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The best LGBTQ movies on Netflix right now

Thankfully, LGBTQ+ content is more readily available these days, largely thanks to streaming. No longer do audiences have to settle for tortured gay romances: the best LGBTQ+ movies on Netflix include a healthy mix of dramas, comedies, rom-coms, and even the occasional genre movie, from horror to sci-fi, meaning there actually is something for everyone. These films feature strong and compelling LGBTQ+ stories and characters that will make many in their audience feel seen and heard.

New movies come to Netflix every week, meaning there’s a consistent and varied collection of queer-themed films for audiences to enjoy. With Oscar-nominated originals, critically acclaimed classics, quiet romantic dramas, sweet romantic comedies, and even some steamy films, Netflix’s ever-expanding library has everything fans of queer cinema could ask for. With so much to choose from, it might be tedious to search for just one title. Luckily for you, we’ve pulled together a list of the best LGBTQ-themed movies on Netflix right now.

When you’re done going through this list, check out the best LGBTQ films to stream right now on multiple services; the best new movies to stream on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO; and the best Netflix original series you can stream right now.

Maestro (2023)

Maestro
77 %
6.6/10
131m
Genre Drama, Romance, Music
Stars Carey Mulligan, Bradley Cooper, Matt Bomer
Directed by Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper’s sophomore directorial effort, Maestro, apirs him with fellow Oscar-nominee Carey Mulligan to tell the story of Leonard Bernstein’s marriage to Felicia Montealegre. The film chronicles their relationship over the years, including his incredible success and his dalliances with other men. Maestro offers a superficial, but still compelling look at the private life of a musical genius, and while it doesn’t reveal anything new about Bernstein, it at least offers plenty of opportunities for its two leading actors to shine. Nominated for seven Oscars, Maestro is one of Netflix’s heavy hitters for the 2024 awards season.  

Good Grief (2023)

Good Grief
59 %
6.4/10
101m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stars Dan Levy, Ruth Negga, Himesh Patel
Directed by Dan Levy

Following the success of Schitt’s Creek, Dan Levy is embracing his directorial sensibilities. The multi-hyphenate writes, directs, and stars in the 2024 dramedy Good Grief, which co-stars Hamish Patel and Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga. The plot follows a man grieving the loss of his husband with the help of his two best friends. Although it treads familiar territory, Good Grief remains a sweet and sentimental examination of grief, love, and acceptance. Levy relies on classic tropes of the genre, but the result is affecting and rewarding nonetheless. 

Down Low (2023)

Down Low
48 %
5.3/10
94m
Genre Comedy
Stars Zachary Quinto, Lukas Gage, Sebastian Arroyo
Directed by Rightor Doyle

 Down Low is the kind of silly fun perfect for a Saturday afternoon. Zachary Quinto stars as Gary, a divorced, closeted father of two in his 40s who hires Cameron, a young prostitute played by Lucas Gage. The plot quickly descends into chaos in this wickedly black comedy about embracing life’s opportunities and making the best out of every moment. Those who enjoy a morbid comedy will get a kick out of Down Low, an uneven, yet biting film that packs quite a punch, largely thanks to Quinto and Gage’s chaotic chemistry.

Heart Shot (2022)

Heart Shot
4.9/10
19m
Genre Romance, Crime
Stars Elena Heuzé, Nia Sondaya, Bethany Curry
Directed by Marielle Woods

Short films can pack quite a punch despite their limited runtimes, and such is the case with 2022’s Heart Shot. The short follows teenagers Nikki and Sam, whose plans to run away together are derailed by Nikki’s dangerous past. Flawed but undeniably compelling, Heart Shot is a compact love story about youth, passion, and the desire to escape one’s mistakes. Running a little under 20 minutes, Heart Shot falls short of fully exploring its premise, but it remains a powerful slice of sapphic romance that should be a must-watch for queer audiences.

