Where are the black LGBT characters in holiday films?

sad girl on a red couchBY LATEEFAH WILLIAMS
Washington Blade

It’s holiday season — that time of year when people from all walks of life spread holiday cheer and warm and fuzzy Christmas-themed movies fill the big screen. If you are black and LGBT, you are probably already accustomed to not seeing yourself or your family depicted in films. While there is a dearth of black LGBT characters in movies yearlong, the absence is particularly notable during the holiday season.

During the year, when the occasional black LGBT character makes his or her appearance in a mainstream film, that character is often the butt of jokes or depicted in a comedic role. It is rare to see loving black LGBT families depicted in mainstream movies. Thus, when holiday season rolls around and family-oriented movies dominate the box office, it’s hard not to notice the glaring omission of black LGBT characters as a message that such characters are either deemed to be inappropriate in family-friendly films or that Hollywood is completely out of touch and doesn’t realize that it has erased black LGBT individuals from black families in holiday movies, despite the fact that most black families I know have a gay relative in their extended or immediate families.

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