Here’s Why We Need To Reclaim Queer-Coding In ‘The Lion King’ Remake

There are so many lessons you can learn from Disney’s The Lion King in your formative years: the beauty of old friendships as well as new ones, that facing your fears shows true strength of character, and that self-forgiveness is more constructive than wallowing in guilt. “Being brave doesn’t mean you go looking for trouble” always reminded me of my father’s stern lessons about regulating my younger, more confrontational side, and when my father passed away in 2016, I watched the scenes of Mufasa’s death to help process my grief.

The Lion King has always been a perfect example of a bildungsroman, and so as we prepare for the excitement of a live-action, majority-black cast for the 2019 remake, I’ve been thinking of how this genre of film might be captured and reimagined through the bodies of black characters. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about how Scar is as a fabulous black gay man.

In light of critiques about queer-coded and villainous characters such as Scar, I’ve been forced to consider how he and other similar antagonists present a negative force in the formative experiences of young LGBTQ children. Queer-coding is not so much about explicit sexuality, but about the appearance, expressiveness and gender performance of a character. Typical discussions of Scar’s identity has been framed in negative criticism, touching on his “stereotypical movements and affectations.” His exaggerated facial features are likened to drag makeup, and his slender physique (as compared to the broader, larger Mufasa) is rendered to emasculate him.

As a young gay child I didn’t register any of this explicitlyScar’s “weak” and “effeminate” persona being demonized appear true to my experiences as a queer child navigating masculinity in the playground. I disliked sports, walking and talking with a certain expected bravado, not meeting conventional standards of boyhood. Yet, as a 20 year old man, I absolutely adore this representation of Scar, and have been able to reimagine him as a sort of anti-hero championing resistance to traditional masculinity.

Still, this is no reason to vindicate Disney from responsibility for its problematic representation. There is much to be said about the fact that Scar’s presentation can be reduced to a cowardly, gay man leading a comedic trio comprised of a Black woman, a Latino man and a mentally disabled “liability.”

But I wouldn’t want remakes of The Lion King to simply brush the matter of queer Scar under the carpet. As a Black gay man, the opportunity for further representation within Black cinema, even if through villainy, is something I’m enticed by. But this means complicating the narrative around Scar and framing him within racialized narratives concerning masculinity and queerness. Scar is a selfish character, but his “revolution” promises empowerment to the most marginalized groups, redistributing Pride Rock’s wealth to the creatures which inhabit the “shadowy place.”

But as well as a socialist revolutionary, could Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Scar also be a queer man?

The new Lion King offers a chance for a nuanced exploration of community relations. As a child I was taught to admire Mufasa and Simba as the idealized forms of macho leadership. This is so reminiscent of the experiences of young Black gay men forced to restrict our gender performance to the highest standards of masculinity. Black gay and feminine men have been long-term pioneers of interrogating and disturbing masculinity and normative gender constructions, often at risk of death, rejection or humiliation. Social media dialogue around the #CareFree movement for Black men have opened up conversations regarding the prizing of idealized Black masculinity over queered and effeminate gender presentation. So when we now go back to watch the polarizing of the masculine and the feminine in Mufasa and Scar’s interactions there is so much more to explore and muse on.

Scar presents a cool challenge to performed masculinity. Mufasa becomes infuriated at Scar’s various sassy remarks, snarling and growling and adopting fighting talk: “Is that a challenge?” With Scar responding “Temper, temper. I wouldn’t dream of challenging you” there is a subtle taming of Mufasa’s masculinity. The intent is for us to view Scar as a coward and Mufasa as great, but as an audience we can reframe this opportunity to view Scar as presenting a more calculated foil to arrogant, masculine leadership. Whether as a “gone-with-the-wind-fabulous” Machiavellian, or a more tempered and cool intellect, there is much that a Black gay Scar could do to further the conversation concerning the treatment and regard of Black male femininity within Black communities.

The Lion King live-action film is anticipated as a future piece of Black representation in cinema. However, in a post-Moonlight world, cinema which reinforces the priority of cis-hetero patriarchal Black leadership should not go unchallenged. Simba and Mufasa will ultimately always be the heroes of the tale, but I would invite embracing a rare opportunity to present a queer, Black villain to the audience, to tell a story about marginalized identities within Black spaces. Because as children internalize negative associations between queerness and villainry, there is a duty to provide some relief from subconscious queer-bashing, and to allow critical reflection on what kind of gender performance is seen as ideal.

