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This Week: Happy Pride from the Agents of Doux!

This week: The Agents of Doux get their Pride on.

Hey there. Mikey Heinrich here.

Well, June's busting out all over, and it's brought with it another round of LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations. And so, on behalf of the Agents of Doux, I'd like to wish you all a very happy Pride!

One of the things I've always loved most about Doux reviews is how inclusive it is and always has been. Truly the safest of spaces, I've never once been worried about presenting myself exactly as I am in my writings here, and never felt anything less than completely supported by both my fellow agents as well as the readership. Which, I hope it goes without saying, is awesome. Thank you, every one of you, for being a part of it.

One of the wonderful things about media is the way it allows us to see and understand ourselves. This is why representation is so important. So, we thought it might be nice to take a moment and share some of the movies, television, and other media that helped us to understand ourselves. Hopefully you'll find some gems here that you'd never heard of that you can check out and enjoy. Feel free to share your own Pride-worthy recommendations, whoever you are. Remember, one of the 'A's is for Ally.

For me, the first proper 'this is a gay movie' that I recall seeing was 1987's Maurice, which is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by E. M. Forster. It's a proper same-sex love story period piece, set in 1909 and written in 1971. Fantastically, it neither demonizes nor 'others' its main protagonist, who's allowed to not only not die, but (spoilers) have a happy ending.

To say this movie rocked my world is an understatement. I was just at the very beginning of figuring out who I was when I saw it, and I genuinely had never been told that there was a possibility of a happy ending for me. Also, as a bonus, it features a young Hugh Grant doing gay stuff.

And with that I pass the mic.


I love this idea Mikey.

I’ll go for the obvious and say a certain redhead witch was the first major representation I became familiar with growing up. It’s only in the past decade or so that I realised just how groundbreaking, and realistic some of her story was. Thankfully that hasn’t changed in light of recent controversies, so I hope that new viewers will continue to discover her journey, in spite of its obvious low points (certain tropes being played around with, for example).


I came out because of Supergirl. Not because one of the main characters came out, although she did, but because I was tired of pretending not to be in love with Katie McGrath. There wasn't a lot of bisexual representation on tv or in movies when I was a kid. The only thing I can think of that portrayed it that I saw was Cabaret, which deeply confused me. I remember wondering if the male character whose name I do not remember was gay or straight. Bisexuality wasn't even an option I knew to consider.

Now, thank God, there's some (not tons, but some) positive depictions of bisexuality. The Legend of Korra is a great example. Yes, it's true that Korra and Asami don't get together until the very end and no, it's never explicitly said on the show that they're in a relationship (although it is in the comics), but the two walk off into a bisexual pride flag colored sunset together holding hands. Would I have liked more? Sure, but I'm happy we got what we did.

I also love what David Rose of Schitt's Creek said: "I do drink red wine, but I also drink white wine. And I've been known to sample the occasional rosé. And a couple of summers back I tried a Merlot that used to be a Chardonnay, which got a bit complicated...I like the wine and not the label."

Joseph Santini:

I came out before TV was regularly captioned and full of exciting errors. By the time I got to high school in the 90’s the gayest thing I’d seen was Riker’s beard (AHMNYE YOUR RUBBER BUNN SHIR PEES DAY ON THE SHIP). My first gay love was probably Patrick Stewart who I kept wishing was on La Bamba, a mix up I attribute entirely to confusing captions.

The 90’s saw gay themes popping up on Golden Girls, Designing Women, and other popular shows at the time. The Golden Girls always came out solidly on the homo side; so did the Designing Women. And the Band Played On came out, but I didn’t see that captioned for another ten years; it was probably the Torch Song Trilogy that truly threw me into queerness and not just a straight person’s representation of us as queer. I watched it in Australia in the arms of a handsome Lebanese Björk fan. When I got back to the States I broke up with the fan and began exploring gay theater, literature, and so much more. Angels in America, Martin Sherman’s Bent.

I did tend to prefer lesbian characters. They got to be strong and realized. For me the 90’s was full of tv telling me in America that as a gay man I was flippant and humorous. I have humour, and people often mistake it for being funny. But flippant? Two minutes discussing politics with me and nobody can call me flippant! It seemed like many serious roles depicting gay men were adopted by straight men. Part of me is still looking for a great Latino gay male performer inhabiting a Latino gay male role. We see lots of gay side characters in things like The Eternals, but a gay male lead has yet to appear in any superhero shows, for example, and gay themes are still played for laughs.

