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The Five Most Unrealistic Depictions of Gay Characters in Film

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | July 14, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | July 14, 2009 |

I don’t get gay stereotypes. People often (and stupidly) suggest that stereotypes wouldn’t be funny if there weren’t a bit of truth to them, but I’ve never really seen any truth to the gay stereotypes in film. In fact, I think that today’s gay stereotypes are based on decades’ old gay stereotypes, which never had any basis in reality to begin with. Gay stereotypes are not only dumb, unfunny, and often offensive, but they’re based on fictional constructs. Until I was married, I lived with gay men most of my life, and — except in jest — I don’t think I’ve ever heard a gay man say “fabulous.” And the only time I’ve ever really seen a gay man fit the description of a gay stereotype is when he was playing up the stereotypes for laughs, ala Carson Kressley on “Queer Eye for a Straight Guy.”

Screaming queens exist only on television, movies and in stage acts, never in reality. And by listing, here, the five most unrealistic depictions of gay characters in film, I hope I can begin to debunk some of these myths:

5. Nathan Lane as Albert Goldman in The Birdcage

Gay Fiction: That there’s a “woman” in every gay relationship. Reality: Both members of the couple are the “women” in the relationship.

4. Robert DeNiro as Captain Shakespeare in Stardust

Gay Fiction: Gay men like to prance around in women’s clothing. Reality: Gay men like to prance around in pirate costumes.

3. Wilson Jermaine Heredia as Angel in Rent

Gay Fiction: That all gay men have AIDS. Reality: Actually, this one is mostly true.

2. Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes in 300

Gay Fiction: That a gay man could rule over an entire ancient kingdom. Reality: Gay men are too busy fucking to hold positions of authority.

1. Sacha Cohen Baron as Bruno in Bruno

Gay Fiction: That all gay men are attracted to straight men. Reality: All gay men are attracted to underage boys, regardless of their sexual preference.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.