My Third List of Queer Content on Netflix

Hey pals,

We are onto part three of the queer media I am finding on Netflix (obviously this is not just Queer media, this is just the media with Queer rep and letting you know if it’s a disappointment or not). Hope you enjoy this list during Pride Month of 2020.

Tales of the City – basically everyone is queer and live on an estate-like gay commune, racial diversity, one disabled (deaf) queer person, black, asian and latinx queers, bisexuals and the spectrum, lesbians, trans man, black drag queen, trans woman, couple who have threesomes, and the one dedicated straight duo whose child is one of the gays but (get this) the straight couple lived in the gay commune first! It’s pretty fun but also really on it with inner community violence and prejudice. Highly recommend. 

One Day At A Time – Elana is gay, has a genderqueer partner who uses they/them pronouns, a lesbian cousin married to her wife. Had this recommended to me a long while ago and binged the show. It also has so much other great rep (latinx families, addiction, mental health, disability benefits, being a single parent, etc.) very family friendly but also very on it politically. Great show (and glad to say it’s coming back!)

Friends With Benefits – gay best friend. That is all. 

Always Be My Maybe – queer best friend of female lead, poc in a wlw relationship having a baby, basically some side rep just coz they can which is still nice to see. Also the film generally is great with two asian leads in a RomCom. Very funny, very cute. 

Wine Country – White middle age lesbian, young Asian queer woman. This is a fun film with tonnes of leading women in their 40’s. Mostly white, which is no surprise but it’s pretty good. 

When they see us – last episode it is revealed one of the boys has a trans sibling (a Black trans woman), this is an incredible show. Very dark, based on real life events. Very important watch but also quite unsettling. 

Easy A – the guy she does detention with is a gay white dude. I think this film is pretty funny and well spoken about the issue of slut-shaming. 

Saved! – her boyfriend is gay and they have a love child at the end after he busts out of the conversion therapy center with his new boyfriend. Sorry spoilers but its a RomCom and I thought you should know it does end well for him. It honestly hilarious in a very late 90’s-early 2000’s way. 

Degrassi: next gen – new generation gay dude, bi dude, a brief weird poly thing, Asian gay guy gamer, nonbinary afab gamer. A nice little sprinkling of rep across gender and race. It’s cringe but I actually really enjoyed it and I’ve never seen the original Degrassi. 

Otherhood – one of the sons is gay and has a boyfriend and lives with other gay men and has a lesbian couple friend. I won’t lie, coming back to this list to add details and thoughts, I couldn’t remember this film. It wasn’t terrible but I wouldn’t go watch it again. 

Everything sucks! – main girl is a lesbian. Kiss at the end of the series. I hope there’s a follow up coz this was such a long build up and quite enjoyable. 

Unfinished Business – someone who works for the competitor is gay and they all go to a gay sex club in Germany. Typical dude film (kinda like the Hangover) so if that’s your thing you might enjoy this. It was alright to watch but wouldn’t watch again. 

Rough Night – wlw relationship at beginning (later one of them is divorcing a husband and the wlw couple aren’t together) two main characters woc. A couple looking for a third. This has Scarlett Johansson in it but if you can ignore her (she is the least likable character and also badly acted) then it’s not a terrible film, quite funny. Kinda like a lot of dude-bro films where they all got really fucked up and ended up in a really shite situation (the Hangover) and I like when it’s turned into a women lead film, they’re funnier to me the humour is similar but less gross.

Falling Inn Love – husbands who run a cafe in New Zealand (side characters) very minimal role but I thought they were cute so wanted to include them. This is a very tacky RomCom but I liked it enough to keep it on my list on Netflix. 

Hearts Beat Loud – main character (daughter) is queer and has love interest. Both woc. This is a very cute film with a daughter and her single father. She wants to go to school and studies hard but he wants her to give singing a shot (coz she has a wonderful singing voice) and I love this actress. 

