America’s Youngest Gay Kiss

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Straight teens have watched their television counterparts smooch on-screen for years, but The Fosters made entertainment history by showing the youngest same-sex kiss ever on US television.

Teenage love—it’s hormonal, complicated, and makes for great television. On Monday night The Fosters featured a kiss between 13-year-olds Jude and Connor. So what’s the big deal? The boys’ lip-to-lip contact is apparently the youngest same-sex kiss on US television; 13-year-olds getting it on was something you’d only find in European films–until now.

Jude and Connor’s BFF-level friendship has been building over the past two seasons. Connor was introduced to the show when he hesitated to fend off bullies who were picking on Jude for wearing nail polish—only to end up painting his nails in solidarity with Jude, which made for a delightfully heartwarming television moment.

It’s inspiring to see that young characters on television are matching reality. On The Fosters, Jude’s journey of self-discovery regarding his sexuality has been an ongoing plotline. It became apparent that Jude had some sort of feelings for Connor early on, and more recently the chemistry had been bubbling, with subtle flirtation emanating from both sides. In the episode “The Silence She Keeps,” Connor adorably goes to link pinkies with Jude in the darkness of a movie theater, and there have been scenes where they hold their gaze long just enough to imply their true feelings, screaming on the inside.

So on Monday’s episode “Now Hear This,” Jude has that momentous “define the relationship” conversation with Connor to see exactly where they stand, and what all this tomfoolery really means. He brings up the time they’d previously kissed on a school camping trip while sharing a tent (the smooch had been off-screen and kept a secret masked as “something that was wrong”) along with the pinky-holding, and demands answers. Then Connor kisses him and… cue the fireworks.

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The kiss between Jude and Connor isn’t a first in the world of American television teenagers. When endgame Blaine and Kurt kissed for the first time on Glee, it wasn’t even the first time the show displayed some same-sex lip-locking. And Teen Wolf has featured some steamy same-sex scenes between the students at Beacon Hills High School.

But Jude and Connor are in the 7th grade (their actors are 14 and 15 respectively), a good few years younger than their Glee and Teen Wolf counterparts. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey of LGBT Americans, 12 is the median age at which members of the community first felt they might not be straight, and gay men reported that at around age 10 they first thought that they might be gay. It’s inspiring to see that young characters on television are matching reality. Jude and Connor’s nervousness—capturing the nuances of a young friendship—turning to something more is teen naturalism at its finest, and in some ways more so than the passionate sex scenes that LGBTQ characters are chalking up in pop culture nowadays.

The Fosters is already lauded as one of the most progressive shows on TV, with the heads of household being an interracial lesbian couple raising a family of biological, foster, and adopted kin. With the kiss on The Fosters setting a fantastic standard, we’re inching toward more accurate representation of LGBTQ youth in entertainment. It reassures all the real-life Judes and Connors out there that their feelings of self-discovery during those middle school and junior high years are valid, while also providing a heartrending example for those who don’t endure this to understand and learn from.

Via The Daily Beast

The Power of Wanking

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Back in 1947, the U.S. government imprisoned Dr. Wilhelm Reich, Sigmund Freud’s star student, for trying to turn orgasms into harnessable energy. Turns out he may have been onto something.

wankband

PornHub claims that it’s created the first (and probably only?) wearable that converts the signature up-and-down movement of male masturbation into energy that charges your phone, laptop, tablet, whatever. The company is on a mission to save the world by doing what they do best — by getting you to, uh, give yourself a hand.

It’s called the Wankband, and according to Pornhub, “It’s the first gadget … that allows men to love the planet by loving themselves.” A weight inside the band — which is worn around your wrist — goes up and down during sexytime. That motion generates energy that then charges your various devices. You simply plug your phone into the band’s USB port and stroke away.

If you’re interested in testing out the Wankband, you can join the beta testing team here. PornHub says girls can enjoy the energy-saving benefits of Wankbands as well, but somehow we’re skeptical of this claim since the band is solely powered by vertical movements. If any ladies out there signs up, let us know how it goes, OK?

Magic: The (Queer) Gathering

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Wizards of the Coast has revealed Magic: The Gathering’s first ever trans character. The new character, named Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, is part of Magic: The Gathering’s latest expansion, Fate Reforged. While her card doesn’t mention her gender, a story published on Wizards of the Coast’s website reveals the details of her origin, weaving her background into the tale of combat.

magic-aleshaAlesha’s clan tradition allows its members to pick their own name after earning glory in battle, with members usually picking names that reflect battle feats. “She had been so different—only sixteen, a boy in everyone’s eyes but her own, about to choose and declare her name before the khan and all the Mardu.”

When it comes time for Alesha to choose her name after killing her first dragon, she goes in a different direction and takes the opportunity to come out to her battle comrades. “And the whole gathered horde shouted ‘Alesha!’ in reply. The warriors of the Mardu shouted her name. In that moment, if anyone had told her that in three years’ time she would be khan, she just might have dared to believe it.”

Alesha does eventually go on to become kahn, leading the horde of humans, goblins, and orcs into battle.

Stay Weird

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Graham Moore gave a very candid speech while accepting the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, a film about gay codebreaker and computer pioneer Alan Turing.

”When I was 16 years old I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong, and now I’m standing here,” he said on stage Sunday night. ”I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes you do. I promise you do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn, and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along.”

The Fosters: Queer Childhood

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The Fosters Explores the Fear and Possibility of Queer Childhood

the-fosters-connorIn the Feb. 9 episode of ABC Family’s The Fosters, 13-year-old Jude goes to the movies on a double date with Connor, his best friend, and Daria and Taylor, two girls from school. It seems Connor and Daria are there to make out, and they have brought Jude and Taylor along as cover.

When Jude takes his seat, Connor pointedly lowers the armrest between them. But after the lights go down, their pinkies touch and then cross. The camera cuts back and forth between their flushed faces, their eyes wide with nervous excitement and surprise at the intensity, while Daria and Taylor absently watch the “chick flick” they’ve supposedly come to see.

The scene is unexpectedly and palpably erotic—a feat that speaks to the richness and complexity with which the show has developed Jude’s storyline over its first two seasons. And yet it is clear that this touch will not provide a neat resolution to the questions about Jude and Connor’s relationship or sexuality, but, rather, will only deepen the exploration.

Jude is not the first queer teenager on television, but he is among the youngest—and he is the first to be raised by queer parents. The Fosters follows a modern family of a kind rarely seen on television—an interracial lesbian couple, Lena and Stef Adams-Foster, and their five racially diverse children: one biological; three adopted, including Jude; and one whose adoption has been repeatedly stalled—Jude’s sister Callie.

It’s a sentimental teen drama that manages at moments to show foster care and LGBTQ parenting with sensitivity and texture. But its most radical move may be in its depiction of Jude, played with thoughtful nuance by Hayden Byerly.

Read on…

Hunger

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The neglected siblings Roland and Paul watch the deportation of their immigrant neighbours. Once the police has left, they decide to enter the abandoned apartment. Inside they discover another world; exotic food, music, clothes and make-up, belonging to the deported family. For a moment they have the chance to immerse themselves in a world of games and play – however when their father discovers them, they are quickly brought back to reality.