It’s Pride month! While there is a big queer scene in St. Petersburg, FL, I still had the urge this morning to watch LGBTQ films (mostly lesbian or wlw) all day. So, I decided to collect a list of some of my favorites here for anyone who is in search of something new.

A couple of disclaimers:

  • These are MY personal favorites. They are not inclusive of every LGBTQ movie. (For example: But I’m a Cheerleader is a great wlw movie but not one of my favs, so it is not listed here.)
  • These are ONLY movies. I might do another one later on TV shows/books.
  • I focused on older and less known movies, as I think more recent ones get enough press and are easy to find.
  • The second half of the list are movies that I feel are gay but are not explicitly gay. Most of you probably know what I mean by that.
  • I call everything gay. That is an inclusive term for me and includes bi/pan peeps and any wlw or otherwise.
  • I am nonbinary and I have not found good movies with nonbinary representation. I’d love to know your recs!
  • Same with trans representation. There are a few well-known movies about trans folx but so, so many that are led by cis men, and I think that is incredibly dangerous. I will not be recommending them here for that reason.
  • I focused more on female-led and wlw movies because I’m a lesbian and that’s just where my interest lies.

Explicitly LBGTQ Movies

  • The World Unseen (2008)
    • A gorgeous movie set in South Africa during apartheid. Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth are fantastic. I watched this movie and was immediately taken in by both of them. There is just something tender about this movie. Everything is under the surface, which makes it quietly beautiful. It is in keeping with the “slow” wlw movies that have been coming out recently, but with more substance in my opinion.
    • Also see the wlw romantic comedy Lisa and Sheetal did called I Can’t Think Straight. Both are explicitly gay!
  • Bound (1996)
    • This might be my favorite gay movie ever. The leads, Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon, are cons looking to outsmart the mafia. They are so incredibly good in this movie and have outstanding chemistry. Also, masc-Gina is irresistible. She describes it as the best role she had ever had, and I agree.
  • Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
    • My childhood favorite. I’ve watched this movie dozens of times. Two women live in the south in the 40’s and own a restaurant where they have gay food fights, play in rivers and boxcars, and basically raise a child together. The book was written to be gay, but the movie was too scared to follow the source material. Still, a beautiful portrait of a wlw couple.
  • Moonlight (2016)
    • This movie made me sob. Brilliant performances by all main characters, but especially Trevante Rhodes. This movie was really the first I watched about gay men, and it opened my eyes to a lot of things, including how toxic masculinity hurts not just women.
  • Portrait of a Lady On Fire (2019)
    • Island lesbians. Paintings. Fire. Self-explanatory. Made me bawl for hours.
    • I didn’t want to include a lot of newer LGBTQ movies on this list, but this one is special, like Moonlight.
  • Frida (2002)
    • I love Frida Kahlo so much and I adored Selma Hayek in this movie as her. It focuses mostly on Frida’s art and her relationship with her husband Diego, but it has some small scenes alluding to her bisexuality, including a super hot dance scene with Ashley Judd.
  • A Perfect Ending (2012)
    • Sex worker meets rich older woman. They fall in love, but the older woman is terminal. Yeah. This movie is not Academy Award material but honestly, I love the leads and there are some awesome sex scenes.
  • Now and Then (1995)
    • This movie is for all of us who have used binders.
    • Roberta is gay. I don’t care what you think.
  • Saving Face (2005)
    • This one is CUTE. Lots going on in this rom-com but it is very much a portrait of family, how we communicate, and how love and support ultimately can overcome anything.
  • The Handmaiden (2016)
    • Also a newer one, but I am including it because it’s very well done. Takes place in Japanese occupied Korea. A handmaiden falls for her mistress, and they have to outsmart a scheming male con to run away together. I felt, at moments, it was very male-gazey and I can’t exactly explain why. Still, a solid movie with a good ending.

Not Explicitly LGBTQ But In My Opinion is GAY

  • Anything with Susan Sarandon before 2000.
    • I can’t really explain this, but it’s just all super homo. See:
      • Witches of Eastwick (Cher costars!)
      • The Client
      • Dead Man Walking
      • Thelma and Louise – actually very gay in all ways
      • Rocky Horror Picture Show – seriously she made so many gay ones
  • Predators (2010)
    • A recent sequel to some of the Predator movies. It follows a group of assassins stranded on a strange planet who find themselves being hunted. It’s not a great movie, but isn’t terrible, either. This only made the list because the very lovely and very queer Alice Braga is in it, and she kicks major ass. (She comes off queer in every movie and TV show she’s in and I love it.)
  • Alien Resurrection (1997)
    • Stranded in space, a group has to destroy a brood of new Aliens. Sigourney Weaver (This time playing a Ripley with mutant DNA) stars opposite Winona Ryder, and I don’t know, peeps. They have a lot of interactions with homoerotic undertones. Like, a LOT. My nine-year-old self watched this movie two years after it came out and was like oh, WOW. By far one of the weakest Alien films, but it’s fun.
  • Alien vs. Predator (2004)
    • Another more recent sequel that stars Sanaa Lathan as the leader of an archaeological dig who comes across a very occupied Alien city. (Her character gives me lesbian vibes.) The Predators soon arrive for a fun hunt. Sanaa is the “last girl standing” and she teams up with a Predator to destroy the Queen Alien. I like her in everything she’s in – so this movie isn’t great, but I will recommend it because she is boss in it. And it’s fun!
  • Steel Magnolias (1989)
    • This movie has Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, and Olympia Dukakis (among others like Sally Field and Daryl Hannah) who play friends preparing for a wedding in the south. Young folx, Olympia is somewhat of a gay icon for her role in Tales of the City. I can’t explain why this feels gay… it just is. Maybe it’s the friends are family theme. IDK. This story was actually written by a friend of my mother’s, so I recommend it to everyone.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
    • This movie touched me so deeply. It has my favorite, Michelle Yeoh, in it and also stars the amazing Zhang Ziyi, whose storyline I think will resonate with many lesbians. It definitely did with me. It’s a long movie, but incredibly well written with breathtaking cinematography. Please watch all the way to the end. It is one of the best endings in a major film in the last fifty years (in my opinion).  
  • The Heroic Trio (1993)
    • I love this movie! Good luck finding it on any major platforms, though. I think I watched it on YouTube. It is a superhero movie with an all-female group of superheroes set in Hong Kong. It also stars the wonderful Michelle Yeoh who does all her own stunts. It’s a fun watch and good if you want something to oppose the very hetero and male focused MCU movies.
  • Double Jeopardy (1999)
    • A woman’s husband frames her for murder. She goes to prison, but when she gets out, realizes she can’t be tried for the same crime twice. Murder shenanigans ensue. There is literally nothing gay about this movie except Ashley Judd. Just look at this picture of her:
Don’t tell me this pic of A Judd isn’t gay.
  • The Mummy Returns (2001)
    • There’s a cursed mummy! In the desert! Also a super hot fight scene with Patricia Velásquez and Rachel Weisz who have some homo chemistry. Did you know that Patricia is a model and openly lesbian? She published a book about it in 2015.
  • The Haunting (1999)
    • A group signs up for a “sleep study” only to find they are locked in a haunted house. When I was a kid, I watched this movie over and over again. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Lili Taylor bring lots of homoerotic interactions to this fun (and scary!) movie remake of The Haunting of Hill House book by Shirley Jackson.

Again, this was just for fun, and these are only a few of my favorites! I may be back for more recs later this month. Enjoy Pride, my babies.

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