Rustin (2023)

Rustin
68 %
6.6/10
108m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Colman Domingo, Chris Rock, Glynn Turman
Directed by George C. Wolfe

Emmy winner Colman Domingo stars as civil rights activist Bayard Rustin in George C. Wolfe’s 2023 biopic Rustin. The plot follows his efforts advising Martin Luther King Jr. and his contributions to organizing the 1963 March on Washington. However, it also deals with the repercussions his openly gay lifestyle brought upon him. Elevated by a tour-de-force performance from Domingo, Rustin is a familiar, yet insightful look into the life and legacy of a prominent historical figure who has spent far too long in the shadows.

NYAD (2023)

NYAD
64 %
7.1/10
121m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Annette Bening, Jodie Foster, Rhys Ifans
Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin

Four-time Academy Award nominee Annette Bening and two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster star in the 2023 sports biopic Nyad. The film chronicles the efforts of Diana Nyad, a marathon swimmer who, at 64, attempts to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without using a shark cage. Nyad’s real-life story is surrounded by controversy, but Bening and Foster deftly navigate a thorny story to deliver a crowd-pleasing film that will keep audiences entertained.

Nuovo Olimpo (2023)

Nuovo Olimpo
7.2/10
112m
Genre Romance, Drama
Stars Damiano Gavino, Andrea Di Luigi, Luisa Ranieri
Directed by Ferzan Özpetek

Ferzan Özpetek’s 2023 romantic drama Nuovo Olimpo tells the story of two men who meet in 1970s Rome. Their quick and torrid romance is interrupted by an unexpected event, leading them to try to find each other again for the next 30 years. Although it treads familiar territory, Nuovo Olimpo remains an emotional and affecting story about love, longing, passion, and regret that’s deftly guided by Özpetek’s direction and supported by the terrific performances of leads Damiano Gavino and Andrea Di Luigi. Those unafraid of subtitles should absolutely check out this underrated gem.

Elisa & Marcela (2019)

Elisa & Marcela
6.6/10
118m
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Natalia de Molina, Greta Fernández, Sara Casasnovas
Directed by Isabel Coixet

Based on a true story, this Spanish drama begins in 1885, as Marcela and Elisa meet and form a deep bond. Their friendship becomes a passionate and forbidden love affair that leads them to defy conventions. In 1901, Elisa adopts a male identity in order to marry Marcela. Propelled by its compelling lead performers, Elisa & Marcela overcomes dramatic clichés and a conventional narrative to deliver a tender romantic story about love in the face of prejudice. Although far from perfect, Elisa & Marcela is a worthy entry in Netflix’s LGBTQ+ library.  

Mutt (2023)

Mutt
69 %
6.2/10
87m
Genre Drama
Stars Lio Mehiel, Cole Doman, MiMi Ryder
Directed by Vuk Lungulov-Klotz

The 2023 drama Mutt follows Feña, a trans man whose life dramatically changes over 24 hours after reconnecting with his foreign father, ex-boyfriend, and estranged sister. Chronicling his struggles since transitioning, Mutt is an insightful and poignant exploration of the reality many transgender people experience. The film handles its delicate issues with remarkable empathy, resulting in a thoughtful and affecting drama that might be required viewing for most LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies.

The Power of the Dog (2021)

The Power of the Dog
89 %
6.8/10
128m
Genre Drama, Western
Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirsten Dunst
Directed by Jane Campion
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness star Benedict Cumberbatch received his second Oscar nomination for playing a rough and sexually repressed rancher in Jane Campion’s masterful neo-Western The Power of the Dog. The plot follows Phil Burbank, a brutal rancher whose carefully controlled life is threatened by the arrival of his meek brother’s new wife and her gentle and alluring son. Dealing with themes of masculinity, fragility, sexual attraction, and sexuality, The Power of the Dog is a powerful and thought-provoking deconstruction of the Western genre elevated by career-best performances from Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst. 