Yet it's also true there is a softening of straight masculinity. Men are allowed to have close friends and close friendships are often portrayed with soft-queer themes. Bromances are a thing. So, I have lots of hope for continued change.


Back in the day when Buffy was running and I was posting reviews all over, I had a pretty large following. I was up front about shipping Buffy and Angel, and later, Buffy and Spike. But when I began shipping Willow and Tara, I remember one reaction I got was, "That's it! Billie is bisexual!" as if shipping a lesbian relationship was something a straight female would never do. I remember being completely thrown. I don't remember if I responded to that comment or not. I don't think anyone would say that to me today. Is that progress?


As I reached adulthood and graduated from college in the early 80s, being gay was somewhat acceptable, but was still something that was not really discussed in polite society in the small town where I lived. Men and women had “roommates,” but everyone knew what that really meant. In this environment, about six months before I married, my mother left my father for a woman. I’m not going to lie; I did not take it well. What were my friends going to think of me? Of my family? Of my new marriage? It was a rough time.

But time passes. I realized that as I accepted this relationship and embraced the wonderful woman my mother was with, everyone around me would do the same. It was about this time that I began to realize that television was also coming to terms. Buffy, Will and Grace, Designing Women, Friends, Ally McBeal, and reruns of All in the Family, Maude, thirtysomething and others all helped me and many, many others realize that love is love and to get over ourselves.

My mother married the woman I now openly referred to as my stepmother in 2012 and I watched with tears running my face. And then, we lost her this past fall to COVID. It was the second time in my life that I had lost a parent and I am still grieving. As my family picks up the pieces and moves on, I give thanks every day that I had my stepmother for as long as I did, and I give thanks that I was able to see her and her relationship with my mom for the treasures they were.


ChrisB, I'm so sorry for your loss. I always think about someone specific during Pride as well, my best friend John Nelson, who died of AIDS in 1992. He made my life so much richer. I miss him every day.

And such a good point about television coming to terms. When I was little, when television was also relatively young, people of color existed on the edges of TV and the movie, and gay people were just unacknowledged. Liberace and Paul Lynde had simply never found the right woman for them. It's taken such a long time to get this far. It's still not far enough.

So, everyone – who is your favorite LGBT+ character on TV right now, and why?

I'll go first. Lord John Grey on Outlander. He's a favorite of mine because of the 18th century setting, and how beautifully David Berry plays him.


Does it count if you can still find the show on a streaming service? In my opinion, the best LGBT+ character ever was Omar Little in The Wire. Played to perfection by Michael K. Williams, this character was both tender and scary as hell. A bravura performance.


OMG, I loved Michael K. Williams' performance as Omar Little. Great choice, ChrisB.

Samantha M. Quinn:

Chris B., I'm sitting here trying to figure out what I want to say and all I can do is cry. I'm so sorry for you and your mother's loss. You're right, inclusiveness and representation has definitely become more mainstream. From Nia Nal and Alex coming out on Supergirl to everything about Sense 8 and even this year with Arcane's Caitlyn and Vi and Loki coming out as bi-sexual in casual conversation.

For me it started with Willow and Tara, their story pulled me in completely. For the next two decades I searched for good content featuring lesbian characters. I couldn't really figure out why, at the time I considered myself a straight man. When that all changed, and I realized I was not only a transwoman, but I was still completely into women I finally understood I was searching for that person inside. I still look for good content, and I'm holding out hope we get a stealth confirmation of Supercorp on the Flash one of these days.
Joseph Santini:

Hmm. I have to admit Billie’s question upset me slightly. Gay male characters... that’s a hard question; the closest for me in recent tv was Echo Kellum as Mr. Terrific on Arrow; it was great seeing a gay guy deal with typical superhero problems. Honestly, unfortunately I don’t see any I identify with. I guess so next step is “enjoy seeing on television.” For this I guess I want to nominate Modern Family. Mitchell and Cameron are often played for laughs-but they’re lovely family laughs and it’s something we’d never have seen on TV in the 80’s or 90’s. Overall gay male characters in tv and movies seem made for doom-think Larry Trainor, who’s doomed whatever he does-and I’m not very doomstricken. I’m a lot more like Robin from Stranger Things.

Mikey Heinrich:

Hands down Patrick on Schitt's Creek. David is great, but I get Patrick on a fundamental level. Just love him.


There are so many great LGBTQ characters on television I don’t know that I could pick just one. Maybe Darryl Whitefeather from Crazy Ex Girlfriend. I never did finish that series, so I don’t know if anything problematic happened to him (It was problematic enough to have a white actor play a part Native American character) but Gettin’ Bi is an ANTHEM.


