Pride Month is a celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and a proclamation of freedom to be our most unapologetic selves. It’s the month of ever-expanding rainbow representation!
Embracing the power of inclusivity, there exists a boundless love-is-love cinematic universe, where Queer Cinema emerges as a powerful and transformative force offering a platform for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer stories to shine.
Breaking free from the “Bury The Gays” trope and tragic endings in LGBTQ+ Cinema, you can watch some feel-good, emotionally rewarding movies this Pride Month.
These movie recommendations serve as a refreshing celebration of love, friendship, self-acceptance, and happiness.
Love, Simon (2018) directed by Greg Berlanti
“These last few years, it’s almost like I could feel you holding your breath — you can finally exhale, Simon. You finally get to be more you than you’ve been in a very long time.”
Who was the first person you came out to? How long did you keep your secret? 17-year-old Simon Spier and his one huge secret might help you get that extra courage to be who you are and want to be. Being in the closet and coming out is a story unique to the individual and a universally relatable experience. Love, Simon is a great coming-of-age movie that will positively comfort those who aren’t ready yet for the world to see them.
Booksmart (2019) directed by Olivia Wilde
“Who allowed you to be this beautiful?”
“Who allowed YOU to be this beautiful?”
“Who allowed you to take my breath away?”
Are you a graduating student who has consistently excelled academically? Are you the I-like-you-but-I-am-so-awkward type of gay? Molly and Amy are contemplating their strict ideals and goals in school and life as they learned on the day before their graduation that it is okay to balance hard work with some wild party(ies). A story of a strong and supportive female friendship that has significant LGBTQ+ experience with its diverse characters and different sexual orientations & gender expressions.
Anything’s Possible (2022) directed by Billy Porter
“You can say it as many times as you want to, but you are not average. You are exceptional. You are my incredibly exceptional, beautiful daughter! And what is unique about you does not make you hard to love. For anyone that is worthy of you, you are the easiest thing to love in the world.”
I AM A PROUD TRANS WOMAN. You will meet Kelsa, a high school student, already done with her coming out story and is now ready to live in the world as a confident woman. Figuring out the balance of self-expression and over-exposure in the age of the internet, she finds herself reacting to any acknowledgment of the challenges and needs of her identity. Anything’s Possible is an undeniably powerful representation of trans women, for it is through seeing ourselves mirrored on the screen that our spirits are uplifted and our voices are amplified.
Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita (2013) dir. Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo
“Alam mo nung una natakot ako sayo.”
“Kasi dahil sayo mas nakilala ko ang sarili ko. At mas alam ko na kung ano ang gusto ko.”
What (or rather who) was your sexual awakening? A 12-year-old Anita developed a budding feeling for the new woman in town. She is talking to her crush in her imagination. As she continues to get to know Pilar, she will come across the bittersweet awakening of sexuality and the whispers of a first love’s sweet nothings.
D.E.B.S (2004) dir. Angela Robinson
“And I think you should come live with me and we can be pirates. Then you won’t have to cry, or hide in the closet.”
BE GAY, DON’T DO CRIMES. D.E.B.S is a lesbian spy movie that makes little miss perfect Amy Bradshaw a hero for going missing just so she could be with her supervillain girlfriend. It’s a dreamy rom-com movie for gays and…girls. With an exceptional approach of a female gaze that defies conventions within its genre, it stands as a charming lesbian experience.
The Way He Looks (2014) dir. Daniel Ribeiro
“If you stole a kiss from someone, how would you return it?”
What are the things that belong to the gay community? For Leo and Gabriel: riding a bicycle, lunar eclipse, classical music, Belle and Sebastian indie pop band, drinking vodka inside a tent, and of course being cute. The Way He Looks tells about a blind teenager who longs for his independence and his life blossoms when the kind and friendly Gabriel arrived.
Crush (2022) dir. Sammi Cohen
“Sad lesbian music is an integral part of my personality.”
Have you ever watched a teen rom-com movie with a campy all-girls love triangle? Reimagine your high school years and childhood where everyone is out and being gay is the norm. There is no homophobia and no judgment of who you are. Let this movie be your next comfort movie.
Happy Together (1997) dir. Wong Kar-wai
“I finally understood how he could be happy running around so free. It’s because he has a place he can always return to.”
Do you have a favorite director? Wong Kar-wai's mesmerizing works in film transport audiences into a realm of poetic storytelling and profound exploration of love, longing, and the human condition. Happy Together is a story of embracing someone you know isn't right for you and still loving them, while yearning for a new connection but struggling to let go of the past. You fight and shed tears when you’re apart, but in fleeting moments, you dance together, whispering, “Let’s start over.”
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)dir. Angela Robinson
“I want you to love me for all of my days.”
Get to know the origin of Wonder Woman, one of the most popular and first female superheroes. Professor Marston draws inspiration from the extraordinary women in his life to create Wonder Woman, delving into themes of bisexuality and polyamory along the way. The three-way romance challenges societal norms around sexuality, encouraging a more open and inclusive understanding of intimate relationships for both women and men.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) dir. Jim Sharman
“It's not easy having a good time, even smiling makes my face ache!”
Wanna dance, sing, and be gay? The Rocky Horror Picture Show is an adored cult classic, filled with vibrant energy, campiness, and an enduring charm that captivates audiences. Frank-N-Furter, the cross-dressing mad scientist, created the perfect man to live up to his desires and queer interests. This musical movie will entice you to experience its magic from time to time and maybe even make you question your gender identity and/or sexual orientation.
Bonus: TV series you can watch if you are more into shows
A League of Their Own (2022-present)
Queer Eye (2018-present)
Let us remember that these films have the ability to inspire, validate, and empower individuals within the LGBTQ+ community. They offer hope and important plot device of diverse identities and love stories. Now, I invite you to share your favorite film(s) that exemplify the transformative power of representation in the world of queer cinema.