Nancy Marcus Is Making Sure Bisexuals Are Included In LGBTQ Litigation

Although Nancy Marcus is now a renowned LGBTQ rights attorney, she did not even know she was bisexual until she was in college at Michigan State University.

“I absolutely surprised myself when I fell in love with a woman for the first time,” she tells INTO. “Almost as soon I realized I was in love with a woman, I came out as bisexual and I have been for 25 years.”

After coming out to herself, her family and classmates in the 1990s, Marcus’ first work of activism was leading a bisexual discussion group on campus. Over the next 20 years, as she worked as a volunteer and “paid her dues” in the world of LGBTQ rights law. Now a law and policy senior attorney at Lambda Legal, she contributed to the amicus brief filed in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, which the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on next week.

“As leaders, as advocates, as educators and as lawyers, we have a responsibility sometimes to lead, and to push the court to do the right thing” she says.

Through her work with the country’s largest legal organization advocating for LGBTQ rights through through public education programs, judicial trainings and lawsuits, Marcus is happy make sure the “B” gets the representation and respect the identity deserves. Despite her passionate work for community-wide issues like marriage equality, she says she’s been targeted by other LGBTQ folks who insist on repeating harmful stereotypes and insults about bisexuals.

Marcus chooses to use those hurdles as inspiration for her work on bisexual erasure in LGBTQ-rights litigation. She is also a co-founder of BiLaw, a group for bisexual and bi-allied attorneys, academics and law students.

“I feel like I have this awesome in every sense of the word–and heavy responsibility because there really are very few out bisexual lawyers in the movement,” Marcus said.

In 1996, while Marcus was in school at the Case Western Reserve School of Law, LGBTQ folks claimed what is considered their first massive victory in the U.S. Supreme Court. Romer v. Evans struck down Colorado Amendment 2, which prevented LGBTQ Coloradans from being declared a protected class, and overturned the 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick decision that held criminal sodomy laws constitutional.

As monumental as the win was, Marcus blames the case for creating bisexual erasure in the Supreme Court. Colorado Amendment 2 explicitly defined the class of affected people as lesbians, gays and bisexuals, Marcus says, but argued that only lesbians and gays were affected.

“They quite literally erased bisexuals from the group of people who were explicitly targeted by that amendment,” she says. “From that point forward, bisexuals were never mentioned by name by the Supreme Court, and they had been before. The courts are going to follow the lead of the lawyers, so if the lawyers aren’t including bisexuals in their briefs, then the courts aren’t going to mention them either.”

Rather than faulting the court, Marcus says it is the lawyer’s responsibility to be more inclusive with their language when arguing for LGBTQ rights. She has seen progress with the popularization of the terms “same-sex marriage” rather than “gay marriage,” because it is not just gay men and women whose marriage rights were restricted before Obergefell v. Hodges.

Marcus argues that using bi-inclusive language is not only the right thing to do, but it also can strengthen arguments for LGBTQ rights. Specifically, including bisexuals can help demonstrate how sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination as defined by Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion. In her article “Bridging Bisexual Erasure in LGBT-Rights Discourse and Litigation,” Marcus explains the concept using hypothetical situations involving attempts to get married before marriage equality had been achieved.

The hypothetical explains that if a woman declares herself as a bisexual while trying to marry a man, there would be no issue. If she declares herself a bisexual while trying to marry a woman, however, that would not have been allowed. Since the only thing that changed was the sex of the bisexual woman’s partner, “the denial of marriage equality for same-sex couples is a form of sex discrimination.”

With that concept in mind, Marcus says convincing attorneys to use bi-inclusive language is just asking them to think outside the box. So far, she thinks she has convinced many in the movement to break old habits and use bi-inclusive language instead.

“They’re just entrenched in the way they do things,” she says.

She does, however, feel animus, or hostility, in other places.

“I don’t sense hostility from the lawyers in the movement in the same way that I do from people who refuse to date me because I’m bisexual,” Marcus says, “and they make all kinds of disparaging, insulting comments about my sexual orientation.”

Marcus has even heard such comments in LGBTQ activist spaces. Almost a decade ago, she had a negative experience coming out to a local affiliate of the Human Rights Campaign. During a meeting called to address the group’s diversity issues, Marcus realized most people in the room assumed she was gay because she’d been primarily dating women. She decided to set the record straight.

