take a whiff

Why do poppers resonate so deeply with the queer community? Let Cole Escola explain

Image Credits: TikTok, @coleescola

Rush. Double Scorpio. Jungle Juice. We’re not just rattling off names of poppers brands, we’re talking about our chosen family here!

As queer people, it is our right to read into anything and everything, to dig for deeper meaning in the world around us—whatever it takes to explain how and why it relates to us as members of the LGBTQ+ community.

It’s a skill that’s been honed over years of living in the closet, of not seeing ourselves represented in media, of—oh my god, wait, we’re doing it right now, aren’t we?

Look, to be honest, sometimes we gays can get a little carried away trying to unpack why things resonate with us. It’s an idea that actor-comedian Cole Escola hilariously skewers in their latest TikTok, all about the ways poppers are “a reflection of [the queer community’s] lived experience.”

Watch for yourself:

@coleescola #fyp #gay ♬ Sad Emotional Piano (main version) – DSproductions

“You think about coming out—what is coming out?,” Escola asks over a somber, self-serious piano score. “It’s an opening up. We arch our backs and we gape our souls to the world and we say, ‘here we are!'”

Escola taps into the ways we so often attempt to project importance onto things, even when it’s simply not that deep. With the delivery of a poet, the comedian nails the performative perceptiveness with hysterical accuracy.

And look at that, we’re taking things too seriously again—guilty as charged. It’s also just a very, very funny video.

“We look at that little bottle,” Escola continues, “and we say, “Oh my god, that’s my life story in there.'” *sniff*

Ugh, so true!

Related: Cole Escola on their musical moment in ‘Please Baby Please’, Netflix’s ‘Big Mouth’, and posting full nudes

Perhaps it’s no coincidence the video arrives amid voracious discourse over horror movie M3GAN, which was a box office hit in its opening weekend, and played especially well with queer audiences.

Why are so many gays gagging over a movie about a killer AI doll, one without any explicit queer themes or characters? Well, according to a gay friend of M3GAN screenwriter Akela Cooper, it’s because the film’s story touches on the familiar idea of found family.

If that sounds like a stretch to you, then you’re very much on the same wavelength as Escola.

The takeaway? Not everything has to be taken so seriously. Sometimes a piece of entertainment is just that: Entertaining! Sometimes a fashionable robot with killer dances moves is just a slay. And sometimes poppers are just an easy way for gays to loosen up their bu—well, you get it.


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A post shared by Jeffery Self (@jefferyself)

Don’t miss Cole’s hysterical new podcast Breakfast Buffet with Jeffrey Self. You can also catch Escola in the latest season of Big Mouth on Netflix, or in the indie film Please Baby Place, now available on digital/VOD.

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