From fantasies of servicing servicemen to killer boot camp classes at the gym, gays and the military go together like Green Berets and grenades. That’s why we’ve come up with 5 films guaranteed to make your Veterans Day even more patriotic. So slip into your favorite pair of comfy camos and get ready to salute, because these are the boogie woogie bugle boys we totally adore.
According to the Advocate, entire dissertations have been written on why Platoon is a gay film. “Charlie Sheen is Army private who volunteers for combat during the height of Vietnam in part because he’s an idealist. He soldiers through bullying and atrocities and along the way is torn between two camps of men — one hyper masculinized, the other more modern, and thus, more feminized men. The latter camp, led by Willem Defoe as Sgt. Elias is full of smoking, dancing and half-naked men.” Whether the soldiers are passing marihuana smoke through the phallic barrel of a gun or sensually eating a banana, Platoon is rife with homo undertones and easily lends itself to a queer reading.
Sure, this sci-fi adventure is a campfest on par with a Dynasty catfight, but that’s not why it’s a futuristic military movie we love. Starship Troopers' shower scene and Casper Van Dien’s best assets (you can totally see his penis if you pause the film just right) have reached legendary status among gay geeks. Plus Neil Patrick Harris stars as the brainiac BFF with mind-bending psychic powers – and who hasn’t wished for a night with a super-powered NPH? (Okay, so when we imagine it we’re the ones with the power to implant suggestions in his mind, but you know what we mean.)
At a time when the military’s DADT policy was in full effect, out director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) took on another of Uncle Sam’s unpopular practices in Stop-Loss. The story of soldiers and their loved ones challenging the military’s stop-loss policy – one that allows the military to retain and redeploy servicemen after they’ve completed their tour of duty – would tug on anyone’s heartstrings. However, the film’s message carried even greater weight for anyone whose life was impacted by DADT. On a brighter note, Stop-Loss is jam-packed with Hollywood hotness. Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, Timothy Olyphant, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Victor Rasuk are so hunky they even manage to make PTSD attractive.
They don’t get any gayer than this. Top Gun– the story of a group of men training to become elite fighter pilots – strikes a homo chord like no other military movie in history. As if the beefcake volleyball scene, perfectly framed by Kenny Loggin’s “Playing with the Boys”, wasn’t enough to place this film on a list of gay favorites, the bromance between the men in this movie sets a new standard for homoeroticism in film. (Check out the hilarious recut trailer that brings the subtext way up to the surface HERE.)
Filled with so much campy goodness it should be labeled one of the gayest animated films of all time, 1987’s GI Joe: The Movie is a complete riot. From Cobra Commander’s over-the-top performance, (seriously, he makes Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest look like the picture of tranquility), to the homoerotic undertones of Sgt. Slaughter’s battlefield training (“I’m here to whip you into shape – and I’m talking ‘whip’”) this is one military movie that’s definitely over the rainbow. Still not convinced? Take one look at Pythona (pictured above) and tell us she doesn’t look like she could give Sharon Needles a run for her money on RuPaul’s Drag Race. (Thought so.)