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Just 13 Times Television Shows Got LGBTQIA+ Representation So Right, It Made Our Hearts Soar

My heart can’t handle all this wholesomeness 🌈 1. Dani Clayton and Jamie (The Haunting of Bly Manor) Netflix Dani and Jamie’s love story is raw and heart-breaking. Not only is their love effortless, but they both also have extremely nuanced backstories. The Haunting of Bly Manor didn’t set out to teach people lessons in…

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Just 13 Times Television Shows Got LGBTQIA+ Representation So Right, It Made Our Hearts Soar

My heart can’t handle all this wholesomeness 🌈

1.

Dani Clayton and Jamie (The Haunting of Bly Manor)


Netflix

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Dani and Jamie’s love story is raw and heart-breaking. Not only is their love effortless, but they both also have extremely nuanced backstories. The Haunting of Bly Manor didn’t set out to teach people lessons in inclusivity. It simply is horror fiction in which two women end up falling in love!

2.

Cal Bowman (Sex Education)


Netflix

Cal only became a part of the show in Season 3, but they are already incredibly cool. Cal is very straight-forward but still kind, and isn’t afraid of questioning the system at Moordale Secondary School, that is often inaccessible to people who don’t fit the binary. I can’t wait to see more of them in upcoming seasons!

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3.

Eric Effiong (Sex Education)


Netflix

Eric is loud and proud, supremely funny, has a refined backstory, and is just simply fabulous. While I don’t agree with several of his romantic decisions, Eric himself is a brilliant standalone gay character!

4.

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David Rose and Patrick Brewer (Schitt’s Creek)


CBC

Schitt’s Creek flips the trope of “small town = bad”, on its head. Watching the very first episode almost feels like you’re walking on eggshells, waiting for someone like Roland to say something extremely offensive to David, but that never happens. There is absolutely no homophobia and the town ends up becoming a safe space not only for us, but also for David Rose who is pansexual and Patrick Brewer who is gay.

5.

Ryan Hayes (Special)

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Netflix

Special is a semi-biographical account of Ryan O’Connell’s (who also plays the lead, Ryan Hayes) own life as a gay man with cerebral palsy. Ryan is an absolute sweetheart and we see his character bloom, despite all the curveballs life throws at him, in the form of family, friends, and lovers. It is one of the few shows with genuine disability and queer representation, and it is a wonderful watch!

6.

Mitchell Pritchett and Cameron Tucker (Modern Family)


ABC

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Mitch and Cam were probably India’s first brush with a queer couple who lived together and also had a child together! Their lives were so normalised, it almost felt like their family was in our neighbourhood, or perhaps even in our living rooms. Shows like Modern Family have truly paved the way for queer representation on prime time television.

7.

Clare Devlin (Derry Girls)


Hat Trick Productions

Clare is a worrywart who is also ambitious, clever, and so extremely funny. She will do just about anything for a good grade and, while she happens to be a lesbian, it isn’t the end-all of revelations in her life. Her friends are supportive and wonderful, and we get to see her be so much more than just who she loves!

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8.

TK Strand and Carlos Reyes (9-1-1: Lone Star)


ReamWorks

TK and Carlos play out and proud gay first responders on 9-1-1: Lone Star. There is no big revelation and no “will they, won’t they” in their story. They first meet at work, and then meet at a bar, and eventually fall into a thing with each other. Their relationship continues to grow and hit bumps, just like any other relationship.

9.

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Paul Strickland (9-1-1: Lone Star)


ReamWorks

Paul Strickland, also from 9-1-1: Lone Star, is a proud trans man and firefighter. Being trans is not the end-all of his story, as the show explores his relationship with his family and also his love life. He is played by actor Brian Michael Smith who continues to do groundbreaking work for trans representation in popular media.

10.

Victor Salazar (Love, Victor)

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Temple Hill Entertainment

Victor is half Puerto Rican and half Colombian-American and his identity and culture play an extremely important role as he embarks on a journey to discover himself. After he comes out, his father is quick to learn and be supportive towards him, but his mother takes a while to come around. He does eventually end up finding love with Benji, but their relationship has up and downs, just like any other high school relationship.

11.

Elena and Syd (One Day at a Time)


Act III Productions

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Elena and Syd collectively make for wonderful queer representation, especially for young adults who are just beginning to question their sexuality. Elena identifies as a lesbian and Syd identifies as non-binary, and much like other high schoolers, they both bond over all things geeky and nerdy and are entirely too sweet for my fragile heart!

