These Are the 18 Best LGBTQ Movies You Can Stream on Netflix Right Now

From powerful documentaries to touching rom coms, the catalog of LGBTQ-centric films isn’t so narrow anymore.

Let’s be honest: LGBTQ+ representation in movies hasn’t always been exactly up to par. For so long, good queer cinema was virtually non-existent or played into tired, tokenizing tropes. Even with that in mind, most mainstream cinema has centered on heteronormative storylines for decades.

However, where such criticisms once arose from a near-barren canon, LGBTQ+ cinema has become widespread enough to bear some award-winning, prestige films. Sure, the scarcity still has you scavenging through some painful storylines from time to time, but with all that digging eventually comes gold. Luckily for you, when it comes to Netflix, we’ve done most of the digging for you.

The beauty of LGBTQ+ representation in film is that, just like the members of its community, there is no “one-size-fits-all” story. This means it’s not just about LGBTQ+ trauma anymore: there are comedies, compelling dramas, adventures, and a few documentaries scattered in, too. Here are the best LGBTQ+ films on Netflix.

Move over A League of Their Own: One All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player and her partner have love of their own not yet portrayed on-screen. Directed by the great-nephew of Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, A Secret Love uncovers the two women’s romantic relationship, spanning across decades of secrecy.

A perfect addition to any Baby Gay™’s coming-of-age canon, The Half Of It tells the tender story of Elie, a bookish high schooler who finds herself in an unlikely love triangle when a jock recruits her help in courting Aster, her own crush. Directed by Alice Wu and starring an Asian-American lead, the film displays some much-needed representation in young adult-oriented queer cinema.

This heartwarming Bollywood romantic comedy-drama tells the story of Sweety, a young Punjabi woman and closeted lesbian, on her quest for acceptance from her family. In love with another woman but pressured by her family to marry a man, Sweety finds her fate ironically saved by a potential suitor who assists her coming-out by crafting a romantic play about the two women.

Circus of Books is a documentary about the West Hollywood bookstore of the same name that became the largest U.S. distributor of gay porn in the 1980s, including its history as a queer social club, and the husband and wife owners who stayed library-hush through it all. A textbook example of allyship, pun intended.

A teenaged boy named Song finds himself in a twisted triangle when it is revealed that his late father’s primary insurance beneficiary is his secret male lover. As Song finds his allegiance caught between the two battling widow and widower, his mother struggles with her grief and possession, determined not to lose another loved one’s favor to the elusive man.

Moonlight is hard to sum up into a sentence. It’s better described as a list of words: breathtaking, visceral, touching, devastating. The story of a young black gay man growing was handily the most powerful film of 2016 (sorry La La Land), and it’s one of those Best Picture winners whose gravitas only continues to swell with time.

There is a truth about a lot of LGBTQ movies being a bit of a tragedy fest, and make no mistake—Philadelphia is a heartbreaker. But the Tom Hanks film is so much more than another AIDS-tale that ends in tragedy. It’s possibly the most powerful performance Hanks has ever given, and it sheds an incredibly important light on an epidemic that the American government largely turned a blind eye to.

A gay man (Jesse Plemons) returns home to his conservative family to be with his cancer-stricken mom (Molly Shannon) in this sweetly comic semi-autobiographical film written and directed by Chris Kelly.

A lot of people have heard about Marsha P. Johnson… particularly as the rumored thrower of the first brick at Stonewall. But few people know the story of her death and how many believe it was unfairly ruled a suicide. A pillar of the LGBTQ community, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson is simply required viewing. And that’s not a cliché in this case.

The Perfection is one of those bizarro films that isn’t particularly the best-made feature, but damn if it isn’t a lot of fun to watch. Starring Allison Williams and Logan Browning, this queer horror film is all about psychological manipulation and a bit of campiness. Always worth it for that, if nothing else.

This film won Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto Oscars at the 2014 Academy Awards. But even more than being Oscar bait, it tells the important story of real-life mid-1980s electrician Ron Woodroof, who is diagnosed with AIDS and given 30 days to live. He smuggles unapproved therapies and drugs into the U.S., and with a fellow AIDS patient (Leto), he sells those treatments to other people in need of them.

This starts out like any other teen movie: high schooler Alex Truelove (Daniel Doheny) wants to lose his virginity to his girlfriend. But this one has a twist. He ends up meeting Elliot (Antonio Marziale) and falling for him. Fear not though—this still has all the teen movie maxims: a little angst, cute moments, and exploration of sexuality.

This movie, from Spanish director Isabel Coixet, is about the first same-sex marraige in Spain. The harrowing true story follows Elisa Sanchez Loriga, who took on the identity of Mario Sánchez so she could marry her partner, Marcela Gracia Ibeas. This marriage, which took place on June 8, 1901, was later discovered, but the Catholic church never ended up denouncing the union. The couple did, however, spend the rest of their life running from persecution.

This documentary tells the story of lesbian comedian Tig Notaro, who turns a breast cancer diagnosis into a powerful comedy set. The smart comic’s journey is as hysterical as it is touching, and man if it doesn’t serve a lot of both.

No, this is not the 2015 Will Smith movie about the forensic pathologist who discovers a neurological deterioration among former NFL players. This one, which requires you to search “concussion movie lesbian” in order to find the plot, is about a lesbian who gets hit in the head with a baseball, gets a concussion, and decides she needs a more sexually adventurous life than the one she has with her wife.

