The vast majority of movies show heterosexual couples, in stereotypically heterosexual relationships. But of course, not all relationships look like this — not by a landslide. Luckily, there are more and more movies depicting queer people every day.
Want to broaden your horizons? Consider these 16 queer movies the next time you sit down on the couch with some popcorn. You’re sure to find several in your preferred genre, whether you like musicals or psychological thrillers — or something in between.
It’s a true classic — everybody should watch it at least once.
This musical drama/comedy follows the lives of New Yorkers during the AIDS epidemic of the 1990s.
It will make you laugh and cry!
2. Saving Face
In addition to exploring queer identity, this movie also probes cultural differences.
It follows a woman who doesn’t feel comfortable coming out as a lesbian to her conservative family, only to later learn that they, too, have skeletons in their closets.
This film follows two transgender sex workers as they seek to get revenge on woman’s boyfriend after learning he cheated on her.
Fun fact: This entire film was shot on an iPhone!
4. Get Real
It’s a classic coming-of-age storyline that follows a gay teenager in England who grapples with his sexuality, as well as coming out to the world.
The film follows the struggles of a gay black woman, who, at age 17, decides to embrace her identity as a lesbian.
It’s emotional, funny and raw, all at the same time.
6. Prayers for Bobby
In addition to sexuality and identity, this movie tackles religion, too.
This movie is based on a book by Leroy F. Aarons, which details the suicide of a young gay man caused, in part, by his mother’s homophobia.
It closely follows the real-life story of Bobby Griffith, who died by suicide in 1983.
7. Brokeback Mountain
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as gay cowboys, this classic movie explores love in the face of extreme challenges and strict social norms among ranchers.
8. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
It’s funny and catchy all at the same time.
This iconic musical follows a pair of naive sweethearts as they encounter a quirky and eye-opening cast of characters.
9. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
The film follows two women as they fall in love.
Set in 1770s France, it explores the rigid gender norms of the time through the eyes of a painter and a young woman who is about to get married.
10. God’s Own Country
The film tackles questions around sexual identity as two young men — a migrant worker and a young farmer — explore their passions together in both rough and tender encounters.
Which stars Trevante Rhodes and Naomie Harris.
The story is told in three parts, spread across a Black gay man’s lifespan. In addition to sexuality, this movie also explores race and culture at the same time.
A movie adapted from the novel “The Price of Salt.”
It stars Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett as two women exploring their sexuality in 1950s Manhattan.
13. The Handmaiden
Which was adapted from the novel “Fingersmith.”
This one is more of a psychological thriller than anything, but it also tackles the fluid sexual identities and relationship between two women.
14. The Queen
A documentary that explores the drag scene of New York City in the late 1960s. The filmmakers followed participants in drag competing in the 1967 Miss All-America Beauty Contest. It’s a fascinating inside look into this niche world and time period.
15. Head On
A film that explores gender roles in a span of just 24 hours.
It follows a 19-year-old man who comes to terms with his sexuality, as well as his Greek heritage.
Adapted from Christopher Isherwood’s writings and based on the 1966 Broadway musical, the film hold the distinction of winning the most Academy Awards of ANY film, while NOT being even nominated for Best Picture. It won the Academy Awards for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound, Best Original Song Score and Adaptation, and Best Film Editing. Definitely a must see!
Bookmark this list so that the next time you sit down to watch a movie, you’ve got some inspiration. Know of a great queer movie that we missed and forgot to put on this list?
Let us know in the comments!
We’d love to hear from you!