Here Are The 23 Best LGBTQ+ Movies On Netflix

It used to be a challenge to find an LGBTQ+ movie or TV show, but luckily, we live in a time where they are more accessible than ever – and just a few clicks away. If you’re looking to binge-watch something new on Netflix, why not embrace diversity and try some of the best LGBTQ+ films the platform has to offer?

Photo: Courtesy of Gay Times

#23. Alex Strangelove (2018)

This coming-of-age romantic comedy follows Alex Truelove (Daniel Doherty) as he plans to lose his virginity with Claire (Madeline Weinstein), his girlfriend. With a bright future ahead of him, he thinks he has everything figured out – that is, until he meets someone new who turns his world upside down.

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When Alex meets Elliot (Antonio Marziale) he starts his journey of sexual exploration as he struggles to figure himself out. All in all, it’s a fresh, funny, romantic comedy with the right amount of drama that every teenage movie needs. It’s not Oscar-worthy, but it’s a perfect watch for a rainy Sunday afternoon.

#22. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a must-see classic. The movie tells the story of two drag queens (played by Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce) and a transgender woman (played by Terrence Stamp) as they travel through the desert of Australia in Priscilla, their lavender tour bus.

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Through their journey to a drag show in Alice Springs, the trio encounter several problems, ranging from serious stuff like homophobic abuse and violence to funny absurd situations and most importantly, a lot of interesting people along the way. There’s a reason why this is considered a classic, that’s for sure.

#21. Beach Rats (2017)

Unlike the two movies we’ve mentioned before, this one is a drama. Beach Rats is the story of Frankie (Harrison Sheehan) who is unhappy in his bleak, ordinary life in Brooklyn. He has no aims in life and is looking to discover himself and spread his wings, which gets him in all sorts of trouble throughout the movie.

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As Frankie tries to discover his true identity, he starts hanging out with the wrong crowd and experimenting with his sexuality by meeting older men online while also dating a girl his age. Eliza Hittman, the director, won the Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival for this movie, so go check it out.

#20. The Birdcage (1996)

Now, when we think of Robin Williams’ films we instantly think of Mrs. Doubtfire or Aladdin, right? But this underrated gem starred by the late actor is a must-see as well. He plays an openly gay owner of The Birdcage, a drag club, who is forced to hide his true identity as his son (Dan Futterman) gets engaged.

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That is because his son’s girlfriend comes from an ultraconservative Republican family, and for the sake of their future marriage, they have to adapt. The film was praised by GLAAD for “going beyond the stereotypes to see the characters’ depth and humanity”. Not only that, but it also stars great actors like Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman.

#19. Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013)

Blue Is the Warmest Colour is a critically-acclaimed drama made by a French, Belgian and Spanish collaboration that is truly worth the watch. It follows the life of two young girls: Adéle and Emma. Adéle (played by Adéle Exarchopoulos) falls in love with Emma (Léa Seydoux), who has bright blue hair.

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The film shows the journey of the young couple’s intense love as they navigate through high school and into adulthood, and have to face the challenges of being an openly-lesbian couple with friends and family who have trouble accepting them. Not only that, but their internal struggles with their own identities are also explored in the movie.

#18. Carol (2015)

You know a movie is worth watching if it has Cate Blanchett in it! Carol is set in the 1950s, when – you’ve guessed it – it wasn’t a good time to be openly gay. Carol, an older woman who is going through a divorce and a custody battle, meets a younger girl (played by Kate Mara), who lives a very different life.

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The two then embark on a very intense, forbidden affair, and face different obstacles that get between them and their love for each other. Blanchett’s performance not only got her an Academy Award nomination, but also nominations at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Critics Choice Movie Awards, and SAG Awards.

#17. Cherry Pop (2017)

Cherry Pop is a movie starring five drag queens that appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race, so if you’re a fan of the show, you should definitely watch it. The film shows one wild night in the life of a small local bar’s drag show group, where a newcomer (Bob the Drag Queen) has to compete with the not-so-friendly queens who’ve been there before her.

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Detox, Mayhem Miller, Tempest DuJour, and Misty Violet are the other drag queens that appear in this movie and bring this roller coaster of a story to life – which, by the way, is on real-time. Backstabbing, lies, and chaos, mark this fun film where a lot of crazy stuff happens.

#16. The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson is a must-see documentary about the story of one of the most prominent LGBTQ activists that took part in the famous Stonewall uprising of 1969. During her lifetime, Marsha took part in several organizations, such as the Gay Liberation Front, among others.

