15 wonderful LGBTQ+ films with the happy ending we all need

Here's our selection of uplifting queer films to lift your spirits.

Screenshots from LGBTQ+ movies with happy endings, including To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar, The Handmaiden
Image: Universal Pictures, Berlanti Productions, Moho Film

Sometimes, we all need a movie with a happy ending. With that in mind, we decided to compile a list of our favourite cheerful queer films that will hopefully provide a moment of blissful escape.

The only juicy spoiler that we’ll give is that these 15 queer films all finish with happy endings. So go watch, and get your spirits lifted!

But I’m A Cheerleader

In this whimsically edgy romantic-comedy, LGBTQ+ girls are forced into a ‘conversion therapy’ camp. The main character, Megan (Natasha Lyonne), dutifully follows the program, until she begins to fall in love with another camper, played by queer Clea DuVall.

Conversion therapy‘ is indeed horrid, but have no fear, we promised a happy ending and this movie of self-acceptance and love sure delivers it!

Saturday Church

In this musical coming-of-age story, Ulysses (Luka Kain) is struggling with his home life and questions about his gender identity. He searches for a better community and finds what he’s looking for at an LGBTQ+ shelter.

Through creating an escape in a world of fantasy filled with dance and song, elevated by original music, and a vibrant trans community, Ulysses settles into a story of acceptance.

To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar

This film features elite Manhattan drag queens Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze) and Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes), along with novice Chi-Chi Rodriguez (John Alberto Leguizamo), trying to impress regional judges in a competition.

Finding themselves stranded in a small town, after embarking on a road trip to Los Angeles, (spoiler alert) the trio overcome the odds, ensuring this movie will make you smile.


This heartwarming 2014 film is based on a true story of queer activists raising money to help families affected by the British miners’ strike.

Known from Sherlock and Fleabag, Andrew Scott plays Gethin Roberts, one half of an older gay couple who own the bookshop used as headquarters for group meetings. It’s an unmissable piece of LGBTQ+ cinema.

Paris is Burning

This wonderful documentary is centred around the lives of queer people living in New York City and their “house” culture, which provides a sense of community and support for the performers. Groups from each house compete in elaborate balls that take cues from the world of fashion.

Touching on issues of racism and poverty, the film features interviews with a number of renowned performers, including Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija and Dorian Corey.

The Way He Looks

Starting out as a Brazilian 2010 short film and developing into a feature-length film of love and friendship, The Way He Looks, is a brilliant story featuring a teenager, Leonardo, and his search for independence.

It follows his navigation of everyday life, the relationship between he and his best friend, Giovana, and the emotional shift after the arrival of the third character, Gabriel.

The Edge of Seventeen

Young love is messy and awkward. In The Edge of Seventeen, lonely high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), forms an unexpected friendship with the thoughtful Erwin Kim (Hayden Szeto) that gives her a glimmer of hope that life just might not be so terrible after all.

God’s Own Country

Don’t let the brooding exterior of a film like God’s Own Country fool you, this feature is full of queer passion and acceptance that is so often left out of queer cinema. Following the story of a troubled Yorkshire farmer who crosses paths with a Romanian migrant worker, the film plots the course of their burgeoning love story through trials, tribulations, and the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. 

Love, Simon

When this film hit the scene in 2018 it became the first-ever film produced by a major Hollywood studio to focus on a same-sex teen romance. On top of being a ground-breaking piece of queer cinema, Love, Simon was well-received by audiences and critics alike, even earning itself its own spin-off television series, Love, Victor on Disney+.

Red, White, & Royal Blue

Debuting earlier in 2023, Red, White & Royal Blue is based on the novel of the same name by author Casey McQuinston. Showcasing the story of star-crossed lovers, who just happen to be the Prince of England and the son of the President of the United States, this film has everything from impossibly high stakes and laugh-out-loud comedy, to heart-racing sex scenes and even an appearance from the incomparable Stephen Fry. 

Handsome Devil

If you didn’t get enough of Nicholas Galitzine in Red, White & Royal Blue, then you’ll need to check out one of the actor’s earlier queer roles in Handsome Devil. This film, set at a rugby-obsessed Irish boarding school, tells the story of Conor, portrayed by Galitzine, a new student and rugby star who is struggling with his sexuality. Throughout the film, Conor and his roommate Ned come to bond over their shared love of music. 

Andrew Scott also makes an appearance in the film, portraying a semi-closeted gay teacher who also gets a happy ending. 

The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden is a psychological thriller out of South Korea that tells the story of a Japanese heiress and her ongoing love affair with her handmaiden. Despite the film’s plentiful twists and turns, this epic love story is one for the history books. Beautifully directed, written, and co-produced by Park Chan-Wook, The Handmaiden is a must-see for queer cinephiles. 

Fire Island

This fabulously gay retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice takes place on the sandy shores of the famous Fire Island. Not only is the film hilarious, but it showcases not one, but two queer Asian lead actors. The film follows a group of friends as they travel to Fire Island Pines for a week of drinking, dancing, and debauchery, but when an unexpected stranger throws a wrench in their plans, our protagonists’ chosen family is pushed to its breaking point.  


Based on EM Forester’s novel of the same name, Maurice recounts the tale of young love between two Oxford University students in the early 1900’s. With the novel written long before modern day LGBTQ+ rights movements, it is especially pleasing to see that this film wraps up with a heart-warming ending. 


Showcasing Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, 2019’s Booksmart starring Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, is the epitome of the queer coming-of-age movie. On the night before their high school graduation, straight-A students Molly and Amy are determined to indulge in all the partying they’ve denied themselves throughout high school. For Amy, that means flirting with her crush. The film has since been hailed by fans and critics for the way in which it handles Amy’s queerness. 

While Booksmart isn’t really a rom-com, our main characters most definitely celebrate a happy ending. 

There you are folks, our favourite uplifting queer films. Now your next movie night can end on a happy note.

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