Queerly Not Straight: We Need to Talk About Joe and Nicky from 'The Old Guard'

Queerly Not Straight: We Need to Talk About Joe and Nicky from ‘The Old Guard’

In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.

Queer people are used to getting the bare minimum when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation on TV, in movies, and the books we read. Doesn’t matter how small the scrap we get actually is, we want it and treasure it as if we were given the very best. Then movies like The Old Guard pop up, proving to us (and the haters who don’t want us to get representation) that we can get the very best and then some!

Joe (Marwan Kenzari) and Nicky (Luca Marinelli) are the kind of representation that I wish all comic-book adaptations had from the very start. This isn’t Avengers with their small queer character that we should all celebrate even though they were in a scene small enough to be cut by countries who don’t approve of homosexual relationships. Joe and Nicky are actual representation that puts our lives, our stories, and our loves front and center.

They are the couple of The Old Guard and the romantic center of this movie. They are the ones who sleep together, worry about each other, and fight tooth and nail to make it to the next day, side by side. And that kind of storyline can’t be shaved down, cut away, or erased without taking away from what makes this story so grand, wondrous, and so damn interesting. 

There were no coming out scenes in The Old Guard either. Yes, those stories are worthwhile and important but they’re played out. We’re not just coming out stories. We’re so much more and The Old Guard understands that. They have Joe and Nicky as a couple and no one bats a single eye. They’re just a couple like everyone else and that normalization matters because we’re always seen as the other.

We’re not the other. We’re the same as everyone else and I’m so over the moon that The Old Guard stuck to their guns and told a story like none I’ve seen before. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Joe and Nicky love each other to the moon and back and will forever be in each other’s hearts, no matter where life takes them or who tries to separate them. That matters and will forever be ingrained in my mind when I think about this movie.

And can we take a second to talk about that scene where Joe talks about Nicky being more than just a boyfriend? It was simply the most romantic thing that I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Seriously, this scene now overshadows every other scene of romantic intent that I’ve seen for straight couples and queer couples alike. And I want this kind of love for myself and those that I call family because it was *chefs kiss.*

So, bring it on Netflix. I know that the possibility of a sequel is right there waiting for you to pick it up and take it down a wild ride like none you’ve told before. And if that means more Joe and Nicky then I am here for it. Especially if it means more snuggling, love declarations, and fighting at each other’s side like the power couple they are.

The Old Guard is now available on Netflix.g

Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)

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