In this Tom Ford film, Colin Firth plays George Falconer, an English professor in Los Angeles in 1962. He is grieving the death of his partner, Jim, but Jim’s family won’t acknowledge him. George decides to end his life, but as he prepares to do so, he comes across several significant people from his past who might just convince him that there’s more to live for.

Two teenage girls fall in (and out) of love in this sexy and intense coming-of-age drama that picked up the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival—and will put you through the emotional ringer.

Director Miguel Arteta co-wrote the screenplay for this comedy with Alia Shawkat, who stars as one half of a couple (alongside Laia Costa) that meets at a club and discovers intimacy through frequent sex.

The 50 Best LGBTQ Movies Ever Made

Here are the best movies that depict the queer experience in all its complexities.

The good news: this year you have time for some movies.

Under normal circumstances, June busts out all over with Pride Month parties and parades. The gay neighborhood thumps with house music. Your bank, cable company and sandwich shop rush to remind you of their support for the LGBTQ+ community. And if you can bear the crowds, you leave a Pride festival with a draft-beer buzz, an application for a rainbow-flag credit card, and a paper fan with Chelsea Handler’s face on it. It’s a lot, but it’s ours.

This year, the public events of LGBTQ Pride Month—much like sports, school, and life itself—are cancelled. We’re stuck inside unless we’re marching for police reform. The few bars that have reopened are for the reckless and foolish, and let’s be honest: there’s only so much dancing a person can do on Zoom. The conditions are optimal for you to catch up on your queer cinema.

We’ve come a ways in fifty years, from the self-loathing middle-aged men of The Boys In The Band to the peppy teens of Love, Simon. The range runs from the shoestring brilliance of The Watermelon Woman to the big-budget glitter-bomb that is Rocketman. 1982’s tentative Making Love derailed the careers of its two lead actors; 2017’s Call Me By Your Name cemented its pair as movie stars. While gay characters tended until much too recently to be one-dimensional, white, and doomed, in 2018 Barry Jenkins won a Best Picture Oscar telling the layered and hopeful story of a gay Black man in Moonlight.

There’s a lot of history to explore, and there’s never been a better time to do it. Borrow a streaming service password from family– however you define it!–and dive in.

If it feels a bit like a CW version of an Afterschool Special, that’s no mistake: teen-tv super-producer Greg Berlanti makes his feature film directorial debut here. It’s as chaste a love story as you’re likely to see in the 21st century— the hunky gardener who makes the title teen question his sexuality is wearing a long-sleeved shirt, for God’s sake—but you know what? The queer kids of the future need their wholesome entertainment too.

Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine play headmistresses at a school for girls who are accused by a student of being in a lesbian relationship. While the accusation is false, it nearly ruins the women’s standing in their community and threatens their friendship—and forces one of them to reevaluate her own identity.

A gay fantasia on Elton themes. An Elton John biopic was never going to be understated, but this glittering jukebox musical goes way over the top and then keeps going. It might be an overcorrection from the straight-washing of the previous year’s Bohemian Rhapsody, but when it’s this much fun, it’s best not to overthink it.

Charming Irish movie that answers the question: “What if John Hughes were Irish and gay?” Misfit Ned struggles at a rugby-obsessed boarding school until a mysterious new kid moves in and an unlikely friendship changes them both. Along the way, a rousing performance from Andrew Scott as an inspiring teacher with a secret of his own, and a rugby game set to a Rufus Wainwright song. Just the thing to lift your spirits.

The life of Cuba’s „transformistas“ is captured beautifully in this father-son story about a boy who wants to perform drag and his father, newly released from prison and unable to accept who his son is. Shot beautifully, with great music and a close look at Havana in all its run-down and colorful glory.

The quintessential ’80s lesbian romantic drama, Desert Hearts follows an English professor and a young sculptor as they fall in love at a Nevada ranch in the 1950s. Unique for its time, it sets its romance in a warm, affirming environment and lets its leads enjoy their relationship without angst or fear of death.

Ira Sachs’s autobiographical drama packs a hard punch as it follows a filmmaker, Erick, throughout his relationship with a young lawyer, Paul, which begins as a random sexual encounter and implodes following Paul’s drug and sex addiction.

Wong Kar-wai won Best Director at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for this film about two Hong Kong men who emigrate to Buenos Aires, after the handover of Hong Kong to China put LGBT lives in jeopardy.

Former SNL head-writer and The Other Two co-creator Chris Kelly makes his directorial debut in a semi-autobiographical account of his mother’s death from cancer. Molly Shannon gives a devastating performance, the tragic qualities of the Sacramento gay bar are hilariously explored, and the viewer is forced to re-evaluate Train’s “Drops of Jupiter.” Given how much you will cry, this is perhaps a risky watch in a time when tissue paper is scarce. We say pull a full-size bath towel out of the cabinet and dive in.

Cheryl Dunye directs and stars in this microbudget indie about an African-American lesbian searching for an uncredited black actress from a 1930s film. Along the way, she falls in and out of love, and meets the real Camille Paglia.