12.

Rosa Diaz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)


NBC

Rosa takes pride in the fact that even her closest associates know very little about her, and, in typical Rosa fashion, comes out as bisexual to the precinct during their daily brief and gives everyone exactly a minute to ask her any questions.

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13.

Captain Raymond Holt and Professor Kevin Cozner (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)


NBC

A perpetually stoic Raymond Holt is the last person you’d expect to be gay, but he is a pleasant surprise. Holt and his husband, Kevin, aren’t big on PDA, but you can tell that they’ve been together long enough to know what each other’s eyebrow twitches mean.

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Thom Browne Spring 2023 Menswear

In 2017, Thom Browne expanded his oeuvre and put men in dresses during his menswear show in Paris. That collection, called “Why Not?” was less a provocation than a flex: The elegant elongated shapes Browne was developing for women translated, seamlessly and cheekily, for men. Five years later—and after a two-year hiatus from Paris—Browne’s menswear…

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Thom Browne Spring 2023 Menswear

In 2017, Thom Browne expanded his oeuvre and put men in dresses during his menswear show in Paris. That collection, called “Why Not?” was less a provocation than a flex: The elegant elongated shapes Browne was developing for women translated, seamlessly and cheekily, for men. Five years later—and after a two-year hiatus from Paris—Browne’s menswear is back in the French capital with similar potency. His spring 2023 collection, suspended almost entirely from jock straps, is Browne’s updated meditation on “how far you can push it?”

“I thought the dresses were too much back then,” Browne began at a preview in his showroom, “but now feels like the time to do this. It’s about how much guys can look at and entertain.” Referring to the many visible cheeks on the catwalk, he pointedly added: “It’s not about shock value.”

If not shock, then what? There has been a lot of nudity this menswear season and in the past two years in general, but Browne’s stated intent is less about showing flesh than it is about finding a new form for men. You can see how he could get bored quick. This is his third catwalk in under a year—plus four pre-collections. “I have a good team” he demurred when asked how he creates with such voracity.

So the brief was brief this season: short, mini, kinky, gorgeous. Each of the looks was made in a unique French tweed, from the same maker of you-know-who’s tweeds, inspired by the couture ideology of the 1940s and 1950s. The show began with friends of the maison as couture clients—Anh Duong, Marisa Berenson, Farida Khelfa, and more—bolting in to the second floor of the Crillon to find their seats. From their vantage point they could ogle the guys—a nice swap—in their shorter-in-the-back kiltlets, sailor tops, cropped organza button downs, and luxurious tweed coats with gold bouillon. As with any Browne outing, the fabrics and silhouettes were as fine as can be.

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After a mostly underwhelming season, at least according to the menswear editors I tallied, how far could this irreverent beauty really go, though? Several balked. Others chuckled. When a dancer emerged at the end of the show dressed in a codpiece with an anchor Prince Albert piercing, I exchanged a glance with a friend across the aisle and we both giggled. Last night was Pride in Paris. In Browne’s beloved USA, human rights are being revoked by the hour. It would be hard to picture a more gay and proud couture-worthy collection: the sailor, the cowboy, the surfer, the tennis pro; the stereotypes divorced from expected connotations, made in the artisanal gold standard of womenswear design, ass cracks gleaming and pert under those red, white and blue bars of gingham. Browne is gay and proud. Will his cis-het clientele be radicalized or scandalized? A voiceover that started the show spoke about the couture process of the ’50s, when women were swans and men were their benefactors. “Men have the very great pleasure of paying,” said the recording. Time to pay up, boys.

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Ambush Resort 2023

“The touchpoint and the root of every Ambush collection has to come from everything that happens in Japan that is unique,” said Yoon Ahn when we met at the very beginning of Paris Fashion Week. Given that she has been on that scene since the early 2000s, when she moved to Tokyo with her family,…

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Ambush Resort 2023

“The touchpoint and the root of every Ambush collection has to come from everything that happens in Japan that is unique,” said Yoon Ahn when we met at the very beginning of Paris Fashion Week. Given that she has been on that scene since the early 2000s, when she moved to Tokyo with her family, not to mention that the Ambush office sits right in Shibuya, Yoon has plenty of material to mine. This pre-collection represented a down-tempo interlude in Ambush’s rhythm of show season spectacular, and was more observationaL. The collection was designed as an imagined curation of the clothes she sees on the kids who are flocking back to Shibuya today. “Things are opening up, the clubs: everything’s coming back in Tokyo. I’ve been feeling that.”

