From modern-day movies boasting stunning LGBTQ+ representation, to beloved fan-favourites that stand the test of time, these seven queer films should be on your Pride watchlist. Many of these films have aged like fine wine; they may have been glossed over by audiences at the time, but today, they have grown into some of the most iconic cult queer classic films beloved by our community.
Paris Is Burning (1990)
This BIPOC-focused piece opened up meaningful conversations on queer spaces and communities in New York. The film showcases the intimacy of the characters’ goals, lives, and dreams, along with the vibrancy of the ballroom scene. Paris Is Burning is a love letter to expression, the New York queer community and identity. It’s both a classic and a beloved film – one you should be sure to watch this June.
Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Here’s hoping this modern queer love story turns into a classic – or is that just me? This gut-wrenching, sensual love story set in Northern Italy in the ’80s is a winner. Although the film was critiqued later for its casting choices, it’s nonetheless a beautiful visual representation of the cult queer novel about queer revelation and beauty. A must-watch, whether it’s Pride month, or you just have some hours to spare.
But I’m A Cheerleader (1999)
With Natasha Lyonne as a cheerleader, there’s not much more I need to say to convince you to put this on your watchlist. This film’s vibrant and bright aesthetic, quirky characters, and interesting soundtrack allow it to address the much more serious issue of conversion therapy through a comedic lens. This is the perfect example of a film that didn’t attract tons of positive press in the late ’90s but has grown into a staple for queer films and definitely one you should check out this Pride season.
A true crowd-pleaser, this based-on-a-true-story sees London-based gay and lesbian activists offer their support to the striking miners in Wales in 1984. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be inspired and surprised, making Pride easily one of the best LGBTQ+ movies in the last ten years.
Dating Amber (2020)
An Irish film that debuted on Amazon Prime in the summer of 2020, Dating Amber is a coming-of-age story set in the ’90s. It follows Eddie (Fionn O’ Shea) and Amber (Lola Petticrew) who decide to stage a romantic relationship in the hopes that the people around them will stop questioning their sexualities. This film offers a heartbreaking insight into the trials of accepting oneself and the pressure of a society that doesn’t understand that struggle.
My Own Private Idaho (1991)
A love story between two friends centres this landmark queer film: My Own Private Idaho. In the presence of their own company, their story is revolutionary, sensual and beautiful. This is one queer film you should be watching over and over again.
Orlando’s disruption of ideas about femininity and expression hold equally important today as they did in the ’90s. This exploration of identity, expression, and fashion has created a staple movie in which androgynous folk and fashion gurus alike can find solace.
If you’re still hunting for more, be sure to check out our suggestions for new and upcoming queer films this year! Get comfortable, grab a snack, and happy watching!
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