The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game
71 %
8.0/10
113m
Genre History, Drama, Thriller, War
Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode
Directed by Morten Tyldum

Benedict Cumberbatch received his first Oscar nomination for playing mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing in Morten Tyldum’s 2014 biopic The Imitation Game. The plot chronicles Turing’s work at Bletchley Park during World War II, including his groundbreaking creation of the machine that allowed for the decryption of secret German messages. Featuring stellar supporting performances from Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, and a large ensemble, The Imitation Game is a thrilling biopic that does justice to its mysterious and fascinating real-life subject.

Boy Erased (2018)

Boy Erased
69 %
6.9/10
115m
Genre Drama
Stars Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe
Directed by Joel Edgerton

Academy Award winners Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe star opposite Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges in Joel Edgerton’s 2018 drama Boy Erased. The plot centers on Jared Eamons, a boy sent to a conversion therapy program by his religious parents. While there, Jared learns to find his own voice and accept his sexuality. Boy Erased navigates a potentially thorny subject with admirable empathy, and while it doesn’t do nearly as much as it could with its intriguing premise, it succeeds as a powerfully acted and delicately told drama. 

Do Revenge (2022)

Do Revenge
66 %
6.3/10
118m
Genre Comedy
Stars Camila Mendes, Maya Hawke, Austin Abrams
Directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

Camila Mendes and Stranger Things Volume 4 star Maya Hawke star in the pastel-colored teen revenge comedy Do Revenge. The plot centers on two teenagers who join forces to get revenge on each other’s enemies. However, their plan soon leads to unexpected results.  Loosely inspired by the Hitchcock classic Strangers on a Train, Do Revenge borrows from the many better teen movies that came before. However, a witty screenplay and Mendes and Hawke’s perfect performances elevate this teen movie.

Marry My Dead Body (2023)

Marry My Dead Body
7.1/10
130m
Genre Comedy, Mystery, Action
Stars Greg Hsu, Austin Lin, Gingle Wang
Directed by Cheng Wei-Hao

Ming-han is a homophobic and skeptic policeman who gets accidentally betrothed to a recently deceased gay man, Mao Pan-yu, after accidentally picking up a red wedding envelope. To rid themselves of the marriage, the cop and his “ghost husband’ must work together to discover the mysteries behind Mao’s unsolved death. A deranged comedy for fans of the now-defunct screwball genre, Marry My Dead Body is a delightful effort benefitting from a ludicrous plot and a committed cast.

Nimona (2023)

Nimona
75 %
7.6/10
101m
Genre Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
Stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed, Eugene Lee Yang
Directed by Troy Quane, Nick Bruno

Based on the eponymous 2015 graphic novel, Nimona stars a voice cast led by Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed, and Frances Conroy. The film is set in a Medieval-inspired fantasy world and follows a knight falsely accused of a crime. Desperate to prove his innocence, he joins Nimona, a young girl and shape-shifter who joins his quest for justice.

Nimona is a beautifully animated and thought-provoking animated adventure benefitting from a spirited voice performance by the ever-reliable Moretz. Stylish, humorous, and filled with subtext, Nimona will satisfy adults and children alike.

Eldorado: Everything the Nazis Hate (2023)

Eldorado: Everything the Nazis Hate
7.5/10
92m
Genre Documentary
Directed by Benjamin Cantu

The 2023 documentary Eldorado: Everything the Nazis Hate shines a line in a pivotal period of German history. The film focuses on the lives of LGBTQ+ people during the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany, using the titular queer nightclub Eldorado as the setting. Eldorado: Everything the Nazis Hate features several prominent queer figures and offers an accessible and engrossing look at a much-discussed period in history through the eyes of a group that suffered greatly at the hands of Nazi Germany.

Operation Hyacinth (2021)

Operation Hyacinth
6.8/10
106m
Genre Thriller
Stars Tomasz Zietek, Hubert Miłkowski, Adrianna Chlebicka
Directed by Piotr Domalewski

 Hyacinth is a Polish thriller directed by Piotr Domalewski. The plot follows Robert, a young police officer new to the force. His investigation into a serial killer targeting gay men in Warsaw leads him down a path of self-discovery and mystery, as every choice he makes leads him closer to discovering the truth.

