Happy Friday, friends! I'm so proud to be part of this year's Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia, just one of many authors and bloggers talking about this very important topic. Today, May 17, is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. (Click here to learn more!)
We're all influenced by what we read, and what we see in movies and on television. One of the first movies I remember seeing that featured a gay character was Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour, starring Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine. The two stars played friends who ran a girls' school and whose reputations were destroyed by a vicious child who spread rumors about them having an "unnatural" relationship. Though the girl's lies were eventually exposed, it still doesn't prevent a tragic ending, when Shirley's character realizes she truly is in love with Audrey.
It seems like in the bad old days, gay characters in film were either stereotyped objects of ridicule or had to be punished for their orientation by dying. And transgender characters didn't even exist.
Thank goodness times have changed and modern movies and books that feature gay and trans folks don't always have to end sadly. In fact, I'd like to share one with you that I really enjoyed.
Ma Vie en Rose is a Belgian film about a transgender/gender variant seven year old named Ludovic who calls himself a "garconfille" (boygirl). When he first appears on screen, he's put on a dress, a necklace and lipstick to meet the neighbors in the family's new neighborhood. His parents uneasily laugh off Ludo's appearance as a joke, but Ludo couldn't be more serious. He believes he's going to grow up to be a girl.
Ludo's parents try to be understanding. His father plays soccer with him, trying to get him into stereotypical "masculine" pursuits. They go to counseling with him. The scene in the counselor's office is very telling. Ludo wants to please his parents and when he asks if he can play with some of the toys in the office, he picks up a truck, but his gaze is locked on the dolls. We know what he really wants to play with.
Through a series of mishaps, the neighborhood turns against Ludo and Ludo's entire family. Ludo's father loses his job and the family is forced to move. Ludo's mom takes this the hardest and in a moment of anger, blames Ludo for everything that's gone wrong. He's crushed.
Throughout the film, Ludo does a lot of daydreaming and is fascinated with a Barbie-like doll called Pam. He even imagines being rescued by Pam and going off to live in her dream house. Happily, though, Ludo's parents rally and realize how important it is to accept him for whom he is. Though there are bumps in the road, this story has a happy ending. If you're looking for a sweet, funny, thoughtful story about love, family and acceptance, you're sure to enjoy Ma Vie en Rose.
Now as my prize for the blog hop, I'm offering a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card that you can use to purchase Ma Vie en Rose or another lgbt themed DVD or book of your choice. I will also make a $25 donation to the lgbtq organization of your choice. For a chance to win, please just leave a comment and tell us your favorite lgbt themed film or favorite gay or trans character from film or television.
The winner will be selected randomly on May 28 (the day after the blog hop ends) and announced on the blog. I will also contact the winner directly, so PLEASE make sure to include your email addy with your comment!
There are plenty more awesome blogs to visit in this hop against hate! Please click the link below to check them all out! There are fun and prizes galore!
Thanks so much for stopping by and hopping against hate!
Have a wonderful weekend, all!
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