A rugged, sun-kissed blond man sits in a train car. A gangly, dark-haired one watches him from the platform with longing. Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet came together in Call Me by Your Name to fashion a sepia-drenched, summer heat-hazy love story to wide acclaim—the sumptuous and mesmerizing movie has earned the Oscars’ approval and been called playfully seductive, an erotic triumph and a love letter to missed opportunity. A fan even flew to Italy to revisit the most romantic scenes in real life. The visual queerness of Call Me by Your Name does give power to gay relationships—unfortunately, it doesn’t give it full representation. Call Me by Your Name crafts a fantasy of straight-passing white masculinity against the backdrop of sunlit bourgeoisie indolence.

In a movie that languidly teases audiences with its sensuality—it doesn’t shy away from even the peach scene in the original text—Luca Guadagnino’s artistic choice to obscure the crucial sex scene between Hammer’s Oliver and Chalamet’s Elio leaves queerness in an ambiguous space, somewhere between representation and innuendo. The director’s decision has been critiqued, while restarting the debate of whether gay sex needs to be shown in films about gay love. It recalled how respectability politics—and removing sex from sexuality—took over the battle for marriage equality. Meanwhile, others have found good reason to support Guadagnino’s choice: The director himself said he wasn’t “interested at all” and that a sex scene would have changed the tone. “I didn’t want the audience to find any difference or discrimination toward these characters,” he said. “It was important to me to create this powerful universality.”

In other words, Guadagnino shied away from explicitly gay optics because he thought it would alienate a wide audience—Call Me By Your Name is, therefore, a story for straight people. The invisibility of gay sex is a symptom of the shame surrounding it—why else would we see a naked woman, while the director responds to these critiques with a disavowal of “cheap voyeurism”? Any ploy for universality often ends in some sort of failure: The texture that would alienate the broadest swath of viewers who identify as straight is precisely what this film lacks. Mainstreaming queerness in this way squarely centers the non-queer audience.

It is this very lack of specificity that allowed Sony to push the movie as a straight love story in a Twitter campaign picturing Chalamet alongside Esther Garrel, who plays a local teen he has a sexual relationship with. This exemplifies the coyness Hollywood assumes when treating queer sex, and it explains why the only sex scenes fully depicted in the movie are straight.

Queer roles are few and far between—and the repercussions for real-life queerness layered and damning.

But this escapist form of queerness doesn’t just manifest in the optics—it’s also about deeper representation. Guadagnino, who identifies as gay, chose to cast Hammer and Chalamet over openly gay actors. “I couldn’t have ever thought of casting with any sort of gender agenda,” says the man who made a movie about queer love. “I only cast actors and actresses I fall in love with … and I believe that my emotional confidence in them blends into chemistry.” In his defense of this choice, Guadagnino name-drops Judith Butler while simultaneously employing a gender binary of “actors” and “actresses.” According to the director, the two actors had an “immediate and natural” chemistry and “mutual craving” to spend time together—and that this movie “bridges gaps.”

Straight actors have played gay for pay for quite some time: Call Me by Your Name’s success further highlights how Hollywood does not allow queer people to tell queer stories. Remember James Franco and Sean Penn in Milk? Charlize Theron and Cristina Ricci in Monster? Tom Hanks in Philadelphia? It may very well be time for #OscarsSoStraight, in light of the movie garnering four nominations—including best picture, actor and adapted screenplay—heading into this Sunday’s ceremony. The narrative of straight men’s “bravery” for playing gay overpowers the narrative of queerness—after all, would we pay attention to how they had to break the ice otherwise? Never mind that these actors signed contracts prohibiting any frontal nudity—much to screenwriter James Ivory’s dismay. (Guadagnino said frontal nudity wouldn’t “meet the standards of the market,” highlighting the capitalism of these artistic choices.)

The issue runs deep, right through the film and into the base text. Call Me by Your Name is written by straight writer Andre Aciman, who was lauded for turning queer fiction around from historically focusing on parental rejection. Yes, Elio does not face much judgment from his parents, and in the film, we see his father deliver a drawn-out, expository speech about love (and Oliver, over the phone, tells Elio he is lucky to be accepted).

This acceptance of queerness is heavily intellectualized and nearly saccharine, but it falls in line with ideals of lofty education that pries loose any prejudice—an ideal of sanitized intimacy and the preciousness of the intellectual bourgeoisie. Aciman likes writing queer characters because “where there are no real boundaries, it’s like an unexplored land,” and he can let his “imagination go and take all kinds of risks without fear.” Maybe its success lies, as Miz Cracker muses, in the gay fan’s search for gay desire in a straight writer. Maybe the movie’s acclaim lies in a fantasy constructed around straight-passing white male beauty.

Queer roles are few and far between—and the repercussions for real-life queerness layered and damning. Straight actors, especially straight white men, have seen no dearth in roles—the fight for representation is fought by others. Colin Firth, who played a gay man in the much-acclaimed A Single Man, says actors who are out risk their careers—and Rupert Everett would agree. (I wonder what the non-cis men would say, if they were famous enough to be heard.)

Representation needs to align with identity. Not because every movie has to be completely accurate in its representation of identity, not because stories are owned. But because we have so few moments to live in those spaces, and in those skins.

Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalemet, like the beautiful male statues Elio’s father excavates, dare you to desire them. But on their own terms.