“I basically said, ‘In the name of diversity, I want to make sure you guys realize I’m actually bisexual and I can help diversify in that sense and bring more bi people to the table.’ And I got chastised, by a couple members of the steering committee who thought it was inappropriate that I come out as bisexual,” Marcus says. “I actually was told by them, ‘Oh, we’ve all gone through a phase like that,’ ‘You know you just haven’t found the right women,’ and all these stereotypical, condescending statements coming from an LGBTQ organization that I was volunteering for.”

It is this kind of discrimination, in her personal life and the legal world, that motivates her to fight for bisexual visibility.

“I felt like no matter how much I worked for the movement, I was going to be treated as a second-class citizen,” Marcus says. “They simply don’t understand that people really are bisexual, and that bisexuality is a real sexual orientation that we are persecuted for just like lesbians and gays are.”

As she writes in “Bridging Bisexual Erasure in LGBT-Rights Discourse and Litigation,” “Bisexuality, the last sexual orientation that dare not speak its name, is finally claiming its seat at the table of equal liberty, dignity and respect under law and in the eyes of the LGBT-community itself. The legal community should join this move toward more honest and holistic discourse that acknowledges the equal validity of bisexuality along with other sexual orientations.”

Thanks to her, they already are.

Images via Nancy Marcus / Facebook

Tennessee Loveless Left Disney To Make Art About Queer Icons And Drag Queens

With a recently published retrospective book of his work, a piece commissioned for the Cannes Film Festival, and several of his portraits hanging from light posts in Chicago, out pop artist and painter Tennessee Loveless hopes to follow in the footsteps of his idol, Keith Haring.

Loveless, a 40-year-old self-proclaimed “visibly gay” man with striking face tattoos, started his career in licensing and production development at Disney. Working behind the scenes for several years, he finally got his break when someone saw his work hanging in his cubical.

“Disney thought I was eccentric, but I could paint, so they went with it,” Loveless tells INTO. “I was never shy about who I was there. I learned at a young age, that as long as you’re a good person, you can be unapologetically you. If people hold you accountable for your queerness, then that’s their problem, not mine.”

Loveless went on to create officially licensed art for both Disney and Warner Brothers, as well as several other brands like MAC, OPI, and Urban Decay, but in 2018, he’ll make history with his Disney-published book that featured 100 silhouettes of Mickey Mouse. The Art of Tennessee Loveless: The Mickey Mouse TEN x TEN x TEN Contemporary Pop Art Series is a pop journey exploring the history of the icon, while bringing global, societal, and personal context to the imagery. With text written by by David A. Bossert, the book explores Loveless’ childhood growing up gay in Georgia and his early struggles in a conservative environment.

“It isn’t just a regular Disney book,” says Loveless, who now lives between Paris and Chicago. “I’m the first openly gay artist with a story Disney has published along with my artwork.”

Another challenge Loveless faced was the diagnosis of severe colorblindness at the age of seven. He can see the colors blue and yellow, but red hardly registers, and green not at allit looks grey and muted.

“My life is a dim room in the color scheme,” he says. “There’s no color value.” But, he explains, he’s able to create his colorful work by labeling his paints with pigment codes.

“If I’m trying to communicate an emotion or something that exists in the world, like a fire for example, I’m going to know what color code that is because I’ve been taught that,” he says.

His aesthetic outside of Disney and other branded work centers on being queer. Loveless came out at 16, in Marietta, Georgia, but after being bullied by classmates, and not feeing supported by family, he escaped to Athens, and was embraced by the drag community there.

“The first people who gave me a reason to paint were drag queens,” Loveless says.

After his lover of 15 years died of a heroin overdose, Loveless painted his first portrait and included the story of their relationship on and around the face. He started doing portraits of more public figures after that, with the intention of illustrating what he feels are their true stories. His first 10 portraits of drag queens were hung along light posts in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood, and the city’s LGBTQ community center, The Center On Halsted, uses them to highlight their HIV awareness program Get to Zero.

The issue of HIV/AIDS is an important one to Loveless personally. He’s lost several close friends to AIDS, has close friends living with HIV, and is a regular user and advocate of PReP. He recently created a portrait of Elizabeth Taylor in tribute to the actress/activist and the Liz Taylor AIDS Foundation.

His work Art Outsiders is series of portraits of heroes in their fields. People who’ve made a difference, he says. Included are such luminaries as Andy Warhol, Judy Garland, Tesla, and Vincent Van Gogh. He’s also done a portrait of Keith Haring, whom he says is a catalyst for much of his work.

