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Inspired by shounen-ai manga — melodramatic Japanese comics by girls about gay boys — Tough Love is a teen romance and coming-out story about a shy boy named Brian. This story centers on the relationships Brian develops with the boy he likes, Chris, and Julie, the girl who befriends him. Serious issues like gay-bashing, suicide, and coming to terms with one's own sexual identity are depicted with an honest, gentle touch. Social relevent, fun, immediately accessible, and a bit of a soap opera, Tough Love helps gay teenagers to be more comfortable with themselves and less troubled, especially when they're feeling alone and misunderstood.