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Here Are The Best LGBTQ Movies To Add A Little Rainbow To Your Watchlist

Here Are The Best LGBTQ Movies To Add A Little Rainbow To Your Watchlist

The cinematic platform has been increasingly doling out content that addresses the issues of oppression faced by the LGBTQIA+ community and the need for better representation. June is officially celebrated as Pride Month and as much as it is a cause for celebration – it is also a reminder. It is a stark reminder of the blood and sweat that the community has shed since the Stonewall Inn riots for liberation and inclusion. Moreover, with the film industry understanding the need of better representation as it chucks away misguided and one-dimensional representation – we bring to you 20 quality LGBTQ movies that represent the identity and struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community.

BEST LGBT MOVIES TO WATCH RIGHT NOW

From no representation to botched representation, the film industry is beginning to take responsibility regarding its influence in the long-drawn movement for LGBTQIA+ liberation and representation. In the form of heartfelt dramas, romance, documentaries and biographies, we are now seeing various Netflix movies as well as mainstream ones rocking the screens and hearts.

1. Moonlight – 2016

best lgbtq movies to add to your watchlist

Moonlight is the first gay film to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture and definitely is one of the best LGBTQ movies made. The story can be briefly summed up as the life and growth of a young gay black man through three significant stages of his life. Through physical and emotional hardship, Chiron Harris, explores the struggles of his identity and sexuality.

Furthermore, the film is revolutionary as it is the first LGBTQIA+ film that had an all-black cast. 

Genre: coming-of-age drama 

2. Carol – 2015

best lgbtq movies to add to your watchlist

Carol is a romantic drama film directed by Todd Haynes. The screenplay of this film was inspired by the 1952 novel “The Prince of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith. The movie follows the story of a young aspiring photographer Therese who works in a department store. The story takes a turn as she begins to develop intense feelings for an older woman, Carol who struggling through a divorce.
Moreover, this lesbian affair of love and loss in the 50s makes it one of the best LGBT movies to watch.

Genre: romance, drama 

3. Portrait of a Lady on Fire – 2019

best lgbtq movies to add to your watchlist

Set in 1770, France, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a French drama lesbian film where a painter, Marriane, is commissioned to create a portrait of Héloïse – a bride-to-be. Further on, Marianne must paint the reluctant bride-to-be discreetly by observing her every day. Thus, the events lead the film to weave a beautiful and dramatic story of a love between an aristocrat and a painter. 

Genre: romance, drama

4. Pride – 2014

Pride is a British historical comedy-drama LGBTQ movie based on true events. It outlines the significant campaign of Lesbians and Gays Support Miners that took place during the Margaret Thatcher era in the UK. The film portrays a group of gay and lesbian activists as they help raise money for the families affected by the 1984 British Miner’s strike. Moreover, the strike had influenced the government to close mines across the UK.

It is a true story that depicted the efforts of the LGBTQIA community in bringing forth a political change in the UK. 

Genre: comedy, drama, history 

5. 120 Beats Per Minute (BPM) – 2017

120 Beats Per Minute is a French drama gay film that follows a young man Nathan who joins an AIDS activist group in Paris during the 1990s. As he begins to embark on his political journey, Nathan discovers that some members are more inclined towards a radical approach to make their voices heard. It is an intense and informative portrayal of the politics of ACT UP. Furthermore, this LGBTQ movie focuses on this radical activism that coerced the government to take measures on the AIDS epidemic. 

Genre : drama

6. The Danish Girl – 2015

best lgbtq movies to add to your watchlist

The Danish Girl is a 2015 biographical LGBTQ movie based on the lives of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. The film takes you around 1920s Denmark into the lives and love of a married couple. It starts when the artist Gerda Wegener asks her husband, Einar to pose as a female model for her painting. However, things take a turn when this soft act ignites the hidden identification within Einar.
Moreover, the movie also takes us through the earliest sex reassignment surgery and living the life of a trans woman.

Genre: biography, romance, drama

7. Colette – 2018

Colette is a drama film that depicts the life of renowned French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. The movie takes us through the journey as she struggles to obtain creative ownership of the semi-autobiographical novel she penned as a ghostwriter for her husband. The film is a powerful film about this pansexual bohemian feminist as she attempts to break free of the chains imposed by the early 20th century norms.

Genre: drama, history 

8. Tangerine – 2015

best lgbtq movies to add to your watchlist

Tangerine is a comedy-drama film that depicts the beautiful friendship between two trans woman and the hardships they face in the line of work as sex workers. Sin-Dee Rella finds out that her boyfriend/pimp was cheating on her while she was in jail. Thereon, she sets out along with her friend Alexandra in an attempt to teach him and his lover a lesson.

Tangerine has been praised for its authentic portrayal of the transgender lives and their struggles. Definitely one of the best LGBT movies to add your list!

