In yesterday’s class, one of our discussion leaders talked about The Celluloid Closet, a documentary that highlights the portrayal of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals in film. As a member of the LGBT community myself, I was personally interested in hearing about this subject matter in class. Even though I knew, as it is common knowledge, that early on in cinema history, members of the LGBT community were not portrayed in the brightest light on screen, I was still really bothered and angered hearing it discussed out loud. As we talked about, they were seen as sinners or mentally ill people. I remember how the 1990’s prime time soap opera Melrose Place featured the gay character Matt Fielding for about 5 seasons. Throughout the show, he was depicted as meeting guys and going out on romantic dates to restaurants and such. However, he was the only character on a show of about 7 or 8 people, that was never shown kissing or in bed with somebody else. There was even a big story about how he was going to have his first on screen kiss. But when this story came out, there was a major uproar from the viewing audiences. Pressures from FOX forced the show to edit out the kiss. However, as with everything, change occurred, and we now live in a time period where LGBT characters and people are seen everywhere. From movies, to television shows, to musical artists and actors, to news anchors. Back in 2010, the film Beginners, was a major hit with audiences and critics. It told the real life story of a man (played by Ewan McGregor) who’s father (played by Christopher Plummer) comes out to him as gay at the age of 75, five years before his death. Christopher Plummer would eventually go on to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. Today, for the most part, it is much more acceptable and easier to come out as gay or as a member of the LGBT community. Yes, unfortunately, there are still instances of gay bashing and bullying out there in the world. However, in comparison to how it was years ago, being LGBT is not as shunned or stigmatized by society, as seen with marriage equality being legalized nationwide in 2015. I always remind myself to be grateful to live in a time where I can be myself openly and honestly. Who knows how my life would have been if I were living in the 1970’s and earlier. My question is: If you are a member of the LGBT community, how has this shift in the portrayal of LGBT characters impacted your life? If you are not a member of the LGBT community, how can you relate to this progression. In other words, was your identity or part of your identity not previously portrayed on movies or in the media, but is now being portrayed today? If so, how is it being portrayed?