Cheryl Dunye’s “The Watermelon Woman”, is best gay feature film. Dunye spends a lot more time out of the bedroom than inside it in this funny, insightful look at a young lesbian filmmaker tracking the real life story of the subject of her documentary. Dunye plays Cheryl, a Philadelphia video store clerk who’s making a movie on the side. It’s about “the Watermelon Woman”, an obscure black actress who had bit parts in a number of pre-1950 motion pictures with titles like “Plantation Memories”. As Cheryl digs for facts about the woman, she discovers a surprising number of similarities between herself and her subject. The Watermelon Woman, actually named Fae Richards, was a lesbian who lived in Philadelphia, didn’t conceal her lifestyle. Cheryl becomes obsessed about learning everything she can about Fae, and her hunt leads her to friends and intimates of the late actress. It is also about Cheryl’s personal life, which ultimately becomes entwined with her filmmaking.
Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner introduce queer counter public in the article of “Sex in public”. It is the concept that is going against what the society tells as the social norms in the public. In this article what Berlant and Warner suggest is that the world is structured according to heterosexuality, according to the rules of good coupledom and nice, white picket fence families. There exists a whole set of accepted social behaviors that mark the good couple from the not-so-good couple. Normative behavior is any group of social codes that everyone agrees is proper, well practiced and beneficial to society.
As Berlant and Warner mentioned about queer counter public in their article, similarly Cheryl created her own queer counter public by going against the norms of the society and making the lesbian scene in the film in public.