The film is based on the real-life Operation Hyacinth conducted by the Polish force between 1985 and 1987, aiming to register every known homosexual and those close to them. Engrossing and gritty, Hyacinth condemns the real operation while delivering a compelling mystery that will leave audiences satisfied. 

Time Out (2015)

Time Out
6.1/10
98m
Genre Drama, Family
Stars Pranay Pachauri, Chirag Malhotra
Directed by Rikhil Bahadur

The 2015 Bollywood comedy Time Out tells a classic coming-of-age story about sibling love and identity. The plot follows Gaurav, a 14-year-old who struggles to accept his older brother, high school jock Mihir, is gay. As Gaurav deals with his first love and family trouble resulting from Mihir’s confession, he’ll realize the true meaning of brotherhood. Time Out is sweet and funny, offering a heartfelt look at a pivotal moment in a young boy’s life and dealing with deep and crucial themes with warmth and empathy. 

The Perfection (2018)

The Perfection
60 %
6.2/10
90m
Genre Horror, Thriller, Drama
Stars Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Steven Weber
Directed by Richard Shepard

The ever-underrated Allison Williams stars in the 2018 psychological horror thriller The Perfection. The plot centers on Charlotte, a talented but troubled musical prodigy who returns to a prestigious music school, where she develops a complicated relationship with Lizzie, the new rising talent.

The Perfection is the perfect mix of gory thrills and near-campy silliness, elevated by Williams’ outstanding lead performance. Gripping, but never taking itself too seriously, The Perfection is an LGBTQ+ story for fans looking for something other than romance.

Badhaai Do (2022)

Badhaai Do
7.0/10
147m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Rajkummar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar, Seema Pahwa
Directed by Harshavardhan Kulkarni

The Hindi dramedy Badhaai Do follows a gay man and a lesbian who enter a marriage of convenience to avoid coming out to their families. Their peaceful cohabitation is upended when the woman’s girlfriend comes to live with them, throwing their lives into chaos.

Thoughtful without sacrificing the humor, Badhaai Do is a funny and heartwarming story about identity and inclusivity that marks another step in the right direction for LGBTQ+ representation.

So My Grandma's a Lesbian! (2020)

So My Grandma's a Lesbian!
4.4/10
97m
Genre Comedy, Romance
Stars Rosa María Sardà, Verónica Forqué, Ingrid García Jonsson
Directed by Ángeles Reiné

The 2021 Spanish comedy So My Grandma’s a Lesbian follows Eva, a woman engaged to a member of a prominent and ultraconservative family who discovers her grandma plans to marry her best friend. Don’t be fooled by the truly awful title — the Spanish original, “Salir del Ropero,” literally means “Coming Out of the Closet” — because the film is a heartwarming story about coming out in your golden years. Powered by a charming performance from Rosa María Sardà, the film is the rare story that places an older woman in the spotlight.

Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado (2020)

Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado
76 %
7.3/10
96m
Genre Documentary
Stars Walter Mercado, Willy Acosta, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Directed by Kareem Tabsch, Cristina Costantini

The late Walter Mercado was among the most important astrologers in the world and a cultural icon in Latin America. His influence spread across every Central American and Latin American country, with audiences loyally following his teachings.

The 2020 documentary Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado gives viewers a closer look into his life and career, chronicling his rise to fame and success and discussing his lasting influence in Latin American television. 

Carol (2015)

Carol
94 %
7.2/10
118m
Genre Romance, Drama
Stars Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson
Directed by Todd Haynes

Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara star in Todd Haynes’ acclaimed romantic drama Carol. The film chronicles the forbidden love affair between a young and aspiring photographer and a wealthy older woman going through a difficult divorce in 1950s New York. Carol was critically acclaimed, earned six Oscar nominations, and is considered to be among the best LGBTQ+ dramas of recent years.

