With a plethora of films to choose from it is often difficult to narrow it down to just one. However, for those looking to broaden the horizon and enjoy some LGBT+ positive movies, here is a list of my personal top five favorite queer movies. I selected these movies because of the message they bring not only to those in the community, but also for the educational and entertainment purposes for those who are not. Most, if not all, of these movies are well known, but if you have never seen them, let this be the urge to do so.
- Rent (2005) Not only is this a great movie to watch, it’s also a musical, so it gets double the points from me. The film is based off of La Bohème, a play created in 1896. The movie follows a group of friends as they navigate the struggles of everyday life in New York. It does not attempt to paint any of the character’s lives in a pleasant or comfortable manner and forces the audience to sympathize with the characters regardless of the audience’s personal experiences or opinions. The film is not light on representation either. Half of the characters have aids, which is so rarely touched on in movies nowadays and is so refreshing to see that well crafted. It is a mixed cast of different races, making sure that all residents of New York are represented. As far as sexuality and gender goes, one character is trans, another is bisexual, and yet another is a lesbian. The dynamic and interactions with the characters is unique and despite the fact that the movie is a tear jerker, it is definitely worth the watch!
- Moonlight (2016) An Academy Award winning film and another emotional ride, Moonlight is a must see. This movie not only follows that of a gay man throughout all phases of his life, but also puts a high focus on the societal pressure and struggles of a gay black man growing up under problematic circumstances. Moonlight vividly shows what it is like accepting yourself as we watch Chiron and his struggle to do just that. Chiron doesn’t have it easy, and that’s an obvious theme depicted by his difficult childhood, the presence of drugs in his life, and navigating being gay and black. A lot of times ethnicity and race gets lost in translation in regards to the LGBT+ community. Moonlight’s eagerness to beautifully focus on that is influential and should be viewed by all people, regardless of sexulity, gender, or race.
- Love, Simon (2018) Initially I thought against placing this one on the list because I wanted my picks to be monumental and moving and Love, Simon seemed like just another corny teenage rom-com. Then it hit me that this is exactly why this movie matters. The LGBT+ community has a history of becoming oversexualized even though there is so much more to it than that. This ends up further creating a rift in how other people view same sex relationships. In reality, those in the community simply want to be viewed as normal. Love, Simon did just that by showing us a normal depiction of a gay boy. The movie follows the usual narrative of a PG-13 romance and it’s endearing. Watching Simon try and decipher his own love life is a hilarious and enjoyable ride. Regardless of orientation, the audience can relate and enjoy Love, Simon.
- Boys Don’t Cry (1999) Based on a true story, this movie follows the life of Brandon Teena, who is a transgender man. Similar to some of the before mentioned film, this one is not for the weak of heart and should be given a trigger warning for violence and sexual abuse. For those who can emotionally handle it, Boys Don’t Cry is not only a profound and moving story which depicts the violence and transphobia that transgender people face on a day to day basis, but also was groundbreaking and pivotal for the 90’s. Without giving too much away, any member of the community as well as allies must see this film.
- Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013) One of the better known queer movies, Blue Is the Warmest Color concludes our list. This film depicts the blossoming and growth between two women as they form a relationship. It captures what it really is like to begin to come to terms with one’s sexuality, the ever changing nature of two people in a relationship, and the heartbreak which comes along with falling in love with anyone, regardless of gender. I believe the reason this movie is so pivotal is that it gives a valid and unskewed view of the intimate life of two women in a relationship. It doesn’t attempt to change or falsify the narrative and engrosses the audience with its authenticity. It is a worthy film to be added to the list.