25 queer Christmas films to keep you merry and bright this holiday season

With Christmas being just around the corner, we’ve gathered a handful of our personal favourite queer festive films for you to enjoy.

From left to right, screencaps from queer Christmas films 'The Christmas Setup,' 'Rent,' and 'Happiest Season'
Image: MarVista Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, and TriStar Pictures

Can you believe that Christmas is just around the corner? We most certainly cannot but don’t worry, we’ve put together a gorgeous list of queer Christmas films to help you kickstart the festive mood!

So without further ado, find a cosy spot and nestle in and let’s get into our list of 25 queer Christmas films to keep you merry and bright this holiday season, shall we?

Made For You (2019)
This short film tells the story of two men in a long-distance relationship, one American and one English, who keep in contact through messages and FaceTime.

The film explores the couple’s relationship as it blossoms and develops throughout the year, showing the romantic moments they share together through their phone screens. 

As the festive season steadily approaches, it is clear that although they stay in regular contact, the pair are upset at the fact that they will be unable to share the holiday together. However, on discovering a mysterious gift under the Christmas tree of his parents’ house, marked with the pet name ‘Joker’ which refers to an inside joke he and his boyfriend share, the Englishman is perplexed.

To his surprise, his long-distance boyfriend enters the room, thousands of miles away from his own home and gets down on one knee.

The Christmas Setup (2020)
Lifetime’s first queer Christmas movie, The Christmas Setup, which stars real-life married couple Blake Lee (Parks and Recreation) and Ben Lewis (Arrow, The Handmaid’s Tale), is about a New York City lawyer Hugo (Lewis) who goes to Milwaukee with his best friend, to spend the holidays with his mother.

Fortunately, Hugo’s mom likes to play matchmaker and arranges for him to run into his old crush Patrick (Lee), who’s home from his high-powered job in Silicon Valley. Grab the Hugo to your Patrick, because you’re going to want to snuggle in with this film.

Carol (2015)
Do we even need to explain this one? Since its release in 2015, it has quickly become a staple in Christmas viewing for many queer women for many reasons, but Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett certainly help.

The romance film is set in 1950s New York and sees a department store clerk, played by Mara, fall in love with an older married woman, played by Blanchett. 

Tangerine (2015)
​​On Christmas Eve, trans sex worker, Sin-Dee Rella, is released from a 28-day prison sentence. Upon being released, she finds out from her friend Alexandra, that her pimp/boyfriend has been sleeping with a white cis woman. This causes Sin-Dee to go on a trek across Los Angeles to find the unfaithful pair.

Despite not following the “traditional” narrative, even when it comes to queer Christmas movies, Tangerine is not only set during the holiday season but at its core is a movie about family.

The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls (2021)
The first The Christmas House film became the first-ever Hallmark movie to prominently feature a gay character when it aired in 2020. The 2021 sequel, Deck Those Halls, sees the original cast brought back together as two brothers compete in a decor-off to see who can create the best Christmas house.

Single All The Way (2021)
The plot of this film follows a gay man (Michael Urie) who somehow manages to convince his best friend (Philemon Chambers) to pretend to be his boyfriend when he goes home for Christmas. However, his mother (Kathy Najimy) has other plans when she tries to set him up on a blind date…

With Love (2021)
While With Love might not be an actual film, it is a groundbreaking miniseries. It’s Prime’s first series featuring an inclusive LGBTQ+ cast and storyline, and one of the first transgender love stories to ever be featured in a holiday rom-com. Now that is something to be grateful for this holiday!

Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
Starring none other than Ella Hunt (Dickinson’s own Sue Gilbert), Anna and the Apocalypse is a British Christmas zombie musical film. The story is set in a town named Little Haven that is struck by a zombie apocalypse leaving Anna (Hunt) and her friends to save their loved ones.

Director John McPhail has said that he took inspiration from West Side Story, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Breakfast Club when crafting this unique toe-tapping holiday movie.

Christmas on the Square (2020)
​​There might not be any LGBTQ+ relationships or plot in this movie but it has got Dolly Parton and Christine Baranski so I mean, it most definitely counts as a queer Christmas film to us! And wait until you hear what this one is about.

An embittered scrooge of a woman (Baranski) returns to her hometown with plans to sell it regardless of the consequences for the people who live there. However, a warm and kind angel (Good Golly Miss Dolly!) arrives to show her what would happen if she did so.

