24 Best LGBTQ+ Films — All the Queer Movies You Need to Watch

When it comes to accurately representing members of the LGBTQ+ community in media, the film industry as a whole still has a looooong way to go. But thankfully, there are a number of movies that do a really great job of celebrating the life and culture of the community. These movies all share super important stories that need to be told from the LGBTQ+ perspective, from the coming-of-age experience, to exploring sexuality and gender identity, to falling in love and the pain of heartbreak. Representation matters, ya’ll! And having all of these stories that anyone can relate to but told with queer voices is a big part of making sure the film industry is on its way to becoming more inclusive.

These queer films, in no particular order, are some of the best that have premiered over the decades. Each story offers different insights into the LGBTQ+ community. And to be clear, none of these movies are perfect representations, but they’re a start, and the best part of all is that you can stream them all right this very second. So pop the popcorn, pour the wine, and smash that play button, ’cause you’ve got some serious watching to do.


The Boys in the Band (2020)

Not only is this movie SO good, but the cast are all openly gay actors too, including stars like Jim Parsons and Zachary Quinto. It takes place during a birthday party in Manhattan in 1968 where a surprise guest turns the whole evening upside down.



The Danish Girl (2015)

This movie is based on the very real story of Danish artist Lili Elbe, who underwent one of the first-ever transition operations. Eddie Redmayne does an amazing job playing Lili as she transitions from her life as Einar Wegener grappling with her gender identity to the self-assured Lili who underwent an (at the time) experimental surgery to try to outwardly become the person she really was.



Carol (2015)

Picture this: it’s New York City in the 1950s and there’s a hot, forbidden love affair between an older woman going through a divorce and an aspiring female photographer. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are phenomenal as the leads in this movie.



Love, Simon (2018)

Get ready to feel all the feels with this movie. Simon is a 17-year-old closeted high school student who has totally fallen in love with an anonymous classmate online, which is great, but at the same time, a blackmailer is threatening to out him to the entire school.



Happiest Season (2020)

If you’re a sucker for a good Christmas movie, then this is the one to watch. Kristin Stewart plays Abby, who’s ready to propose to her girlfriend who also just invited Abby to come to her parents’ house for Christmas. Which seems great until Abby gets there and realizes her girlfriend hasn’t come out to her family yet.



Moonlight (2016)

This film won Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards for a reason. Moonlight (2016) is a coming-of-age movie that shows the struggles of African-American men grappling with their sexuality. The movie focuses on the life of Chiron (Ashton Sanders) and his journey as a Black man growing up in Miami.



Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Seventeen-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) is bothered by his father’s doctorate student intern Oliver (Armie Hammer), but he just can’t exactly figure out why…until he does. The rest of his 1983 summer in the Italian countryside becomes a romantic adventure he’ll remember for the rest of his life.



Paris Is Burning (1990)

This film is the LGBTQ+ essential that explores the “house” culture in late ’80s to early ’90s New York. Paris Is Burning has become mandatory viewing, especially for drag queens and people in the ball culture.



Boy Erased (2018)

Based on a true story, the movie follows Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges), the son of a pastor, who is forced into a conversion therapy program. And while his family expects him to come out “cured,” he emerges with a renewed sense of self and finds his voice.



Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

The film follows the love story between young and rebellious Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and blue-haired philosophy enthusiast Emma (Léa Seydoux). It mainly follows Adèle as she explores her sexuality, finds love, loses herself, picks herself back up, and ultimately grows as a person.



Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

Hedwig (John Cameron Mitchell) is a trans punk-rock artist from East Berlin who has suffered from a failed operation and many heartbreaks. But despite everything she’s been through—physically and emotionally—she continues to passionately work on her music. The movie follows her as she searches for stardom and love.



Booksmart (2019)

Best friends Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) are academic overachievers who have spent their entire high school lives preparing for their bright futures. But they come to realize that while focusing on getting into Ivy League schools, they forgot to have fun. So they make the most of the last night of their senior year.



The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)

Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz) is sent to a “treatment” center called God’s Promise after being caught making out with her friend, popular girl Coley (Quinn Shephard). While having to subject herself to questionable conversion methods is obviously terrible, in her time in the facility, she discovers more about herself and finds true friends.



Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and ranch hand Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) begin working together after being hired as sheep herders. They develop an intimate friendship, which then becomes something more.



A Fantastic Woman (2017)

Marina’s (Daniela Vega) life is turned upside down when her boyfriend, Orlando (Francisco Reyes Morandé), dies. With him suddenly gone, she has to reorient herself to a life without him as a single trans woman living in Chile.



The Handmaiden (2016)

This erotic psychological thriller tells the story of a wealthy Japanese woman in Korea named Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee) whose wealth is the object of many people’s desires. She falls prey to a con man, who enlists the help of her new handmaiden (Kim Tae-ri) to seduce her.



Milk (2008)

This biopic shows the life of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn), the first openly gay politician elected into United States office. It begins in 1972, when he sets out to transform the Castro District of San Francisco into a mecca for gay men and lesbians and ends with…well, you’ll have to watch (or google) to find out.



The Color Purple (1985)

This film is based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel by Alice Walker. The epic drama follows the life of African-American woman Celie (Whoopi Goldberg) and the abuse she’s endured through the years—at the hand of her own father and later her husband. Eventually, she finds love, but not with a person she expected to fall in love with.



The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

This musical is a queer cult classic that has haunted viewers since its release in 1975. Honeymooners Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) get caught up in a terrible storm and find themselves in the mysterious and whacky mansion of trans scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry). This leads them through a wild night of horrors.



The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

Three drag queens decide to go on a tour through the Australian desert in their trusty RV, lovingly named Priscilla. It isn’t the smoothest journey as they encounter tons of hurdles along the way, but they begin to learn more about one another and form an unbreakable bond that will last forever.



Girl (2018)

Fifteen-year-old Lara (Victor Polster) is an aspiring ballerina, but this proves to be difficult when she is also in the middle of transitioning to become the woman she was always meant to be.



Rent (2005)

Based on the Broadway musical, the film shows the lives of friends in New York who are struggling to make ends meet, finding love in the city, and battling AIDS in the ’90s.



God’s Own Country (2017)

A young sheep farmer drowns his sorrows in alcohol and casual sex, but all that changes when he meets a Romanian migrant worker who changes his life forever.



Duck Butter (2018)

Two women who are complete strangers, Naima (Alia Shawkat) and Sergio (Laia Costa), decide to conduct a romantic experiment. They spend 24 uninterrupted hours together, which forms an intimate bond between them. But the results don’t turn out the way they hypothesized.


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