In his music video “That’s What I Want”- the official YouTube video of which has over a 100 million views- has Lil Nas X biting off a Durex condom packet, before he proceeds to have sex with his (male) partner. The scene has taken the internet by storm, and has been highly praised for promoting safe sex. In another instance, TV show “Sex Education”- widely lauded for it’s depiction of diversity- has a Muslim gay student explaining the process of douching before anal sex.
Media representation of queer relationships and sex has steadily improved. Where in the early 20th century, queer representation was sorely lacking, statistics from GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) reported that 10.2% of TV characters surveyed in 2019 were part of the LGBTQ+ community. Even so, mainstream media lags behind social media. Young queer people are increasingly turning to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram to find community, and advice about sex and relationships. This is even more true for LGBT youth that aren’t out to their friends and family, and seek refuge in online found families.
This uptick of media portraying complex queer characters as well as representing their romantic arcs and struggles with empathy is a welcome change in the right direction. One hopes that it will help LGBTQ+ people better navigate the murky waters of love, sex, relationships and life itself.