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That element takes a funnier turn through Jonathan, a more femme guy, who also has a crush on Justin.To some degree, the housemates have to be serious about finding their “real” match — and in the show’s parlance, that means following your heart rather than your libido.

But this drama gets unpacked in nuanced ways that transcend the usual drama for drama’s sake.

” The castmates represent a much fuller range of the gendered spectrum, from femme and masc queer men to butch and femme queer women, to nonbinary and trans castmates.

In bringing them all together, the show is creating a televisual space to stage the complexities of gender and desire that can come with queer dating and that are rarely seen on television — or in pop culture, period. actually lives or dies through the strength of the casting and the resulting drama of the casts’ relationships. As the housemates engage with each other, falling into and out of connections and figuring out their feelings for each other in search of the grand prize, they are remarkably open and self-aware about the difficulties — and pleasures — of breaking out of old dating patterns.

The concept of sexual fluidity itself is often deployed in reality TV as a strategy through which shows can hint at queerness for mainstream viewers — without actually exploring queer culture outside a straight gaze. is challenging the dating genre’s conventions, foregrounding experiences and conversations about love, desire, and relationships from a nonheteronormative perspective that, in today’s pop cultural landscape, are still rare.

Queerness on reality dating shows has mostly been treated superficially, like with the trope of the sudden reveal.

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