25 Great Gay Sex Scenes Saga – Movie #2: Shelter

Shelter Cover

I actually hadn’t expected to get this second instalment out so soon, but I guess the first one was so inspirational that I sort of fell into it. It’s occurred to me that I’m going to have to create some sort of archive index for this series for easier navigation if I plan on going through the entire list of 25 movies. Oh well, I’ll deal with that later. I’d like to issue a warning that this is definitely my most GIF-laden post so far, so I’d suggest you proceed with the jump only if your internet speed won’t cause the loading of the images to make you use every swear word that you’ve ever learned on me.

Movie #2: Shelter

Actors:

Trevor Wright… Zach

Brad Rowe… Shaun

Director: Jonah Markowitz

Synopsis:When his college dreams are sidelined by family obligations, a young man finds comfort in surfing with his best friend’s brother.

The Backlot Rating:

Hotness – 10

Romance – 10

WTFactor – 0

Shelter was enjoyable on so many levels and I’m only finding out now that this movie was – and remains today – quite a hit, with something of a cult following. I can definitely understand why this movie resonated with so many people, because it is incredibly easy to relate to and root for Zach, the protagonist of the story, young, average yet artistically talented, with a heart of gold. Although he isn’t out to anyone, I love that he isn’t so much hiding his sexuality as he just hasn’t properly come to terms with it. While he’s aware that he isn’t straight, I think that he never truly allowed himself to understand what that means; this is made all the more obvious by the fact that he’s had the same on-again, off-again girlfriend for years. Despite not necessarily being sexually attracted to her, there’s no doubt that he loves her deeply.

Shelter really chronicles the experiences that Zach (Trevor Wright) goes through during one particular summer. Recently graduated from high school, he possesses the talent to get him into practically any art college – what he lacks is the financial resources. Despite his apparently bleak future, living situation, and struggle with his sexual orientation, Zach never seems to rebel or go astray. In fact, he displays a level of maturity and responsibility that even his older sister (Tina Holmes, who also stars in another iconic gay film, Edge of Seventeen) sorely lacks, and it becomes clear from very early on that he is the head of his household in everything but name. Not only does he seem to care for his injured father, he takes care of his young nephew far more often, and far more competently than his sister ever does. There is a scene where his nephew, Cody, adamantly insists that Zach is his father, not his uncle. All these circumstances and characteristics conspire to make Zach a very endearing character.

As his life continues in its dreary routine, with no apparent prospect for change, Zach runs into his best friend’s older brother, Shaun (Brad Rowe), who’d been living in Los Angeles for years, but came home to visit after a breakup. From the very first interaction between these two characters on screen, it is obvious that there is history there. While that history may not necessarily have been romantic, we can tell that the two have been friends for years, with Zach possibly harbouring deeper feelings than friendship. We realise later that the feeling, though secret, was always mutual. And so, we begin to root for the love.

While there is somewhat a theme of homophobia in this movie, it was incredibly refreshing to see that it wasn’t largely prevalent. In fact, the only real homophobia displayed was Zach’s own internalized homophobia, visible whenever he would quickly rebuff any affection that Shaun would show when they weren’t completely alone. Even Zach’s sister, who warned him about Shaun’s sexual orientation, and stated that she wouldn’t want her son exposed to that, wasn’t so much homophobic as she was merely uneducated. Zach’s coming out was really met with nothing but support from all the important heterosexual people in his life. Now, as utopic as all that sounds, it was done so magnificently that it was realistic all throughout, and I love that. This is an absolutely wonderful message, particularly to young LGBT teens who want to come out. While there’s no denying that homophobia still exists, we have come such a long way that very many coming out stories now really do end with love and support from those who are told.

I love the fact that, despite Zach being in the closet – Shaun, however, is openly gay – the relationship between the two take off without much pomp or drama. It wasn’t flawless, but it was simplistic enough to be relatable, and Zach proceeds despite his sister’s anti-gay sentiments towards Shaun. By cutting out all this unnecessary drama, the writers of the movie were able to focus on the core issues that they were presenting. Interestingly enough, that may not even really have included the relationship between Zach and Shaun. Don’t get me wrong, this love story is pretty much the driving force of the movie, no doubt about that. However, Shelter isn’t so much about Zach’s coming out as it is about his familial obligations, and the toll that this takes on his personal life. We find his relationship with Shaun, therefore, as the powerful support system that he’s always needed and finally found, to ensure that he is taken care of for a change.

Shelter-Look

Shelter-First-Kiss

Shelter-Kiss

Shelter-Kiss-2

Shelter-Sex

Shelter-Sex-2

Shelter-Hug

Shelter-Cute

Shelter-Caress

Shelter-Shove

Shelter-Sunset-Kiss

Shelter-Better-Head

Shelter-Still-Bros

2 thoughts on “25 Great Gay Sex Scenes Saga – Movie #2: Shelter”

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