10 Best Movies With LGBTQ+ Representation

The 21st-century film industry took a significant stride toward including the LGBTQ community in mass media, and their accurate representation holds utmost importance. 

The media, coursing through various community spectrums – such as gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, or even those in their questioning phase, have come a long way.

Even though the movie industry still has a long way ahead of it, they have done an excellent job of embracing and celebrating the culture of this community.  

We have created a list of 10 best movies for you to prepare for the upcoming pride month.

While none of these movies stated below is a perfect representation of the LGBTQ community, it does give an impression of a great start by the film industry trying to be inclusive. 

Boy Erased (2018)

Image Source: FC

Director: Joel Edgerton

Genre: Biography, Drama

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube

Based on the 2016 memoir of Garrard Conley, Boy Erased revolves around Jared Eamons (a character based on Conley and played by Lucas Hedges), who confesses to his parents (Russel Crowe and Nicole Kidman) about his sexuality.

However, his father sends him to a conversion therapy assessment camp instead of showing support. But the conversion camp has dark secrets, which Jared must discover to escape.

The movie, otherwise a straightforward coming-out story, covers some intense themes, such as an individual’s sexual identity, family conflicts, the futility of conversion camps, its impact on the attendees, and suicide.

Boy Erased, just like the memoir, not only sheds light on the pseudoscientific practices of a conversion camp and how it inflicts severe pain and trauma but also influences families to challenge the camp practices effectively. 

Maurice (1987)

Image Source: IMDb

Director: James Ivory

Genre: Romance, Drama

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

Based on E.M. Forsters’ 1971 novel of the same name, Maurice is set before World War I, when homosexuality was seen as a disgrace in Britain. 

Clive (played by Hugh Grant) is a British aristocrat who professes his love for his fellow Cambridge undergraduate, Maurice.

Though initially the pursuer, Clive fears being ‘outed’ for his ‘condition’ and breaks off with Maurice, who finds it difficult to cope. However, he soon falls for another young man and wishes to be together.

What makes the movie interesting isn’t the age-long homosexuality disdain or its theme of forbidden love, but the choices Maurice makes – his choice of being a passionate lover to Clive, coping with the heartbreak and eventual decision to risk it all for Scudder

Pariah (2011)

Image Source: IMDb

Director: Dee Rees

Genre: Drama

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

A semi-autobiographical narrative, Pariah revolves around Alike (played by Adepero Oduye), a 17-year-old Black girl who discovers that she is a lesbian but is not ready to come out to her parents yet.

Her mother, Audrey (played by Kim Wayans), disapproves of her choices of sexuality and her friendship with Laura, an openly lesbian person. Instead, she tells Alike to befriend Bina, her colleague’s friend.

Alike gets attracted to Bina, but Bina refuses to take things further, which leaves Alike heartbroken. However, her father (played by Charles Parnell) supports her decision to move to California and start fresh.

Pariah deals with the raw emotions of a young lesbian and her ways of finding her true identity while burdened with social pressures.

Though the movie revolves around Alike and her sexuality, it never seems heavy-handed while approaching the topic. Instead, it prefers telling the story through Alike’s point of view – and that makes Pariah believable and insightful.

The Danish Girl (2015)

Image Source: Giornale

Director: Tom Hopper

Genre: Biography, Drama

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

Based on David Ebershoff’s novel of the same name, The Danish Girl is a fictitious story of real-life artists Einar and Gerda Wegener.

The movie revolves around Einar, the first known person to undergo sexual reassignment surgery to change into a woman – Lili Elbe.

When the person Gerda was supposed to paint did not arrive, Gerda insisted that Einar pose as the woman – this ignited a desire in Einar to transform himself into a woman.

Among the very few movies based on transgender people, The Danish Girl is a beautifully crafted movie that perfectly blends real-life incidents and fiction.

It shows Einar’s transformation into Lili, how it changed her relationship with Gerda, and how Gerda supported Lili’s choices until her death after her second surgery. 

Blue Is The Warmest Colour (2013)

Image Source: RE

Director: Abdellatif Kechike

Genre: Romance

Where To Watch: Netflix

Based on Jul Maroh’s graphic novel, Blue Is The Warmest Colour is a French movie revolving around a French teenager, Adele, and her growing desire for freedom after meeting an art student, Emma.