Dance of the Forty One (2020)

Dance of the Forty One
6.8/10
99m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Alfonso Herrera, Emiliano Zurita, Fernando Becerril
Directed by David Pablos

Based on the real-life scandal that took place in Mexico in the early 20th century, The Dance of the Forty-One stars Alfonso Herrera and Emiliano Zurita. The film is a fictionalized take on the events leading to the eponymous event, a party of gay men, many of whom were dressed as women. Featuring impressive production values and compelling performances, The Dance of the Forty-One is a well-crafted and well-told portrayal of a pivotal moment in Mexican history.

Cobalt Blue (2022)

Cobalt Blue
6.5/10
112m
Genre Romance, Drama
Stars Prateik Babbar, Neelay Mehendale, Anjali Sivaraman
Directed by Sachin Kundalkar

The Hindi-language LGBTQ+ drama Cobalt Blue is a poignant portrayal of same-sex pairings and their often confrontational relationship with traditions. The film centers on an aspiring author and his sister, who both fall for the enigmatic and attractive guest at their home. As their dynamics with him evolve, their traditional family faces a reckoning.

I Care a Lot (2021)

I Care a Lot
66 %
6.3/10
119m
Genre Comedy, Crime, Thriller, Drama
Stars Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza González
Directed by J Blakeson

Rosamund Pike delivers a wickedly-delicious, Golden Globe-winning performance leading an ensemble including Peter Dinklage, Eiza González, Chris Messina, and Diane Wiest in J Blakeson’s scathing satirical comedy I Care a Lot. The film centers on Marla Grayson, a court-appointed guardian who exploits her elderly charges while putting them in involuntary assisted living facilities. However, things get complicated when she tries to scam the mother of a dangerous gangster, putting her in a potentially deathly situation.

Single All the Way (2021)

Single All the Way
49 %
6.1/10
99m
Genre Romance, Comedy, Drama
Stars Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers, Luke Macfarlane
Directed by Michael Mayer

Who doesn’t love a great Christmas movie, even if it’s not yet Christmas? Single All the Way stars Michael Urie as Peter, a recently-separated man who wants to avoid his family’s scrutiny over being single during the holidays. Persuading his best friend, Nick, to pose as his boyfriend for the trip, the two travel to Peter’s family’s home. However, their ruse soon reveals the lingering feelings between them. Philemon Chambers, Like Macfarlane, Kathy Najimy, and Jennifer Coolidge also star.

Bruised (2021)

Bruised
52 %
6.2/10
129m
Genre Drama
Stars Halle Berry, Adan Canto, Sheila Atim
Directed by Halle Berry

Halle Berry delivers her finest performance in years with her directorial debut, Bruised. The Oscar-winning actress stars as Jackie, an aging and disgraced former MMA fighter forced to face the consequences of her life’s choices when the son she hasn’t seen for years shows up at her doorstep. With one last shot to get her life back on track, Jackie starts a new chapter in her personal and boxing journeys, but the demons of her past refuse to let go.

Dumplin' (2018)

Dumplin'
53 %
6.6/10
pg-13 110m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Danielle Macdonald, Jennifer Aniston, Odeya Rush
Directed by Anne Fletcher
Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald) is the plus-sized, teenage daughter of her small Texas town’s most legendary beauty queen (Jennifer Aniston). Today, her mom runs that local pageant and, just to prove how shallow-minded the pageant is, Willowdean signs up to compete. What starts as a mother-daughter spat, however, escalates into a full-on protest as other outcasts follow Willowdean’s steps to enter the pageant — all spurred on by a group of drag queens who refuse to let the girls settle for less.

The Prom (2020)

The Prom
55 %
5.9/10
pg-13 132m
Genre Comedy, Music, Romance
Stars Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman
Directed by Ryan Murphy
It’s not as good as it should be given the outrageously talented cast, and James Corden got perhaps one of the most undeserved Golden Globe nominations ever for it, but The Prom is nonetheless fun in a Ryan Murphy all-out glitz and glam sort of way. When a group of Broadway has-beens sees a news story about a small Indiana town that won’t let a teen go to the prom with her girlfriend, they flock to the town in an attempt to revitalize their careers through some performative activism. But soon, they find they might have more depth than they even realized themselves.

