20 LGBTQIA+ stories with upbeat endings

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9. Boys

Boys is the English language title for Jongens, a Dutch film produced in the Netherlands and released in 2014. Like Shelter, it follows two young men in a developing relationship. However, it’s possible that Sieger, one of the main characters, is having an even more difficult time accepting his sexuality than Zach or Shaun.

It all begins with the swim team. Really, it’s a general high school athletics team, which includes Sieger, along with Stef, Tom and Marc. They are all chosen to represent their team at a national relay race. This means that all of the students are required to take on intensive training.

During moments alone, Sieger and Marc share a kiss. Sieger says that he isn’t gay, but it quickly becomes clear that he is struggling with himself. He tries to start a relationship with a girl, but nothing comes of it.

Big changes

Sieger’s home life is hardly helping, either. His mother died relatively recently, leaving his father, Theo, and brother Eddy. The remaining trio has a complicated, often heated relationship. Balancing the demands of his re-shaped family and the confusing, sometimes threatening shape of his own desires leaves Sieger in a difficult place.

Marc, meanwhile, is no stranger to conflict. He appears comfortable with himself, but can’t keep waiting for Sieger to figure out his own path. When Sieger offers a lame “sorry” for a series of awkward interactions, false starts and confusion, Marc is having none of it. He tells Sieger to go back to his “charade.”

Thankfully, though, Sieger is far more sensible than other fictional characters. The final scene of Boys shows Marc and Sieger having apparently reconciled, with Sieger finally taking the first steps towards love and self-acceptance.