Genre: comedy, drama

9. A Single Man – 2009

A Single Man is a film adaptation of the novel of the same title by Christopher Isherwood. The story follows George who wishes to commit suicide after his partner of 16 years passes away in an accident. The narrative of the film weaves together his chance meetings with students, colleagues, and his best friend Charley that help him decide on the very last day.  

Genre: drama

10. God’s Own Country – 2017

best lgbtq movies to add to your watchlist

God’s Own Country is a British drama LGBTQ film that portrays the life of a young sheep farmer. He ebbs his frustrations through drinking and casual sex until his encounter with a Romanian migrant worker that sets him on a new path. Moreover, the film received praises for its impactful portrayal and gripping story. Hence, one of the best LGBT movie watches out there.

Genre: romance, drama 

11. The Handmaiden – 2016

best lgbtq movies to add to your watchlist

The Handmaiden is a South Korean erotic psychological thriller film where Count Fujiwara, a Korean con man, seeks the aid of an orphaned pickpocket, Sook-Hee. He makes a devious and detailed plan for seducing and swindling Lady Hideko out of her bountiful inheritance. One of the best LGBT movies, it is a brilliant thriller that offers an interesting and erotic character study of its protagonists. 

Genre: romance, drama

12. Appropriate Behaviour – 2015 

Appropriate Behaviour is a British comedy film set in New York and follows the life of Shirin, a covertly bisexual woman hailing from a traditional Persian family. Moreover, the LGBTQ movie signifies Shirin’s struggles of understanding her identity and dealing with the fall out with her girlfriend. 

Genre: comedy 

13. Blue is the Warmest Colour – 2013 

Blue is the Warmest Colour is a French film that outlines the relationship between a French teen, Adele and an older art student, Emma. The movie takes you through a highly emotional and sexually charged dynamic between the two after meeting at a lesbian bar.

Further on, the film charts out Adele’s life through several stages as she explores the realm of desire and freedom. 

Genre: romance, drama 

14. Happy Together – 1997 

best lgbtq movies to add to your watchlist

Happy Together is a Hong Kong romance LGBTQ movie which narrates the turbulent romance between Lai and his boyfriend, Ho as it threatens to turn abusive and toxic. Moreover, the film is a beautiful depiction of the two leads as they begin to find themselves quite lonely and far from home as they set on their own journey. 

Genre: romance 

15. Call Me By Your Name – 2017 

Call Me By Your Name is a coming-of-age romance film adaptation of the novel with the same title by André Aciman. Set in 1983 northern Italy, the film focuses on the passionate romance between 17-year-old, Elio Perlman and his father’s graduate-student assistant, Oliver. One of the best LGBT movies, it eloquently puts forth the passion and fragility of first love and heartbreak. 

Genre: coming-of-age, romance, drama 

16. Can You Ever Forgive Me? – 2018

best lgbtq movies to add to your watchlist

Can You Ever Forgive Me is an American biographical LGBTQ movie based on the confessional memoir by Lee Israel. The story, based on true events, focuses on former celebrity biographer Lee Israel as she decides to shift her creative talents to deception aided by her friend Jack after failing to get any work published. The film widens the horizon of representation by depicting a strong friendship between a lesbian woman and a gay man. 

Genre: crime, drama 

17. Circumstance – 2011

best lgbtq movies to add to your watchlist

Circumstance is a French-Iranian-American film that depicts homosexuality in modern Iran. The story centres on Atafeh, a wealthy Iranian teen, who experiments with drugs, sex, and drinking along with her best friend, Shireen. Islamic fundamentalism enamours her brother, Atafeh and Shireen become the subject of his voyeuristic tendencies.

Moreover, despite the excessive sensationalism in the film, it is a bold depiction of women in the Islamic State. 

Genre: drama 

18. The Miseducation of Cameron Post – 2018

best lgbtq movies to add to your watchlist

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a British-American film set in 1993. Cameron Post is sent to a treatment centre after getting caught with the prom Queen in the backseat of a car. Moreover, as the centre subjects her through problematic gay conversion therapies, she becomes allies with fellow patients. They together strive to be released by “going along” with the process. 

Genre: romance, drama

19. Alex Strangelove – 2018 

Alex Strangelove is an American romantic comedy Netflix film. This LGBTQ movie follows the aforementioned high school senior who finally decides to lose his virginity to his girlfriend. Things go awry when he bumps into a charming gay kid from the other side of the tracks who triggers a self-discovery of his sexuality. 

Genre: comedy, romance 

20. Love, Simon – 2018

Love, Simon is an American romantic comedy film. It follows a closeted homosexual teenager, Simon Spier, as he navigates through the dramatic journey of self-acceptance when a blackmailer threatens to reveal his secret. The film is a warm-hearted yet significant film that focuses on identity struggle and self-acceptance that will resonate with the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Genre: romance, drama, comedy

 

SPECIAL MENTION

Brokeback Mountain – 2005
American Drama film

Margarita With A Straw – 2014
Indian Drama film

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