I’ve definitely gone through phases where I’d call myself a “movie person.” Maybe even a die-hard movie connoisseur that would have a major BF (bitch fit) if anyone stepped on the toes of the films that I considered epic, brilliant, smart, amazing, or any other adjective that appears on almost all movie posters.
Yet, at other times in my life, it seems that I’m always answering friends and family in casual conversation about the latest box office hits with, “No I haven’t seen it yet.”
Regardless of my time or current interest level in film, I have always had an eye for great queer films and movies.
Here’s my Top 10 LGBTQ Movie Favorites, in no particular order:
5B is a “remarkable story of courage and compassion from the nurses and caregivers of San Francisco General’s Ward 5B” during the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. They had a simple approach to caring for patients who were often abandoned by their families and dying alone: human touch and not wearing spacesuits for protection. The first-person film footage shot in the 1980s was commissioned by Johnson and Johnson and premiered in 2019 (I attended the red carpet event). It’s available on all streaming platforms.
Brokeback Mountain, #2 on IMDB’s Best Gay Movies List, is the drama and romance that grossed over $83.04M in the box office with stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger. The story centers around two cowboys who had a forbidden and secretive relationship for years and the journey to find love.
The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love is a 1995 lesbian love story written and directed by Maria Maggenti and starring Laurel Holloman (Tina from the L Word!) Nicole Ari Parker, and Maggie Moore. It won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film–Limited Release in 1996. And it’s a good thing it won ‘cus this movie is cute and heart-warming AF.
Milk is the film based on the life of Harvey Milk, the gay rights activist and political who was also the first openly gay person elected to public office in California. The film, which starred Sean Penn and was written by Dustin Lance Black, received 8 Academy Award nominations—winning Best Screenplay and Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Dallas Buyers Club stars Matthew McConaughey playing the real-life Ron Woodroof, who, after receiving an AIDS diagnosis, simply refused to die. He created a membership club to illegally distribute life-saving medication needed by AIDS patients while everyone waited for the medical establishment to cut red tape and approve the meds.
Boys Don’t Cry is the 1999 biopic telling the story of Brandon Teena, a transgender man looking for love and acceptance in Nebraska, falling victim to a brutal hate crime. The film voices themes including the causes of violence against queer-identifying individuals and those who identify as transgender specifically. Trust me, you will most definitely cry and will likely sob at the end of this movie. Hilary Swank won an Oscar for Best Actress for her heart-wrenching portrayal of Brandon Teena.
Shortbus is John Cameron Mitchell’s 2006 cult classic, which, according to rottentomatoes.com, “follows a varied group of seven people, among them a dominatrix and a sex therapist, as they navigate between the paths of sex and love in modern-day New York City.” The movie is sexually explicit and definitely NSFW (and some audiences that may be offended) for non-simulated sexual intercourse with visible penetration and male ejaculation.
Love, Simon is the thoughtfully-done high-school drama that didn’t exist when you were a kid, unless you happened to be born in the year 2000 or later. Directed by Greg Berlanti, the film received a 92% from Rotten Tomatoes and received a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film–Wide Release and a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie–Comedy. It’s nice knowing this film is out there for all the youngins’!
The Kids Are Alright tells the story of a lesbian couple who raised two kids who were born with the help of an anonymous sperm donor. As the kids grow up, they begin to want to explore their heritage and find the donor—leading to chain reaction of events. It scores a high 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
God’s Own Country is about a young farmer in Yorkshire who regularly engages in destructive behavior until he meets a Romanian farm worker who changes everything for him. Debut Director Francis Lee is “clearly indebted to the memory of ‘Brokeback Mountain” according to The Wrap.
I hope y’all enjoy these! Now tell me: what film did I obviously miss in my list?
Josh Robbins is a spokesperson for Dating.com Group, an award-winning sexual health advocate, and author of the site imstilljosh.com. He was nominated for a GLAAD media award in 2017 and recently won the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association’s Excellence Award in the blog-ging category.