“[I admire] his work during the AIDS era, when Reagan was doing nothing,” Loveless says. “Haring used his voice to raise awareness. We have an option as artists to be incredibly selfish and just do our own aesthetic and voice, but I want to take it further and do what Haring did, use my abilities as a painter to create portraits and pieces that have to do with political justice or queer identity or AIDS awareness.”

Loveless is now focusing on his long-term project Drag Landscapes, a series of in which he anticipates 15 years of work, hoping to create 500 individual international drag queen portraits. He says he wants to capture “their stories growing up queer, and how drag became a part of their lives.” Drag Landscapes will showcase “both the heartache and the power of being queer.”

“I think you’ve got one life to live,” Loveless says. “Why not use your voice for others and not yourself? Today more than ever we need warriors.”

All images courtesy Tennessee Loveless

Is This The New Queen of Pop?

“Everything that happens in your life could potentially be a great pop song.”

We’re topping off Trans Awareness Month with our new fave Kim Petras, who stopped by INTO recently for a bubbly shoot and interview (with actual bubbles y’all) about transitioning, escaping her troubles through music, and finding pop inspiration in the everyday.

If you don’t know Petras yet, it probably speaks more to which side of the Atlantic you live on than the effectiveness of your pop radar. The 25-year-old German singer and songwriter became the youngest known person to receive gender affirmation surgery at age 16, and she’s been a media sensation in Europe ever since.

Following several limited overseas releases, Petras made her stateside debut back in August with the Aaron Joseph, Cirkut, Lil Aaron and Dr. Luke-produced “I Don’t Want It At All,” a certified bop that has your favorite pop princesses nervously checking their tiaras. Press play above for more on her journey and an exclusive acoustic performance … featuring bubbles.

Also check out Petras’ other bops here, here, here and here.

Gay Soccer Fans Will Be Allowed Pride Flags at 2018 World Cup in Russia

Russia claims that LGBTQ soccer fans will be allowed to wave rainbow flags at the 2018 World Cup after warnings that same-sex hand-holding could elicit violence.

Alexei Smertin, a Russian ambassador for the World Cup, responded to inquiries about whether queer people could display the Pride banner at next year’s games, which are set to be held in Moscow from June 14 to July 15. Russia passed a law four years ago banning “gay propaganda,” one that has been used to crack down on virtually any forms of solidarity with the LGBTQ community.

An HIV/AIDS activist was fined $870 in September for posting news articles about queer topics on Facebook.

But Smertin claims the legislation will not affect the games.

“There will definitely be no ban on wearing rainbow symbols in Russia,” he told The Guardian. “It’s clear you can come here and not be fined for expressing feelings. The law is about propaganda to minors. I can’t imagine that anyone is going to go into a school and propagate that way to children.”

FARE, the anti-discrimination organization which recently warned about gay PDA during the 2018 games, applauded his remarks.

“He’s giving some reassurances and that’s all that people want,” said Piara Powar, executive director of the group formerly known as Football Against Racism in Europe. “People want to know that they can come here safely, that they will be protected, that they are wanted.”

INTO reported on Wednesday that FARE would be distributing pamphlets urging “caution” for LGBTQ people traveling to Russia next year.

“The guide will advise gay people to be cautious in any place which is not seen to be welcoming to the LGBTQ community,” Powar said in a previous interview. “If you have gay fans walking down the street holding hands, will they face danger in doing so? That depends on which city they are in and the time of day.”

Queer soccer fans have reason to be concerned about their safety in a country with an extremely poor record of LGBTQ rights.

Since the propaganda law was passed in 2013, the number of hate crimes against queer and trans people have doubled. Russia attempted to block protections that would prevent discrimination against the LGBTQ community at next year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, joined by Egypt in that effort. The attempt was not successful.

When Russia hosted the Winter Olympics in Sochi three years ago, President Vladimir Putin claimed that LGBTQ people would not face discrimination, so long as they “leave the children in peace.”

Welcome To CAMPerVAN — Ep. 3 Lila Part I

 

 

The CAMPerVAN is a modified caravan that was designed to host queer performances and community event anywhere in the world.

In this 6 part series, we follow the CAMPerVAN Team, creator Samuel, artist Zoe and curator Fiontan as they travel 4000 miles across Europe to perform 8 shows in 6 different cities.

INTO worked with the artist to complete their journey and tell their story.