Julianne Moore and Annette Bening play lesbian mothers to two teenagers whose blissful modern family is rocked when their kids seek out their sperm-doner father played by Mark Ruffalo. The family unit falls into crisis when his sudden appearance into their lives causes a rift between the two women as well as their kids

Starring Mariel Hemingway and a raft of real-life track and field stars, Personal Best follows a young bisexual pentathlete vying for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team and exploring a relationship with her lesbian coach—played by Olympic hurdler Patrice Donnelly.

Eliza Hittman’s dark and moody film plays out a bit like a thriller, one in which a Brooklyn teenager named Frankie (a superb Harris Dickinson, in a nearly wordless performance), who spends his idle hours hanging with his delinquent friends, fooling around with his girlfriend, or hooking up with men he meets online. Beach Rats is a provocative look at the personal and secret urges we often fear will come out into the light.

Gus Van Sant’s loose Shakespearean adaptation brought the New Queer Cinema movement into the mainstream, with River Phoenix as a young, narcoleptic hustler and Keanu Reeves as his best friend and unrequited love interest.

„Don’t you know I would have gone through life half-awake if you’d had the decency to leave me alone?“ All the lushness of a Merchant Ivory production, with gay men at its center. Even if this weren’t a beautiful, affecting film, Hugh Grant’s hair alone would earn it a spot on this list.

Peter Jackson was journeying through fantasy worlds long before Lord of the Rings—albeit one conjured up by two very real New Zealand school girls (played by then-newcomers Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey) who escape their own realities through their imaginations. But their connection turns intense and dangerous when they conspire to commit murder in one of the most notorious true crime stories of all time.

The first wide-release studio film with a homosexual relationship at its center (and for decades, the last). Making Love follows Michael Ontkean’s Zack, who is married to Claire (Kate Jackson) but exploring his homosexuality with Harry Hamlin’s Bart. It’s not a perfect film, but it took a giant risk, and gives us a rare snapshot of Los Angeles‘ gay life in the moment just before AIDS.

Long before his groundbreaking Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee directed this sweet, comic tale about a Taiwanese immigrant living in New York with his partner. When he offers to marry a Chinese woman so she can obtain a green card, the marriage of convenience spirals out of control when his parents find out and throw a lavish wedding party.

Mike Mills’s sweet 2010 film concerns a Los Angeles artist, played by Ewan MacGregor, building a relationship with his newly-out father (Christopher Plummer) in the last year of the older man’s life. Beginners earned Plummer an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and features a talking Jack Russell terrier. In short, it’s pretty much perfect.

When Megan (Natasha Lyonne) shows more interest in being a vegetarian and female-fronted folk rock, her parents send her away to have her presumed homosexuality cured. Conversion therapy is no joke, but Jamie Babbit’s satire perfectly skewers puritanical homophobia on its head—and it has a joyful, happy ending. (Plus, RuPaul!)

Dee Rees’s gorgeous directorial debut stars Adepero Oduye as Alike, a Brooklyn teenager who comes to terms with her own sexuality and puts the comforts of friends and family at risk as she discovers how to express her identity.

On a scorching August day, Al Pacino’s Sonny attempts to rob a bank in Brooklyn, and…things do not go well. The instant, intense media fame Sonny earns feels more relevant than ever, and things turn surprisingly tender when we learn he plans to use the stolen money for his lover’s gender confirmation surgery.

A Pakistani Brit and his former lover, who has become a fascist street punk, reunite and run a family laundromat. The characters deal with the materialism and anti-immigrant furor of Thatcher’s England—elements that feel just a little bit too relevant at the moment.

Based on the autobiography of gay Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, Julian Schnabel’s film brought Javier Bardem to the world’s attention and highlighted the cruelty and homophobia of Castro’s Cuba and Reagan’s America

John Cameron Mitchell brings his cult musical about „internationally ignored“ transgender rock star Hedwig to the screen. In this version, Mitchell shows us the backstory he was only able to tell on stage, and introduces us to Michael Pitt’s Tommy Gnosis. The rare rock musical that actually rocks.

Tom Ford’s directorial debut adapts Christopher Isherwood’s novel about an English professor in returning to life a year after the death of his lover. As you would expect from Ford, it is a relentlessly stylish affair, with indelible performances by Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.

Some might find this adaptation of Paul Rudnick’s off-Broadway play to be a little dated with its treatment of the dating scene in early to mid-’90s New York City. But Jeffrey’s strength is found in its comic and playful look at a search for love amid the AIDS crisis, offering the kind of unabashed joy most of its contemporaries were unable to match.

Lisa Cholodenko’s chic directorial debut features a revelatory performance from Ally Sheedy as a prematurely retired photographer, and Radha Mitchell as the young woman who can revitalize her career.

Pedro Almodóvar’s comic melodramas are filled to the brim with delightfully absurd characters, and his Oscar-winning All About My Mother offers some of the best. After the death of her son, Manuela seeks out to find his father—who now goes by the name of Lola. Along for the journey is a young nun (played by Penelope Cruz) who is newly pregnant with Lola’s baby.

A group of London LGBT activists form a coalition with striking Welsh miners in Thatcher’s U.K. Stephen Beresford’s Golden Globe-nominated screenplay underscores the need, as urgent as ever, for oppressed groups to join forces. There is power in a union!

Norman Rene’s film follows a group of gay men through the early years of the AIDS crisis, one day per year, starting on the day the New York Times first covered the story of the „gay cancer.“ A deep meditation on grief, gallows humor, and the families we make with our friends.

