Film and TV are other platforms where LGBTQ+ representation is slowly growing and becoming noticeable, which is so exciting and important. Streaming services, like Netflix, now include more shows and movies that are LGBTQ+ inclusive. This is a list of some of the films and shows I love and think need to be watched.
Released on Netflix just this month, this film is cute and awkward, like all first loves. It is about self-discovery, friendship and facing what you’re afraid of, head first. An important film to remind those that identify as LGBTQ+ that they should embrace who they truly are.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour
A story of self-discovery through the things we feel and the people we meet along the way. Intimate and lovely, but equally hurtful and sad, this film takes us on the journey of two people falling in love, including all the ups and downs.
A beautiful movie about the secret love between two cowboys. Time apart reminds them that they need each other, and as forbidden as what they feel is, they try and make the best of it. Complicated, tragic and joyous – watch this film, it reminds us to put love above it all.
Call Me By Your Name
Based on the book by Andre Aciman, this story is passionate and heartbreaking. The movie is incredibly filmed and makes me want to go to Italy to fall in-love. Although I prefer the book because of it’s detail and emotion, the film is fantastic and a must see.
A musical, feel good Ryan Murphy show, that has LGBTQ+ main characters that deal with what many deal with in life. The show addresses coming-out, bullying, love, and loss, all with incredible covers of our favourite songs. This show is one of my all time favourites.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
A journey of self-discovery and getting what is rightfully yours. A transgender rockstar is following her ex lover and band mate who fled with all her songs and is now touring the world. Not everything goes to plan, and this film reminds us that it’ll all be okay.
Holding The Man
The story of true love and family conflict. High-school sportsman and aspiring actor fall in love and spend the rest of their lives together, no matter what. They conquer almost everything together and remind us that love is beautiful and powerful – no matter how or who you love.
Inxeba (The Wound)
A South African film about love that aims at breaking down the barriers of masculinity. It shows the journey and traditions of a Xhosa boy becoming a man, and the effects this initiation has on individuals. An important movie that is wonderfully filmed for the world to see.
It follows the lives of 3 best friends living in San Francisco trying to make the best of their lives – in love, employment, family, friendship and just having fun. It is a contemporary look at gay life in San Francisco, which is interesting to compare to what it was like in the late 60’s.
Funny, real and important. Simon is trying to navigate life, and just trying to figure out who he is, and who he wants to be. It brings about the question, ‘Why don’t straight people come out too?’. It also shows how families and friends impact lives and why it’s important to be 100% yourself.
This movie is based on the true story of LGBTQ+ activist, turned politician, Harvey Milk. It shows us the hardships LGBTQ+ individuals faced in the 70’s, but how they kept pushing and striving for equality. The film also takes us into Harvey’s personal life, his relationships and his tragic death. Another educational and important film.
A honest and hilarious look at the Modern Family, that deals with same-sex couples being married, as well as adopting. It looks at family relationships and conflict that we can all relate to.
This Oscar winning film shows us what it is like to grow up in a rough part of Miami. It is made up of 3 parts, each a pivotal point in life – young adolescence, teen, and young adult. This coming of age story shares themes of self-discovery, family, abuse, friendship, bullying, growth and love. A heartbreaking but hopeful movie, that will stay with you long after you have watched it.
Orange is The New Black
A prison, filled with strong, real, opinionated and fierce women. The show deals with sexism, transphobia, racism, homophobia, gender inequality and police violence – all real and prevalent problems in the world today. It is relatable, funny and unlike anything else – which means you should definitely watch it.
Paris Is Burning
This documentary shows New York Drag Queens and their take on self-expression, community and pride. It deals with topics like gender identity, homophobia, racism, poverty and sexual health. Paris Is Burning has interviews and footage that show the reality of drag performers from different walks of life, as well the origin of words and dances we still use today.
Ryan Murphy’s new show, ‘Pose’, is set in New York in the 1980’s. It features the largest transgender cast ever and takes a look at queer life, with dance, drag and luxury influences. This show gives viewers insight into the struggles of LGBTQ+ individuals and the idea of a ‘chosen family’, with ‘Paris Is Burning’ influences through out.
The true story of two minorities – the miners and the LGBTQ+ community – in the 80’s, joining forces to fight against discrimination and for equality. This film explores homophobia, job inequality, family struggles and ignorance. An important reminder that at the end of the day, we are all humans, just trying our best.
Queer As Folk
A drama that follows the lives of a group of friends in Pittsburgh, as they figure out love, life, identity, sex and friendship. The show is quite a specific view of LGBTQ+ life, but it touches on universals things like discrimination, and sexual health.
The ‘Fab 5’ are out to change lives and in each episode help one person become the best version of themselves. They also talk about religion, homophobia, the importance and protection of people of colour, self-confidence and the need for better lifestyle choices in each episode – which is vital, so it isn’t just another make over show!
8 strangers find that they have a strong connection that they’ll have to use to keep each other alive. Passionate, funny, action-packed and one of a kind – Sense8 puts differences aside and brings strangers together to help the world. With an underlying message of love and equality, this show needs to be watched by everyone.
The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Dessert
2 drag queens and a transgender female travel around Australia in their bus named Priscilla performing drag shows. They encounter fans, homophobes and secrets along the way. A funny and visually fantastic film – watch it.
When We Rise
A politically charged show that follows the lives of LGBTQ+ activists in America in the early 70’s, after the Stonewall Riots. It shows how equality and the civil rights movement took many years of fighting and continuing through the struggles. An important seris to educate and inspire.
These are just a few of the films and shows I have seen, and think are important for all LGBTQ+ lives. We are still far from full representation, but we are inching closer to LGBTQ+ representation being taken seriously. I would love to know your favourite series and films with LGBTQ+ characters – leave a comment below and I’ll definitely check it out!
Keep loving, and #KeepSmiling