Evolution Of Queer Couples’ Representation On-Screen

Growing up, my first memory of watching queer representation on-screen was always as a punch line. From Saif Ali Khan and Sharukh Khan pretending to be gay in front of their homophobic maid in Kal Ho Na Ho to Suresh Menon playing Katrina Kaif’s BFF ‘Kiran’, they were always sidelined as funny caricatures. While the depiction in Hollywood was a little more polished, the portrayal wasn’t fair in that part of the world either. In Friends, Susan and Carol were constantly subjected to Ross’ disdain and lesbian puns. Chandler didn’t leave a single opportunity to call out his father, who transitioned into a transgender woman. Even the most cult show of the decade didn’t do justice when it came to showcasing the queer couples in the right light.


As the audiences have now evolved, the content has to follow the benchmark. Today, we see queer couples headlining movies and shows and not just playing side-kicks to the main characters in their pretty pink outfits. David and Patrick’s couple from Schitt’s Creek has garnered a cult fan following, owing to the sensitivity and truthfulness with which their characters were written. Kristen’s Stuart and Mackenzie Davis recently played the romantic leads in a Christmas Holiday movie, a category generally overcrowded with heterosexual couples. We’ve come a long way, and yet, there’s a long way to go.


Here’s an overarching look at the evolution of queer representation in both Bollywood and Hollywood over the years: the good, the bad, and the stereotypical!

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