The movie focuses primarily on Lesbian sexuality and the affective success and failures of an erotic relationship shared by women.

However, it also briefly sheds light on the social class divisions still prevalent in society – with the help of Emma and Adele’s parents and the difference in their perception of homosexuality. 

A coming-of-age movie, Blue Is The Warmest Colour, is a significant step into the LGBT film community as it deals with more realistic problems more humanely.

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (2019)

Image Source: NY Times

Director: Celine Sciamma

Genre: Historical, Romance

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

Set against the backdrop of late 18th Century France, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire is a French movie revolving around a passionate artist, Marianne, and an aristocrat Heloise betrothed to a man. 

When commissioned to paint Heloise, Marianne finds it difficult because of Heloise’s unwillingness in this marriage.

However, when Marianne convinces her for a portrait, Heloise gives her five days to make one. Marianne falls in love with Heloise during these five days – even though she knows the story will not end happily.

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire is known to be a stirring and thought-provoking drama. It combines history, art, romance, books, and architecture into a beautiful cinematic piece.

This is a love story that feels surreal but also realistic in how it forms and eventually grows. 

Carol (2015)

Image Source: NY Times

Director: Todd Haynes

Genre: Romance, Period Drama

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price Of Salt, Carol is set in 1950s New York and tells the story of an aspiring photographer, Therese, and a single mother, Carol, and their unexpected meeting and eventual infatuation. 

The compelling and extraordinary tale is more than just a romance between two women. It is a story of love, trust, and anticipation – a feeling of fear that engulfs one when one falls for someone they should not.

Carol depicts the “loneliness” – or as the main lead, Therese likes to call it, the “aloneness” – people feel when they are not allowed to be themselves, making it more poignant.

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Image Source: NY Times

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Genre: Romance, Drama

Where To Watch: Netflix

Based on Andre Aciman’s 2007 novel of the same name, Call Me By Your Name revolves around Elio Perlman, a 17-year-old, and his apparent infatuation with Oliver, a 24-year-old college graduate, who is an assistant to Elio’s father, an archaeology professor.

Set in rural Italy in the summer of 1983, Call Me By Your Name is a coming-of-age movie that has garnered much attention, especially from the younger generation.

A lush story of first love and growing desires, the film dwells on intense topics of same-sex love, religious beliefs, and differences between American and European cultures.

The movie also received specific negative reviews on showing approval to a 7-year-old gap between the main leads – but the good outweighs the bad.

Love, Simon (2018)

Image Source: Spiegel

Director: Greg Berlanti

Genre: Romance, Comedy

Where To Watch: Netflix

Adapted from Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Love, Simon revolves around Simon Spiers, a closeted gay who is struggling to balance his high school life, his friends and family who think he is ‘straight’ while searching for the anonymous classmate he fell for, online.

When someone blackmails Simon into outing him to the school, Simon gives in and does what is asked – in a way; he ends up hurting his friends.

Love, Simon mainly focuses on Simon and his struggles of coming out to his friends and family as he is afraid of criticism.

This is a reflection of how a lot of teenagers, who are still closeted, feel about embracing themselves freely.

The movie also is a big step in the LGBT film community as it shows characters that are not being punished for being who they are but rather focusing on their journey of embracing themselves.

Moonlight (2016)

Image Source: Britannica

Director: Barry Jenkins

Genre: Coming-of-age, Drama

Where To Watch: Netflix

Based on an unreleased semi-autobiography by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight tells the story of three stages of Chiron’s life – childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood.

Chiron is a young African American struggling to find himself and his sexuality while befriending a drug dealer, Juan, and trying to be on terms with his alcoholic mother.

A groundbreaking and heartfelt drama, Moonlight explores masculinity in all ways possible and uncovers the truth of humanity – the truth that defines us as humans.

Chion’s life told through various experiences he had through his childhood and teenage years, is relatable and engaging. Though the movie will not appeal to everybody, it will leave an impression on you. 

Featured Image Source: Salon

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