Pray Away (2021)

Pray Away
76 %
6.6/10
pg-13 101m
Genre Documentary
Stars Julie Rodgers, Randy Thomas, Yvette Cantu Schneider
Directed by Kristine Stolakis
A grim examination of the Evangelical church’s war on homosexuality, Pray Away follows five Evangelical men in the 1970s who struggled with being gay in the church. After forming a bible study to help one another, they received more than 25,000 letters from people asking for help, leading to the formation of Exodus International, the world’s largest conversion therapy organization. The leaders, however, could never “pray the gay away.” Today, many of the founders of the conversion therapy movement are now out and openly disavow the movement. Pray Away is the story of their evolution, as well as a look at the profound damage inflicted by the notorious practice.

Ride or Die (2021)

Ride or Die
64 %
2.7/10
81m
Genre Crime, Drama, Romance
Stars Vanessa Allen, Hannah Brooke, Chris Dettone
Directed by Aly Hardt
Based on the manga series of the same name, Ride or Die stars Kiko Mizuhara as Rei Nagasawa, a Japanese woman who discovers her friend Nanae (Honami Sato) is suffering from domestic abuse at the hands of her husband. To prove her love to Nanae, Rei murders her spouse, sending the two women on the run from the law. A gutsy road film featuring unmistakable shades of Thelma and LouiseRide or Die is a pulse-pounding blend of drama and romance led by the powerful dynamic between Mizuhara and Nagasawa.

Let It Snow (2019)

Let It Snow
51 %
5.8/10
pg-13 93m
Genre Romance, Comedy
Stars Joan Cusack, Isabela Merced, Odeya Rush
Directed by Luke Snellin
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Maureen Johnson, Let It Snow is the story of a small town called Waffle Town. Julie Reyes (Isabela Merced), a high school senior who has been accepted to Columbia University, is nervous to leave her ailing mother alone in W.T. When a snowstorm hits the community on Christmas Eve, Julie and her circle of acquaintances will discover the true meaning of the holiday when relationships crack open, romances are revealed, and new futures are created. A pleasant watch for the holiday season and any other time of year, Let It Snow will win you over in more ways than one.

Duck Butter (2018)

Duck Butter
58 %
5.3/10
94m
Genre Drama, Romance, Comedy
Stars Alia Shawkat, Laia Costa, Mae Whitman
Directed by Miguel Arteta
Naima (Alia Shawkat) and Sergio (Laia Costa) are growing tired of loving connections that simply don’t make the grade. An aspiring film actress, Naima heads out to a gay bar with a friend where she first meets Sergio. After conversation and flirtation, the two decide to embark on a 24-hour bout of intimacy, an experiment Sergio believes will “fast forward” through the many beats of a romantic relationship. Led by raw performances from both Shawkat and Costa, Duck Butter is not your typical rom-com by any means, and what it may lack in complete originality the film makes up for with its tender tone and earnest acting.

Dancing Queens (2021)

Dancing Queens
5.4/10
110m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Molly Nutley, Christopher Wollter, Fredrik Quinones
Directed by Helena Bergström
It’s a modern-day Cinderella story with an LGBTQ twist. Dylan is a 23-year-old young woman from a small island who starts to work as a cleaner in a struggling drag club. But she harbors a secret: She wishes she could become a dancer. When the club’s star dancer learns of Dylan’s dreams and discovers she actually has talent, the question becomes: Is it OK if she disguises herself as a man to dance in drag when she’s biologically a woman? Hailing from Sweden, the light-hearted film is dubbed a comedy, making it a fun watch with a group of friends.

