Hello, sweethearts, it’s great to meet you again!
We are wrapping up June already but have you guys recently observed something new? Let me give you a hint, it’s a celebration/protest for individualism and inclusivity. Allow me to offer you another hint, this occurs every year in June. You’re absolutely correct! The internet is brimming with rainbow love and vivid hues. Well, why shouldn’t it be? It was the month of PRIDE after all!!
And because y’all at home right now, pining for the pandemic situation to improve, we thought of doing something special to make your Pride Month memorable. So, here we are! We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of LGBTQ+ films that you can binge-watch during the entire month of June and keep your *Pride spirits* high. You just need to watch these, trust us they’re amazing!
We’ve taken a center stage now. Let us know what you’ve seen and what you haven’t, what you liked and disliked, and if there’s anything we’re missing…
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert features drag queens Anthony (Hugo Weaving) and Adam (Guy Pearce), as well as transsexual woman Bernadette (Terrence Stamp), as they drive across the Australian desert on Priscilla, a lavender tour bus, to perform a drag show in Alice Springs. They face a variety of challenges along the way, including homophobic abuse, violence, and, of course, other drag-related hijinks. At the time of its debut, the Australian comedy film was praised for bringing LGBTQ+ issues to a wider audience. The plot has now been adapted into a musical, which has toured Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a French adolescent, falls in love with Emma (Léa Seydoux), a blue-haired art student, after meeting in a homosexual club. From Adèle’s high school years to her adult life as a schoolteacher, the romantic drama follows their love. Based on Jul Maroh’s 2010 graphic novel of the same name, Blue is the Warmest Color, gained worldwide critical acclaim and nominations. It also won the FIPRESCI Prize and the Palme d’Or from the official jury, making it the only film in history to win the Palme d’Or for both the director and the lead actresses.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee’s acclaimed same-sex romance, stars Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger as cowboy lovers Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist in the 1960s American West. When it was released in 2005, the picture was a critical and economic triumph, winning three Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as additional acting nods for Ledger, Williams, and Gyllenhaal. The film was famously beaten out for Best Picture by Paul Haggis’ drama Crash, which is widely regarded as one of the worst Oscar judgments ever. Despite this, Brokeback Mountain is often considered a watershed moment in the mainstream cinematic representation of LGBTQ+ storylines.
Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Call Me By Your Name has become one of the most popular homosexual romances of all time in just four years. The themes of first love and heartbreak and filmmaker Luca Guadagnino’s dreamy and idyllic setting have inspired such intense and passionate feelings in audiences all over the world. The film, which is based on André Aciman’s 2007 novel of the same name, is set in 1983 in Northern Italy and follows the developing romance between 17-year-old Elio Perlman (Timothee Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Harmer), a 24-year-old graduate assistant to Elio’s father (Michael Stuhlbarg). Call Me By Your Name received numerous honors, including four Academy Award nominations and a win for Best Adapted Screenplay.
But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)
The star of Orange Is the New Black, Megan Bloomfield, a popular high school cheerleader who is sent to conversion treatment camp after her parents discover her lesbianism, is played by Natasha Lyonne. The film got mixed reviews upon its initial release due to its stereotyped representation of homosexual men and women and parallels to John Waters films, but subsequent reassessments have praised Waters’ influence and the film’s purposely satirical and campy themes. In the LGBTQ+ community, it has since established a cult following, particularly among queer women.
This pioneering queer coming-of-age story follows the life of Chiron (Trevante Rhodes), a disillusioned African-American man, through three crucial chapters in his life. Little portrays a little nine-year-old Chiron as he grows up in a difficult Miami neighborhood with a drug addict mother; Chiron depicts his uncomfortable and terrible adolescent years, including bullying at school; and finally Black depicts how he has matured as an adult and internalized his sexuality. Three Oscars were given to the film in 2017 for its brilliance. It’s an emotional rollercoaster for anyone watching, but especially for those who have struggled to accept themselves as they are. Above all, it provided a rare opportunity for black homosexual men to see themselves mirrored on film.
Carol is a film starring Cate Blanchett that is set in the 1950s and stars Cate Blanchett as an older woman going through a traumatic divorce who has an affair with an ambitious female photographer (Rooney Mara). It’s awful to watch the effects of homophobia and a jealous soon-to-be-ex-husband on their relationship, and if nothing else, the pure melodrama of it all will make you sad. After making audiences cry for the majority of the film with its beautiful depiction of queer heartbreak, wistful cinematography, and evocative soundtrack, the final shot indicates that there is still hope for the title character’s romance, helping to debunk the myth that all queer stories end in tragedy. We dare you to name a film that is more stunning than Carol.
A Fantastic Woman (2017)
A Fantastic Woman, a Chilean drama, won Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, and rightfully so. Marina, a young trans woman played brilliantly by Daniela Vega, is working as a singer and waiter in Santiago when her older boyfriend Orlando (Francisco Reyes) dies suddenly. The events that follow illustrate the difficulties of being a trans woman in a traditional society, as Marina is investigated by detectives, loses her home and favorite dog, and is subjected to transphobia and abuse by Orlando’s family. The film promoted trans awareness and was used by LGBTQ+ activists in Chile to help push through a gender identity bill, which was eventually adopted by the government in 2018, allowing trans persons to amend their name and gender identification on official papers.
Love, Simon (2018)
Love, Simon was a watershed moment in queer movie history, having been marketed as the first big studio romantic comedy with two gay lead characters and a same-sex love plotline. Not only was it the first time LGBTQ+ individuals saw themselves adequately depicted in such a prominent genre, but it also proved that gay stories can be profitable, dispelling any myths that had previously claimed otherwise. The film follows Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), a closeted gay high schooler who fights to balance his friends and family and the blackmailer threatening to reveal him to the entire school, based on Becky Albertalli’s great novel Simon vs. The Homo Sapien Agenda. Combined with outstanding performances from a diverse and skilled ensemble (that sequence with Jennifer Garner’s monologue gets us every time), the film is a must-see.
This feel-good story of a community – based on true events and starring an all-star cast – will leave you weeping with pride, even if it isn’t a classic tear-jerker. Lesbian and gay activists band together to raise funds for families impacted by the British miners’ strike of 1984, resulting in the hugely successful Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign. It was a driving force behind the advancement of LGBTQ+ issues in the United Kingdom. The film, which stars Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy, and Andrew Scott among other British heavyweights, is a must-see for anyone who is from the LGBTQ+ community or simply interested in queer British history.
A decade ago, compiling a list like this would have been… somewhat difficult. However, representation for the LGBTQ+ community on the big screen has increased dramatically over the years, with countless high-profile productions boasting A-List talent, box office success, and prizes at prominent awards ceremonies such as the Oscars and Golden Globes. While true representation is still lacking, with heterosexual actors playing roles that could have showcased the talents of a struggling slash-rising LGBTQ+ entertainer, it’s vital to acknowledge the progress achieved in cinema with a more diverse and inclusive narrative. Gone are the days when LGBTQ+ characters were relegated to the role of sidekick, a clichéd depiction of a queer person who only appeared for comedic effect.