Cover Photo: A production still of Robert Downey Jr. playing Tony Stark in the film "Iron Man" (2008). He is wearing a white tank top and holding out his hand, which is encased in a dark red, mechanized metal glove.
Production still via Marvel Studios

Did I Want Tony Stark Or Want to Be Him?

‘Iron Man’ is far from the origin story of my sexuality, but it’s an inescapable part of the multiverse that is my queerness.

This is Muscle Memories, a column by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya that reexamines her relationship with action movies.

Bigger on the inside

Iron Man

didIron Man

Iron Man Iron Man

Iron Man

Oh, right, Iron Man colors

Iron Man

Iron Man

is Iron Man 3

Iron Manis really


hundreds Iron Man

Iron Man 2

Like me, like me, like me


Iron Man

be be be with

Iron Man

Well there is this little thing that my friends and I like to call the Kayla Upadhyaya Love Curse.


Basically any guy I have ever liked has had a girlfriend/is not interested/turns out to be an idiot and or jerk.

As a result of the curse, I have never had a boyfriend.

Or been kissed.

love cursebeing gay



me was

Iron Man


Iron Man


Iron Man

Iron Man

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is a lesbian writer of essays, fiction, and pop culture criticism. She is an upcoming fellow for Lambda Literary's Writer's Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. Her work appears or is forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, The Cut, Vice, Autostraddle, and Catapult.