Earlier this week, I posted a listicle of some of my favorite WLW fandom couples to celebrate Pride Month. Now it’s the boys’ turn! MLM stands for “men loving men,” and is used to describe men who are attracted to other men, whether they are gay, bi, or pan. Here are just a few MLM couples that I love from different fandoms including TV shows, books, and anime!
1. Stolas and Blitzø from Helluva Boss
I’m not going to pretend this relationship is a healthy one. It seems largely one-sided and transactional, with Stolas wanting more depth in their relationship while Blitzø doesn’t even see what they have as something real. But it’s gradually becoming clearer as the series progresses that Blitzø does care for Stolas, even if he doesn’t quite have the emotional capacity to handle those feelings largely due to losing loved ones in the past. Now that the show has been officially renewed for 4 seasons, hopefully we will see their relationship continue to develop.
2. Victor Nikiforov and Yuuri Katsuki from Yuri!!! on Ice
I will never forget how the Yuri!!! on Ice fandom lost our minds when these two kissed. I mean, this is a sports anime we’re talking about! This genre tends to be filled with fanservice and queerbaiting, so for the protagonist to be in a same-sex relationship was revolutionary. Unfortunately, their “kiss” is debatable, since Victor’s arm covers Yuuri’s mouth, and the rings they exchange are referred to as “promise rings” instead of engagement rings… But there’s no denying their love for each other.
3. Nico di Angelo and Will Solace from Camp Half-Blood Chronicles
They say opposites attract, and it doesn’t get more opposite than a demigod of the Underworld and a demigod of the sun. Nico coming out as gay in The House of Hades was both a major development for Nico’s character as well as a huge win for LGBTQ representation in modern YA fantasy fiction, but author Rick Riordan didn’t just slap a sexuality on Nico and move on: he gave him a loving, supportive boyfriend. While they may have the dynamic of a friendly golden retriever and a moody black cat and they don’t always see eye-to-eye, they care deeply for each other despite their differences. I haven’t yet had the chance to read their new solo book, The Sun and The Star, but as soon as I get my hands on a copy I’m sure it’s going to become my favorite novel in the Percy Jackson franchise.
4. Mafuyu Sato and Ritsuka Uenoyama from Given
Sexuality is a fluid concept that is often hard to define or pin down. Unlike the older members of his band, Uenoyama did not identify as gay or bi and had never been in a relationship with another boy before. Yet he fell in love with Mafuyu. Even when a classmate tried to ruin Mafuyu’s reputation by outing him as gay, Uenoyama’s opinion of him didn’t change at all. He had already liked him as a person (even if he found him annoying at times), and those feelings only grew into something deeper. As for Mafuyu, Uenoyama helps him heal his broken heart after the devastating loss of his first love. Their relationship requires a lot of patience, but they’re both willing to put in the work.
5. Stede Bonnet and Edward Teach from Our Flag Means Death
On the surface, Stede and Blackbeard are polar opposites: a naive aristocrat, and an infamously bloodthirsty pirate. In truth, however, they actually have a lot in common in terms of their desires and true personalities. While other pirates scoff at Stede’s pathetic attempts at pirating, Blackbeard respects and even adores him. That’s quite the compliment, considering he is the most feared pirate on the seas! But Ed isn’t as ferocious as the stories make him out to be, and Stede sees that. Opposites do attract, but in this case, it’s their surprising ability to understand each other that makes Stede and Ed so good together.
6. Teddy Altman (Hulkling) and Billy Kaplan (Wiccan) from Marvel
Admittedly, I don’t read comic books, so I found out about these characters’ existence because of this fanart (in which you can see many of the couples from both this list and my list of WLW couples, by the way). Their wedding in 2020 made history as the first-ever same-sex superhero marriage in Marvel history. That’s a pretty huge deal, especially considering how many decades Marvel comics have been around. Billy and Teddy’s relationship is full of ups and downs, but their love for each other is healthy and strong. Plus, being incredibly powerful superheroes, they make quite the power couple—literally! With WandaVision introducing Billy Maximoff (albeit as a child) into the MCU, it’s not unreasonable to think we might see Wiccan, and hopefully Hulkling, on the big screen someday.
7. Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell from Game of Thrones
There are a lot of book-to-show changes that I’m not happy about, but I did love that while Renly’s relationship with Loras is only implied and hinted at in the books, it is explicitly official in the TV show. Renly may have been married to Margaery Tyrell, but his heart belonged to her brother. Such a relationship, however, is taboo in this medieval-esque setting. It was particularly frowned upon for a prince to be a homosexual because he can’t produce an heir with another man. Still, Renly and Loras stayed together despite knowing that their relationship could be punished by death. Unfortunately, these two don’t have a happy ending… But really, does anybody have a happy ending in Game of Thrones?
8. Shuumei Sasaki and Yoshikazu Miyano from Sasaki and Miyano
Part of what makes Sasaki and Miyano’s relationship so delightful is the irony of it. Miyano’s favorite genre of fiction is BL (boys’ love), yet he never thought of himself as gay or wanted the sort of relationships he reads about. He is completely oblivious to Sasaki falling in love with him, even as they talk about the BL materials Miyano introduced him to. But what I love the most about their relationship is that nothing is forced. Sasaki is genuinely interested in the things Miyano likes, and he loves how passionate he is about his hobbies. He actively participates in the activities that make Miyano happy even if they aren’t things he would have done on his own. He’s also very patient with Miyano, giving him all the time he needs to process his feelings.