How Did Summer 2022 Become the Summer of Blink-and-You-Miss-Em Queers?

How Did Summer 2022 Become the Summer of Blink-and-You-Miss-Em Queers? ...

Krypto (Dwayne Johnson) discovers that his owner, Superman (John Krasinski), would stop paying attention to him once he married Lois Lane (Olivia Wilde). During this conversation, the camera zooms to Nancy and her unidentified boyfriend.

The oddity of the moment, as well as the disposable nature of the characters, makes Super-Pets seem uninteresting as representation. Many summer 2022 movies have engaged in a strange practice of acknowledging the LGBTQIA+ community but only through blink-and-you-miss-em queer characters.

Summer 2022 began, like most movie summers in the last 20 years, with a new Marvel Comics adaptation. This years addition to the canon was Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which featured the openly queer comics characters America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). Unfortunately, the two mothers are quickly sucked into a wormhole, to be rediscovered in some far-off Marvel Cinematic Universe installment.

Nothing on-screen in Madness implies that the film's director or screenwriter has a problem with queer people or is intended to offend this population. However, it cant help but be disappointed that the only openly queer characters in Madness are tossed into a portal and used as emotional crutches to support Chavez over a multi-film or television show arc. They cant be fun supporting characters or even just have audible dialogue.

Kayla Watts, played by DeWanda Wise, made a special effort to persuade Watts to be bisexual, a fact revealed in a brief conversation between the character and Owen Grady. Watts then brushes out the rug to reveal she was talking about Gradys girlfriend, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard).

Wise's proactive nature behind the scenes here makes it enjoyable to peek into Watts' interior life and desires, while also allowing for her to make an effort to ensure that this Dominion character was queer. Otherwise, the plot isn't long enough to dwell on anything that makes the humans of Dominion tick, even beyond queerness. As a feature film, Dominion sounded like another Summer 2022 film that made the fewest references to the LGBTQIA+ community.

The examples continue throughout the summer. Korg (Taika Waititi) mentions his two fathers and shows him with a boyfriend at the end, while Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) gets two brief scenes leaning on her queerness, while Lightyear, the film that almost broke the internet by depicting an openly Lesbian supporting character, is a testament to how much major American cinema has failed at queer representation.

All the Lightyear gossip explains why Hollywood studios have been slow to produce any queer representation in films that cost more than $30 million, and even in 2022, still only make minor nods to the community. For years, it was assumed that Hollywood studios would shy away from providing queer representation purely because of a desire to placate censors in foreign countries, such as Russia or China. However, the last few years have made it clear that America still has severe problems with queer people and particularly the most marginalized

These issues have likely made Hollywood hesitant to embrace more explicit queer representation in its most important blockbusters, especially since funding for these initiatives have only ballooned in recent years. Even streaming blockbusters in the Summer of 2022, like The Gray Man, which should be free of the box office restrictions that can hinder theatrical films, have been largely devoid of meaningful queer representation.

The short screen time dedicated to queer characters in these Summer 2022 titles is also reflective of the small amount of imagination major Hollywood films have in realizing what material may be considered as queer. This isnt the only way for LGBTQIA+ representation to integrate into your film, from the sets to the sound design and everything in between.

Look at Jamie Babits' work But Im a Cheerleader, which evoked queer painters such as Douglas Sirk and John Waters in its production design. Likewise, Todd Haynes' film Velvet Goldmine, which explored a wide spectrum of queer characters in pop culture, provided valuable visual opportunities to engage with this population.

At their worst, the vague presence of queerness in these films reaffirms that mainstream American cinema may never be a venue where queer people can be seen in explicit and emotionally fulfilling portrayals. Some tough truths of life are unavoidable, and years of trying to make big Marvel or other blockbuster films more appealing to queer viewers may prefer to focus on smaller Summer 2022 titles, like Neptune Frost.

Again, the remaining months of 2022 do appear to have some major theatrical releases that are promising more than just minor acknowledgements of the queer community. The Billy Eichner romantic comedy Bros, for instance, has an entirely queer cast and is largely focused on LGBTQIA+ characters. Even the new Walt Disney Animation Studios title Strange World, will likely have a queer teen boy protagonist voiced by Jaboukie Young-White. Perhaps moviegoers who desire more than a smattering of queerness in

Maybe Summer 2022, in the context of history, will be considered as a transition period for this branch of Hollywood filmmaking. It reflects how big corporations continue to despise the existence of trans people in fully filmed films.

On many fronts, it is a shame, particularly how it avoids getting to know all of the amazing cinematic possibilities offered by the LGBTQIA+ community. Please watch Rafiki or BPM (Beats Per Minute), and not the Summer 2022 movies with blink-and-miss-em queer actors.