Finally, I have seen a gay movie which is not merely about the misery of being dumped by a gay lover or trying to come out in a family.
Torch Song Trilogy is a biographical work about the life of the protagonist drag queen, Arnold. The movie starts humourously with the mother's discovery of the son hiding in a closet and trying to beautifying himself with her make-up. The mother yelled, "What are you doing in the ---". Then the mother knew what was going on.
The movie can be basically divided into three parts (that's why it's titled trilogy) - his career as a professional drag queen (or politically correct - a female impersonator), during which he knew a bisexual man; his falling in love with a middle class boy who is still uncontaminated by the world. He, however, was sadly, killed by hateful discrimination. Finally, the movie has a touch of adopting a (gay) son and brings out the issue of gay parenting. The movie ends with a fight, not a reconciliation, between the mother and the gay son. Each part of the movie tells you the life and the bumpy road Arnold was living through at the moment. The movie does not depict it in a pitiful way, or else, it lets the plot bring out the emotio spontaneously to the audience. The dialogues are clever, symbolic and witty. The acting is professional and does not go over the top. The director deals with the fantastic scripts carefully and the final scene of Arnold holding the three most valuable things in his life in a chair is simply self-effacing.
Torch Song Trilogy is a gay classic drama. There is nothing pretentious. The movie does not ask for your pity for Arnold's tragic life, but your understanding of what he has been through.