20 LGBTQIA+ stories with upbeat endings

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4. Bound

If you’re at all familiar with LGBTQIA+ cultures, then you may have noticed that a certain cultural identity has been missing from this list. Where are all the butches?

A “butch,” if you’re not in the know, is typically a lesbian woman who takes on traditionally masculine signifier and, sometimes, the masculine role within a relationship. Think short hair, no makeup, leather jackets — that sort of thing. Of course, there’s a distinct tension between the cultural figure of “the butch” and women who actually identify as such.

Certainly, some of the more sexist aspects of traditional butch-hood have been called into question over the years, in an ongoing dialogue that deserves an article or book of its own. At any rate, LGBTQIA+ people and cultures are not monolithic.

Still, it’s important to have a wide range of people and identities on display. With that in mind, let’s turn to Bound.

This 1996 film stars Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly as the central couple. It’s also directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, the noted sibling duo who went on to direct The Matrix trilogy (and who also happen to be transgender). Bound focuses on Violet (Tilly) a kind of film noir princess in a castle who wants to escape life with her threatening mafioso boyfriend.

Enter Corky

She finds an out with Corky (Gershon), an ex-con who is hired to do painting and plumbing work in Violet’s apartment building. Violet takes an immediate liking to Corky. In an attempt to get closer, she purposefully drops an earring down a drain and asks Corky to retrieve it.

Shameless flirting commences, soon to be followed by much more. Violet’s initiative is especially appreciated when you consider that femmes like her have historically been pigeonholed into passive roles.

But, there’s the problem of Caesar, Violet’s creepy and abusive boyfriend. To get out of that alive and happy will require some serious planning and decisive action from Corky and Violet. Thankfully, they have both in abundance.