What do a recently divorced woman and a middle-aged gay man have in common? They’re both having an affair with a charming and stylish artist—and they’re aware that the lover they share in common isn’t exclusive to them. John Schlesinger’s acclaimed drama depicts two people who seek surprising ways to break free of their dull lives and reclaim their untamed youth.

When her older lover, Orlando, dies suddenly, Marina must put her grief on pause as Orlando’s ex-wife and family immediately shun her because she is transgender. The winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, Sebastián Lelio’s drama features a stirring lead performance from actress Daniela Vega.

A closeted Northern Englishman prepares to take over his family farm, with some help from a Romanian farmhand whom his father has hired. A heartbreaking depiction of British repression, with a supporting performance from a newborn lamb that will make you vegan for at least an hour. It’s as delicate and beautiful as it is— let’s be honest here—extremely hot.

Spielberg followed up Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom with this adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel. In her film debut, Whoopi Goldberg plays Celie, an African-American woman in the early 20th century, who fights her way through oppression and abuse and finds an unexpected love along the way.

This slice of gay life in mid-’80s Manhattan gave Steve Buscemi his first major film role, and tackled the AIDS crisis in a frank, non-sensational, even humorous manner. Along the way, glimpses of a long-forgotten bohemian New York, Reagan-era Fire Island, and a pre-Drew Carey Show Kathy Kinney

Shot on iPhones along Santa Monica Boulevard’s unofficial red light district, Tangerine follows two transgender sex workers and one lovesick cab driver through a particularly eventful Christmas Eve. Director Sean Baker found his leads—two first-time film actors—at the actual donut shop where much of the movie’s action takes place.

Two drag queens (Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce) and a transgender woman (Terence Stamp) travel across the barren Australian Outback in a giant pink bus named Priscilla en route to a cabaret gig in Alice Springs. Hilarity ensues as their travels involve misadventure after misadventure, but the trio come together as a family unit as they learn more about each other and their personal lives

This film kept its NC-17 rating for some explicit, passionate sex scenes between leads Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, but it is at its heart a movie about youth, art, heartbreak, and the thrill of exploring one’s identity.

Who among us hasn’t been hanging out in the late 1700s, waiting on our customary proposal portrait to be finished so that we can find a proper spouse, only to fall for our portrait artist of the same sex? Rats! Fooled by queer impulses again. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is one of the most recent additions to the queer canon, and it already boasts quite a reputation for examining the complex relationship between two women who dared to love in an era when their love was absolutely forbidden.

The first mainstream queer film of the new millennium, Brokeback Mountain ushered its themes into the mainstream. Heath Ledger’s shy Ennis del Mar falls in what he cannot articulate as love with Jake Gyllenhaal’s Jack Twist over a long, lonely winter, and their lives bounce off each other’s for years afterward. Ang Lee and screenwriter Larry McMurtry expand Annie Proulx’s short story into a film without one false moment.

Melissa McCarthy got an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Lee Israel, a caustic celebrity biographer who turns to literary forgery when her career stalls. Richard E. Grant is wonderful as her co-conspirator, but it’s McCarthy’s attempt at romance with Dolly Wells’ shy bookstore owner that gives the movie its heart.

The greatest, most achingly beautiful gay male romance movie. Timothée Chalamet plays the precocious Elio, a teenager living in Italy who becomes infatuated with an older American student, Oliver (Armie Hammer), who is staying with his family for the summer. What begins as a contentious friendship turns into a full-blown love affair as the two young men spend their idle summer days in the lush Mediterranean locale, bracing themselves for an inevitable heartbreak.

If any film can be credited with kicking off our cultural conversation on gender, this is it. Hilary Swank’s breakthrough performance anchors Kimberly Peirce’s film about the murder of Nesbraskan trans man Brandon Teena. Boys Don’t Cry was originally given an NC-17 for even addressing trans issues, but was later downgraded to an R.

Mike Nichols’s American remake of La Cage aux Folles features Robin Williams as a gay nightclub owner whose son announces his engagement to the daughter of an ultra-conservative politician. In typical farce style, his partner (Nathan Lane)—the star of his club’s drag show—poses as his dowdy wife in order to convince his son’s future in-laws that they’re a wholesome American family.

Set in the early ’90s, this energetic and emotional drama follows a group of activists in Paris fighting the government and its slow-moving efforts to battle the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While highlighting the dramatic and powerful work from ACT UP, the film also depicts the personal stories of those fighting for their lives, delivering a human and urgent remembrance of the plague that afflicted millions across the globe—and continues on today.

Todd Haynes brings Patricia Highsmith’s cult novel to the big screen in this lush and seductive film following a young shopgirl named Therese (Rooney Mara) who finds herself charmed by an alluring older woman named Carol (Cate Blanchett). The two set out on a road trip on which they consummate an unspoken passion for each other—one that ultimately brings ruin to Carol’s marriage and awakens dark desires within Therese.

Tom Hanks won his first Oscar for his performance as Andrew Beckett, a successful lawyer who is fired from his firm once the senior partners discover he has AIDS. Jonathan Demme’s searing drama was the first mainstream film to tackle the AIDS crisis, and it gave a familiar face and voice to a marginalized community often ignored by their neighbors and left to suffer because of an intolerant society.

