With An Accent Recommends – Pride Month

This month, to celebrate Pride, we’re recommending media that is LGBT+ centric.

Boy Meets Girl  – Recommended by Angela, Contributing Editor

This gem of a film is a touching, fluffy, small-town coming of age romantic dramedy. It’s the story of young transgender woman Ricky working to follow her dreams of fashion to New York while navigating her 15-year friendship with her best friend Robby and an unexpected new relationship with Francesca, a debutante politician’s daughter.

What I loved best about Boy Meets Girl were the ways in which it defied expectations. Of course, Ricky faces some bigotry in her little town, but it’s also much more accepting of her than viewers might expect. The characters also accept and explore their attractions to one another with little to no angst or fuss (for the most part). For them, it’s about people making and feeling connections to other people. If they care about each other, they choose to express that however they want.

At the end of the day, I’m a sucker for a few things: characters finding and caring about each other no matter the odds, connections and relationships focused on over plot, pining, friends to lovers romances, and hopeful, happy, optimistic stories. Boy Meets Girl combines all of these, starring an actual transgender actress, a shameful rarity in film. My only regret is taking too long to recommend Boy Meets Girl here, as it’s now no longer on Netflix. You can rent it on Amazon for just $3, or buy it for $8, and I highly recommend you do so. We need stories like these, and they need our support.

Just Friends? – Recommended by Angela, Contributing Editor

It’s nearly and depressingly impossible to find well-balanced and represented LGBTQIA+ characters in Korean dramas, and actual love stories between them are even more scarce. Of the ones I’ve seen, I’m fondest of this 2009 short film about Min Soo, a gay man serving his compulsory military duty and receiving simultaneous visits from his mother and his boyfriend, Seok Yi. At just under 30 minutes, the film hardly has time to scrutinize the many fraught nuances of being gay in Korea in the military, ones I am not at all qualified to examine.

Just Friends? instead focuses mostly on the sweet relationship between Min Soo and Seok Yi. Actors Yeon Woo Jin (Marriage Not Dating, Queen for 7 Days, Introverted Boss) and Lee Je Hoon (Signal, Tomorrow With You, Secret Door), have a breezy cute chemistry that helps keep the film mostly light and upbeat. Unfortunately, being an older indie film, Just Friends? is difficult to find in America, although there’s usually an English-subbed upload floating around YouTube.

Here’s a link to the film, with English subtitles – enjoy Just Friends?.   

South of Nowhere – Recommended by Kelly – Contributing Writer

Whenever people ask me for LGBTQIA+ related media recommendations, this series is always on the top of my list. South of Nowhere follows the Carlin family as they deal with the recent move from their small town in Ohio to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Every family member has a different issue/problem they have to overcome. The eldest brother, Glen, is trying to become the popular basketball star like he was at his old school (yes, he’s kind of self-absorbed in the beginning). Adopted brother, Clay, realizes the eye-opening effects of being black in LA (especially having been raised in an all white family). The youngest sibling, Spencer, is trying to figure out who she is and who she wants. Her budding friendship with “bad girl” Ashley Davies isn’t exactly helping with this (or is it?), nor does her Mom, Paula, approve of this friendship.

I firmly believe that South of Nowhere was ahead of its time. In fact, I believe it was the first teen series that featured two queer lead characters as well as centered the show around them.

I know for me personally, it was the first time I saw LGBTQIA+ people portrayed in a positive light, with no stereotypes in sight. Seeing Spencer and Ashley’s relationship on my TV screen normalized gay people for me, as I’m sure it did many others. I didn’t realize it until years later, but I saw a lot of myself in Spencer Carlin and related so much to her coming out story. This is why accurate LGBTQIA+ media is so important, but that’s a different article entirely.

Even though the show aired way back in 2005 on The N (now TeenNick), South of Nowhere still has a cult following. The entire cast has maintained a close friendship throughout the years, or in the case of Mandy Musgrave and Matt Cohen – gotten married and started a family! Creator Thomas W. Lynch even tried to revive the series for MTV, but unfortunately it was never greenlit. That’s okay though, because everyone’s love and dedication to this series are still in the air. There’s been a South of Nowhere convention, reuniting the entire cast, creators, and writers, plus stars Mandy Musgrave, Gabrielle Christian, and Aasha Davis attended ClexaCon this year!

