Welcome back for Part 3, where we’ll explore three movies featuring wholesome and heartfelt LGBTQ+ visibility from the 2010s. If you plan to follow this list and watch them yourself, buckle up and consider grabbing a fuzzy blanket and some tissues!
This 2018 tug on the heartstrings opens up with an introduction into the teenage life of Simon Spier, where we follow the spark and growth of a sweet love story, Simon’s coming out story, and the big ferris wheel kiss at the end. Throughout the movie, we ride along as Simon begins an email conversation with the elusive “Blue,” then comes out to his best friend and later his parents, and eventually figuring out that his penpal and confidant is actually one of his buddies from school. Despite throwing in themes of petty blackmail from a classmate and some failed misguided influence on friends, the overarching themes of acceptance, unconditional love from family and friends, and the power of similar experiences span from the movie’s beginning to end. A genuine tear-jerker, Love, Simon provided a stage for coming out stories across the world while uniting allies with the LGBTQ+ community in an unfeigned wave of support.
Perks Of Being A Wallflower
In the 2012 adaptation of a book by the same name, this coming of age journey allows viewers to tune into the life of high school freshman Charlie Kelmeckis. We’re clued into his trauma and struggles while simultaneously graced with getting to witness his growth while surrounded by his “misfit” friends. Though Charlie himself isn’t where we get a dose of LGBTQ+ visibility, he plays a part in the theme of accepting and defending the friends you hold near and dear to your heart. Interwoven through Charlie’s story, we see his friend Patrick go through a painful rejection by his closeted football star lover. When a lunchroom confrontation escalates, Patrick is relentlessly beaten by his now ex-lover’s teammates until the introverted Charlie jumps in and takes the jocks to the ground with no regard for his safety. Throughout the storyline, we see Patrick embrace his identity around his friends, with complete love and acceptance by those close to him. That love and support transcended the theme of living one’s truth when a fractured friend group came back together to support one of their own through his battle of confronting his past. With the expert portrayal of real-life struggles, it’s easy to guess this film may have debuted a year or two ago, but the reality that this masterpiece was produced just after the turn of a new decade is astounding.
Inspired by a Lambda Literary Award recipient and openly gay author’s work of the same name, this story explores beyond a demographic’s bounds like sexuality or race. The film follows your everyday teenage girl and her romance with the mysterious “A,” who walks through life in a different body each and every day. Though confused at first, Rhiannon learns that her love for “A” is not bound by a body, a race, or a gender, but that her connection is with the heart and mind of “A,” regardless of each day’s body. The heartwarming concept of ‘love has no bounds’ rings true in this tale of unconditional adoration. Though unlike any other film of its time, Every Day draws applause and tears from viewers of all walks of life, uniting fans under an umbrella of playfulness, joy, and acceptance.
As we wrap up my three-part series on LGBTQ+ visibility of the last decade, I encourage you to branch out from your routine shows and movies, to have the important and compassionate conversations, and help spread love where love is so critically needed. To stream these three emotionally charged films, head over to Spectrum OnDemand or FXNow for Love, Simon, Netflix for Perk Of Being A Wallflower, and Hulu for Every Day.