Based on the play by Mart Crawley, and released less than a year after the Stonewall riots, The Boys in the Band perfectly depicts the complex experience of being a gay man at the time—at times joyful, often times confusing, painful, and informed by self-loathing. This comedy still manages to balance the bite and the tenderness for its collection of characters, with its group of young gay men in New York City falling in and out of love (and friendship), and unknowingly on the brink of a cultural revolution.

The only film on this list to earn an Oscar for Best Picture—and deservedly so. Barry Jenkins explores masculinity and repression in his study of Chiron, a young man coming of age in Miami (and played by three different actors at various stages of his life) who grapples with his sexual identity amid his troubled relationship with his crack-addicted mother. Chiron longs to break free of the predetermined path set out for himself by his environment, a journey set into motion by encounter with one of his male peers

The 50 Best LGBTQ Movies Ever Made

The 25 Best LGBTQ Movies to Watch

LGBTQ people have long been buried under tropes and unsubtle stereotypes in film and television. Still, from Sacha Baron Cohen’s fashion-obsessed Brüno to a Scream Queens character nicknamed Predatory Lez, we unfortunately continue to see it all. For marginalized groups, truthful representation in film is imperative, even lifesaving, and in today’s stormy political climate there’s an urgency for straight cisgender people to see LGBTQ characters portrayed accurately and unapologetically — and by people who actually know what LGBTQ life is like because they live it.

Luckily, hope is on the horizon: Although LGBTQ people used to be less visible than Sia’s face in a music video, more LGBTQ-identifying filmmakers, actors, producers, and directors than ever are being given the opportunity to tell their stories. So, ranging from a historic biopic about a gay rights activist to a cheesy 2000s rom-com that’ll turn even your worst mood around, here are 25 of the best LGBTQ movies you need to see — or see again.

The 25 Best LGBTQ Movies to Watch

Gay teen describes experience in so-called gay conversion camp

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This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

Patrick McAlvey says he saw a therapist for 10 years in an attempt to change his attraction to men.

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21 Extremely Gay Movies You Can Stream Right Now

We get it — there’s a lot movies in that “Suggested For You” section of your streaming queue, but how do you sift through all the straight-to-DVD white gay rom coms starring D-list celebs to find something of true substance? Look no further. With our careful curation from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO NOW we have found what are the gayest streamable movies right now, according to science. Some old, some new, some canon, some hidden gems. There’s a movie here for every queer. Enjoy!

The Boys in the Band

Based on the groundbreaking 1968 play of the same name by Mart Crowley, The Boys in the Band is a look into the lives of gay men in 1960’s New York. Featuring a cast of all openly gay actors, this is a must see for anyone interested in gay history.

Booksmart

This clever and hilarious coming of age film stars Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever as two teenage best friends who decide to go to one last party now that high school is over. Dever’s character has one of the realest young lesbian stories you’ll see in a movie.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Yearning, yearning and more yearning await you in this beautifully shot and acted period piece about two women falling love in 18th century France. The film stars lesbian actress Adèle Haenel, and picked up many awards, including the Best Screenplay and Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Catherine Yen’s superhero movie unlike any other superhero movie is all about awesome, complex women, including lesbian police officer Renee Montoya and bisexual Harley Quinn. This is the most fun you’ll have watching superheroes this year.

Happiest Season

Want to watch a lesbian movie where neither of the leads die, get disowned or end up alone? Happiest Season is for you! Kristen Stewart, Mary Holland, and Dan Levy shine in this lesbian Christmas romcom, but Aubrey Plaza is definitely the breakout star. The movie has its fair share of tears, so be ready.

Your Name Engraved Herein

This film follows two teen boys, Jia-han and Birdy as they fall in love in the 1980’s just after Taiwan lifted its martial law. As the nation transitions from strict authoritarianism to become the most LGBTQ+ friendly country in Asia, the two boys grow and have their love tested.

Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

If you’ve ever asked a friend for a lesbian film recommendation, the answer was probably Blue Is the Warmest Color. The French film follows Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a teenager who falls in love with an older art-school student named Emma (Léa Seydoux). Just like most woman-loving-woman relationships, the film is quite the saga of ups, downs, heartbreak, and tortured passion.

Love, Simon (2018)

Many grew up watching and loving classic ’80s high school rom-coms such as Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, and Say Anything. If you have the same keenness for John Hughes films, then you won’t be disappointed by Love, Simon. Based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the movie shows what it’s like to come out in high school during a post-Glee world. Sure, you may be a part of a liberal community in a family you realize will accept you, but that doesn’t necessarily make coming out any easier. Featuring a queer actor as one of the main love interests, and a gay director, Love, Simon is a movie that will likely have you crying and clapping through scenes as you watch.

Desert Hearts (1985)

Desert Hearts is widely considered the first film with a lesbian story line where the women end up together. The critically acclaimed film is notable in woman-loving-woman history for its positive portrayal of a lesbian relationship. Directed by out filmmaker Donna Deitch, the story follows Vivian (Helen Shaver), a mid-30s professor who stays at a ranch in Reno, Nevada, that houses women waiting for their divorces to finalize. There she falls for Cay (Patricia Charbonneau), a young artist who works at one of the casinos, and a turbulent affair ensues.

