‘Nimona’s’ LGBT Romance Is An Adorable Way to End Pride Month

Yes, Nimona on Netflix, which began streaming today, features an LGBTQ romance. Specifically, it features Riz Ahmed’s character, Ballister Blackheart, in a romantic relationship with another man. Their love is not an afterthought, no is it an attempt to earn queer representation brownie points. It’s a heart-wrenching, angst-inducing, epic love story that is integral to the story. And, yes—spoiler alert—they do kiss. Happy Last-Day-of-Pride-Month to all of us.

Directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, Nimona is based on the popular 2015 graphic novel of the same name by She-Ra and the Princess of Power creator ND Stevenson. We meet Ballister Blackheart (voiced by Ahmed) on the day he’s meant to be knighted. It’s a controversial knighting ceremony, given Ballister does not come from a noble bloodline. Not everyone in this fictional kingdom agrees with the decision, but Ballister has at least one handsome face in his corner: his hunky boyfriend, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin (voiced by Try Guy Eugene Lee Yang).

Right away, Nimona tells audiences this movie is going to be Gay with a capital “G” via a touching scene between Bal (as his boyfriend calls him) and Ambrosius. Ambrosius offers the nervous knight-to-be some words of comfort, assuring Bal that, “they are going to love you. Like I do.” And lest you think that was a no-homo, “I love you, man” type of love confession, Ambrosius also grabs Bal’s hand and stares lovingly into his eyes. Yes, these two men are 100 percent dating. We’re not even five minutes into this movie, and we’re already getting yes-homo declarations of love. Nimona is so real for that.

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Unfortunately, this adorable love story is interrupted when Ballister seemingly slays the queen. He’s innocent, of course—someone framed him with a magical sword—but Ambrosius doesn’t know that. Bal goes on the run and teams up with a shapeshifter named Nimona (voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz). Ambrosius stays loyal to the kingdom and, as a result, is forced to hunt down the man he loves. Cue the miscommunication, the gay longing, and the angst. At one point, Baz even says, “Did you see the way he looked at me?” I felt my heart break.

Photo: NETFLIX

Even though Bal and Ambrosius spend the majority of the movie apart, we still get a sense of their relationship dynamic. In one particularly hilarious moment at a restaurant, both men bark out “NACHOS!” in response to the waiter asking for their order. It’s such a small, silly moment, but it speaks volumes about their past dinners together as a couple. That is immediately followed by a not-so-silly moment: Ambrosius, in a broken voice, tells Bal that he still loves him, even after all of the fighting.

When it finally comes time for Bal and Ambrosius to kiss, the scene is bittersweet. After the big showdown, Bal’s name has been cleared and his friend Nimona has disappeared. We see Bal looking out over the kingdom, lost in thought. Ambrosius interrupts the brooding by swooping in for a hug, and then, a sweet kiss on the lips.

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Photo: Netflix

It’s not a hot-and-heavy make-out session, but it’s not just a chaste peck on the lips, either. The camera lingers on those locked lips. It’s romantic as hell. More than that, it’s queer as hell. This relationship—punctuated with a kiss—feels far more meaningful than any of the half-hearted “LGBT moments” Disney has boasted about over the last decade. And on the last day of Pride month, we sure do love to see it.

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