I can still clearly recall a certain scene from Xavier Dolan’s J’ai Tué Ma Mère (I Killed My Mother).
In it, Hubert (played by Dolan himself) and Antonin (François Arnaud) paint a wall, then fall to the ground and have a passionate kiss on a newspaper-covered floor.
They begin having sex amid a montage of paint-covered fingers and frantic French music as things go from bad to worse.
My mouth dropped when I saw the movie for the first time as a newly out homosexual 20-year-old. Naturally, I rewinded the DVD and gave it another viewing or two.
This stands out in my memory since it was the first broadcast of homosexual sex that I had ever witnessed. And I was really mesmerized.
I thus felt a twinge of uneasiness when I read Harry Styles’ recent remarks criticizing the fact that “so much of homosexual sex in cinema is two guys going at it… it kind of pulls the sweetness from it.”
Like other sex scenes I’ve watched afterward, Hubert and Antonin’s interaction didn’t line up with Styles’ interpretation of them.
The singer-actor was discussing his impending part as a 1950s closed-minded police officer involved in a love triangle with his wife and another guy in the film My Policeman. According to Styles, the movie “sensitively” depicts its relationships.
First off, I don’t agree that most homosexual sex scenes we do witness lack sensitivity.
The statement also comes out as a little condemning. There aren’t many queer love stories in movies, therefore any safe, consensual depictions should be embraced.
At the time, I was a university student working at an LGBTQ+ online journal, residing in Sydney. I walked down to the city’s gay strip and entered the appropriately named The Bookshop Darlinghurst since I was doing a piece on LGBT bookstores.