of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Curing Room is based on an allegedly true anecdote recalled...

Getting Camp

Cliff Joannou talks to New York City gogo wonder Matthew Camp about life behind the camera, on screen sex scenes and the problem with...

Being Naked Was My Costume

The French gay dramatic-thriller Stranger By The Lake has taken critics and audiences by storm since premiering on the festival circuit. Even with its...
JP McCue in La Cage aux Folles

QX interviews JP McCue (AKA Mary Mac), one of the Cagelles in La Cage...

La Cage aux Folles comes to Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, and it's the 'big musical' of their 2023 season, which runs from 29 July –...

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