Dashing in December (2020)
Looking for queer cowboys, feel-good scenes, and Christmas delights? Well move over Brokeback Mountain, because Dashing in December is the feel-good gay cowboy movie we have been looking for. Starring Juan Pablo Di Pace and Peter Porte, Dashing in December follows a New York businessman who falls for the gruff ranch hand after returning to his rural roots for Christmas.

Happiest Season (2020)
This release follows the story of Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (McKenzie Davis), a lesbian couple dealing with the ups and downs of visiting conservative relatives over the Christmas period. Directed and co-written by Clea DuVall, Happiest Season is not one to be missed

Let It Snow (2019)
When a snowstorm hits a small town on Christmas Eve, a group of high school seniors finds their friendships and love lives unexpectedly colliding.

Make the Yuletide Gay (2009)
A university student is out on his college campus but hasn’t told his parents that he’s gay. When he goes home for Christmas, his closeted act seems to be going fine until his current boyfriend shows up unannounced.

Season of Love (2019)
This queer holiday rom-com follows the lives of three very different couples as they deal with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set right before Christmas through to New Year’s.

Lucky Fares (2014)
One of the Three Kings and Santa Claus spend Christmas in jail, talking about what their future will be like. This is a short film on social exclusion and the struggle of being oneself in a hard world.

The Bitch Who Stole Christmas (2021)
If you love Drag Race, this one’s for you! In one of the draggiest queer festive films ever made, a workaholic big-city fashion journalist is sent to a Christmas-obsessed small town to dig up a story. Unexpectedly, she finds herself in the middle of cut-throat housewives, a high-stakes Winter Ball competition, and a sinister plot that could destroy Christmas for-evah.

Under the Christmas Tree (2021)
Under the Christmas Tree follows two women who cross paths because of their unique careers. The film’s description mentions an enchanting tree, some Christmas fairy dust, and a pâtissière extraordinaire. Say no more because we’re hooked. Definitely one to add to your list of queer Christmas films to watch.

Rent (2005)
“Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes, is Rent really, a Christmas movie?” It sure is! The timeline begins on Christmas Eve 1989, and concludes on Christmas Eve 1990 – exactly one year later.

The late Jonathan Larson wrote this poignant musical (he also wrote Tick, Tick…Boom!) and it is a devastating account of a group of New Yorkers who struggle with their careers, their love lives and the effects of the AIDS epidemic on their community.

Last Christmas (2019)
Inspired by gay icon George Michael’s song of the same name, this queer Christmas film follows Kate (Emilia Clarke), a discontented Londoner who works as an elf in an all-year-round Christmas shop. However, things take a turn for the better when she meets Tom (Henry Golding), an incredibly handsome man who seems far too good to be true…

A New York Christmas Wedding (2020)
When a bride-to-be gets a special visit from an angel on the night before her Christmas Eve wedding, she discovers what might’ve happened if she hadn’t denied her feelings for her childhood female best friend. 

Christmas on Cherry Lane (2023)
This delightfully queer Hallmark film premiers on December 9, 2023! Starring Mean Girls’ Jonathan Bennett and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Vincent Rodriguez III, Christmas on Cherry Lane follows three couples trying to celebrate the holiday season while simultaneously navigating crucial turning points in their lives. If you’re looking for a brand new watch, definitely add this to your list of queer Christmas films to watch this year!

Scrooge & Marley (2012)
This modern retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol reimagines Scrooge and Marley as ex-boyfriends. And just to make the yuletide a little gayer, it’s also a musical!

The Holiday Sitter (2022)
Jonathan Bennet is back for yet another Hallmark queer Christmas film! This time Bennett’s character spends the holidays babysitting his niece and nephew with the help of their hunky neighbour, Jason. 

A Very Salem Christmas (2021)
Set in the world of Days of Our Lives, this queer festive film follows Will and his husband Sonny as they try to write the script for a Christmas movie on a tight deadline. Fun fact! Will and Sonny’s wedding on Days of Our Lives was actually the first-ever same-sex wedding between men to appear on US daytime drama television. 

Red Lodge (2013)
Also known as The Unattainably Perfect Gay Christmas, this flick follows a man who is preparing a Christmas Eve proposal to his boyfriend of two years. In true rom-com fashion, however, things don’t exactly go to plan.

That rounds off our list of queer Christmas films to watch this holiday season – happy viewing!

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