The Half of It (2020)

The Half of It
74 %
6.9/10
pg-13 104m
Genre Comedy, Romance
Stars Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire
Directed by Alice Wu
Dubbed a loose retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac adjusted to fit the times, Ellie is a shy and lonely teenager who is often commissioned by fellow students to do their homework. She’s more than happy to do so and charges a fee to help her family make ends meet. But she gets a strange request when the school jock, Paul, asks her to ghostwrite love letters on his behalf to his crush, Aster. It works well at the start until Ellie begins to fall for Aster herself, which complicates the situation for everyone involved. It’s a sweet story of what truly makes people fall for one another and the importance of being true and honest to oneself.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
87 %
6.9/10
r 94m
Genre Drama, Music
Stars Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman
Directed by George C. Wolfe
This multi-Oscar-nominated film based on the August Wilson play of the same name stars Viola Davis as the title character, a blues singer from the 1920s. Davis mesmerizingly transforms into the influential woman who was not only a talented singer but also an advocate for Black and LGBTQ+ rights, even if she wasn’t as overtly outspoken as others. Rainey made no apologies for her lifestyle, openly dating women at a time when the mere thought was taboo, particularly for a woman of color. While the movie is worth watching for the incredible performances alone, including the late Chadwick Boseman as the ambitious trumpeter Levee Green, it’s an important film that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community.

Disclosure (2020)

Disclosure
79 %
8.2/10
108m
Genre Documentary
Stars Laverne Cox, Bianca Leigh, Jen Richards
Directed by Sam Feder
This documentary takes a deep dive into the depiction of transgender people in Hollywood and how the stories told through film and television impact transgender people in real life, as well as how they shape and influence the overall cultural landscape. Disclosure features interviews with well-known transgender celebrities, such as Laverne Cox, Candis Cayne, Brian Michael Smith, Chaz Bono, and Lilly Wachowski. It has an almost perfect Rotten Tomatoes rating, with critics praising the documentary for shining a spotlight on the fact that we still have a long way to go for fair and honest representations of LGBTQ individuals on screen.

The Boys in the Band (2020)

The Boys in the Band
70 %
6.8/10
r 121m
Genre Drama
Stars Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer
Directed by Joe Mantello
As important as the message this film portrays is the fact that the cast is made up entirely of openly gay actors. They play a group of gay friends who get together to celebrate a birthday in an Upper East Side Manhattan apartment. But things go awry when the host’s former college roommate, who happens to be straight, shows up uninvited. With an eclectic group of characters and personalities, the 1968-set, Ryan Murphy-produced drama explores the age-old issue of dealing with societal rejection and coming to terms with one’s truth and self-worth. The film is based on a Mart Crowley off-Broadway play from 1968, which was made into a movie in 1970 starring the same cast. The full cast of this new film played the same roles in a Broadway revival of the play in 2018 as well.

Your Name Engraved Herein (2020)

Your Name Engraved Herein
7.3/10
118m
Genre Romance, History, Drama
Stars Edward Chen, Jing-Hua Tseng, Leon Dai
Directed by Kuang-Hui Liu
Set in 1988, two young men who have survived martial law in Taiwan discover that they are in love. But they don’t act on it for fear of pressure from their respective families and outright homophobia. The romance film, which was originally titled The Name Engraved in Your Heart, demonstrates the all-too-familiar journey of two men destined to be together but having to deny their truths in light of social stigmas. The movie was actually inspired by real events. The fact that Taiwan was the first Asian country to legalize gay marriage makes this an important film for the LGBTQ community.

