Femke Lippens

11 Jun 2020
Film & TV

10 LGBTQ+ Movies To Watch During Pride Month

While we sadly can’t go parade around the city, we can still celebrate Pride Month by throwing a big LGBTQ+ movie marathon. We even made a whole list for you!

1. Paris Is Burning (1990)

This 1990 documentary by Jennie Livingston educated the world about drag culture and provided an eye-opening look into the lives of queer and trans people of color in the 80s.

Part of its success is due to the popularity of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Apparently, host RuPaul requires all contestants to watch the documentary before filming. The film was even selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry for being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.

2. But I’m a cheerleader (1999)

When Megan’s parents have suspicions that their daughter might be a lesbian, they stage an intervention for her to be reprogrammed. Megan (Natasha Lyonne) denies the accusations as she is a cheerleader and cheerleaders would never be gay, right? She is sent to True Directions, which is basically a conversion camp, where she is encouraged by Mike (RuPaul Charles!), the reprogrammer, to seek the path to heterosexuality. The gay boys are forced to chop wood, fix cars, and play football, while the girls train their domestic skills.

Although conversion camps are not a joke, the movie criticizes their existence in a light and comedic way and Lyonne’s performance is terrific.

3. The Way He Looks/Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (2014)

In 2013, a Brazilian coming-of-age short film (originally called: I Don’t Wanna Go Back Alone/Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho) went viral on Tumblr and grabbed the attention of many young viewers.

It follows Leonardo (Ghilherme Lobo), a blind teenager who feels overprotected by his environment. He dreams of an independent life and plans his escape from the grip of his mother and best friend. That all changes when a new classmate, Gabriel (Fabio Audi), shows up in his life.

Fans were so obsessed with the story that in 2014, it got turned into a fantastic full-length film with the same actors reprising their roles. The Way He Looks is a perfect queer movie about disability and a definite must-watch.

4. Moonlight (2016)

One of the best LGBTQ+ movies is La La L- uhm — Moonlight (the joke never gets old). This Oscar-winning film was adapted from a play and follows the life of a black man throughout different stages of his life. The movie is divided into chapters named after his different identities: Little (Alex Hibbert), Shiron (Ashton Sanders), and Black (Trevante Rhodes). Moonlight provides a vulnerable and artistic take on black gay identity, which is something that isn’t being portrayed much in films yet. Even more exceptional, it was the first film with an entirely black cast and the first with a homosexual main character to win the Oscar for Best Picture!

5. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Of course, we couldn’t ignore the wet dream of all film maniacs, Call Me By Your Name. It’s set in 1980s Italy and follows 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) who falls in love with his father’s research assistant, Oliver (Armie Hammer). Although some feel a bit uncomfortable about the age-difference (Oliver is 24), this coming-of-age film, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman, is a beautiful story about first love and heartbreak.

6. Girl (2018)

We’re very proud to add this stunning Belgian movie onto our list. Girl is about teenager Lara (Victor Polster), who until only recently went through life as a boy. The young girl has the goal of becoming a ballet dancer. She is allowed a trial period at a prestigious ballet school, while at the same time starting a heavy hormone treatment. The movie shows that transitioning isn’t a trouble-free experience and can be very hard on a trans person both mentally and physically. This film is director Lukas Dhont’s first feature and even came close to an Oscar nomination.

7. Maurice (1987)

This period drama often gets left out of the LGBTQ+ movie lists. Many call Maurice ahead of its time, and therefore sadly forgotten, as the movie was released in the late ’80s. The movie follows Maurice (James Wilby), a man struggling with his sexual identity right before World War I. He meets two men Clive (Hugh Grant) and Alec (Graves) who help him along the path to self-acceptance through the dangerous political climate of that time.

8. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

A comment underneath the trailer for this French film says, in all caps: “I AM NOT THE SAME WOMAN AFTER WATCHING THIS FILM MAGNIFIQUE OUI OUI BAGUETTE,” and honestly, we couldn’t agree more. Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (originally called: Portrait De La Jeune Fille En Feu) is, once again, a period drama set in France in 1760 about a young woman Marianne (Noémie Merlant) who is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel). Because she is hesitant to get married, Marianne pretends to just be a friend, while secretly observing Héloïse for her painting. While spending all their time together, intimacy grows, and the audience grows interested.

9. Love, Simon (2018)

With an upcoming show set in the same universe (Love, Victor) Love, Simon has been getting some attention again. Although the movie may not be as good as it could have been (the book was way better according to our literature-obsessed intern), we still recognize the importance of Love, Simon. Queer stories in films are usually filled with pain, while this young adult coming-of-age film gives the viewers a normal happy ending, proving that not all queer movies should break our hearts like Call Me By Your Name.

10. Pride (2014)

This British movie makes you want to jump up and cheer. Pride is based on a true story set in 1984. Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike. A group of gay and lesbian activists decide to raise money to support the strikers’ families. However, they have trouble donating the money because they don’t accept money from homosexuals. Although the subject of the film may be harsh, Pride is a lovely feelgood film filled with comedy.

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