On the Internet, Everybody Knows You’re a Horndog: On “Beach Rats” and Gay Chat Rooms
Remembering the online world of gay chat rooms in the digital moment before social media.
Manuel Betancourt is a film critic and a cultural reporter based in New York City. His academic work on queer film fandom has appeared in Genre and GLQ, while his work of cultural criticism has been featured in The Atlantic, Film Quarterly, Esquire, Pacific Standard, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. He is a regular contributor to Remezcla where he covers Latin American cinema and U.S. Latino media culture, and Electric Literature, where he writes about book-to-film adaptations. He has a Ph.D. but doesn't like to brag about it.
More by this author
When Jack drew Rose like one of his French girls, he didn’t just sketch her; he saw her. It’s a level of intimacy that doesn’t need desire—but that doesn’t make it any less erotic.
I gravitate towards AIDS stories because, behind their righteous anger and torturous despair, they lay out visions of couples and communities.
When people tell me “I don’t look Colombian,” I’m reminded of how pop culture gets my home country of Colombia wrong—where we are, who we are, and what we can look like.
More in this series
I relate to what Springsteen sings because he reveals much of the American Dream as an intoxicating illusion.