Atypical – doesn’t get gay until near end of season 2 and gets gayer in season 3. Possibly two bi girls, or realising they are gay. Unsure, obviously going to be explored next season as this season was more about the two getting together (spoilers sorry). I really enjoy this show, though it is apparently linked to Autism Speaks which is a really shitty charity. Not sure on the link but I was sad to hear it as the queer rep is so good! Also the queer main character is played by a nonbinary actor!

Derry Girls – one of the main group comes out as a lesbian ep 4/5. This is a really funny comedy based in Ireland during a very real TIME they had in the 90’s. It was super interesting watching it, but also entirely daft a lot of the time. The actors are amazing. 

End of the fucking world – two queer lady police officers and one is black. This show was relatively funny but very intense. Quite a few content warnings for this show like attempted sexual assault and animal death. It was a new concept for a show I’ve not seen before, it was pretty enjoyable. 

The Politician – gay/bi cis Male lead ? Bi cis Male lead? His girlfriend?? Gender nc black person. Main characters mother. I can’t lie, I didn’t finish this coz the more I watched, the less it made sense. I thought this show was a pile of shit but you might like it.

Cat fight – one of the main women is in a wlw relationship. Both white cis women in the queer relationship(i re-read how i write this and it sounded like i meant the two leads, and no Sandra Oh is definitely not white haha). This was honestly also a pile of shit. Sandra Oh is in it which drew me in, but it’s just women beating each other up until one of them goes into a coma and loses all their shit, repeat.

Let it snow – two girls. One is Asian. Both played by queer actors, one is actually nonbinary too! I enjoyed the book but was pleased they added a queer story to the film. I do recommend this, it’s very cute and silly. 

Merry happy whatever – lesbian adult daughter previously married to a bloke, is not out to family. This was quite a weird show but I was into it. It’s Christmas with one family and you see all the in-laws have a secret meet up to get through living with this crazy family. 

The Durrells – Mrs. Durrell almost marries a man who turns out to be gay, he later on has a male partner. I think they have to move away as the community finds out.

Being Human – there was one cis white male couple in one episode and one of them dies and the other has to flea. The rest of the show is constantly queerbaiting, but if you can get past that, it’s pretty funny and plot I’ve never seen before for werewolves, vampires, and ghosts. Also the werewolf actor is gay.

Skins – Generation 1 we have lovely Maxxie. Generation 2 Emily is a lesbian and Naomi is bisexual. Generation 3 none of the truly main cast are gay but Frankie has two dads and her and Mini seem to have a bit of a queer relationship in the second series. There is also Alex, not a main character really but there is some emphasis on him for plot.

Dynasty – One of the leads in the family is gay.

October Faction – the son of the main family is Black and gay, has a few love interests dotted around including other POC. I honestly don’t remember watching this… only some bits.

The Half Of It – A lovely film about friendship and becoming okay with who you are. Asian queer lead. Wholesome watching. Some weird issues with plot/story telling/writing in some areas where character actions don’t seem to make a lot of sense… but as a whole it’s a lovely film and has great rep. Also MC’s dad is so sweet.

Glee – I’m late to Glee and I’m glad i didn’t waste my life on it in my youth and used it as a time fill during Lockdown. We have out main guys Kurt and Blaine who are both gay men, both have interactions with other gay men. Then we have lesbian Santana (Latina) and bi Brittany. Santana also sleeps with Quinn at a later date in series 5 I think. Adam Lambert does a cameo as a queer band member in season 5. There’s a Black trans woman in season 5 but totally overshadowed and mostly vague, she never had any real love interests. Then there’s another surprise trans character season 6 which I’m not fond of, clear it was just a dramatic plot shoehorned in rather than something pre-planned. Season 6 has another gay character who is a jock and finds love with a hipster kid. Also introduced is a queer coded 13 yo character.

Elite – a fantastic drama based in a high school in Spain where all the rich kids go. One of the rich kids is gay, another is bi and a selection of polyamorous relationships shown. One of the non-rich is a gay Muslim boy. There’s also suggestion a female character has multi-gender attraction but hasn’t had the chance to be shown in the show, I have my fingers crossed for season 3!

