LGBTQ+ Rom Coms Are the (Really) Hidden Genre You Need to Start Watching

Throughout cinematic history, queer perspectives have often been limited to supporting roles with minimal character development.

Although LGBTQ+ film representation has expanded in recent years, queer movies are more likely to tackle serious subjects and have rarely been lighthearted. In fact, audiences created a “Bury Your Gays” trope highlighting how queer characters are more likely to be killed off compared to their straight counterparts. Romantic comedies, known for their fun plots and happy endings, highlight the lives of heterosexual couples and often do not focus on the relationships of LGBTQ+ people.

Instead of watching films that limit queer perspectives, here are some amazing romantic comedies with queer leads.

  1. Hearts Beat Loud stars a father-daughter duo who are both starting new chapters in their lives. Sam (Kiersey Clemons) is about to begin college across the country while her father Frank (Nick Offerman) is preparing to close down his record shop. After a song Sam and Frank created during one of their jam sessions becomes a viral hit, Frank encourages Sam to continue expressing herself through music.

    The relationship between Sam and her partner Rose (Sasha Lane) is absolutely delightful. After bonding over their love of art and music, the two quickly enter a passionate and sweet summer romance. From bonding over the music of Mitski to supporting each other’s dreams, their lighthearted relationship as two queer women of color is groundbreaking in our media. 

  2. The movie follows Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), a closeted high-school senior who begins an email correspondence with fellow closeted student, Blue. Throughout Love, Simon, the titular character navigates coming out to his friends and family, while also coming to terms with his own identity. From ferris wheel kisses and rowdy Halloween parties to a particularly moving scene with Simon’s mother (Jennifer Garner), the movie expertly weaves the highs and lows of growing up.

    The film was based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda written by Becky Albertalli. A new television series, Love, Victor, set in the same world as Love, Simon, will premiere on Hulu on June 19.

  3. The Feels is a story about an engaged couple, Andi (Constance Wu) and Lu (Angela Trimbur), celebrating their joint lesbian bachelorette party. However, drama quickly ensues when Lu admits that she has never had an orgasm which surprises everyone, especially Andi.

    The thing that makes The Feels so special is its authenticity. The film’s use of improvised dialogue allows characters to openly express themselves and highlights their flaws, making the characters extremely relatable. The film gives representation to queer women and features strong representation: 80% of the cast and 68% of the crew identified as women. The Feels is a film that is witty, has a fantastic supporting cast, and is definitely a must-watch.

  4. This film depicts Sam (Jake Borelli) and Harry (Niko Terho), former high school classmates who reconnect on a road trip back to their hometown. The Thing About Harry is a classic rom-com, full of longing glances and will-they-or-won't-they moments.

    However, the movie gives such needed visibility to queer dating and relationships. While young-adult queer love stories often focus on the lead’s complex journey coming out of the closet, this film features two men well-established in their identities who explore a nuanced relationship. Further, the narrative gives representation to the pansexual community through Harry’s canonical identification as pan.

The future of LGBTQ+ romantic comedies is looking bright. Kristen Stewart will be starring in the romantic comedy Happiest Season set to come out later this year, and Billy Eichner revealed in 2019 that he will be starring in a romantic comedy about two men with commitment issues beginning a new relationship.

Although much more work needs to be done to feature the vast diversity of the LGBTQ+ community on the big screen, it is definitely exciting to see progress in representing these stories for the next generation of moviegoers.