Prominent Theatre and Film Critics Who Identify as LGBTQ
Theatre and film critics play an influential role in the community when it comes to cultural development, progress, support, and acceptance. They publicly evaluate and share their opinions on productions with a view to providing insight as to their quality, enjoyability and contribution to a subject matter. As such, they are often highly trained and educated in all aspects of theatre or film production, thereby giving them the qualifications to assess their merit and suitability for audiences. Critics see their profession and subject matter as art forms.
As such, theatre and film critics have contributed enormously to the growth of films and plays that have an LGBTQ theme or component to them. Both the LGBTQ film and theatre industry have flourished in most societies, and this community of critics have played a role in that.
Criticism can take two forms: academic studies that attempt to place the production in the context of the development of themes, theory and the industry itself; and popular reviews and opinions designed to sway public interest in the production. In most cases, the critic is located in only one of these forms. Although the profession of cultural critic has been around for a very long time, its growth really took off in the 1920s with the rise of print media and recently with digital media. Blogging and YouTube have popularized the ability to communicate opinions on cultural productions. Online review forums such as Rotten Tomatoes have taken on an influential role in assessing film and theatre, with both good and bad outcomes.
One criticism of the LGBTQ film and theatre critic profession is the lack of diversity in its ranks. Indeed, the vast majority of the LGBTQ individuals we have been able to identify are gay men. There is considerably less representation from the lesbian, transgender, intersex, and other communities, though we have identified Great Britain's Jennie Kermode (bisexual and intersex), Jane Fae and American Danielle Solzman (both transgender). This can impact the success of productions by these other sexual minority communities since there is no critical support from peers. The situation appears to couple with the increasing focus on the lack of diversity in the film and theatre communities themselves.
Of course, theatre and film producers themselves are often at war with the community of critics, especially in the case of bad reviews. Lack of gender balance can add to this air of antagonism. Logic asserts that there needs to be an aggregated number of diverse reviewers offering different perspectives to add value to cultural profession.
We have identified the following LGBTQ individuals as prominent theatre and film critics. Simply click on their names to read their fascinating biographies.
- Hilton Als
- Ben Brantley
- Charles Dillingham
- Alonso Duralde
- Richard Lawson
- Danielle Solzman
- Andy Velez
- J.L. Weinberg
- LGBTQ Lyricists and Composers for Theatre and Film
- LGBTQ Management of Film Festivals
- Lesbian Film and Television Producers and Directors
- The World of LGBTQ Film and Video Animation
- Notable LGBTQ Playwrights