3% – a dystopian show with similar vibes to the Hunger games, everyone has to compete at age 16/18 I don’t remember it’s been a while to get into the luxurious life of the 3% but it’s a lot creepier than that. One of the main characters has multi-gender attraction to some extent, ends up with a character of the same gender. Not a lot of rep otherwise but I liked this addition. There’s also a Black disabled main character for a couple seasons.

Hollywood – a different timeline of Hollywood if things had gone a little better with accepting LGBT+ people and BIPOC. We have Rock Hudson and his writer lover, the Gas station of male sex workers who also serviced many gay men. Lots of gay male rep in this and Queen Latifa plays a queer woman (Hattie McDaniel) dating one of Hollywood’s most well known queer women, Tallulah Bankhead, who just kinda dated everyone apparently (I’m hoping Jessica Kelgred-Fozard makes a video on her). There is a bisexual actress, Anna May Wong, in a minor role whose sexuality is never addressed.

Black Lightning – one of the main characters (one of the sisters) is queer, I’ve not watched very far yet. Based around a Black superhero father who has the power to control electricity and his daughters start exhibiting powers too.

Dear White People – both the show and film, Lionel is gay, in the show he spends more time in the closet and slowly coming out. Struggles with being Black in the gay community but also gay in the Black community. There are a few latinx queer characters too. The story of Black students at Winchester University (an ivy league) fighting racism and trying to gain equality on campus. One of the more minor characters is actually a Black femme lesbian as well.

Dead to Me – had a lot of sapphic undertones but turns out one of our main characters is queer and gets into a bit of a pickle. Dead to Me is about a woman’s husband suddenly dying and his murderer feeling so guilty she befriends the wife without her knowing she murdered her husband and things spiral and get a bit crazy but it’s a great show with two amazing leading actresses. One of her love interests is also actually played by a queer actress.

Dare Me – this was a weird one, kinda thriller-y. About cheerleaders who hate their new coach and try to ruin her life. The main character is a Black queer woman, it’s relatively clear she is sapphic but is keeping it a secret. Unsure if she is attracted to multiple genders or performing straightness. Same for the best friend and the Coach, not sure if it’s multi gender attraction or performative straightness/queerness depending on the situation. content warning: abuse of power. There’s a football coach (i think) but definitely some adult man who sleeps with the high school girls and also the female coach of the cheerleaders engages in some inappropriate behaviour with her students.

I hope you enjoy your viewing, my previous posts are here and here 

Happy Pride!

~ Artie

Check out all my other content here

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Introducing: Women in Suits! (I did it for the gays)

Hey pals,

Since I made the post to appreciate men in dresses last year, I wanted to make one dedicated to women in suits! Clearly I had more to work with (too much, one could say) because it is more acceptable and trendy for women to wear suits vs. men wearing dresses or skirts. But it did give me more of an ability to be inclusive of race, size and disability. Though, I wish it was more inclusive, there were just so many people I couldn’t keep my head straight. Know someone I’ve missed and you think should get honorable mention? Leave a comment!

On to my list!

Gillian Anderson recently posed for some amazing photos in a suit, post Sex Education, and doing the research for this post I found it wasn’t the first time she’s worn and posed in a suit. I think she spend a large portion of her career in a suit as she starred in the X-Files for quite some time.

Zendaya has been a big hit with wearing suits in the last few years, really riling up the lesbians. Do queer people low-key wish she were gay? Yes.

Ashley Benson! I’ve loved her since PLL but now wifed up with Cara Delevingne (who I did not include in this post coz she is nonbinary and I just had so many women I wanted to include!) I stan Ashley in a suit. EDIT: they broke up and for some reason Ashley is now dating G-eazy who clearly has a type (queer women called ashley) I will not be making any further comment

Hailee Steinfeld has been making a sneaky impact wearing suits, I didn’t know until I stumbled upon the pictures!

Missy Elliott was suggested to me for the music video (honestly iconic, look at those bubblegum pink suits!) but I also stumbled upon this… odd purple one she wore too. Most of what I got when I Google searched ‘Missy Elliott suits’ were tracksuits so it wasn’t super easy to find!

