That there’s a paucity of excellent films and TV shows about LBTQ women is no revelation. Sure, things aren’t as bad as they used to be, and every now and again there’s something that bucks the trend, but it’s all too rare. It’s a joke amongst the queer women I know that we can all recite the same dozen lesbian films off by heart; from “Bound” to “But I’m a Cheerleader”, we’ve seen them all, and yes, we forgive them a multitude of sins.
But things could and should be better. And they might just be about to improve. Step up Section II.
Section II is touting itself as Netflix for lesbians. They “acquire, create, and showcase curated, LBTQ films, shorts, and series” and they might just be the answer to every queer woman’s representational prayers. If you’re wondering about the name, it comes from the clause in the Motion Picture Production Code which made it illegal to depict homosexuality on screen until 1968. (If you’re interested in this check out our series on the ways filmmakers got around the infamous Hayes Code here.) The thing that silenced the LBTQ community is becoming the name taken by those giving us a voice.
Section II offers a lot to get excited about. They are building a content library of films you’ve never seen or even knew existed. Even better, they are supporting queer filmmakers working right now, providing the kind of support and mentorship so desperately needed if we are going to see the improvements in LBTQ representation that we so need.
Section II describe their project as one of building an “ecosystem”. This vision is at the heart of what makes them so exciting. They see that you can’t address the lack of representation of queer women in film by attending to just one part of the process. By allying themselves to both producers and consumers they’re building a model that has every chance of fixing the lack of LBTQ representation once and for all. This isn’t just a good thing for a lesbian looking for narratives which speak to the world as she knows it, it’s good for everyone. The erasure of LBTQ women from our screens leaves an absence filled only by cliches, damaging stereotypes, and voicelessness. If you want to change this, and if you find Section II as exciting as I do, check out their fundraising page on Seed and Spark and donate so that we can stop moaning and fix a problem we all want to see disappear.
Learn all about Section II – and most importantly support them – here.
(Special thanks to screenwriter Eliza F Lee for being the model of community solidarity and introducing me to Section II!)