Tangerine (2015)

Tangerine was released to much critical praise for its portrayal of transgender characters. Set in West Hollywood, the movie follows the friendship between a pair of sex workers played by Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez. Tangerine is explosive, dark, dirty, and sharp. Finding a movie about transgender men or women is rare; finding one that’s good is even harder to come by — but finding one that’s authentic and has trans actors playing trans characters is, well, you’re catching on. Transgender people are vastly underrepresented in Hollywood, but thanks to films like Tangerine, that’s finally changing. And get this: Tangerine was shot entirely on an iPhone 5s.

Milk (2008)

Gus Van Sant directed Milk, a film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk. The first openly gay man to get elected to public office in California, in 1977, Milk was, and is, a gay icon. The film follows the life, romantic relationships, political ascendancy, and his eventual assassination. Milk won two Academy Awards: one for Best Leading Actor (Sean Penn) and the other for Best Original Screenplay (written by Dustin Lance Black). It’s nothing short of an iconic American film.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

As far as good movies go — like critically acclaimed, Oscar-winning movies — Brokeback Mountain is a solid place to start. Although it falls short on LGBTQ cast and crew, the movie pushed conservative boundaries and broke barriers, thus crowning it an influential moment in LGBTQ filmmaking. The story follows Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger), two cowboys who meet in the early 1960s and fall madly in love — and who would have been crucified by society if they’d made their love known. The shame these two characters feel for the love they share will put your heart through a shredder, empty it out, put it in a blender, dump it out, and then force you to pour it over your head…. But the film is beautifully written, performed, made, and scored.

Other People (2016)

Other People is an extremely dark comedy that follows David (Jesse Plemons), a struggling comedy writer who moves home to live with his terminally ill mother (Molly Shannon). Written and directed by Saturday Night Live’s Chris Kelly, this movie will make you ugly-cry and then laugh at yourself for doing so. Among the infinite reasons to love Other People is that it features a gay protagonist even though the movie isn’t about his sexuality. It’s always refreshing to see gay characters going about their daily lives as people who do things other than just date each other! Plus, 15-year-old J.J. Totah is the breakout star of this movie. He plays a hilarious, overwhelmingly flamboyant preteen who steals the show. Basically he’s you — no, he’s us.

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

Julianne Moore and Annette Bening portray a lesbian couple, Jules and Nic, whose family is turned upside down when their children (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) seek to make a connection with their sperm donor (Mark Ruffalo). Things get even more twisted when Jules, who at the time identifies as a lesbian, enjoys some late-in-life sexual exploration at the expense of her family. Intricately written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko (one of the best lesbian filmmakers out there), the hilarious and heartwarming The Kids Are All Right features real-life struggles that so many modern couples endure. Warning: You might fall in love with Julianne Moore (if you haven’t already). Also, it’s worth a watch to see baby Josh Hutcherson with a bowl cut.

Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)

Starring and co-written by Jennifer Westfeldt, Kissing Jessica Stein examines the life of Jessica, a woman in her late 20s who is fed up with a monotonous desk job and dating life. On a whim she decides to answer a woman-seeking-woman personal ad in a newspaper. Kissing Jessica Stein offers an incredible portrayal of sexual fluidity, emotional self-discovery, and sexual exploration, but problems arise toward film’s end, when Jessica’s girl-loving side is threatened with becoming completely erased. While it seems that Jessica is probably bisexual, her partner tells her she’s not “gay enough” to be with a woman. Hopefully a remake will be able to get the nuances of sexual fluidity right.

The Way He Looks (2014)

The Way He Looks (in Portuguese: Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho) is a Brazilian romance drama that portrays what it’s like to come into your sexuality while living with a disability. Leonardo (Ghilherme Lobo) is a blind high school student who becomes smitten with a new student in his class, Gabriel (Fabio Audi). The film is warm, tender, and will challenge many notions you might have about what it means to be gay and be living with a disability. If you don’t speak or understand Portuguese please do not be deterred from watching a film with subtitles, because this is a coming-of-age gay film that you do not want to miss.

Imagine Me & You (2005)

Imagine Me & You is arguably one of the best LGBTQ rom-coms out there. Piper Perabo plays Rachel, a bride who has a meet-cute with the woman of her dreams while walking down the aisle to marry her husband. If you’re a fan of happy-go-lucky romantic comedies like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, then this one’s for you. It’s cheesy and adorable, and the early-2000s vibes are strong: the music, the acting, the cast, the way it’s filmed (all the way down to the lens flares). Imagine Me & You is a period piece, really. And, oh yeah, the girl actually gets the girl. I repeat: The girl actually gets the girl!

Moonlight (2016)

Based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight debuted to high critical praise for cinematography, storytelling, and its portrayal of black gay male identity. The film, directed by Barry Jenkins, follows the youth, adolescence, and adulthood of Chiron in three definitive acts. Set in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood, the story weaves through Chiron’s heartbreaking relationships with parental figures and his navigation of complicated friendships. It won a number of awards during the 2017 red-carpet season, including Best Picture at the Oscars and Best Picture, Drama, at the Golden Globes.

Bound (1996)

Bound is an exceptional film for so many reasons. Not only is it an LGBTQ fan favorite, but it was also written and directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, sisters who are both transgender. Jennifer Tilly stars as the high-femme Violet, who seduces Corky (Gina Gershon), an androgynous female plumber who works next door. Something bigger is at stake, however: Corky has to break Violet out of the mob.

