Entertainment·Video

Gay characters' screen presence evolves

New films and TV shows are addressing a new frontier in pop culture: gay characters whose narratives aren't limited to 'coming-out stories,' Deana Sumanac reports.

When Oscar-winner Olympia Dukakis decided to take a role in Cloudburst, a small budget Canadian film, it was because she liked the feisty, rebellious character of Stella.

In the new movie by Canadian filmmaker Thom Fitzgerald, Stella is one-half of an elderly same-sex couple travelling to Canada to get married.

Cloudburst is part of what some feel is a new frontier in pop culture: gay characters whose narratives aren't limited to "coming-out stories," says CBC's Deana Sumanac.

Today, issues like infidelity are explored in the film The Kids Are All Right, while gay parenting is shown on TV's Modern Family. Gay characters are mainstays of shows such as Glee and Smash, where the action revolves around their school and work lives, respectively.

This fall will see the premiere of The New Normal, a sitcom that revolves around a gay couple seeking to have children.

Fitzgerald believes film and TV stories are moving toward a more realistic examination of the lives of gay characters, rather than focusing on their novelty.

Andrew Murphy, a programmer of the Inside Out Film Festival, believes this is a growing trend.

"We're moving away from the taboo of homosexuality, as well as moving away from that coming-out story," he told CBC News.

"I think queer film and TV is growing up. It's scary, but we're looking into what happens after that: what happens in our day-to-day lives."