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Celebrate Pride Through Cinema : The Best LGBTQ+ Movies to Watch

The Best LGBTQ+ Movies to Watch

The Best LGBTQ+ Movies to Watch


Pride is a time to celebrate love, acceptance, and equality in all its forms. One powerful way to do this is through cinema. Movies have the power to touch our hearts, challenge our thinking, and inspire change. In this article, we will explore the history of LGBTQ+ cinema, then recommend some of the best films to watch that represent the LGBTQ+ community. So grab your popcorn, and let’s dive in !

The History of LGBTQ+ Cinema

The Early Days

LGBTQ+ cinema has a long and storied history, dating back to the early days of silent films. However, it was not until the 1960s and 1970s that these movies began to find a wider audience. Films like “The Boys in the Band” (1970) and “Cabaret” (1972) were groundbreaking for their time, offering a rare glimpse into the lives of LGBTQ+ characters.

The New Queer Cinema

The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the emergence of a new wave of LGBTQ+ films, dubbed the “New Queer Cinema.” This movement included films like “Poison” (1991) and “My Own Private Idaho” (1991), which pushed the boundaries of storytelling and representation.

Mainstream Acceptance

Over time, LGBTQ+ cinema has gained mainstream acceptance, with films like “Philadelphia” (1993) and “Brokeback Mountain” (2005) garnering critical acclaim and commercial success. Today, LGBTQ+ films are more diverse and representative than ever before.

The Classics

Brokeback Mountain

“Brokeback Mountain” is a heart-wrenching love story about two cowboys, played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, who share a forbidden love affair. Directed by Ang Lee, this film brought LGBTQ+ cinema to the mainstream and remains a powerful testament to the power of love.

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Paris is Burning

“Paris is Burning” is a documentary that explores the ball culture of New York City in the 1980s. This groundbreaking film offers a candid look into the lives of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly people of color, and the challenges they faced during this era.


“Milk” tells the true story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California. Played by Sean Penn, Milk’s activism and eventual assassination are portrayed in this inspiring biopic.

Contemporary Must-Watches

Call Me By Your Name

“Call Me By Your Name” is a coming-of -age story set in 1980s Italy, centered around the blossoming romance between Elio, played by Timothée Chalamet, and Oliver, played by Armie Hammer. The film’s beautiful cinematography and heartfelt performances make it a must-watch.


“Moonlight” is a critically acclaimed film that tells the story of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami, as he struggles with his identity and sexuality. The film is notable for its unique narrative structure and stunning visuals, as well as its exploration of the intersectionality of race, sexuality, and identity.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” is a French film set in the 18th century, focusing on the relationship between a painter, Marianne, and her subject, Héloïse. The film is a beautiful and intimate exploration of love, art, and the complexities of the female gaze.

Also read : LGBT representation in film and media

LGBTQ+ Documentaries

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” is a documentary that investigates the mysterious death of Marsha P. Johnson, a prominent transgender activist and figure in the Stonewall Riots. The film delves into her life and the struggles she faced, as well as the continued fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

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Kumu Hina

“Kumu Hina” is a documentary that follows Hina Wong-Kalu, a transgender native Hawaiian teacher and cultural icon, as she mentors a young girl who aspires to lead her school’s all-male hula group. The film explores the unique Hawaiian concept of “mahu,” which refers to individuals who embody both male and female qualities.


“Gay USA” is a documentary that captures the spirit of the first-ever National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979. The film offers a snapshot of the LGBTQ+ rights movement at a pivotal moment in history.


Inclusive Animated Features

Steven Universe: The Movie

“Steven Universe: The Movie” is an animated feature based on the popular Cartoon Network series, “Steven Universe.” The show and movie are celebrated for their inclusivity, representation of LGBTQ+ characters, and exploration of themes such as love, family, and acceptance.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

“The Mitchells vs. the Machines” is an animated film that follows the adventures of a quirky family as they try to save the world from a robot uprising. The movie features a strong, independent LGBTQ+ character and offers a heartwarming message about the importance of family and acceptance.

From groundbreaking documentaries to heartwarming animated features, there’s no shortage of fantastic LGBTQ+ films to enjoy. These movies not only entertain but also challenge our perspectives and foster understanding and empathy. So this Pride Month, celebrate love and diversity by exploring these remarkable films.

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