Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gay films and the viewing public

It's hard to believe that just 2 years ago people were excited or angry about the success of Brokeback Mountain. I never saw the movie, though my wife tells me it was quite good. At the time, everyone was saying that the movie had broken all sorts of barriers and that a windfall of great gay movies and gay leading characters were coming as a result of the success of the movie. I guess all those predictions were wrong. This article examines why those predictions were wrong. The article is definitely slanted in the pro-gay direction, but is worth a read. The article gives a lot of good reasons, but I think that they miss the point of demographics. Most estimates put the total gay population of either the US or the world at about 10%. Obviously that means that 90% fall into the straight category. If only 10% of the population is gay, why then should (or would) more than 10% of lead characters be gay. I know that the gay population wants someone they can relate to, but for better or for worse they are the minority and thus are going to have a minority of lead characters. If you're going to make a movie that's going to relate to people then you need to aim at the greatest number of people to fit that category and when it comes to sexual orientation that's going to be straight folks. Personally, I don't have a problem with gay characters as long as they're written with balance and their sexual orientation isn't thrown in my face, but that goes for straight characters as well. So I guess what I'm looking for is good writing and that doesn't have anything to do with sexual orientation.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW 10%. Don't think that 1 in 10 people I meet are gay, and I live in a very accepting area. I would put the number closer to 1%. I work with over 600 people and I know of only two who are gay. Where did that 10% figure come from?

BowHunter

shadowmom1 said...

I have always heard 12%.

Bowhunter. You work in a pretty macho industry. I doubt that being gay is a plus there, to say the least. Also, many poeple have not "come out". It is still not pleasant, for the most part, to live as an openly gay person.

At reunion time, I was in touch with four people from my high school class. Two of them told me they were gay! The third is married with children, the fourth is still single. (This is two men and two women.) And this is just random. Two of them I knew pretty well as a child, the other two I only knew a bit. I would never have guessed if they had not told me.

Sean said...

10% is a pretty standard number for the percentage of the populous that is homosexual.