I recently watched this movie and it was an instant favorite. It’s a gay movie, but not a “gay movie”
What I mean by that is that while there is a main character who is gay, and he’s one of the three leads. But it doesn’t have any of the usual staples of a “gay movie.” It isn’t campy or sex-driven. It doesn’t have anything to do with AIDS, coming out, the stonewall riots, bullying, or suicide. Don’t get me wrong, all of these topics are great and necessary, but it’s great to see a movie about a gay guy just living his life.
In the movie the gay guy, Howie, joins a Debate Club started by two other students, all of whom are being adversely affected by censorship. Howie’s main conflict in the movie is that he wants to form a GSA, but his school board won’t approve it. A school board consisting of his mother (who votes for him), his soon to be friend’s mother (who votes for him), and his soon to be friend’s father (who votes against him).
Howie doesn’t have a tragic past, but he does have some sad events in his past. I won’t get too far into it since they might count as a spoiler
He also doesn’t wind up being the gay best friend. He does become best friends with the female lead, but they discuss things of actual substance.
Basically, I feel that this is an accurate representation of a young gay man in high school.
(Also if you watch it, you should remember that he is one of three leads, so he isn’t the center of attention)
Portuguese-Chinese, Spanish-Filipino, Norwegian, Irish, pansexual. Culturally, I practice some Filipino and Chinese customs, but internalized racism kept my mother from teaching me her language. I’ve had white family members tell me my name was “weird” or that I got “handouts” for being a poc. My Filipino family members tell me I’m not one of them because I’m white. Their reactions to queer individuals range from “that’s strange” to “they’re all going to hell.” I now live away from all of them and am working, little by little, to learn my mother’s language and make my own life.
I love this movie, it has different tropes that it inverts and different tropes that plays straightforward, which I think is a good thing.
Now, the main thing against it that I can think of is how campy it seems from the posters and trailers. And while, yes, it does have its moments, for the most part it’s a really good story with some great lessons along the way.
One of the things that I loved about this movie is how the main character, Tanner, is also a nerd. You don’t see that many gay nerds in media. And while I think they could have done a better job at expressing it, with only the random comic reference here and there, it’s nice to have these two different archetypes combined.
I also enjoyed the high school setting, and while the idea of bullying did fuel the plot, it wasn’t a movie about bullying. Actually they manage to use bullying in a creative way, with it being the main character’s motivation for befriending the three popular girls
While we’re on the subject, I also like how it subverted some of the stereotypes with the popular girls. With the Queen Bee actually being smart, and only trying to be popular to make up for the fact that she has no real friends. Then there’s the Drama Queen, who is trying to use her flair and influence as a platform to prop up black women and other minorities. And lastly there is the Repressed Mormon, who while she does actually believe that the main character IS going to Hell because he’s gay, she also believes that he and the rest are going to Hell for drinking caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, and tries her best to abide by ALL of her religion’s beliefs, only getting drunk or caffeinated when someone lied to her about what was in a drink, and she’s actually super nice, and defends Tanner and the others from other Mormons.
I also like how while there are some gay characters who are completely obsessed with sex, there are others who aren’t, and seem to be more interested in dating.
Some favorite quotes:
“You Mormons are a horny repressed people!!!”
“I mean, do you really want of it’s filled with nothing but psychos like her?”
“Look, we all know you’re gayer than a very special episode of Glee.”
“At least I tried to bride him with sex. I treated him like an actual human being and not some asexual, neutered little purse puppy.”
“I never RSVP’d to a non-stop pity party.”
A belated happy Pride to you all with (surprise, surprise) some Dragon Age characters, as well as an even later congratulations to the US for legalizing gay marriage! Keep up the good work and the fun!
So Liverpool Pride was good! I had fun with Charlotte and Ridda :) (kinda wish Dad (non-biological) was there, but every day is Pride up in York XD)
There was an awkward moment when I came in and my dad (biological) and I had a mini heart-to-heart where he asked me why I supported LGBTQ rights and I just gave an ally answer, and he was like ‘Cool, I do too I mean half the people who don’t are racist too so it’s us minorities together, right?’ Dodged a bullet there, eh?
Awww but it was horrible walking to town though when as soon as I stepped out into the swarms of football fans everyone started staring, but when I got to the parade, I was like WOO and happy and comfy and shit (except from when these 13 year olds stroked my arm and called me sexy) and even Ridda was like 'Huh? How can you talk to people, it’s so weird seeing you like this’ and I hadn’t really realised I thought I just felt happy and I was all 'Well, these are my people idk I just feel good here’
All in all (even though I missed Amelia Lily) 8/10 would recommend :)
So I have an idea for a book you guys. As we all know there is not a lot written on sex with trans folks. Logistically is usually tired Q&As about “your trans partner’s dysphoria is not your fault/use the terms they use for body parts..” and anecdotally is usually in response to questions like “is this normal?”
So I wanna compile a bunch of sex stories by trans folks involving figuring out what worked for you: upsetting times where you couldn’t get off, changes to the types of sex you enjoyed before/after HRT, great stories of understanding partners…and so on.
Essentially I wanna have anecdotal stories that add up to something that could help out cis partners, and aid other trans and gender non-conforming folks in understanding that it isn’t our fault if sex gets complicated.
Here’s the kicker though: I’m trying to shove this in a last minute proposal to a mini publishing company by the 17th. So throw your stories at me if you want! you can email em to email@example.com.
(I’m trying to figure out compensation for your stories as well, this whole project shot up in a conversation last night so bear with me, & don’t hesitate to give me an estimate of what you think is fair for submitting.)