Our queen! Selma Blair sporting her cane and a bald head! We stan. I wish I had found more disabled women in suits but I guess that’ll be for another time.

Kehlani was another surprise but not really, most queer women will wear a suit at some point, I just had never seen her do it!

Awkwafina was a last minute add as I realised I’d not had a single Asian woman on my list! I’d made this list a while ago and forgotten about it and really I had an itch in my soul telling me that Awkwafina probably wore at least one suit! I was right… she has wore many.

Jameela Jamil was another last minute add for the same reason as Awkwafina. I wanted to try and be as diverse as possible but the only suggestions I had for the most part were skinny white women. Jameela really has sported many suits and some quite beautiful and iconic but sadly I can’t include them all… I have so many people on this list! I recommend you have a look though, there were many and some very intricate designs. 

Of course, I included Halsey. My bi icon of music. Sadly, not as many suits as I was hoping for. Someone @ Halsey and link this and tell her I wanna see more crazy and amazing suits and to hit up any of the women I have listed if she needs to borrow some or contacts with designers or stylists!! lmao

halsey

Jenny Lewis was one suggested to me, I don’t know who she is or listen to her band but her suits were so iconic when I Googled her that she needed to be included to be quite frank.

Obviously Lizzo was going to be included, look at these beautiful suits! And she performs in one?? Jesus, her shows are so energetic anyway, I can’t imagine doing that full stop, let alone in a suit!

This is the woman who inspired this post, one of the stars of Elite (Netflix Original show) There’s an episode in the show where she has a reverse party where women have to come dressed in suits looking dapper and men have to come in ‘slutty’ revealing outfits and it was a good time. 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post, I’d love to hear about more women in amazing suits, particularly if they’re not white and skinny! I might make a post specifically for nonbinary people embracing gender blended styles or outfits because androgyny isn’t what we are made to think it is. If anything, androgyny is often narrated to us as skinny white women in ‘men’s’ wear which is a very heteronormative way of seeing things. I’d like to make a post showing all the different ways you can be androgynous as a nonbinary person so if you know of anyone you think I should include, leave a comment below!

~ Artie

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Clothes Shopping: Midsize and Disabled

Hey pals!

This is a post that has been planned and pre-written/experienced before lockdown, don’t worry, I am keeping safe and haven’t left the house in a month. I wanted to talk about what it’s like to go clothes shopping on the high street as a midsize disabled person… coz the facilities are pretty minimal in most shops, it can be really difficult to do.

I have different levels of shopping, I always start with window shopping/browsing. I take a lot of photos of items I like and their labels so I can find them when I have more time/energy. Before lockdown I used this as a mode of exercise when I needed to be in town for my Chiropractor or a massage, I’m quite an anxious person and end up being somewhere really early. (Well, you never know, I might struggle to find parking where I usually park and have to find somewhere else in the annoying one-way system and I’d rather be too early than LATE) So, I often have something like a spare 20 minutes before appointments and some time after (coz my ticket is usually up to 2 hours parking) and I find I can walk more when my brain is distracted by stuff.

I saw a few pairs of trousers that I like and all looked very similar. The difference? Apparently only colour even though on is ‘Lift and Shape’ but the other is ‘Tori’? I’ll let you know now, I didn’t go with Tori, just like in every election I’ve ever voted in.

I also really liked these t-shirts, but only the one on the left came in my size, or anything CLOSE to my size. Seems like the biggest most clothes go in NewLook is a 12. I took photos though, in case I ever came back in or wanted to find something similar elsewhere. Sadly not yet. I ended up buying the light blue top but recently decided it’s not really me and is too similar to the colour of my jeans so will be selling it on depop. I really wanted the yellow top, I’ve fallen in love with mustard yellows.

