11 lesbian coming-of-age movies to add to your watch list

From old classics to Irish favourites, this list of lesbian coming-of-age films is sure to have something to pique your interest.

Scenes from movies featured in our lesbian coming of age movies list are featured in the picture. The movies from left to right are: My First Summer, Pariah and Show Me Love

We all know everyone loves a coming-of-age story once in a while, but how many of the movies that come to mind feature lesbian protagonists?

If you can’t think of any, then hurry and read our list of lesbian coming-of-age movies that we can’t help but rewatch time and time again!

Booksmart (2019)

Starting our list off with a light comedy, Booksmart tells the story of two straight-A students who look back on their high-school years thinking they should have studied less and partied more. Feeling regretful, the protagonists, Molly and Amy, decide to get up to no good on the eve of their graduation and make up for the four years of missed-out fun in one night.

The movie depicts a rollercoaster of teenage experiences and keeps viewers entertained through comedic drug trips, awkward romance scenes and realisations of maturity. For lovers of silly comedies, this one will be right up your alley!

Dating Amber (2020)

Next up on our coming-of-age movie list is an Irish release featuring both a gay and lesbian main character. Set in 1995, Eddie and Amber, fake a heterosexual relationship to avoid homophobic abuse, with the couple fooling their hometown and parents into believing that they are happily straight.

Throughout the film, they both get to experience queer freedom in their own personal ways, whether it be through finding romance or visiting the gay bars of Dublin.

This award-winning comedy-drama is a must-watch for every Irish LGBTQ+ person out there.

But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)

No lesbian coming-of-age movie list is complete without the inclusion of the cult classic, But I’m a Cheerleader, starring the legendary Natasha Lyone.

For those who still haven’t seen this satirical rom-com, it follows Megan Bloomfield as she is sent to a conversion therapy camp by her parents. Despite the “therapy”, she learns to embrace her sexuality through hilarious scenes alongside queer icons such as RuPaul and Melanie Lynskey.

Years later, this movie still holds up!

Pariah (2011)

This award-winning production is an excellent example of queer and Black representation in film. It tells the story of Alike, a 17-year-old battling to accept her butch lesbian identity.

The drama brilliantly depicts the struggle between the protagonist and her family about coming to terms with her idnetity and illustrates the pursuit of self-expression in the most raw form. With the tagline, “Who do you become when you can’t be yourself?” it offers up a lot of food for thought.

All Over Me (1997)


Looking for more drama films? If so, All Over Me should also be on your list. Illustrating what it was truly like as a queer person in ’90s New York, the movie follows Claude, a tomboy discovering her lesbian identity in the less privileged parts of the city.

After witnessing the murder of a gay musician in her apartment block, she becomes weary of expressing her true identity until she meets a certain pink-haired guitarist. This film highlights the character’s experience of coming to terms with her true identity while detaching from people that hold her back from being herself.

Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013)

Following in the same theme of characters with brightly coloured hair, Blue Is the Warmest Colour has gone down as one of the most notable lesbian coming-of-age movies in history.

Based on a graphic novel of the same name, it follows 15-year-old Adèle as she falls for an older girl named Emma. Although this film achieved significant success, it is important to note that it was also at the centre of much controversy regarding the relationship between the director and leading actors.

The Half of It (2020)

Continuing our list of lesbian coming-of-age movies is a comedy-drama film depicting an accidental love triangle.

When Asian-American student, Ellie, agrees to help her jock classmate write his crush a love letter, she soon realises she also has romantic feelings towards the same girl. This unusual love story is hilariously told while staying close to reality and is a definite must-watch.

Show Me Love (1998)

This Swedish romantic comedy-drama is a true lesbian coming-of-age film with some difficult themes present throughout. The story closely follows two girls, Agnes and Elin, who live in the small and remote town of Åmål, Sweden, and depicts their struggles with mental health, societal standards and their feelings for each other.

Don’t expect to leave this movie without shedding a few tears – prepare the tissues before you watch!

My First Summer (2020)

You know how we mentioned getting your tissues ready? Well, you’ll definitely need them while watching My First Summer. After the passing of her mother, Claudia finds comfort through Grace, a mysterious girl who introduces love, support and intimacy into her life.

This Australian film depicts the perfect summer romance full of growth and emotion and left us with a bittersweet feeling we still cannot shake off.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)

Another one to get you teary-eyed is this coming-of-age drama starring Chloë Grace Moretz. Based on a novel of the same name, it depicts the struggle of queer youth enduring the abuse practices of a so-called ‘conversion therapy’ camp.

Unlike But I’m a Cheerleader, this movie shows the true and raw nature of the experience, highlighting the journey from hatred about one’s identity to acceptance.

The Truth About Jane (2000)

Rounding off our list of lesbian coming-of-age movies, we have The Truth About Jane, a film originally aired on American TV back in the year 2000.

The story follows Jane, who is confused about her sexuality and starts a relationship with a female classmate before quickly being outed to her parents. We follow Jane as she stumbles her way through finding acceptance from the people around her, and even witness a scene where she confides in the iconic queen RuPaul, who plays Jane’s mother’s gay friend.

This is an all-around classic queer film you have to watch.

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