Nick Jonas and James Franco star in the upcoming Goat, a drama that follows two brothers who pledge the same fraternity and face the experiences of brutal hazing and “hell week” which tests the limits of loyalty to each other.
The very nature of hyper-masculine fraternities makes queer undertones unavoidable in the trailer.
Reeling from a terrifying assault over the summer, 19-year-old Brad Land (Ben Schnetzer) starts college determined to get his life back to normal.
His brother, Brett (Nick Jonas), is already established on campus and with a fraternity that allures Brad with its promise of protection, popularity, and life-long friendships.
Brad is desperate to belong but as he sets out to join the fraternity his brother exhibits reservations, a sentiment that threatens to divide them. As the pledging ritual moves into hell week, a rite that promises to usher these unproven boys into manhood, the stakes violently increase with a series of torturous and humiliating events.
What occurs in the name of ‘brotherhood’ tests both boys and their relationship in brutal ways.
I will mention I was a brother in my university’s Sigma Chi chapter back in the day. While the pledging/”hell week” period was tough, it was actually the period of time when becoming a brother felt like I was joining something meaningful because you had to take part in activities, and the ideals of the fraternity were so front and center.
But, to be honest, after I became a brother there really wasn’t much “there” there for me. I’m certain in part because they picked up on my being gay before I did. There was clear and present homophobia constantly.
That’s not to say my entire Sigma Chi experience was bullshit. Some of the guys were really good, good guys. And god knows, I enjoyed the partying at the time.
I’m sure some of my brothers from back then ended up coming out eventually. I’d love to know who and what their thoughts were on the experience.
Oh, and practically none of my chapter’s brothers looked like Nick Jonas. But then, neither did I.
Goat lands in theaters and VOD September 23rd.