I decided on this trip (A different one, and this is the next stage of shopping) that I would try on some of the clothes that caught my eye and see which I liked on me more. I can’t trust high street sizing, even in men’s sections. It’ll say 34 waist and be too big, but pick up a pair of 34 waist shorts? Can’t do them up! But that’s a lesson I’ve learned so I have to try things on, especially if they’re a big purchase. This first pair of trousers looked nice on the hanger, but the material resembled something cheap and thin I would purchase off Blue Banana in 2010 as a teenage emo. They were dreadful and looked horrendous on. Clung to all the worst places. These were a quick no.

I struggle in changing rooms coz I need to get a decent distance from a mirror to see if I like the item I’m trying, so I tend to go down the end and not use a disabled cubicle even though I am entitled to it. A lot of these non-disabled stalls don’t even have a bench to sit on inbetween item or to help you pull things off or on. On this trip, this store doesn’t have seating anywhere in the changing room except right at the entrance for those waiting on someone, or in the disabled stall. Standing for too long, I get quite dizzy and sick. Plus, changing rooms can get quite stuffy and the lights are so industrial… It’s just not a good place to be sat on the floor wondering if staff could get you water or let you use a toilet. Oh, also I can’t really tell the difference in these photos which jeans are which!

I realised that I’d picked up a pair of trousers with short leg, and though I liked the look, I like the idea of flexibility so I got them in the Regular length so they at least grazed my ankles. After trying on three pairs of trousers and nearly passing out/being sick on the floor, I had to pile back on my usual clothes including a coat coz it was chilly that day and go home… I think I went and got some food and a drink first so I would stop feeling so dizzy. I took pictures so I could look at them later when I regained some brain function and make a decision. I had to come back at a later date to actually make the purchase. I bought them in a size 16 because size doesn’t mean a damn thing, I wanted to be comfortable, and the cashier confirmed that NewLook clothes run small so bare that in mind when you go shopping there.

 

This isn’t supposed to be some super hard hitting piece about how HARD it is being disabled, it’s just a commentary pointing out how weirdly inaccessible shopping for clothes is which is why many buy online. I never find clothes that fit me online unless I’m going oversized so this is the best I have, but like… can we turn down the intensity of the lights please? They don’t flatter anyone and I’m gonna get a migraine.

 

~ Artie

 

 

Check out this article on Huffington Post by Wendy Lu about the inaccessibility of the acting industry and education systems and how grossly ableist they are!

Bored? Like shopping? A UK reader? Check out my depop I have much available for sale!

My Favourite Books Shelf!

Hey pals,

I’ve been going on an organising and purging spree recently now that we are all FORCED to be inside. I’ve cleansed my bookshelves and given my favourite books their own shelf, I just wanted to talk through it with you and give you a peek into who I am as a human. Check out my organising videos here.

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This is the shelf! It is one of the minimal shelves designated to books in my bedroom, most of my book reside in the spare room where I have enough shelf space to call it a small library. This shelf also has my Uni Society Award (middle), a graduation plaque present (right) and a cool thrifted glass/crystal holder where I keep some pens I really like. On the far left of the books are my own work! X Marks The Spot is the first anthology I was published in that I was paid for. A personal essay and a poem live in there written by moi! Then the little blue leaflet sized ones were the third year uni open mic booklet with a small snippet of my Grenfell Tower Fire piece that I performed at my last uni open mic before I graduated.

Moving onto the books, We have a selection of mental health focused books that I fell in love with. First, Carrie Fisher’s Postcards From The Edge, I had no idea how iconic Carrie Fisher was until after her death unfortunately but this book was a very interesting dual POV book that also changed in how it was written with each section. It was mildly challenging just because of the experimental the writing style, but it is heavily derived from her real life experience of drug abuse and rehab and working in the industry. Then is the iconic The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, basically autobiographical. An interesting look into mental health care during a different period of time, similar to Girl, Interrupted, I love the film a lot so it was only a stretch that lead me to actually reading the memoir, this one was particularly interesting for me as I have the same diagnosis as Susanna Kaysen, who seemed to recover and even though the memoir is quite dark it did give me hope when I was in the midst of suffering from BPD. Then a book I have never heard anyone talk about online, Lovesick by Coburn. This is about a man who is hired to keep tabs on a rich man’s daughter at college who has an eating disorder. He was meant to get a full scholarship but had a car crash and injured himself before he started and was lost, so this man offered to pay his tuition etc. to go to uni with his daughter and make sure she wasn’t going to hurt herself, etc. He falls in love with her but I think it ends quite sadly and she finds out he was hired by her father. This is based off a real event, I think this was put together by a reporter. Last in this list is Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. About two friends who have eating disorders and live pretty recklessly, it’s been a while since I’ve read it so I can’t remember everything exactly but one of them dies, and the protagonist has some kind if psychosis where she keeps seeing and hearing her and keeps getting sicker. This is a very triggering book with lots of explicit details to do with self harm and eating disorder behaviour so I do not recommend this to anyone easily triggered.

