Let them kiss!

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In what feels like a golden age for LGBTQ+ representation in film and TV, it’s easy to forget how few and far-between gay characters used to be even just a few years ago.

Now, forgive us for getting crotchety for a moment. But today’s generation will never know the struggle of seeking out stolen glances and subtext in sitcoms, clinging to unassumingly homoerotic sequences on the big screen (Top Gun‘s volleyball scene, anyone?), or trying to tune into Logo late at night when your parents were asleep.

That being said, we’ve always had LGBTQ+ characters… even before groundbreaking gay-centered flicks like Love, SimonBros, and Moonlight. Amongst a cast of straights, gay people could find relatable characters and romances. But only if they were well-versed enough in the ancient art of queer coded-ness.

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Nick Offerman blasts homophobes

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Nick Offerman is continuing to stick it to the many homophobes who are still salty about his role in The Last of Us, and you just love to see it.

The Parks and Recreation actor took home an Independent Spirit Award over the weekend for portraying Bill in the massively successful HBO adaptation — just a month after earning his first Emmy for the same part.

After thanking HBO for “having the guts to participate in this storytelling tradition that is truly independent,” he reminded everyone exactly why telling a love story between two men was important, albeit brief, arc in the show.

“Stories with guts that when homophobic hate comes my way and says, ‘Why did you have to make it a gay story?’ we say, ‘Because you ask questions like that. It’s not a gay story it’s a love story, you asshole.’”

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Baldur’s Gate 3 nominated for five Gayming awards

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At this point, it’s fair to say that Baldur’s Gate 3, the magical role-playing game  developed by Larian Studios and based on Dungeons & Dragons, has taken the gaming world by storm. Even seven months after its release date, the nominations keep rolling in – this time, from the Gayming Magazine Awards.

Dubbed ‘the queerest game of all time’, Baldur’s Gate 3 features large amounts of ​​LGBTQ+- friendly and sex-positive content, which has resonated with queer gamers across the globe.

For the fourth year in a row, Gayming Magazine are holding their annual awards, showcasing the most outstanding games with queer content in the industry currently, and Baldur’s Gate 3 has been nominated for five awards, putting them in the lead for most nominations.

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GLAAD publishes report on queer inclusion in video games

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GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer media advocacy organization, has released its first-ever inaugural ‘State of LGBTQ Inclusion in Video Games’ report.

The report, which comes from the GLAAD Media Institute, in partnership with Nielsen Games Team, is a comprehensive look at LGBTQ+ inclusion in video games and, much like GLAAD’s report on LGBTQ+ inclusion within TV and Film, looks at the current state of queer representation within the industry, as well as educate others on the facts. It also goes on to provide valuable data that doesn’t just focus on characters, but the LGBTQ+ community that surrounds gaming spaces, their thoughts and feelings of where the games industry is at in regards to representation, and the reception they receive, for example, in online multiplayer lobbies.

For the first-ever inaugural report on the state of LGBTQ+ inclusion in video games, GLAAD’s findings are entirely damning. The report confirms something that most marginalized gamers will already know: the video games industry is lagging far behind its film and TV counterparts, both when it comes to representation and inclusion.

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What We Do in the Shadows will end after sixth season

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What We Do in the Shadows, The queer-themed vampire show that broke new ground for LGBTQ+ representation, will come to an end after six seasons of Staten Island shenanigans.

On Tuesday, a source from FX confirmed to Vulture that when the beloved vampire mockumentary series resumes production in January, it will be for the last time. Based on the 2014 movie written and directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, What We Do in the Shadows follows a group of vampires living in a crumbling New York City mansion: Nandor, Laszlo, Nadja, and the “energy vampire” Colin, as well as Nandor’s familiar Guillermo, memorably played by queer actor Harvey Guillén.

Premiering in 2019, the show quickly earned a following with hilarious fish-out-of-water-antics and, of course, Matt Berry’s unforgettable line readings. LGBTQ+ fans were particularly enraptured by the queerness of What We Do in the Shadows, which advanced from subtext to full-on text over the years. In the show’s fourth season, Guillermo came out as gay, not to mention even more titillating recent developments like the, ahem Bi-Annual Vampire Orgy.

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How Our Flag Means Death found its queer cult following

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If you’ve spent any time in queer online spaces in the last year, you’ve probably heard rumblings about “the gay pirate show,” as many early fans affectionately dubbed Our Flag Means Death.

While few people were talking about the show when it debuted without much fanfare on Max last March, it didn’t take long for the tides to turn in its favor. More than a year later, with the second season set to premiere on October 5, Our Flag Means Death has earned one of the most dedicated and ravenous fandoms in contemporary television history, and I was one of many who were unexpectedly swept away to the homoerotic seas.

After hearing very little about the show, I decided to dive in a few weeks after the first season had finished airing. One episode quickly turned into me watching the entire season. As darkly comedic as it was sincere, Our Flag Means Death both disarmed and captivated me.

