Favorite Gay Couple in Non- BL Queer Media- Part III

While queer representation in western media is either grossly underrated or inadequately motivated, there are some shows which gave us valuable lessons and legendary couples. We fondly remember them, because they represented the LGBTQ community in an apt way; requisite to say that they embodied the struggles and stigmas faced by the LGBTQ diaspora in a conscious manner. It was because of their efforts that queer depictions are more reckoning today. In today’s feature, our authors will be talking about the queer couples who actually made a difference!

Krishna Naidu’s Favorites

Malec, Shadowhunters

If you are a diehard Shadowhunters fan (novel/televised version), then you will be well acquainted with the prolific couple- Malec. Popularly known by this pseudonym, Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood represented an era where queer representation was on the rise. They are both legendary fighters, and rightly so. Based on the original script, a relationship between a warlock and a shadowhunter is unheard of (more so frowned upon). So Malec didn’t exactly connect as soon as they met. Alec went through the denial phase while he was tactfully seduced by his future husband. But the one aspect that made this couple hugely popular was their utter loyalty towards each other. As opposed to the other couples in this show, Malec’s relationship was always safe and secure. They did have their own misunderstandings and trust issues; but there was never a sign of unfaithfulness. Malec grew together as strong individuals and also as a couple; moving past issues that obviously affected even normal couples. Their devotion and love for each other was beautiful and they will be forever engraved in our memories as “The Magical Couple”.

Ed and Stede, Our Flag Means Death

These two were actually a surprise package. As the leading characters in a comical pirate drama, Ed & Stede were mostly whimsical and the rest of the times- unpredictable. The sheer joy of watching Stede making unaccountable mistakes was elevated by his unique romance with Ed. Both are polar opposites- Stede is an English gentleman trying to play pirates while Ed is the real dreaded pirate on the sea. I wasn’t even sure about their relationship until they kissed. Provided their healthy banter and daily arguments did make for an entertaining watch, but I was unsure about where this relationship was headed to. So, I wasn’t surprised when Season One ended with their abrupt and illogical separation (blame it on Stede). Since we are huge fans, here’s hoping that the next season, our bickering couple get back together; because the show would definitely be boring without either of them accosting each other!

Nick and Charlie, Heartstopper

Despite the negative publicity that keeps marring this perfection (author Alice Oseman’s disregard for the BL community and the harassment faced by the main leads, Kit Conner & Joe Locke regarding their sexuality), Nick and Charlie still remain my favourites. I mean, after all, they are the quintessential “IT” couple. I haven’t read the web comics but judging from its popularity, the adaptation seems to be quite similar to the original content. At the centre-point of this coming-of-age romance is Nick and Charlie’s budding relationship. Both of them represent different factions of the LGBTQ community. While Nick’s journey of self acceptance was reassuring, Charlie’s struggles with his sexuality were understandable. And yet together, their romance is heartwarming and endearing. They vividly depicted the problems faced by the queer diaspora while we fell in love with their innocent love story irrevocably.

Louis de Pointe du Lac & Lestat de Lioncourt, Interview with the Vampire

Based on Anne Rice’s gothic novel, Interview with the Vampire’s televised version had an albeit gay twist. As against the movie version (1994) where the main characters Louis de Pointe du Lac & Lestat de Lioncourt have a subtle bromance brewing between them, the web drama addresses their relationship in a new light. Interview with the Vampire is an epic story of betrayal and hurt interspersed with undying love (literally) and devotion. While Louis’s act as a fledgling vampire is understated, his relationship with Lestat isn’t. Their romance starts off as seduction progresses to domesticity and ends in murder. This show isn’t for the fainthearted, so progress with caution. But if you are looking for a gay romance with sensuality, then Louis and Lestat will be an enticing choice!

Victor & Benji, Love Victor

Although I didn’t enjoy the final season much, Love Victor can be certainly applauded for trying to portray queer relationships in a positive light. Despite the tons of issues marring their romance, Victor & Benji represented the Gen Next. Their relationship was imperfect and fraught with misunderstandings. The real shocker being their ability to overcome these problems and reconcile. While Victor had to deal with his identity crisis and familial distress, Benji had to battle his alcohol addiction. Victor & Benji’s love story mirrors teenage angst and foibles- they are kids, bound to make mistakes and repent later. It was a honest depiction and I’m glad it was handled sensibly.

Wilhelm & Simon, Young Royals

Obviously one of the hottest couple on the current trends and rightly so; Wilhelm and Simon’s fairy tale romance has enraptured millions and people are dying to watch them together in the season finale (which might premiere this year). While the first season focused on their budding romance, the second season was more about intellectual development. Both Wilhelm and Simon had a lot of growing up to do in order to understand their social differences and accept them. Despite the oddities that forced them apart, they became stronger and mature. More so in Wilhelm’s case; from a scared Prince who was unable to make a firm decision, Wilhelm grew up to become a formidable Crown Prince, who wasn’t afraid to voice his opinions or accept his sexuality publicly.

Patrick & Ivan, Elite

Despite being a tragic romance that ended in separation, Patrick & Ivan were irrefutably one of the most popular couples in this hugely popular Spanish series. Avid fans waited with bated breaths to watch them together and though the initial episodes of Season Six did give a glimpse of their domesticity, Patrick and Ivan’s relationship was fraught with temperamental issues. Both loved fiercely, but they had major trust issues. Their romance portrayed teenage angst and yet it was utterly delectable. If you could get past the immature sojourns in this murder saga, then Patrivan’s journey is definitely worth exploring!

