Although Pride Month is the designated time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, you can watch queer media any day of the year. Anytime is the perfect to catch up iconic queer film and television, a glimpse into the stories of LGBTQ characters falling in love, coming to terms with their sexual identity or simple celebrating what it means to be queer in this day and age, be it fictional or based on real moments in history. We’ve come a long way from many of the queer tropes that used to plague television and movies, and there’s a substantial amount of content championing the beauty of queer relationships, and embracing one’s gender identity.
And for the past half-century, LGBTQ+ media has made major strides, ranging from the 1985 love story, Desert Hearts, to the recent critical success of The Portrait of a Lady On Fire. The racial identities of queer characters have changed, too—look at Moonlight, which won multiple Academy awards and became the first film in history with an all-Black cast to win Best Picture. That’s just to say, there’s something for everyone who wants to celebrate the power of the LGBTQ+ community. In an effort to celebrate these films, the team at Men’s Health has put together a list of iconic LGBTQ movies currently available for streaming on major platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. And remember—even when Pride Month ends, there is still a wealth of LGBTQ cinema to explore. Enjoy these picks all year-round.
In this documentary, a gay filmmaker shows his Chinese family’s road to accepting him and his growing family in the United States. It’s both eye-opening and heartwarming—a film desperately needed right about now.
Detailing the story of a young boy whose father (newly out of prison) doesn’t accept his son’s desire to become a drag peforrmer, the film focuses on LGBTQ themes, as well as some of the diversity of Cuban culture.
Call Me By Your Name (2src17)
Based on Andre Aciman’s novel of the same name, Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer star in this Oscar award winning coming-of-age film. And who could forget the iconic scene with a certain stone fruit?
My Own Private Idaho (1991)
Brokeback Mountain (2srcsrc5)
So the film is more about the life of music icon Elton John than it is necessarily about LGBTQ themes, but it does feature the doomed romance with his manager, John Reed.
Garnering its title from LGBTQ+ icon Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem, the film explores the writer’s early life, his relationship with partner Peter Orlovsky, and how the poem “Howl” became a staple in beatnik literature.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2srcsrc1)
Comedian Tig Notaro stars in a documentary that follows her breast cancer battle while trying to start a family with her fiancée.
Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington star in one of the first mainstream Hollywood movies to tackle the subject of HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. The film was so well-received that it garnered a Best Actor Academy Award for Hanks.
Professor Marston & the Wonder Women (2src17)
Ever wondered how the Wonder Woman comics were created? Well, this movie explored the conception of the iconic female superhero, while also featuring the creator’s polyamorous relationship with two women.
A touching drama featuring a small group of notable actors, the film explores what happens when three generations within a family deal with one going through the stages of transition.
Julianne Moore and Annette Bening star in this romantic comedy as a lesbian couple whose children decide to go find their biological father, portrayed by Mark Ruffalo.
Based on the novel by E.M. Forster, Hugh Grant stars in the drama about gay relationship set in the repressed backdrop of Edwardian England.
BPM (Beats Per Minute) [2src17]
While working on his family’s farm, an Englishman has a romance with one of his father’s workers. The film intertwines heartbreak with little gems of beauty and delicacy.
Based on the Patricia Haynes novel, Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett star as two women who take a road trip to confess their feelings for each other—those that could potentially ruin their lives and marriages.
A film that comfortably sits in the Netflix teen comedy canon, the film tells the story of a high school senior, while planning on losing his virginity to his girlfriend, meets a handsome gay kid, making him question his identity.
Portrait of a Lady On Fire (2src19)
Looking: The movie (2src16)
Dee Rees (also of Mudbound fame) wrote and directed this queer coming of age film about a young Black lesbian named Alike, who works to embrace her identity, despite facing opposition from her parents.
I Love You Philip Morris (2srcsrc9)
Based on the real life story of incarcerated con man Steven Jay Russell, I Love You Philip Morris stars Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey. Russell falls in love with another inmate and after the man’s release, famously escapes from prison four times to reunite with him.
This groundbreaking documentary brought the New York ball scene to the rest of America. Legendary ballroom houses star in the film, and reveal their joys and hardships in the 198srcs.
But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)
Natasha Lyonne stars in her breakout role as a cheerleader who’s sent away to a conversion camp, where she actually learns to embrace her sexuality, rather than repress it.
How to Survive a Plague (2src12)
This harrowing documentary chronicles ACT UP and TAG’s fight for AIDS treatment in the 198srcs. Documenting mass demonstrations and various meetings within the groups, the documentary is essential viewing for anyone interested in LGBTQ+ history.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2src18)
When Cameron Post is caught with her girlfriend, she’s sent away to a conversion camp. After arriving at the camp, Cameron becomes skeptical of the camp’s ability to protect the teens sent there.
In this holiday romantic-comedy, a lesbian couple travels for the holidays to meet one partner’s parents. There’s an unfortunate twist though…one woman realizes the other isn’t out to her parents yet.
Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screens (2src2src)
Although there’s been a number of movies and television shows depicting trans characters, there’s never been a serious look at how these portrayals (often played by cisgender actors) affect the lives of trans actors, and how audiences see trans people. Netflix’s Disclosure attempts to better understand the impact of how trans people are portrayed in media.
This Brazilian coming-of-age romance centers around two teenage boys, one of whom is blind, and their budding relationship.
In this erotic thriller, a woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress. As the two become closer, they realize the men in their life seek to steal the woman’s inheritance.
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