Weekend Watchlist | Queer Stories

By The Pitt News Staff

Who says we have to leave Pride for June? This week, the Pitt News Staff is sending you off with queer stories you can enjoy over Thanksgiving break.

Moonlight (Hulu) // Sinéad McDevitt, Digital Manager

Moonlight is a coming-of-age story about Chiron, a young man growing up in Miami as he grapples with his sexuality and identity as a Black man. It mainly follows Chiron at three points in his life, when he’s a child (Alex Hibbert), a teen (Ashton Sanders) and adult (Trevante Rhodes).

The story isn’t very broad or complex in the grand scheme of things, but it’s very tender. You get really attached to Chiron and his relationship with the people around him like his friend Kevin (in order of appearance: Jaden Piner, Jharrel Jerome and André Holland), his father figure, Juan (Mahershala Ali) and his drug-addicted mother (Naomi Harris). Barry Jenkins’ directing gives us gorgeous and moody shots of Miami, while also showcasing the blinding harshness of the city during the day.

It’s not a depressing film, nor is it entirely uplifting. This Academy Award-winning film leaves you in an emotional milieu that’ll have you thinking about for days after you watch.

Pose (Netflix) // Diana Velasquez, Contributing Editor

While there has no doubt been an uptick in LGBTQ+ representation on screen in recent years, it’s still a rare find to have a movie or show with BIPOC queer representation. Pose is one of the few shows on television with a predominately BIPOC queer cast, and it’s succeeded where many shows have failed in telling meaningful stories about transgender individuals. Pose is set in New York City in the 1980s right when the AIDS epidemic hits its peak. The main characters are members of the NYC ballroom scene, where they perform and walk in costume contests for prizes. It’s a prominent subculture for the Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ community.

Blanca Evangelista (MJ Rodriguez) leads the show. She branched off from her former “house” to lead her own family in the ball scene. It might sound like not much is going on besides the shows and the costumes in this show from the description, but you could not be more wrong. This show is about family and forming bonds when the world is doing its best to prevent you from doing so. The cast is stellar — Billy Porter is a standout and he has the Emmys to prove it. The makeup and costume department are working overtime and I can guarantee you that by the time you finish it you’ll be in a tear-stained heap.

The Owl House (Disney+) // Sinéad McDevitt, Digital Manager

“The Owl House” only began airing in 2020 and is in the middle of its second season, but already has a huge following for its gorgeous animation, endearing characters and — of course — the queer romance between the main character Luz Noceda and Amity Blight.

Luz (Sarah-Nicole Robles) is a normal teen from Connecticut with a hyperactive imagination, until she stumbles into a portal to the Boiling Isles, a land of witches, demons and all sorts of creatures. She meets Eda The Owl Lady (Wendie Malick) and a demon named King (Alex Hirsch) and decides to stay to learn witchcraft. This show is hilarious with tons of visual gags and quick-paced humor and its ongoing plot is intriguing — more so once it picks up in season two. There’s a lot to love about this show, but since we’re celebrating queer stories this week, I’m going to go into a bit more detail on that part of the show.

First, there’s Luz and Amity (Mae Whitman). What’s great about their relationship, especially for a kids show airing on Disney Channel, is that the fact that they’re both girls isn’t a concern. It’s treated just like how any other relationship would be, adorable pining and all. On top of that, there’s also Raine Whispers (Avi Roque), a nonbinary character with a nonbinary voice actor to boot. Once again, Raine’s queerness isn’t the focus of their character. They simply happen to be nonbinary. The casualness with which “The Owl House” portrays its queer characters is what makes it truly groundbreaking, especially for a show aimed at children, and that should be celebrated.