Movie-Made Gay A monthly column by Manuel Betancourt on the films and pop culture that have shaped his identity as a gay man.

Learning the Laws of Desire from Antonio Banderas (and His Briefs)

Boxers hide. Jockstraps flaunt. Briefs titillate by the very shape they contour and convey.

Sep 24, 2019
Posing for a Nude Portrait Taught Me to Separate Desire From Intimacy

When Jack drew Rose like one of his French girls, he didn’t just sketch her; he saw her. It’s a level of intimacy that doesn’t need desire—but that doesn’t make it any less erotic.

Apr 02, 2019
Acknowledging Tragedy While Finding Love and Joy in AIDS Films

I gravitate towards AIDS stories because, behind their righteous anger and torturous despair, they lay out visions of couples and communities.

Mar 12, 2019
When Popular Films Misrepresent My Country, They Misrepresent Me

When people tell me “I don’t look Colombian,” I’m reminded of how pop culture gets my home country of Colombia wrong—where we are, who we are, and what we can look like.

Feb 12, 2019
Sex, Lies, and “Closer”: Lying to Survive as a Queer Kid, as Taught by Natalie Portman

Coming into one’s sexuality, Natalie Portman had taught me, goes hand in hand with learning how to deceive as a means of survival.

Jan 15, 2019
In ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding,’ I Found My Gay Role Model: Julia Roberts

There are two gay men in “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” There’s Rupert Everett, then there’s the gay man I wanted to be—Julia Roberts’ character, Julianne Potter.

Dec 11, 2018
“The Fifth Element” Was Made For Straight Boys—The Gay Ones Made It For Themselves

My family enjoyed “The Fifth Element” without seeing how queer it was. Did that mean they could not see how queer I was?

Nov 13, 2018
How Disney’s Animated Movies Awakened My Queer Imagination

Animation can teach a kid a lot about themselves and the world around them. Disney movies taught me about my queer desires.

Oct 23, 2018