Homosexuality Within Teen Movies

A subtopic to look into, within teen sexuality in movies, is teen homosexuality in movies as well. “Films that portray (and even celebrate) teenagers adapting to gay lifestyles may affect cultural attitudes toward gays” (John Hughes). As said by Hughes in the article, Teen Films: Since the 1990s, the way that films portray teens reacting and interacting in gay lifestyles, positive or negative, will eventually effect their attitudes. The 1999 movie Boys Don’t Cry is an example of going against the norms of teen sexuality in movies. Hilary Swank plays a boy, Brandon, who happens to be a transgender teen pursing a relationship with a teenage girl. The people around them do not accept Brandon and the relationship between him and his girlfriend. He is constantly patronized for being himself and ends up being brutally murdered just because biologically he is a female. Some would say that this type of media exposed to teens is a positive reinforcer or a negative reinforcer towards their attitudes and beliefs. Negative in that it shows that homosexuality may not be accepted by all and that the possibility of being patronized does exist. This would cause teens who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender to keep who they truly are to themselves. Positive in that it shows the amount of perseverance that Brandon had and he was willing to risk his life to be himself. It is a rare happening that teen sexuality in movies is displayed in this way, so when it does occur the effects it has on teens today needs to be looked at closely.

Works Cited:

Boys Don't Cry. Dir. Kimberly Pierce. Perf. Hilary Swank. 1999. Youtube.com. 16 Oct. 2006. Web. 1 Dec. 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOarssJWHhI>.

Hughes, John. "Teen Films." Film Reference. Advameg, Inc., 2010. Web. 01 Nov. 2010.

Allee A.