My Top 5 LGBTQ Films of All Time
Over the past couple of decades there have been some pretty amazing films made for our genre, reflecting the struggles and victories of the LGBTQ community through time. Whether you’re just coming out, new to the community or just on the hunt for a good film to watch tonight; I’ve got you covered.
Here are some of the best, most heart-felt, tear-jerking, inspiring and hilarious films in the LGBTQ genre to date.
Fifth Place: But I’m A Cheerleader (1999)
Kicking off with a film based on good old oppression, this is definitely one to watch if you’re in need of a little satire. With a cast packed full of some of the quirkiest and funniest, this one serves up 50’s ignorance with a healthy side of humour. All-American girl, Megan Bloomfield (Natasha Lyonne) is a cheerleader whose parents have suspicions of being a lesbian. They cart her off to a ‘Gay Rehab Camp’ where she meets some particularly colourful camp leaders (including the Grand High-Bitch herself, Rupaul) as well as other homosexual misfits who’ve been sent for some ‘re-corrective therapy’. A hilarious take on the absurdities of 50’s homophobia, this one is sure to provide a few laughs.
Fourth Place: Kinky Boots (2005)
There’s nothing drag queens take more seriously than their wigs and their heels. Kinky Boots highlights this fact of life brilliantly. Based in Britain, shoe factory owner Charlie (Joel Edgerton) is desperate to save his business and frantically dreams up ways to appeal to a bigger audience. Enter Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor), the vivacious and successful drag queen who is in need of a strong but sexy pair of heels designed for a more ‘masculine’ lady. Based on a true story, this one is packed full of chuckles and shows just how well sex sells.
Third Place: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
First in the Top 3 is perhaps one of the most well-known and best loved LGBTQ film made in the past 20 years, and because of its success it’s been adapted into a Tony Award winning musical. Based in Australia, the story follows two drag queens and a transsexual on a four-week gig tour. The queens encounter more than a few hiccups as well as revelations during their adventure, keeping you laughing and on the edge of your seat throughout. One to watch if you’re considering taking up the art of drag and want a bit of a her story lesson.
Number 2: Running with Scissors (2006)
This one has a special place in my heart. Based on Augusten Burroughs’ best-selling book Running with Scissors, a memoir of his whimsical and at times pretty messed-up life as a teenager. If you’ve had the pleasure of reading the book, there’s no danger of being disappointed with this adaption. Capturing the craziness of Augusten’s coming-of-age years, you’re introduced to the troubled and abstract characters that graced his life. Alice in Wonderland for gays would be an apt way to describe this one. Give it a watch if you feel there’s some craziness in your life and you need some perspective!
Joint First Place: Milk (2008) and Pride (2014)
Now, don’t get angry at me for throwing you a bit of a curve ball here; these two are in joint place for good reason.
Pride is based in 1984, at a time when Thatcher was in power and gay rights did not yet exist. The story follows Joe (George Mackay), a closeted gay man who stumbles into the London scene and its main band of protesters. The group of gays and lesbians who have been shunned by society empathise with a community of striking miners who have also been segregated by Thatcher and her policies. This is a tear-jerking must-see about hope and the importance of working together as a community, something which resonates with all of us.
Milk is an American biographical film which has established universal critical acclaim. Portraying the life and death of the first openly gay man in office and gay rights activist, Harvey Milk – this one provides an education of how far we’ve come and at what price. Sean Penn and James Franco star in the leading roles and they more than do the historic tragedy justice. Lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual or questioning – consider this film a mandatory member of your ‘films to watch’ list.
So, there you have it. Some of the greatest LGBT films of all time which can be watched to remind us of our struggle towards equality and the victories we’ve achieved. If you take anything away from the morals in these tales, let it be a lesson of equal and universal love.