Words: Hugh Kaye
No one – not even the previously homophobic right-wing press – batted an eyelid at the happy ending to Love, Simon, possibly this year’s best LGBT+ film.
Things were rather different 20 years ago. Audiences were reportedly uncomfortable with the lead character’s bisexuality in 54 (W, Fri 7 Dec, 9pm). Supposedly, they also didn’t like seeing him kiss another man or the happy ending they both had!
The film focuses on the notorious Studio 54 discotheque in New York in the 1970s and stars Ryan Phillippe, Neve Campbell, and a young Mike Myers, as the club’s owner Steve Rubell.
The film was cut and reshot although original footing was restored many years later. The bigots might have been better off focusing on the film’s executive producer: Harvey Weinstein.
Look out for a host of cameo appearances by the rich and famous – including some bloke called Donald Trump!
Another oddity, is A Very Sordid Wedding (Sky Movies Premiere, Sat 1 December, 2.50pm). It tells of sisers in a small Texan town who takes on the homophobic local pastor who wants to ban same-sex marriage.
It’s director Del Shores’ sequel – made more than 15 years on – to Sordid Lives (and the TV series of the same name), and stars Die Hard’s Bonnie Bedelia, and Whoopi Golderg. Look out also for Will & Grace favourite Leslie Jordan.
Staying with films, there’s another chance to see B&B (Sky Movies Thriller, Weds 5 Dec, 9pm), which stars Tom Bateman and Sean (The Gifted) Teale as a gay couple whose plans to bait a homophobic owner of a bed-and-breakfast establishment go awry when another guest arrives. Paul McGann and Callum Woodhouse also star.
Over in reality TV land, Dr Aisha McKnight-Baron undertakes surgery on her first ever transgender patient in Atlanta Plastic (ITVBe, Fri 7 Dec, 11.10pm).
And when it comes to divas, few are higher up the list than the star of Funny Girl, The Prince of Tides, Nuts and Hello Dolly! To find out more about her life and career as an actor and singing superstar, catch Barbra Streisand: Becoming an Icon (BBC4, Fri 7 Dec, 9pm).
Oh, and if you are just after a bit of young eye candy, Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie Sangster and Will Poulter come to the end of their journey in Maze Runner: The Death Cure (Sky Movies Premiere, Fri 7 Dec, 11.40am).
A rather harder form of candy can be found in Netflix’s Rocco, which looks behind the scenes at the world of pornography and those who star in it, while The 34th charts how LGBT+ people won the fight for marriage equality in Ireland.
The streaming service is also the place to find Holding The Man, in which two teenagers – one the captain of the football team, the other an aspiring actor – fall in love at an all-boys high school.
Based on Timothy Conigrave’s autobiographical book, the film then follows them for the next 15 years as they overcome all sorts of problems and adversity. But then tragedy strikes.