Usually this blog is for my opinions on figure skating, but today I feel like a loud annoying LGBT person, so bear with me.
Recently, Bohemian Rhapsody took the box office by storm. It’s a film about Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band Queen. When I found out it was about a bisexual historical figure, I decided to take a look at it.
First of all, it’s not a horrible film. I was afraid it was going to be stale because after all, it’s a biopic of a band that was popular years before I was even born, but it was a solid drama about a rock star and his journey to stardom.
It would’ve been good. Except…the gay stuff.
I never knew Freddie Mercury, so I can’t tell you how much of the film was true and how much was artistic liberty. But as a bi person, I do know that this film is not an accurate representation of bisexuality, and if you think this is my lifestyle…you need to do your homework, honey.
To be blunt, on his crazy journey of discovering he’s bisexual, Freddie becomes a party boy and cheats on his girlfriend with a guy, thus sending his life spiraling out of control. While this may be the daily reality for some celebs, this is not a normal bisexual lifestyle; this is only a perception of what we are like.
There’s this old myth that bi people will sleep with anything that walks and that we constantly cheat on our partners because after all, everything looks so delicious to us. We get slapped with what I call the Taylor Swift Bad Reputation. But if you talked to one normal bi person, you’d find that we have a standard libido and don’t cheat any more than straight people do.
And movies like Bohemian Rhapsody sure ain’t helping.
It’s simple math: only about 5% of people identify as LGBT. So that means most filmmakers are straight people, and usually straight filmmakers = straight films. And even when these few LGBT films make it to the big screen, they’re often just reinforcing age-old stereotypes, because most of the time, they’re written by straight people who don’t have a clue what being gay, bi, or transgender really means.
Time after time, gay men on screen are portrayed as nothing more than flamboyant sissies who talk in riddles like the Mad Hatter. Lesbians are stuffed in two boxes: 1. comically unfeminine and unattractive, or 2. as an fetishized object for men to pursue, as if they’re just playing “hard to get”. And of course bi people are labeled as confused, greedy, and promiscuous. The only way to break these stereotypes is to show real, beautiful stories – told by people who understand.
First of all, it would be nice to see a movie starring a gay character that is about more than just being gay. I’m slowly seeing a shift in YA novels, but we need a mainstream movie like Star Wars or Batman starring LGBT heroes (The Hunger Gays, anyone?). Instead of Lois Lane, why can’t Superman have a cool boyfriend? Why can’t one of the Avengers have a little same-sex relationship going on? And where the heck is our first lesbian or bisexual Disney Princess?
I never had any bisexual role models in books and movies when I was growing up – and this was the 21st century, y’all. During those confusing few years when I started to question my orientation, I could never open a book and read about a character who was feeling the way I did. I didn’t even know being bi was a thing.
In the end, I had to be my own role model. Being half Asian and looking more like my Vietnamese mom than my white dad, I was plenty used to the stereotypes and plain lack of representation (besides Mulan, always and forever my favorite movie). I admired people who were brave and confident, and eventually I learned to have the courage to blaze my own trail. It’s scary sometimes, but every day I fight to do something with this life and be somebody I can be proud of, regardless of who I find beautiful or sexy.
I’m not a filmmaker and don’t plan on a career in the film industry, so I can’t create the movies the way I want them. But I can tell my own story on this blog. It’s the little power I have. And I’m going to use it.
Okay, that’s my obnoxious bisexual post for the year. Hope it makes sense. I’ll be back to writing skating reviews in a few days. In the meantime, be kind and keep your heart open, so love will find its way in.