___

Part III – Lila Part 1

In the third installment, we see the CAMPerVAN arriving at Lila Festival in Switzerland. Reflecting on the first ever queer youth festival in the country, performer and curator Fiontan Moran talks about confronting fear head on.

Kiss My Astro: Your December Horoscope

Aries

Be careful this month, because you just might get what you want. The worst thing about satisfying our strongest desires is that we discover what we wanted might not have been what we really wanted…or what we want right now. Let yourself explore desire in all its forms right now, and you’ll learn what you’re really looking for. It might surprise you!

Taurus

This is a month when those of y’all in good partnerships will really be able to stabilize and thrive in them, and the rest of us will have some beautiful experiences in learning what we would need to have good partnershipswhether those are monogamous, poly, romantic, or platonic. Think about who you want on your team, what you want to give, and what your best experiences of partnership have been so far. Then prepare to top them!

Gemini

In order to have the life you want, the love you want, and the passion you want, you’ve got to start by just getting focused. What have you been ignoring in your daily life? Have you been future-tripping so much you’ve lost sight of the here-and-now? Take a pause, take a breath, and slow down just a little. The more specific you can get right now about where you’re trying to get to, the faster you can get there.

Cancer

Honey, you better not spend this month rearranging your bookshelf or catching up on some prestige television. Even if you identify as an introvert, this is a time when you are able to really shine in the wider world. You know what is amazing about you. Can you trust that other people will be amazed if you give them a chance? Romance, flirtation, and all kinds of new connections are possible right now, but you’ve gotta show up for them.

Leo

There are certain magical times in our lives when everything flows perfectly, when the energy picks us up and pushes us alongall-night dance parties, epic lovemaking, being deeply in the groove of whatever it is you do best. This month promises you a few of these times, if you play your cards right. Remember that in order to be open to this kind of magic you have to take risks and be open to disappointment, as well. Don’t let that be the final word, though! Usually it’s just something we have to get through to get to the good stuff.

Virgo

Oh, sweetie, you’ve got something golden on the horizon right now and you can’t quite tell yet if it’s fool’s gold. This is a month when everything you long for feels very close and very possible…but you’ve got to make some careful decisions! Use your wits, your common sense, and don’t be afraid to go slow. Anything really good won’t disappear quickly.

Libra

Now is the time that you stop putting everyone else’s needs and opinions before your own. It’s okay to want what you want and to love what you love. You’re not going to drive people away by asking for what you wantit’s demanding or not ever asking that will actually cause problems. Luckily for you, you’ve got some extra support right now. Use it to take a chance on asking for a little more.

Scorpio

Everyone wants your number right now, whether they show it or not. At the very least, folks are paying attention and feeling…intrigued. This month your magnetism is at an all-time high, and your main job is to understand what you really want to be attracting. You know all about passion, intensity, and bad ideas that feel so goodwhat would it feel like to pursue something lighthearted and playful?

Sagittarius

There’s nothing wrong with being a homebody right now. You may prefer the company of your animal companions or domestic friends more than anyone you’d have to seriously groom for. Get cozy. Recognize you can recover from adventures that may have gotten you into more trouble than you expected. Take this time to replenish yourself.

Capricorn

You may not identify as flowery or poetic, but this is a month that brings out your inner romantic. Your heart is more open, your senses heightened, and, above all, you’re in touch with that vision you once had of how beautiful the world could be. Years of cynicism may wash away in one day. It’s okay if that happens, they weren’t what was keeping you strong. Let yourself melt a little!

Aquarius

Don’t doubt yourself. You may not think you have the skills, the experience, the strength, or the status to pursue what you want–that’s all nonsense. This month helps you remember your real worth, and what you have to offer. Don’t be shy, don’t talk yourself out of anything. Trust your instincts, and trust yourself.

Pisces

You’re going to want to go big right now. This isn’t a month for subtlety. If you’ve been accused of being a little ultra, this is the month to prove the haters right and then some. You have a beautiful opportunity this month to exude a certain kind of sexiness and charm that is yours alone, but that will appeal to more people than you realized. Don’t lose your sense of self in the glamour, but enjoy being able to step into it when you want to!

But How Gay is ‘The Disaster Artist’?

In “But How Gay Is It?”, we seek to answer the biggest questions you have about a new movie release in theaters now including, most crucially, the titular question. Does the movie have any queer characters? Are there stories involving same-sex lovers? Which gay icons star in the film? We’re bringing you all that and more.