I could keep rambling and raving about this series, but then this recommendation would never end. I still get excited whenever I rewatch this series, and fall in love with these characters all over again.

If you have a cable subscription you can view the entire series on Logo’s website, purchase the show’s DVD’s, or honestly, full episodes are on YouTube.

South of Nowhere Season 1 Promo:

All For One – Recommended by Kelly – Contributing Writer

I recently was recommended this web series by YouTube (probably due to my continuous viewing of Carmilla), and it’s the most creative and fun show I’ve seen in a long time. Let me try and see if I can entice you to watch this web serves in 3 words or less: gender bent Three Musketeers. Okay, that still doesn’t have you convinced? Let me go into more detail.

Dorothy Castlemore (Gwenlyn Cumyn) desperately wants to be a part of the much-loved sorority, Mu Sigma Theta (MST). Heck, that’s the reason she’s at Dumas University in the first place. Unfortunately, there are some things standing in her way of becoming a pledge to MST. Student Union president Rick Liu and his right-hand man/“douche canoe” Owen Rochefort are primarily to blame. They continuously use blackmail to get what they want. Or to seek revenge, like is the case for MST president, Anne Bonacieux. In turn this affects Dorothy’s spot in Mu Sigma Theta.

But lucky for her, she has several friends to help her stop Owen and Rick’s terrible ways: Mu Sigma Theta members, Alex, Portia, Ariana, and her roommate, Constance “Connie” Bonacieux (yes, the cousin to the MST president).

What sets All For One (A4O) apart from other web series, is its use of setting up each episode as a different live stream with Dorothy’s internet friends, The Inseparables. During the goings-on of each episode, The Inseparables chat with the cast, each other, or sometimes comment (more like have feels) on whatever is happening in Dorothy’s life. With these being live-streams, the show creates little nods to it being one – such as glitchy internet connections, signing on and off to the web series, etc. There’s also a very cool episode, 1.21: “We’ll Do It Live” where they partake in an actual live stream with fans and use their comments in the episode!

In terms of LGBTQIA+ representation, boy does this series have a bunch of it! Just from the main cast alone, there’s lesbian, pansexual, queer character of color, and bisexual representation – the latter of which is actually stated on the show, a rarity in TV shows/movies.

Lastly, if you love constant Harry Potter references, you’ll appreciate All For One and its sense of humor. There’s an entire scene where they take the time to sort their friends into Hogwarts houses!

You can (binge) watch All For One’s first season on YouTube. A second season was recently commissioned, thanks to fan donations, so get caught up while you can!

All For One Season 1 Teaser:

Steven Universe – Recommended by Andrew – Contributing Writer

Premiering in 2013 and currently airing its fifth season, Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe has delivered a unique, sci-fi/fantasy premise, and is both a fun and heartwarming viewing experience for children and adults alike. Created by Rebecca Sugar, whose previous writing credits include episodes of Adventure Time, this animated series follows the adventures of Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems, a group of rogue aliens who believe in protecting Earth from other Gems who would like nothing more than to destroy it.

At first glance, Steven Universe may not seem like a series that aims to promote LGBTQIA+ equality, but it certainly is. As the Gems are a race of aliens comprised of seemingly only women, this allows for certain romantic relationships to arise. This is best portrayed in the character of Garnet, who is later revealed to be a combination, or fusion, of two gems in love, and has even had to defend and protect her relationship from those who may not agree with it. Other relationships include that of Pearl, another Crystal Gem, and Rose Quartz, the deceased mother of Steven. With these examples and plenty more, the series preaches equality and acceptance of one’s self and serves as an LGBTQIA+ positive series for children. The series’ respectful stance had even earned itself a GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Awards nomination for “Outstanding Comedy Series” earlier this year.

Previously aired episodes of Steven Universe are currently available to view on Hulu and new episodes premiere sporadically on Cartoon Network.

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