disabilities gay men sexuality

The Ultimate Taboo Is No More

“Gay” as a genre remains the wild west where nothing is out of bounds. Except for one thing. And now, that’s been busted wide open too.

Immediately after I was enlisted as curator of the NakedSword Film Works (NSFW) label, I wrote out a list of films I hoped to acquire for the collection.

Martin Edralin’s HOLE was at the top of the list.

I saw it at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015.

I was totally blown away by this extraordinarily moving story about a virtually ignored segment of the gay community – gay men with disabilities.

disabilities gay men sexuality
Actress Katie Uhlmann chats with actor Ken Harrower & director Martin Edralin
I wasn’t the only one impressed. HOLE was nominated for a Grand Jury Award at Sundance later that week, and over the course of the next year won awards at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival and the Seattle Film Festival, along with nominations at Venice and AFI Fest.

HOLE stars Ken Harrower as Billy, a 50-year-old gay man with congenital arthrogryposis whose closest intimate relationship is with his caregiver. Billy’s only chance for sexual contact with other men takes place when he visits a local video booth shop with glory holes, where he regularly gives other strangers oral sex. When Billy begins yearning for more intimacy, he inadvertently drives his caregiver away.

disabilities gay men sexualityBut things may just work out for Billy in a very unexpected way … You’ll have to watch to find out what happens but needless to say, it’s quite a remarkable denouement.

disabilities gay men sexualityFew films deal with disabled people’s lives in a realistic and honest way, often sugar-coating scenarios or turning disabled people into magical beings. HOLE avoids these traps. Billy’s life is sad, but there is pleasure in it too. And though his quest for intimacy may fall short of a full MGM musical Hollywood ending, it’s still sure to put a smile on your face and maybe a little wood in your pants.

disabilities gay men sexualityYes, Edralin’s film goes there with regards to Billy’s sexual desires, realistically depicting how tough it is to truly find sex and intimacy in a gay landscape that rarely celebrates those who have disabilities. Edralin’s compassion for Billy shines throughout the film and surely will spread to each viewer who sees it.

Check out the trailer below and head over to NSFW to check out this amazing short film. After watching leave us a comment and let us know what you thought of HOLE!

[Watch “Hole” at NakedSword Film Works]

Explore all of films selected for NakedSword Film Works (NSFW).disabilities gay men sexuality


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