D.E.B.S. (2004)

D.E.B.S. is what would happen if you gave Charlie’s Angels an LGBTQ story line. It’s a spoof on romantic comedies and espionage thrillers, but it might also be the most underrated spy movie in history. Starring a young Sara Foster and Jordana Brewster, D.E.B.S. traces the budding romance between one of the USA’s top intelligence operatives and the FBI’s most-wanted woman. Foster plays Amy, the teen queen of the D.E.B.S, a top-secret U.S. paramilitary academy. She’s about to graduate at the top of her class with a takedown of historic proportions when she comes face-to-face with the infamous criminal mastermind Lucy Diamond. Lucy immediately falls for Ms. Goody Two-Shoes and has her henchmen basically kidnap her…for a date!

But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)

Natasha Lyonne plays Megan, a bubbly, oblivious cheerleader whose family and friends decide that her interest in veganism and Melissa Etheridge is just too on-the-nose: She’s a lesbian who needs to be stopped! They hold an intervention with plans to send Megan to a conversion-therapy camp. Shocked by the allegations, Megan agrees to go to True Directions, a camp that promises to “cure” homosexuality. This movie obviously has disturbing undertones, but the ensemble of characters, from queer men and women to those questioning their gender identities, makes for one of the best LGBTQ parody movies of all time. But I’m a Cheerleader will leave you brimming with pride.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

John Cameron Mitchell directs and stars in this cult classic film based on John’s stage musical of the same name. It follows the titular Hedwig (played by John Cameron Mitchell), a transgender rock star from East Germany who survives a botched gender confirmation surgery and moves to Kansas with her husband Luther to pursue her musical dreams. Hedwig then falls in love with another man named Tommy, who eventually leaves and steals her music. The glam rock aesthetic of the film has led it to have a Rocky Horror-like following as it pulls at the heartstrings and eardrums of queer rockers looking to break free.

Boy Meets Girl (2014)

Films starring transgender actors are hard to come by, and films starring a transgender woman who gets a happy ending are even harder. Boy Meets Girl stars Michelle Hendley as Ricky Jones, a trans woman living in a small town in Kentucky who works as a barista and wants to move to New York City to study fashion design. Her plans change unexpectedly when a local woman, Francesca (Alexandra Turshen), comes into her life after meeting at the coffee shop she works at. Boy Meets Girl is funny, tender, and delicately explores the notions of how gender and sexuality are at play with each other.

Carol (2015)

Carol is a film that has amassed an intense fan base and once you watch the film you’ll understand why. The movie is based on a novel, The Price of Salt, which tells the story of an affair during the early 1950s between Therese (Rooney Mara), an aspiring photographer, and Carol (Cate Blanchett), an older woman going through a difficult divorce. Lesbian stories from major Hollywood studios are rare to come by, but Carol does the genre justice with a beautifully shot, written, and acted film that’ll have you obsessed.

Watch a Teenage Boy Find a Stack of Gay Porn In Adam Baran’s Adorable Short Film ‚Jackpot‘

Nostalgic for a world where your consumption of porn didn’t come solely from the internet? Adam Baran’s 1994-set short film “Jackpot” — which has been making the LGBT film festival rounds for the past year (winning best short in Miami) — is available to watch for free online, and it makes for a stroll down that particular memory lane (and is a fun watch either way). Following a teenage boy who hears about a stack of gay porn hidden across down and then goes on a mission to find it (dealing with some bullies along the way). With a lovely little message of self-empowerment to boot, “Jackpot” is definitely worth your next 8 minutes:

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1. The Curiosity of Chance(2006)

A confident, out-of-the-closet gay teenager has the support of an eclectic range of friends while dealing with a homophobic bully during his first year at an international high school.

Director:Russell P. Marleau | Stars:Tad Hilgenbrink, Brett Chukerman, Aldevina Da Silva, Pieter Van Nieuwenhuyze

7. (2013)

What happens after Tanner is outed by his classmates and becomes the title „gay best friend“ for three high school queen bees?

Director:Darren Stein | Stars:Michael J. Willett, Paul Iacono, Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen

11. (2011)

A drama centered on the relationship between a two young men, as one of them navigates the difficulties of life as a transgender man.

Director:Sabine Bernardi | Stars:Rick Okon, Max Befort, Liv Lisa Fries, Felix Brocke

13. (I) (2004)

After getting dumped by his slutty girlfriend, Caleb falls in love with Gwen. However, thanks to Caleb’s roommate, Gwen thinks he’s gay and sets him up with her roommate, Marc.

Director:Q. Allan Brocka | Stars:Scott Lunsford, Jim Verraros, Emily Brooke Hands, Rebekah Kochan

14. (2011)

A fresh face comes to Hollywood to act in movies but only the gay porn studios are eager to provide him with work.

Director:Casper Andreas | Stars:Matthew Ludwinski, Allison Lane, Michael Medico, Casper Andreas

15. Longhorns(2011)

Back in 1982, a Texas University student who was curious about the male sex fantasies he had been having, decides he needs to hook up with an out gay student on campus.

Director:David Lewis | Stars:Jacob Newton, Derek Efrain Villanueva, Dylan Vox, Kevin Held

16. (1999)

A young man named Brandon Teena navigates love, life, and being transgender in rural Nebraska.

