Check out the video of our experience:
He's almost guaranteed to be straight, too. Although the number of gay and transgender characters on TV has increased in the past few years, we still see a statistical absence of LGBT characters from prominent movie roles.
But what if we not only write more roles for gay characters, but put their images and storylines front and center? Seeing relatable characters can help a child, or anyone for that matter, become more comfortable with themselves.
So we gathered a group of LGBT people, chose a few of our favorite movie posters, and had a blast re-creating them.
First, we had Nicola and Kennen re-create one of the Superman Returns posters:
Kennen: "Movies with gay characters are always the sassy gay friend, sexually aggressive bisexuals and lesbians, or one partner dies tragically. There was never a Superman who was an amazing hero that just happens to be gay. So having something like this makes the young gay kid in me very proud and happy to be gay! I didn't really come out until my early twenties. I do think that if there were more posters and movies depicting LGBTQ people, I would've probably come to terms with my sexuality way earlier and skipped the whole self-punishment phase."
Nicola: "If you look at arguably the biggest movie about a gay couple, Brokeback Mountain, in the poster, they're not even in the same shot, let alone showing affection. [When I was growing up] 100% of movie posters with couples were straight couples, and even if there was a gay character, you'd never see them showing affection on a poster. Often we're seen as just the funny person, or other one-dimensional tropes, so seeing a romantic relationship, I think, gives a lot of young LGBT people hope."
Then, Wyatt got his Channing Tatum on for our version of the Magic Mike XXL poster:
Wyatt: "I grew up in a very diverse and multicultural community, and I would love to see that reflected in posters. People get used to seeing monochromatic posters and subconsciously accept them as the norm."
"As a trans man of color [who] has had the opportunity to transition physically and the privilege of being an actor, I feel that it is my responsibility to represent guys like me whenever I can. I would like to show others who don't know much about the LGBT community that we come in a lot of different styles, shapes, and colors!"
Next, Stephanie and her girlfriend, Taylor, took on The Fault in Our Stars:
Stephanie: "Movie posters were a huge part of my childhood. I feel like no matter what age someone is, movies are a huge escape or hope for us, and not seeing many LGBT people represented made me feel a bit more alone and isolated during my coming-out process."
Taylor: "[In the past] I just mindlessly looked at movie posters, and honestly never paid much attention to them. But once I went to college and became more aware of films and their imagery, I paid more attention and became pissed off at the lack of LGBT representation. I think LGBT people are so underrepresented, and movie posters are no exception. As a kid I wish I had had somewhere to turn in media to see gay people like me, especially on an open platform like [BuzzFeed], so to me this is very important."
Nick, Curly, and Mathew gave an LGBT upgrade to Clueless, which has become a cult classic for many gay men:
Nick: "I honestly never really saw many people of color in movie posters, and definitely never really saw gay people. So it was kinda weird not really being able to relate to movies as a kid. I was just like, OK, I'll watch TV, I guess. Clueless was one of my favorite movies from back in the day, though, so I really wanted to do a good job becoming Dionne!"
Curly: "I think it's important to see all types of people in movie posters — white, black, asian, gay, straight, lesbians, ALL OF THE ABOVE — because everyone should be represented."
Mathew: "There are so many movies that are iconic to many of us in the LGBT community (like Clueless or Mean Girls), and although those movies each had important gay characters (Christian and Damian), they were both missing from the posters! The stereotypical gay characters are literally hidden in the background! Growing up and seeing these characters you relate to practically invisible in all of a movie's marketing materials can make you feel sort of invisible. So it made me happy to be able to participate in this project, to take one of my favorite movies and put characters prominently in the poster."
And finally, Will and R.J. re-created the iconic Ghost poster:
R.J.: "A lot of people will see these posters and think of them as funny. And to those people, I just want to ask them why? I mean, sure, we're spoofing movie posters, but is that the only reason why we laugh? Could it be that we think it's unusual for LGBT people to be portrayed in such a heteronormative light? There's nothing inherently different about LGBT people other than how they choose to express their sexuality. So then why do we insist that they only be portrayed in such a limited capacity?"
Will: "I [want] to show through example that I'm not ashamed of who I am. Hopefully, someone else will be inspired to not be ashamed of who they are."
Kennan: I'm really happy about how [the posters] turned out! We need more LGBTQ characters that young audiences can emulate and identify with. By doing [these posters], I think it will help lift the stigma of what it means to be LGBTQ!
R.J.: "I was pretty blown away by how spot-on we were able to get the photograph. Our proportions are a tad different than Patrick and Demi's, but we definitely made it work. I think people will get a kick out of it for sure!"
Wyatt: "This was such a fantastic experience, and I am excited to keep pushing the limits of what many expect guys like me to be like. And to better demonstrate who we are. LGBT people have a multitude of talents and have been contributing members of society since the dawn of time. We have been around and will continue to defy odds."
Stephanie: "I'm very proud about the finished product, and I hope that the world can recognize that and realize we do need more representation for this community."
Mathew: "I love how all of the posters came out. Seeing this beautiful and diverse group of people confidently taking on these posters warmed my often cold heart, and getting to meet and work with everyone was such a powerful experience.
"We've made great progress in this country when it comes to LGBT rights, but there are still places where we aren't viewed as equals. It's scary to think that people in states like Mississippi want to refuse us service or deny us the ability to adopt children just because of who we are. I know the representation of LGBT people in the media has improved, but there's still work to be done. I hope that one day these laws will be a way of the past, and that when I take my child to see a movie she'll be able to look around the theater and see posters filled with characters that she'll be able to relate to."