Heartstopper has been one of the big television success stories of the year. Netflix‘s British series—adapted from the graphic novels by Alice Oseman—became an international smash when it hit the streamer this past April, with viewers across the world swooning over the the love story of Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson.But Heartstopper isn’t without precedent.

In fact, it follows in the footsteps of a number of wildly popular Thai television series that fall under the genre known as “boy love”—commonly referred to simply as “BL.” And, well, it’s fairly self-explanatory: These are shows mostly about young adult gay romance….

boy love!The popularity of these stories in Thai television has exploded in recent years, becoming a proper phenomenon that draws in viewers from Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and beyond.