The next section are my queer books! Starting with Wranglestone by Darren Charlton, this is a zombie apocalypse adventure story with some mystery elements and our main character is gay. This is the first book I’ve read that isn’t about being gay, it has plot outside of that and it was a great read, you should check out my more detailed review here. Next is Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, this may have been my first queer book read. Multi-POV book showing us a selection of different queer boys and narrated by the gay men of previous generations who had died and did not get to live their full life because of AIDs and the laws we had in place in the Western World. It’s a lovely book with a sad overtone because of the narration but something I really enjoyed and have re-read a few times. I’ll roll these next two into one point, Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda and Leah on the Off Beat. Love Simon was quite an iconic turning point for gay film media production, it felt like one of the first fluffy rom-coms we got to have that didn’t end or involve any tragedy or death. The book is very similar but has quite a different plot so I do recommend reading it if you enjoyed the film. Then Leah on the off Beat is the wlw, bisexual icon version of Love, Simon. Leah felt she couldn’t come out to friends about her bisexuality and then falls in love with a girl who is also bisexual, the representation in this book is impeccable and made my younger self feel seen (even though I read this at age 24). Watch my video talking about Love Simon the book vs. the Film. Next, Beautiful Music For Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills is the first book I’ve read with a trans main character. His name is Gabe and he wants to be a radio DJ and works on a community radio in the dead of night. I do feel like it’s sad and unfortunate that we know Gabe’s dead name in this (because we all know this leads to people dead naming the character rather than forcing them to use the correct name) and there is transphobic related violence later in the book, besides that I enjoyed the book a lot. The last stop on the train is the first female lead queer book I read (but also one of the first queer books I ever read) Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz. Our Bi icon Etta is a badass ballet dancer whose whole friendship group are lesbian women who constantly invalidate Etta’s sexuality, a side of the coin that isn’t often talked about. She also has an eating disorder and is in recovery and trying to find herself and what she wants, she makes new friends who love her for her and not what they think she is. She has a romance with a boy through the book but has visibly had relationships and sex with a mixture of genders and the book does not end with a happily ever after which I appreciated a lot.

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We are in the last section now which is mostly to do with book height! We have the Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman, a beautiful graphic novel about Charlie and Nick falling in love and having that fluffy rom-com episodic story. See my other posts about these books here and here and my two videos here and here. Then Melanie Murphy’s first book, Fully Functioning Human (Almost), I relate to a lot of the struggles Melanie has gone through and been open about online: bisexuality, eating disorders, health, anxiety and depression, toxic relationships, etc. This book gave me the strength to break it off with my last relationship I was in and I have to put that book on this shelf for that alone. And finally, Hungry by Crystal Renn is another memoir about having an eating disorder as a model and throwing it round and becoming a plus size model instead. Check out my Non-fic recs video where I talk about some of these. 

A lot of these books entered my life during a time I needed them. They helped me feel like I wasn’t doing this or going through this alone, and that it’s possible to come out the other end (minus a few that ended quite terribly) and generally I have come out the other end. Now I’m just looking for a book about a young person going through a chronic illness and battling all these other things too.

I hope you enjoyed this post and having a little look into who I am and why these books matter to me. Let me know some of your favourite books!

~ Artie

Watch my recent book unhaul on youtube and keep an eye on my depop as I may sell some books there.