TORCH SONG TRILOGY (1988)
If the gay world didn’t have Harvey Fierstein, we would have had to invent him. That voice, that attitude, that persona — he’s a bundle of stereotypes that transcends the label. Torch Song Trilogy, adapted from his Tony Award-winning play, brought Fierstein to the masses — just the thing for all the gay kids living between the coasts (or even on them) who still lacked for images of the lives they could possibly live. And Trilogy presented a lot of images — from Fierstein’s over-the-top Arnold Beckoff to Matthew Broderick’s brave (yet lamentably doomed) Alan Simon. Torch Song Trilogy goes for laughs and tears in equal measure — and earns them both honestly. It deserves its position as one of our community’s cultural touchstones.