Shin Ha Roo & Geum Myung Se, Brain Works

A mad scientist with a weird yet kindhearted detective- does this combination sound familiar? You will understand my point if you are an avid fan of popular Korean bromances like Beyond Evil & The Devil Judge. The “Enemies to Lover’s” flavor is strong, and it doesn’t get any better than this. Shin Ha Roo is popular as Dr. Brain aka the best neuroscientist of his times. His overzealous nature gets him into trouble and he ends up as a consultant in the Police Department’s Neuro Scientific Division. There, he is partnered with his frenemy- Detective Geum Myung Se. The differences in their nature and attitude make an intriguing blend. While Ha Roo is reserved, detached and socially inept, Myung Se is caring and humble. Their endless bickering and arguments are entertaining, but underneath this antagonism lies a subtle romance that is truly enviable.

Gingerjiejie’s Favorites

Welcome to the second part of my favourite gay couples in Non-BL queer media! In my previous post, I chose queer ground-breaking couples from soap operas, which are known for being extra heterosexual. This time I will also start with a soap opera! However, it is a soap opera from my country: Brazil.

A warning: spoilers ahead!

Junior & Zeca (América)

Only those who live in Brazil know how important Zeca and Junior were for the queer history of television in Brazil. Before them, we’d had other queer couples before, but they were never well-received and their ending was usually tragic. Junior and Zeca, however, were game-changer. The year was 2005. The soap opera, America, told the story of Sol, a girl who left for the US to live the American dream but as an illegal immigrant. Sol is obviously the story’s protagonist, but another character in the plot stole the show for me. Coming back to Brazil, Junior (Bruno Gagliasso) is a sensitive boy who lives on a cattle farm with his overprotective mother Neuta. They are a rich countryside family, so Neuta has high hopes for Junior, except that Junior is having a major identity crisis in the process. Junior would actually want to be a stylist and makeup artist, but he is terrified of his mother finding out. To make him even more confused, the handsome Zeca (Erom Cordeiro) comes to work for them as a field hand. Zeca’s sweetness and manliness win Junior over completely. Their love grows slowly and steadily, and it is beautifully told. Since the audience was in two minds about the two of them, they were not allowed to touch or kiss. Instead, there were a lot of longing stares and sexual tension that only grew with time. The actors were superb in portraying their passion without so much as the brush of their hands. The big question was: would they be allowed a happy ending? Luckily, they did. They end up confessing to each other in the end in a very touching scene. Junior’s mother even gives them her blessing. After all, she only wants her son to be happy. Junior had the happy ending he deserved. Unfortunately, there was no kissing. There had been rumours of a kiss having been recorded – in fact, some people still believe the kiss scene still exists – but the TV channel was too worried about “shocking the audience” and “hurting family values”, so they cut the scene. Too bad for us all. Yet, Zeca and Junior still remain kings in my heart with their beautiful love stories. The important thing is that, even though it was against the odds, they got together in the end.

You can find their story on YouTube.

Lito & Hernando (Sense8)

Sense8 was a series that deserved better. It had a wonderfully diverse cast, amazing photography, and brilliant script and acting. Even though we didn’t have more seasons, I am so glad this show was made. For me, it remains one of my all-time favourite TV shows. Lito and Hernandez are not the only queer couple in the story. We also have Nomi and Amanita – and I love them, too. The reason why I chose Lito and Hernandez was because of their Mexican background. Mexico, like Brazil, is a country with many contrasts. Latin American countries are still more homophobic than not, even though things have been slowly improving over the years, and people have been – slowly – becoming more receptive to the idea of same-sex couples. Lito (Miguel Angel Silvestre) is a famous Mexican actor who poses as the macho guy in action movies. He is a closeted gay man who lives with his partner Hernando Fuentes (Alfonso Herrera), an Art Professor. They have to keep their relationship a secret, and this causes Lito and Hernando a great deal of pain. Eventually, Lito realises that Hernando is the love of his life and much more important than his career. All is well that ends well.

Fun fact: they have girl friend named Dani who has the hots for both of them and represents the fujoshis of the world.

Yorkie & Kelly (‘Black Mirror: San Junipero’)

Black Mirror is a series that from the get-go blew my mind in many ways. Every episode is about a possible horrible future and the consequences of too much technology in a world where ethics is a word not everyone fully grasps its meaning. In a sea of horrific future possibilities, San Junipero, the fourth episode of the third season of Black Mirror, was actually a breath of fresh air.

The year is 1987. Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) goes to a nightclub and meets Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). They are completely different. While Kelly is extroverted and loves to party, Yorkie is shy and seems out of place. They are clearly attracted to each other, but Yorkie is too afraid to try anything at first. One night, they finally have sex. Yorkie tells Kelly it was the first time she ever had sex. Kelly, on the other hand, confesses she had already been married. After their lovely night together, Yorkie tries to find Kelly again, but Kelly has now moved on to a different “time period”. It turns out they are in a simulation program where they can travel to any time they want to so they can have fun anytime anywhere. Yorkie finally found Kelly in 2002, but Kelly rejects her. Both women carry secrets from their real lives outside the simulation.

I won’t spoil it for you in case you want to watch it, and I would if I were you. It is one of the most beautiful love stories ever told in a 60-minutes episode. Prepare your tissues because this is a tearjerker. I cried buckets. It is not just about love but also acceptance, self-respect, self-worth, and self-discovery. What you get from Kelly and Yorkie is that it is never too late to love and be loved.

You can watch it on Netflix.

We will be back with an exciting new feature next weekend. Till then, keep watching this space as we bring you updates from the BL world!

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One thought on “Favorite Gay Couple in Non- BL Queer Media- Part III”

  1. Hopefully Alice Oseman has been watching (or reading) THE ECLIPSE, NEVER LET ME GO, MY SCHOOL PRESIDENT and BETWEEN ME. If so, she will know what she believed/believes about BL is obviously not true in many, many instances. On the other hand, if the only series she’s watched recently is CHECK OUT, my argument is a losing one.

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