As a queer girl and a film lover, finding movies that tell the stories of the LGBTQ+ community always makes me very happy. Here are some of my favourites!
Tangerine (2015) dir. Sean Baker
This film is now considered a queer cult classic, and the IMDb trivia page is well worth diving into. Following two trans sex workers on Christmas Eve, this movie is not always easy to watch, but is consistently funny and yet depressing, unflinching and yet subtle. The depiction of black trans women has been heralded as accurate and representative.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) dir. Jim Sharman
To this day, I don’t know if my favourite part of this movie is the outfits, the music, or the bizarre sexual politics between every single character. We see Brad and Janet, who, after finding themselves stranded in a storm, stumble into the queer chaos of Dr Frank-N-Furter and his gang of loyal followers. Basically, it is high camp horror, and it’s got Tim Curry. What more could anyone ask for?
Booksmart (2019) dir. Olivia Wilde
If you want to watch a film which does includes a queer story but does not include any ‘kill your gays’ tropes or general intolerance, then Booksmart is a must-watch. As impossible-not-to-love friends Molly and Amy find themselves at the end of their high school career with little to show for it apart from good grades, they embark on a mission to go as wild as possible on the night before graduation.
Jennifer’s Body (2009) dir. Karyn Kusama
One of my favourite films ever, Jennifer’s Body is a comedy horror that tells the story of the demonic possession of high schooler Jennifer. This is one of those films that will have you asking “wait… is this gay?”, only to be pleasantly surprised as the plot unfolds. Fox and Seyfried are hypnotic to watch, and the movie makes complex comments on rape culture, feminine sexuality, and sapphic love.
Paris is Burning (1990) dir. Jennie Livingston
This documentary is an absolute must-see for anyone interested in queer history. The film submerges the viewer in the ball culture of New York City throughout the mid-to-late 80’s. The cinematography and direction focuses entirely on the voices of the gay and trans members of the community, many of whom are black and latino.