I don't often have a ton of great recommendations for Pride month, but I do have some people in my life that I love very dearly, some relatives, whose struggles and joys and lives I'm very interested in, so I often connect to stories that can help me to understand how best to love my LGBTQ+ loved ones. That's one of the many reasons I openly bawled through the last thirty minutes of this year's Everything Everywhere All At Once, which is a wonderfully creative film that I think anybody can probably connect to, all sorts of folks from all sorts of backgrounds and walks of life.

It's no secret that I don't get to watch as much tv as I'd like to these days, so I think I'll stick to movies. Wolfwalkers is a recent film from Cartoon Saloon that's all about our response to folks that are different from us and the way that experiencing life through someone else's eyes can totally transform your perspective. I've heard from many friends that it can be a balm for those who've experienced religious trauma; be warned, though, that is a major thematic element in the movie, so if you're sensitive to depictions of those things, I advise you to tread carefully. But it's a lovely film and a pure expression of the kind of joy that only comes when you are allowed to run free in your own skin, fully living the way you are made to be.


I don't have a current favorite LGBT+ character -- I too have been watching very little TV -- but I do have some favorites that I cherish a lot. Willow and Tara from Buffy, and Nomi from Sense8 are my three obvious choices. Nomi talking about her experience in the locker room is one of my favorite scenes ever.

Moving on to less obvious picks, there is a Brazilian short movie called The Way He Looks. It's an adorable little story about a blind teenager who falls in love with his new classmate. The short movie was so popular that they made a feature film with the same actors, but I like the original version better.

Another very touching movie is Other People, starring Jesse Plemons. It follows the life of a man who has recently ended a long-term relationship and goes back to his hometown to be with his terminally ill mother. It's a very sensitive, touching story. It stayed with me for a while after I watched it.

Last but not least, I have to mention RuPaul's Drag Race. Even though I haven't watched the latest seasons (save for the current All Winners season, which is a must), I commend this little reality show that threw drag culture into mainstream and was my personal entrance into that world, which is just fascinating.

Happy Pride, everyone!

And back to Mikey. Thanks to everyone for participating. Please do add your own suggestions, thoughts, experiences as you like/are comfortable with in the comments.

You deserve to be loved, whoever you are. Love yourself with your whole heart and settle for nothing less from anyone else.

Echoing Lamounier, Happy Pride! Be safe and happy!


  1. Happy Pride. I'd like to recommend Ang Lee's 1993 film The Wedding Banquet. It's about a young Taiwanese gay man living with his lover in New York. His parents back in Taiwan are not aware of his sexuality and are constantly bugging him about getting married, so he decides on a marriage of convenience to an illegal immigrant who is a tenant in a building he owns. By turns very funny, thoughtful, and poignant. And it had nothing to do with AIDS which was something of a relief in gay cinema at that time.

    I haven't seen a lot of gay male characters that I really identify with on film or TV either...possibly Hernando from Sense8. I am not as hot as him, nor do I have an equally hot actor boyfriend, however.

  2. The Wedding Banquet remains one of my favorite films. I bought it years ago and drag it out when I need comfort viewing.

    Two of my favorite queer characters (because they come as a pair) is Magnus and Alec on Shadowhunters. They were the reason I waded through an inconsistent first season and they remained the best thing through to the amazing finale. Watching their relationship grow and blossom was a joy to behold. Despite the "traditional" views of the Shadowhunters, neither his nor Magnus' masculinity, strength, or competence were ever truly questioned although it was implied their relationship could hurt Alec's career. I also loved that Alec's bond to his straight best friend never wavered.

  3. Oh my god, I haven't thought about the wedding banquet in years! Thank you for reminding me!

  4. I can't believe I forgot to mention Black Sails!! While not important to me on my journey, it is a really beautiful (though at some times, needlessly bloody and rape-y) story of queer love triumphing. ALSO Our Flag Means Death!! Pirates are very gay, it turns out.

  5. I feel like we've always kind of known that :)

  6. Sorry for having been AWOL while this was being prepared; I've had a lot of other work, and I've been under the weather. Also, as one of the older humans doing reviews for Doux Reviews, the proliferation of out gay/lesbian/etc characters on TV took place after I was well into adulthood. But I do remember La Cage aux Folles - the 1978 version, in French - and although it was often over the top, it opened my eyes to world I did not know. I watched it several times, and my excuse was to improve my French, but also because it was funny and the characters showed so much devotion to each other.


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