Queer Movies and TV Shows to Add to Your Watchlist
Much of the discrimination and hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community stems from a lack of understanding of their lives, experiences, and struggles.
While panel discussions, demonstrations, exhibits and inclusive policies are just some of the ways to foster understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, another subtle but indisputable way is the power of cinema.
We asked the Rappler community for their favorite queer movies and TV shows – here are some of their suggestions.
Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita (2013)
Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita (Anita’s Last Cha-Cha) is a Filipino film about a 12-year-old girl, Anita, who has a crush on the new woman in town, Pilar. Set in a rural community of Bulacan, the film revolves around Anita’s journey through puberty, self-discovery, and living in conservative traditions.
This Oscar-winning film depicts a young black man and his struggles in childhood, adolescence and adulthood – while coming to terms with his identity and his sexuality.
To make ends meet at home, high school student Ellie Chu agrees to write a love letter to her school’s jock. Things go awry when she becomes his friend and falls in love with his crush.
half of it is available on Netflix.
Die Beautiful (2016)
die beautiful is a Filipino film about Trisha, a transgender woman who dies after being crowned the winner of a gay beauty pageant. As Trisha’s friends dress her up every night as a different person, they reflect on her life, struggles, and victories as a transgender woman in Filipino society.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
Set in 18th century France, Portrait of a lady on fire is the story of the daughter of a French aristocrat who develops an affair with the painter commissioned to create her wedding portrait.
The film won Best Screenplay at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. It also won Queer Cannes the same year.
Your Name Engraved Here (2020)
Two male college students fall in love amid homophobia, family pressures and social stigma in the context of Taiwan’s post-martial law.
Your name engraved here is Taiwan’s highest-grossing LGBTQ+ film in history, as well as its most popular film of 2020.
Mamu and a mother too (2018)
A trans woman working as a sex worker in her late 40s finds herself in uncharted territory when she suddenly assumes the role of mother to her orphaned niece. Mamu and a mother too tells a story of hope in the midst of a seemingly endless struggle.
The film’s lead, Iyah Mina, was named Best Actress at the 2018 Cinema One Original Film Festival, making her the first transgender Filipina to win the Best Actress award in Filipino film history.
Library is a coming-of-age story of two best friends – and academic overachievers – who realize they may have missed out on the fun times of high school. On the eve of graduation, the girls attempt to cram four years of adventure into a single night.
Happy Together (1997)
A romantic drama about the tumultuous relationship between a couple of men, Happy together is a film by Wong Kar-wai starring Tony Leung and Leslie Chung.
The film is hailed as one of the best LGBTQ+ films of all time, landing third place in the British Film Institute’s poll in 2016.
Her Appearance (2014)
The life of Leonardo, a blind teenager in search of independence, is turned upside down when a new student arrives at his school, Gabriel.
A poignant story of friendship and love, The way he looks won the Teddy Award for Best LGBTQ+ Feature Film at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2016.
Laid tackles the New York drag ball scene, an LGBTQ+ subculture among Black and Latino communities between the late ’80s and early ’90s. The TV series is a fan and critic favorite, with numerous awards and nominations, including an Emmy for Best Drama Series and Best Actor for Billy Porter.
One Day at a Time (2017–2020)
Based on a 1975 TV show of the same name, One day at a time follows three generations of a Cuban-American family living under one roof: an army veteran struggling with PTSD, his children, and his traditional mother.
The series has been nominated three times for a GLAAD Media Award for Best Comedy Series.
2gether: the series (2021)
Is the fake relationship come true your favorite fictional trope? 2gether: the series offers an LGBTQ+ twist – a middle schooler turns to his co-worker for a mock relationship so he can escape a persistent admirer.
Adapted from a 2019 Thai novel of the same name, the series is credited with contributing to the prominence of the Boy’s Love (BL) genre.
Queer Eye (2018–present)
A reboot of the 2003 reality series of the same name, weird eye follows the Fab Five, a team of professionals who use their expertise in food, fashion, design, grooming and culture to improve people’s lives.
Fan of the science fiction genre? Creators behind The matrix and Babylon 5 bring us Sense8a Netflix series about eight people around the world who discover their ability to telepathically experience the lives of others.
The series is praised for its diverse characters and progressive approach to themes of sexuality, gender, and identity.
Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020)
Finding themselves broke and homeless after being scammed, the Rose family must leave their lavish life behind and move into a run-down motel in a rural town.
Schitt’s Creek is praised for its portrayal of a pansexual character and its wholesome story of a same-sex relationship. (That said, we all need a Patrick Brewer in our lives.)
Another wholesome story of a gay relationship, Heart stroke is an adaptation of the popular web comic by Alice Oseman.
“Heart stroke tries to create a queer utopia by reusing common images from heterosexual romance movies – kissing in the rain, holding hands in the theater, taking photos in a photo booth, casting longing glances across the room…. It reveals how magical those moments are and can be when you first experience them,” writes Jason Tan Liwag in his review.
Set in the pandemic quarantine of 2020, Gameboys features the story of Cairo, who loses to teammate Gavreel in an online game. Cairo demands a rematch, but Gavreel wants something in return – a date.
Queer as Folk (2022–present)
Queer as Folk just released this month, but it’s on its way to becoming a fan favorite!
A reimagining of the 1999 British series of the same name, Queer as Folk centers on a group of friends who, after a tragedy, find support in the gay community.
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Would a list of must-see gay TV shows be complete without RuPaul’s Drag Race?
RuPaul’s Drag Race is a long-running reality competition series in search of the next drag superstar. The show is once described as “America’s Next Top Model meets Project track meets Survivoror “a bunch of drag queens running around for money.”
What’s your favorite queer movie or TV show? Tag us on social media! — Rappler.com