It's a Pride-Month Double Feature!
Genre: Love, Victor – Melodrama/Coming of Age Soap | Disclosure – Documentary Why We Watched: We screened a lot of LGBTQ+ media during the month of June. Love, Victor and Disclosure were two of our favorites. As Love, Simon fans, we’d eagerly awaited the first, and we stumbled upon the latter when the documentary pushed to Netflix on June 19. We think the two are the perfect Pride pairing!
You Might Also Like: In honor of Pride month, there were tons of best-of lists circulating last month. We especially liked Harper’s roundup of the greatest queer films of all time and Buzzfeed’s list of timely offerings.
Now more than ever, we're after some feel-good content. Enter Love, Victor: A ten-part series about Victor Salazar (fresh-faced newcomer Michael Cimino), a closeted teen trying to find his way in life and in love. Victor was the athletic cool guy at his old high school back in Texas. But when he moves to Atlanta, he finds his world upended in more ways than one. As a Columbian–Puerto Rican living in 2020, he’s already facing microaggressions because of his Latinx heritage. On top of that, is he ready to take on all that being out would entail? The series is cute, comforting, and a little melodramatic. Both of us finished it in one sitting. This month we also watched the documentary Disclosure, an eye-opening look at transgender depictions in film and television. It’s a short film, but in just under two hours the movie reveals how many problematic depictions of queerness Hollywood has churned out over its hundred-year history. “The ways in which trans people have been represented on-screen have suggested that we’re not real, have suggested that we’re mentally ill, that we don’t exist,” says Disclosure subject and producer Laverne Cox. The documentary has the receipts to back this up, showing countless clips of such representations. We loved Love, Victor! It was so fun. We're still sitting with the problem that series star Michael Cimino is straight—particularly in light of Cox's statement in Disclosure that straight, cisgender actors playing queer characters runs the risk of queerness seeming "not real." But in terms of representation, having a series with a gay teen at its helm is still a big deal. In an interview, here’s what Cimino said after explaining that his cousin’s coming out story inspired his portrayal: "I wanted Victor to feel like a real human being. I feel like the most important thing about this whole story is that someone could relate to Victor and relate to his story, no matter what your sexual orientation is, no matter what ethnicity you are. And I feel like adding elements of myself and of my cousin, did that." We’re all about celebrating progress where progress exists, and there is absolutely progress to celebrate this month. On June 15, the US Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. And this past year, GLAAD found that 18 percent of films from major studios contained characters identified as LGBTQ+, an increase from the previous year’s 12 percent. Both of these picks gave us food for thought and hope for social change. We hope they do the same for you. Happy streaming, Liz and Tess