Tailoring, sportswear, footwear, nylon-spliced denim, and of course this brand’s core category of jewelry was all effectively designed to be defined less by the wearer’s gender identity than their aesthetic orientation and subcultural proclivity. The classics covered, from Ambush specific bodice tops and kimono coats to standards including bowling shirts and tracksuits, were adroitly but subtly remixed through tweaks in proportion, color, and fabrication. Pills and mushrooms came suspended from safety pin earrings and chains, supplies brought in for a big night ahead. This though was a collection built for street life: night life comes later.

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Alled-Martinez Spring 2023 Menswear

“I don’t really like the term ‘Y2K,’” quipped Archie Alled-Martinez during a Zoom preview from his hotel in Paris. “We just used to call it ‘millennium’ back then, so that’s what it is for me.”Alled-Martinez is part of a wave of millennial designers that is remarkably skilled at putting together a visual mood that encapsulates…

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Alled-Martinez Spring 2023 Menswear

“I don’t really like the term ‘Y2K,’” quipped Archie Alled-Martinez during a Zoom preview from his hotel in Paris. “We just used to call it ‘millennium’ back then, so that’s what it is for me.”

Alled-Martinez is part of a wave of millennial designers that is remarkably skilled at putting together a visual mood that encapsulates an era or mood. “I do a ton of research,” he said “I like exhaustive research of images and visuals, it’s what helps me design.” Much of the research he did for spring was based on the mystique around the soccer player. Titled “Reclaiming the Fields,” the collection is a nod to the homoeroticism of that figure and a reclaiming of the word and concept of a “metrosexual.” “I kept reading that word as I researched and I thought, ‘How homophobic?’ Alled-Martinez said as he pulled up the Google definition of the word: “a young, urban, heterosexual male with liberal political views, an interest in fashion, and a refined sense of taste.”

The fact is, around the time both Alled-Martinez and myself were growing up, the word was casually thrown around as a descriptor of a straight man who embodied all the stereotypical characteristics of a gay man without (allegedly) being one. In essence it was a way for people to pejoratively call someone gay without actually doing so. Many of the “metrosexuals” of our time were famous athletes, particularly soccer players, who dressed well and looked even better—David Beckham being the best example. In fact, Beckham was a source of inspiration for Alled-Martinez, which explains why the lookbook resembles a series of photos of Beckham in the late noughties, the clothes looking like just what he would have worn for a night out with or without Victoria Beckham.

The collection itself stays true to the signature homoerotic aesthetic that Alled-Martinez has become known for, particularly to the gay fashion community and social media space. Part of the charm of the label is that its founder knows just how to speak to his audience. “There’s an intrinsic nostalgia to my work, I like to recreate things that are constantly in my mind,” Alled-Martinez said as he walked me through the lineup for spring. Low-rise cargo pants, straight-cut jeans, knee-length swim trunks, and tight short shorts build the core of the assortment, all cut and styled in his signature gay male gaze, which is homoerotic and often voyeuristic. They’re all references to the way men would dress back in the second half of the 2000’s, and, most significantly, to those elements of masculinity that gay men coming into their queerness at the time would often lust for.

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“I like doing the tees because it reminds me of when I was growing up and would see a Ford logo tee that said ‘fuck’ instead,” Alled-Martinez said. This season’s tees with Ford and Bic logos reimagined as “faggot” and “dick,” respectively, will surely be a hit for his nostalgic customer, but the designer was at his best this season when he took it past the mood board and found a way of turning nostalgic items into covetable pieces. A pair of baggy cargos in light wash denim stood out, with the center-front crotch seam mimicking a jockstrap, as did macrame bags made in raw silk and “cheap poly football uniforms” reimagined in glossy, saturated colored knitted silk.

For his presentation, Allied-Martinez decided to lean into the voyeuristic sensuality of his brand, creating an installation that saw guests peep into the collection through holes in a wooden wall to discover a locker room where models were changing in and out of the clothes. “Basically an ode to voyeurism and glory holes, all about desire,” said the designer. It was something that felt right out of XY magazine, another Y2K–sorry, I mean millennium–gem many millennial gay men will surely remember.

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