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The amazing queer sex in Baldur’s Gate 3

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NoteThis post contains minor spoilers for Baldur’s Gate 3 romance plotlines and the video below got a sexy bear in it. You have been warned ;)

Just how horny is Baldur’s Gate 3? One of my companions tried to sleep with me the very first time I set up camp. I was flattered, but I had just crash-landed a mind flayer airship after waking up with a parasite in my brain, so I wasn’t exactly in the mood to fool around with a stranger just yet. Since then, though, as I’ve grown more accustomed to having a tadpole swimming around in my grey matter, my erotic imagination has started to wander.

Yes, I want to stop myself from turning into a tentacled monster, but more importantly, I need to figure out who I want to take to bed with me: The dark-haired goth Shadowheart? The fiery Karlach? Or maybe I’d rather have Gith warrior Lae’zel split me in two with her battle ax? Truth be told, even if developer Larian tries to slow my suitors’ roll with a patch, I’ll always be playing this game for the romance first, adventure second.

I’ve also been delighted to discover that this beloved RPG is a special treat for LGBTQ+ players, allowing us to court anyone who joins the main quest. This feature — sometimes referred to as being “playersexual” — is befitting of a game that closes very few doors in general. Based on Dungeons & Dragons tabletop rules, Baldur’s Gate 3 is all about exploration, improvisation, and expansive possibilities. You can do almost anything — and apparently, almost anyone, under the right circumstances.

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Red, White & Royal Blue, Heartstopper, and the Insidiousness of Purity Culture

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The first time I saw two men having sex on TV, it was Connor Walsh and Oliver Hampton in an episode of How To Get Away With Murder. At the time, I was a closeted 16-year-old at an all boys school, where the extent of sex education was watching my classmates put condoms on a dummy penis. The fiction of Connor’s sex life — and boy was it radical for a TV-14 show — was a world away from my reality, in which I was still coming to terms with my queerness, and my straight classmates were getting on with actual, real sex.

Sex between men has a long, painful history. It’s always been pleasurable, sure, otherwise why do it and risk imprisonment or death? But one need only crack open a history book to find a plethora of sad realities: the AIDS epidemic that started in the ‘80s; the criminalization of homosexuality in so many countries around the world (that continues for many today); the fact that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas — which deemed sodomy laws unconstitutional, since previously anal sex (and therefore gay sex) was illegal — only happened 20 years ago.

Queer culture was born of those circumstances; the ways queer people lived and broke bread and carried on, and the scenarios in which they had sex, which were experienced through otherness, in the fringes, and in all the secret places. That culture is alive, and inherited, today. But so is the evangelical’s calling card, with its “abstinence until marriage” message, admonishing people to do what is perceived as right and healthy.

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The wonderful queer history of Magic The Gathering

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In recent decades, society has become aware that life is not simply black and white, that everyone is different, and that people – no matter who they are – deserve to be seen.  With that realization, many in the queer community are finally starting to see regular representation in  TV shows, movies, video games, and more.  One game that has made strides with LGBTQ+ representation is Magic the Gathering (Magic).

From trans, non-binary, to gay, and more, Wizards has found ways to use its five colors of mana to represent a rainbow of people and their experiences. From Nissa and Chandra to Ral and Tomik, we’ve examined the rocky, but fruitful history of LGBTQ+ representation within Magic.

One of the first LGBTQ+ characters introduced to Magic was Xantcha.  During the early sets of Magic, the major character of the story was Urza, a powerful planeswalker with the ability to traverse the multiverse to visit exciting worlds, peoples, and cultures.

Urza’s goal was to defeat the Phyrexians, a bio-mechanical threat that sought only to spread their oily devotion to their god Yawgmoth.  Xantcha, first appearing on the card Sleeper Agent in Urza’s Saga from 1998, was a Phyrexian sleeper agent who defected from Phyrexia to help Urza.

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Steven Spielberg loved The Last of Us’ queer love story

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Three-time Oscar-winning juggernaut director Steven Spielberg was one of the very first Hollywood A-listers to throw his support behind The Last of Us’ heart-rending gay love story in episode three. The most commercially successful director in history was quick to praise the episode’s critically acclaimed queer storyline and even sent a personal letter to Craig Mazin, the episode’s writer.

HBO’s post-apocalyptic fungal thriller The Last of Us, based on the award-winning videogame of the same name, stunned audiences when it aired in January, with powerhouse performances from leads Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. But it was episode three, entitled “Long, Long Time” which focuses on the love story between Bill (Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman) and Frank (The White Lotus’ Murray Bartlett) that had viewers in tears.

Despite homophobic backlash from certain corners of the internet, the episode was praised by fans and critics alike for Offerman and Bartlett’s rich and moving performances and the decision to include – and explore – a mature gay relationship. The episode’s director, Peter Hoar, has revealed that Spielberg himself was an early fan of Nick and Frank’s story.

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