Movies - TV
How Top Gun Became A Gay Classic
By KALEIGH DONALDSON
Whether it’s the guys playing volleyball or displaying their raw sexuality around each other, so rampant is the gay symbolism in “Top Gun” that audiences, critics, and even filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino have been pointing to the film’s undeniable queer subtext since 1986.
The chemistry between Maverick and Iceman is like the petty tension between two exes who can’t move on from each other (that biting scene pretty much does it). Gladly, this queer energy between the two shines through despite the film’s overemphasis on Maverick’s straightness.
“Top Gun’s” queerness is now mainstream knowledge, and while the filmmakers didn’t intend for that, director Tony Scott did admit to taking aesthetic inspiration from gay photographer Bruce Weber, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer says the film is open to interpretation. Given the wildly homophobic era in which it came out, it’s refreshing that the filmmakers welcome a queer reading of the film
Given that time’s illegality of gay men serving in the military, “Top Gun’s" gay subtext is pleasantly ironic. Regardless of how you view it, though, “Top Gun” forces us to reconsider our rigid notions of masculinity and teaches us powerful lessons about the beauty of intimacy between men — without attaching labels of “straight” or “gay” to it.