Pariah is a 2011 drama, written and directed by Dee Rees. It follows Alike (Adepero Oduye), a seventeen-year-old living in New York's Fort Greene neighborhood, as she struggles to establish a sexual identity. Alike ('Le' for short) is gay, but not as open about it as her best friend Laura (Pernell Walker). She especially avoids discussing it with her religious mother (Kim Wayans) and police officer father (Charles Parnell), although they have their suspicions.Alike's mother tells her to spend time with Bina (Aasha Davis), the daughter of a coworker, who she deems more appropriate than Laura. As Alike develops feelings for Bina, the stresses caused by her familial and other relationships eventually drive her to embrace the identity she's been trying to hide.
This film provides examples of:
- Butch Lesbian: Laura. Alike to a lesser degree.
- Coming-of-Age Story
- Coming-Out Story
- Gay Aesop - while Alike is pretty comfortable in her own skin, she still faces discrimination from her community
- Gayngst -
- Hide Your Lesbians: Obviously averted.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Bina, although she says she's not "gay gay", and just "doing her thing".
- Lover and Beloved: Laura and Alike.
- The Bechdel Test -passes as cast is almost all women. They discuss sexuality; family relationships.
- Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: The lesbian club where Laura and Alike hang out.