Ouran High School Host Club is super queer and super great

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When scholarship high school student Haruhi Fujioka starts the new year at the prestigious Ouran Academy, she has no idea what she’ll be getting into. After accidentally stumbling into the unused classroom in which the host club entertains its female clients, she breaks a vase and must join the club to pay off the debt.

Haruhi, apparently a natural at hosting, spends the rest of the series keeping up with the club’s hijinks, presenting as a man so that she can continue making money for them, and developing close relationships with the other members of the host club.

By focusing on a group of teenage boys whose primary goal is entertaining their female counterparts, the one-season Ouran High School Host Club, based on the manga of the same name, addresses teenage sexual desire in a way that seems encouragingly direct for those of us used to the roundabout moralizing of Twilight and its ilk.

In a self-aware parody of shoujo fiction, the boys all inhabit different “types” (the boy Lolita, the strong and silent one, and the prince, for example), and cater to their clientele by playing up those aspects of their personality. Their willingness to put on a show for the benefit of others contributes to the show’s many subversions, and both in terms of gender presentation and sexual orientation.

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The Conners is a classic sitcom with a wholesome twist: Representation

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You remember about that Roseanne reboot on ABC that they ended up doing without Roseanne because she said some pretty nasty stuff? The show is called The Conners and seems to be pretty nice.

Decider writes: The new cast—although it feels weird still calling them “new” after all this time—also get moments to shine. That’s particularly the case with Darlene’s son Mark (Ames McNamara), a gender-nonconforming gay kid the likes of which I don’t think we’ve ever seen in a series regular role on a network multi-camera sitcom.

Season 2 finds Mark entering adolescence and actually, you know, being gay. Mark gets to do what 12-year-olds have been doing in sitcoms for decades: he gets the innocent middle school relationships that straight people take for granted and gay people have never been able to see on TV. 

Particularly great is Goodman’s onscreen rapport with McNamara. In a beautiful development, Dan Conner has become the kind of supportive grandpa that every gay person wishes he had growing up.

But also, The Conners knows what it’s doing with Mark is groundbreaking, and they use the fact that we never see characters like him on stage in front of an audience and three cameras to say something new and relevant. 

Esteros

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A familiar tale unfolds with uncommon lyricism in Argentine filmmaker Papu Curotto’s debut feature about two boys’ years-long relationship. Many other films have explored the theme of a central character learning to accept his sexuality after years of self-repression, but Esteros stands out for its uncommon restraint and sensitivity.

The story revolves around childhood friends Matias who spend their summers enjoying typical boyhood pursuits on the farm owned by Jeronimo’s family. Their relationship begins to take on a new, physical dimension during their adolescence, but is cut short when Matias’ father accepts a new job in Brazil and moves the family away.

Cut to 10 years later when the adult Matias, now an uptight scientist, returns to the area for a visit with his girlfriend Rochi. He reunites with his old friend, whose openly gay, bohemian lifestyle stands in marked contrast to that of Matias. It soon becomes clear that the two men are still attracted to each other, and when they decide to spend a few days in the house where they had spent idyllic summers, sparks inevitably fly.

In story and characterisations, Esteros (Spanish for “tidelands”) doesn’t really give us anything we haven’t seen before. But despite its recycled tropes, the film works beautifully thanks to its assured direction and economical, non-melodramatic script. The performers playing the younger and older versions of the main characters are excellent, with the latter heating up the screen in their inevitable torrid love scene. And the cinematography beautifully captures the glories of the Argentinian countryside, making the film a visual stunner.

A Handshake

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Léo and Baptiste go to the same school but don’t know each other yet. When they meet the first time, a passing handshake evokes a daydream for Baptiste. Turn on subtitles in the bottom right corner of the player if they’e not on by default.

You should, actually, fuck a peach

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We all know the scene in Call me by your Name. Elio — who is raging with the inimitable fervor of adolescence — lays down and gets to work relieving his boredom and sexual frustration in an, erm, interesting way.

He jabs his fingers into a ripe peach and plucks out the pit, sunset-gold juice splattering across his chest and abdomen. Then Elio rolls the peach around in his hands while looking up at the ceiling. Is he really going to…? you think. Elio unbuttons his bermuda shorts and moves the peach down to his crotch. Every sound is heightened.

We hear smushing, gushing, ripping, and gasping without ever seeing what exactly Elio is doing with the peach. But then again, we don’t need to. We know. The camera stays locked on Elio’s face, obliging us to watch the series of strange face contortions Elio  performs.

It feels like we’ve stumbled into a teenager’s bedroom at the worst possible time and haven’t closed the door behind us and mumbled our apologies. The scene of eccentric self-pleasure quickly crescendos into Elio heaving out a trite “fuck” and the moment is over. Elio places the soiled peach onto the nightstand beside him. A character has just fucked a peach on screen for the first time in cinema.

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Andi Mack delivers gay teen romance in show’s finale

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Disney’s Andi Mack concluded its three-season run with a series finale that included the first gay romance on Disney Channel. Spoilers ahead.

The show already made history with its character Cyrus, who earlier in the show admitted to his friend Buffy that he had a crush on Andi’s boyfriend, Jonah. Later, Cyrus became the first character on Disney Channel to say the words “I’m gay” when he came out to Jonah.

Andi Mack pushed that storyline even further during its series finale episode where Cyrus and his friend TJ appear to embark on a romantic relationship. TJ shares with Cyrus his real name and the conversation progresses from there…

The series finale concluded with the gang singing along to Born This Way by Lady Gaga.