Director:Kimberly Peirce | Stars:Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard, Brendan Sexton III

17. Edge of Seventeen(1998)

A teenager copes with his sexuality on the last day of school in 1984. It shows him coping with being gay and being with friends.

Director:David Moreton | Stars:Chris Stafford, Tina Holmes, Andersen Gabrych, Stephanie McVay

18. (2011)

A gay man nearing 30, and in a 7-year relationship rut, taps into an otherworldly Internet ad that starts omnisciently controlling his life.

Director:J.C. Calciano | Stars:Houston Rhines, Noah Schuffman, Matt Lewis, Andy Anderson

20. (2004)

A close friendship between two crew teammates is tested when one slowly discovers he’s gay and attracted to the other.

Director:Marco Kreuzpaintner | Stars:Robert Stadlober, Kostja Ullmann, Miriam Morgenstern, Jürgen Tonkel

21. Latter Days(2003)

A promiscuous gay party animal falls for a young Mormon missionary, leading to crisis, cliché, and catastrophe.

Director:C. Jay Cox | Stars:Wes Ramsey, Steve Sandvoss, Mary Kay Place, Amber Benson

23. Chasing Amy(1997)

Holden and Banky are comic book artists. Everything’s going good for them until they meet Alyssa, also a comic book artist. Holden falls for her, but his hopes are crushed when he finds out she’s a lesbian.

Director:Kevin Smith | Stars:Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Ethan Suplee, Scott Mosier

26. Shelter(II) (2007)

When his college dreams are sidelined by family obligations, a young man finds comfort in surfing with his best friend’s brother.

Director:Jonah Markowitz | Stars:Trevor Wright, Brad Rowe, Tina Holmes, Jackson Wurth

Two gay guys. Coming out story. Don’t worry the older guy isn’t that old looking. 😉

27. Prayers for Bobby(2009 TV Movie)

True story of Mary Griffith, gay rights crusader, whose teenage son committed suicide due to her religious intolerance. Based on the book of the same title by Leroy Aarons.

Director:Russell Mulcahy | Stars:Sigourney Weaver, Henry Czerny, Ryan Kelley, Austin Nichols

28. (2005)

A young French-Canadian, growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, struggles to reconcile his emerging homosexuality with his father’s conservative values and his own Catholic beliefs.

Director:Jean-Marc Vallée | Stars:Michel Côté, Marc-André Grondin, Danielle Proulx, Émile Vallée

Was really boring. Nice ending though, I think can’t remember actually. Heart-felt movie

29. (2003)

The story concerns a hapless civil servant who gets more than he bargained for when he moves into an apartment with a gay fashion student and finds himself on the catwalk. The film sets out… See full summary »

Director:David Gleeson | Stars:Michael Legge, Allen Leech, Amy Shiels, David Murray

33. (1996)

A gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion agree to put up a false straight front so that their son can introduce them to his fiancée’s right-wing moralistic parents.

Director:Mike Nichols | Stars:Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest

34. Dream Boy(2008)

Chronicles the relationship between two gay teenagers in the rural south in the late ’70s.

Director:James Bolton | Stars:Stephan Bender, Thomas Jay Ryan, Diana Scarwid, Tom Gilroy

Sad and wasn’t very good. Reminded me of the mudge boy movie, but worse.

38. I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry(2007)

Two straight, single Brooklyn firefighters pretend to be a gay couple in order to receive domestic partner benefits.

Director:Dennis Dugan | Stars:Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Dan Aykroyd

40. (I) (2008)

The story of Harvey Milk and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California’s first openly gay elected official.

Director:Gus Van Sant | Stars:Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna

so not a teen movie, cuz its pretty boring, but its still a good movie. Sad Ending

41. The Kings of Summer(2013)

Three teenage friends, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land.

Director:Jordan Vogt-Roberts | Stars:Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman

Not sure if the character is gay but, still a really good movie. I’m talking right next to the movie Stand By me

46. Prayers for Bobby(2009 TV Movie)

True story of Mary Griffith, gay rights crusader, whose teenage son committed suicide due to her religious intolerance. Based on the book of the same title by Leroy Aarons.

Director:Russell Mulcahy | Stars:Sigourney Weaver, Henry Czerny, Ryan Kelley, Austin Nichols

52. Tell No One(2012)

Matthia is about to move to Madrid to be with his boyfriend Eduard, so he won’t have to reveal to the family of being gay. Eduard, however, is convinced that their marriage has the blessing… See full summary »

Director:Ivan Silvestrini | Stars:Josafat Vagni, Monica Guerritore, Francesco Montanari, Antonino Bruschetta

53. (2014 TV Movie)

A sexually awakening gay teen athlete finds himself in a budding relationship with his mutually attracted relay race teammate.

Director:Mischa Kamp | Stars:Gijs Blom, Ko Zandvliet, Jonas Smulders, Ton Kas

Haven’t seen it yet because hard to get it in America but lots of good reviews

54. (2014– )

It tells the story of three very close friends, Yoon Jung-wan (Eugene), Kim Sun-mi (Kim Yoo-mi), and Kwon Ji-hyun (Choi Jung-yoon), who are all 39 years old. They each have their own problems.

Stars:Yoo-jin Kim, Tae-woong Eom, Kim Yu-Mi, Jeong-yun Choi

A gay love story taken place in Hong Kong. It deals with homophobia in the community and family and HIV. It has a happy ending

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