What is The Disaster Artist?
If you’ve ever known a straight man (a foreign idea, I know), you’ve likely heard of The Room. Director Tommy Wiseau’s notoriously disastrous film has a cult following with midnight showings and participatory actions expected of the audience. Think of it as straight people’s Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The Disaster Artist is director/star James Franco’s chronicle of how The Room got made as well as something of a story of friendship between Tommy and his co-star, Greg Sestero. If the movie sounds a bit one-joke it’s The Room in the making! that’s underselling it; Franco’s actually made a pretty sweet, very funny film here.

Who’s in it?
Franco plays Tommy, while his younger brother, Dave Franco, plays Greg. Filling out the cast and crew of the film-within-the-film are Seth Rogen as script supervisor Sandy, Ari Graynor as female lead Juliette, and Josh Hutcherson as odd child Philip. There’s even a Zac Efron cameo that’s almost too weird to process.

Why should I see it?
The elder Franco’s getting a bit of Oscar heat for his performance, and should at least show up in the Golden Globe comedy/musical nominations. But frankly, The Disaster Artist is worth seeing even without the Oscar factor. It’s a surprisingly charming movie, with just enough in-jokes about The Room to keep fans of the cult phenomenon happy without locking out those who haven’t seen it.

There are moments when the movie winks a little too broadly, sure. And beyond Franco, everyone’s basically playing a version of themselves. But this movie could have been so much dumber and so much more self-involved than it actually is. That Franco came up with such a loving portrait of Tommy and Greg’s friendship is a testament to how he’s evolving as a filmmaker: His movies are no longer one hook, but a development of what lies beyond that hook.

But how gay is it?
Considering Franco is notorious for gaybaiting, you might expect some queer undertones here. But while there are a few suggestions that Tommy is somehow in love with Greg, there’s nothing too significant. The very fact that it’s about The Room makes the movie pretty straight indeed.

If you were reading very closely, you could say the friendship story two men who move away from their home to follow a dream together, and go through typical “relationship troubles” in the process is a queer story. But that’s reaching a little bit. The Disaster Artist is mostly hetero, and that’s OK sometimes.

Do I need to have seen The Room to get this?
Nah. Several friends of mine who loved the movie haven’t seen The Room. You’re fine.

What makes James Franco’s performance award-worthy?
He gets all the eccentricities of Tommy Wiseau who is a deeply eccentric man, all odd accent and mysterious fortune right, without making that the whole character. He never forgets to give the man a heart and feelings, which would be easy to forget. After all, most of the cult around The Room is built about making fun of what Wiseau made. It’s really remarkable how much of a human Franco made out of such a big character.

Is Dave Franco hot in this movie?
Depends on how you feel about Dave Franco with a beard.

The Disaster Artist is in theaters now.

Wentworth Miller & Russell Tovey Share a Super Gay Kiss on ‘The Flash’

The CW’s superhero universe has become a diverse myriad of our favorite DC comic characters, most notably including a lesbian relationship in Supergirl. Now there’s something for the gay boys too.

This week, our geekdom was piqued when the CW indulged us with another superhero crossover event. Our gaydom was also piqued with the introduction of a new gay hero, The Ray, as portrayed by Russell Tovey (Looking). As the super friends reunited for Barry Allen and Iris West’s wedding, they end up in a battle on Earth X, an alternate universe where the Nazis won WWII and Ray was a prisoner of a concentration camp.

Tovey is a very welcome addition to the ensemble of superheroes. And if those charming ears weren’t enough to swoon over, we were also treated to a super gay kiss. During The Flash, he locked lips with Captain Cold (fellow gay actor, Wentworth Miller). What better way to defeat Nazis than with some good old fashion queer love?

John Early & Kate Berlant Offer Some Gift Ideas and Some Attitude on Jimmy Fallon

We all know that Christmas shopping can be a bitch. But according to Kate Berlant and John Early, so can your best friend.

The besties and comedic duo appeared this week on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In addition to bringing some semi-helpful Christmas gift ideas, they also brought some backhanded comments for each other. But what do you expect when you try to give someone nesting bowls as a Christmas gift, Kate?

In the end, they made up like true gay and gay best friend. Their touching sentiment got the host in the holiday spirit, but they peaced out before he got too Hallmark-Channel-original-Christmas-movie-starring-Candace-Cameron-Bure on them.

Watch Kate Berlant and John Early’s appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon below: