I defend this movie against total straight washing. Also I’m not listing the articles or tweets or anything else I’ve read about this movie because I already will probably write this more dramatically than I intend to and don’t proclaim that I disagree with these people’s interpretations. It’s just that what I’ve written here is my opinion on how the movie handles Freddie’s bisexuality and the response people have had to it.
The first sign of queerness in this movie was when Freddie was on the phone to Mary, and Freddie got distracted by a well-build guy walking into a bathroom at the petrol station.
The next was when Paul kissed Freddie. And I’ve read about how Paul ‘thrusting’ himself onto Freddie suggests that Freddie’s attraction towards men is therefore also considered ‘thrusting unwantedly’ upon him. Making bisexuality or homosexuality seem also ‘unwanted.’ But honestly what sort of bullshit is it to think that he’d not turn Paul down??? He was engaged to Mary when Paul kissed him. You expect the man to just start making out with Paul? He said no, and he said no because he loved Mary. My deepest apologies that the man chose to stay loyal.
And there was a BDSM gay club for fuck’s sake. Don’t you dare say to me again that there wasn’t any gay content in it Patricia.
And I’m not saying either that Bohemian Rhapsody is worthy of praise for its queer representation of how it handles Freddie’s sexuality even. Definitely not. It’s not a great representation really at all for people, and even on the same level for a film that queer people can love as much as something like Love, Simon. But life isn’t always amazing. And not everyone in your life is going to be amazing. Sometimes life is just shit. Sometimes like Freddie you will feel alone, confused and helpless.
Then some reckon that Freddie’s bisexuality was erased when Mary said ‘no, you’re gay’ – but I don’t know… Throughout the entire film there was Mary as a love interest until they became close, lifelong friends when their relationship kind of fell apart. But Freddie still obviously cared very much for her, and her for him, and then Freddie had male partners too. So the audience knows he’s bisexual. Plus Mary is upset in that scene – people say insensitive things when they’re hurt.
And also the movie ends with the Live Aid concert, which was in the same year that Freddie started dating Jim. So Jim doesn’t feature as predominately as Mary as Freddie’s partner. But that’s more the movie timeline’s fault. And it’s pretty hard to fit someone’s life story into a 2 hour movie… So I empathise with those who say that Jim should have been in the film more… But also I understand that the Live Aid concert was a pretty good place to end to the film.
Jim was depicted so lovely though. Him and Mary were so wonderful. And I was so happy that in the ending scene they were both there to watch Freddie perform. Paul was very villainised though, and some say that gives a certain ‘gay couples are bad’ feel to the movie because Paul was so manipulative. And I do think he should’ve been portrayed a lot more ‘human’. But also maybe I’m just a bad person for understanding Paul’s motives for everything and not hating him because he was clearly so scared, wanted to be with Freddie so badly, and also wanted more than he had or could obtain. But Freddie still did have two wonderful partners, one a female and one a male.
I am sorry that we weren’t given a nice depiction of bisexuality where everyone always accepts Freddie and him and others aren’t unbelieving or uncertain about it. But I am not really that sorry that we’re shown what can happen to people. That w are given something that for many, is a reality.