Circus of Books (2019)

Circus of Books
74 %
7.1/10
92m
Genre Documentary, History
Stars Rachel Mason, Josh Mason, Larry Flynt
Directed by Rachel Mason
This documentary by artist Rachel Mason is a riveting look at the popular and long-running bookstore and gay pornography shop, Circus of Books, in West Hollywood and in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. The store was first established in the ’60s as Book Circus. Rachel’s parents, Karen and Barry Mason, who were working with Hustler publisher Larry Flynt at the time, took over the store in the early ’80s and renamed it Circus of Books. The straight, religious couple with kids, however, kept the nature of their work a secret from family and friends. The business went through many challenges, from being caught in an FBI sting during President Ronald Reagan’s crackdown on pornography, to gaining a reputation for attracting hustlers in the wee hours of the morning. The store served as a refuge for LGBTQ community members during the height of the AIDS crisis, and the film highlights Karen and Barry’s struggles with being so heavily immersed in LGBTQ culture at a time when it was not socially accepted. Rachel’s doc tells the fascinating story of the store’s historical significance for the LGBTQ community, her parents’ role as unintentional activists, and how the internet destroyed the business.

Girl (2018)

Girl
73 %
7.1/10
r 105m
Genre Drama
Stars Victor Polster, Arieh Worthalter, Oliver Bodart
Directed by Lukas Dhont
The story was inspired by Nora Monsecour, a trans female dancer who director Lukas Dhont met when he was a teenager. In the film, Lara (Victor Polster) is a 15-year-old trans girl, just like Monsecour, who aspires to be a professional ballerina. While she has support from some important people in her life as she deals with her gender dysphoria, attending a new school and going through puberty presents its own set of challenges. While the film received some criticism for portrayals of gender dysphoria and self-harm, Monsecour, who provided insight for the film, spoke out in support of it.

Tallulah (2016)

Tallulah
63 %
6.7/10
pg-13 111m
Genre Drama
Stars Elliot Page, Allison Janney, Tammy Blanchard
Directed by Siân Heder
Get ready to laugh with this film about Tallulah (Elliot Page), a young woman who ends up caring for a toddler whose mother, Carolyn (Tammy Blanchard), has no interest in raising. With nowhere else to go, Tallulah shacks up with her ex’s mother, Margo (the fantastic Allison Janney), and pretends the child is hers, and thus Margo’s granddaughter. The two women form an unlikely bond, revealing painful secrets as Tallulah tries to hide from both Carolyn and the police.

A Secret Love (2020)

A Secret Love
77 %
7.9/10
r 83m
Genre Documentary
Stars Terry Donahue, Pat Henschel, Diana Bolan
Directed by Chris Bolan
The newest film on this list, this documentary is already receiving tremendous praise after being released in April 2020. Produced by Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, A Secret Love tells the story of a pair of All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players who kept their romantic partnership a secret for almost seven decades. Based on the true story of director Chris Bolan’s two aunts, the tremendous sacrifice and weight the two women held on their shoulders for three-quarters of a century will both warm your heart for their intense dedication to one another and make you angry that they felt that couldn’t be freely and openly in love.

Dear Ex (2018)

Dear Ex
7.3/10
r 99m
Genre Drama, Comedy
Stars Hsieh Ying Shiuan, Roy Chiu, Joseph Huang
Directed by Mag Hsu, Chih-yen Hsu
This black comedy-drama from Taiwan is about Song, a teenager who discovers that his recently deceased father was living a secret life when, after his passing, a strange man named Jay shows up. Not only is Jay listed as the life insurance beneficiary on Song’s father’s will, but he was also apparently his lover. Now Song finds himself caught between his mother Liu, who must deal with the reality that her husband was unfaithful and a closeted homosexual, and the free-spirited Jay, who has turned their lives upside down. The film was selected for the International Feature Film category at the Academy Awards but was not nominated.

Alex Strangelove (2018)

Alex Strangelove
62 %
6.3/10
r 99m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Daniel Doheny, Madeline Weinstein, Antonio Marziale
Directed by Craig Johnson
This rom-com follows one seemingly straight teenager’s journey in exploring his sexuality. While still a virgin and with a girlfriend, Alex meets another openly gay teen who has a crush on him and begins to question if he might be bisexual. The film has been praised for taking a refreshing and progressive look at the topic of teen sexuality.

Editors' Recommendations

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David Caballero
Freelance Writer
David is a Mexican freelance writer with a deep appreciation for words. After three years in the cold world of Marketing…
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