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She also modeled for Andy Warhol, and became one of the most famous drag queens of all time, performing in New York City for years. However, she faced many difficulties in her life, and eventually ended up homeless. Her story is extremely important, heartbreaking, but also inspiring, so you can’t miss it.

#15. God’s Own Country (2017)

If you love queer cinema, then you can’t miss God’s Own Country, which currently holds a 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This universally-acclaimed film tells the story of Johnny (played by Josh O’Connor), a sheep farmer in the Yorkshire highlands. Johnny lives an isolated life until someone turns his world around.

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After numbing his frustrations with casual sex and binge drinking, Johnny’s life changes when he meets Gheorghe (played by Alec Secareanu), a Romanian migrant worker. The two start an intense relationship that starts leading Johnny into a new life path that he never thought of taking before they met.

#14. Handsome Devil (2016)

Handsome Devil is a critically-acclaimed movie that received several accolades, such as the award forest Irish Feature of 2017 from the Dublin Film Critics’ Circle, plus four nominations at the 2018 Irish Film and Television Academy Awards. It follows the story of Ned (Fionn O’Shea) and his journey through boarding school.

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Ned, a loner, goes to a rugby-obsessed boarding school in Ireland, and he’s forced to start sharing a room with Conor (Nicholas Galitzine), a rugby star who’s nothing like him. The two develop a close friendship – well, more than a friendship – that is tested by the school’s authorities.

#13. The Happy Prince (2018)

Rupert Everett takes on the role of renowned gay playwright Oscar Wilde in The Happy Prince, a stunningly bleak look at the last few years of his life. At the height of his success and fame as an artist, Wilde was accused of “gross indecency with men“, which eventually led to his arrest.

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The film explores not only his failed relationships with Robbie Ross (Edwin Thomas) and Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas (Colin Morgan) but also how the playwright went on a downward spiral following his conviction and how he was forced into exile and poverty. It is heartbreaking, but still worth watching.

#12. Hurricane Bianca (2016)

RuPaul’s Drag Race fans will also love this one. Hurricane Bianca is starred by Drag Race champion Bianca Del Rio. She plays school teacher Richard Martinez, who starts working at a new school in a small town in Texas after leaving New York City, and things don’t go quite as planned.

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Richard is fired for being gay, so he decides to go back to the school as his drag alter-ego, Bianca, to get his revenge. Bianca, in turn, puts unruly students and judgemental teachers in their place and makes them go through hell and back. Several stars and RuPaul himself also appear in this comedy.

#11. I Am Michael (2015)

I Am Michael is based on the real-life story of Michael Glatze, a former gay rights activist – yes, former. Michael co-founded Young Gay America, an LGBT magazine, who received a lot of attention by the media when he publically announced that he no longer identified as a homosexual and became a pastor.

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This movie follows Michael (played by James Franco) and his intense romance with Bennett (Zachary Quinto), with whom he founded the magazine and even made a movie. But after a health scare, Michael turned to religion, and everything in his life started to change. You can’t miss this unbelievable biopic!

#10. LOEV (2015)

LOEV is an Indian movie that received a lot of acclaim in its origin country for its realistic portrayal of homosexual relationships in India. The film tells the story of two friends who share a complicated past: Jai (Shiv Pandit) and Sahil (Dhruv Ganesh). One is a Wall Street deal maker, and the other a music producer.

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The two decide to go on a trip together, and that’s when things between the two start to change. During their emotional road trip into the hills and canyons of Maharashtra, the two start exploring a complex sexual relationship that comes in conflict with their friendship, yet a spark of love is ignited as well.

#9. Milk (2008)

You’ve probably heard of this movie before unless you live under a rock. Milk is based on the life of gay rights activist Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay politician to be elected for office in California, played by none other than Sean Penn. The movie follows his life and his time in office, during which he fought for LGBT rights, among other things.

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The ups and downs of being an openly-gay politician in the 1970s are shown in this beautiful movie, which was extremely well received by audiences. In fact, it received eight Oscar nominations, two of which it won: Best Actor for Penn and Best Original Screenplay for Dustin Lance Black.

#8. The Miseducation Of Cameron Post (2018)

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is the heartbreaking tale of a young girl, Cameron (played by Chloe Grace Moretz) who has a secret lesbian relationship with her friend, Coley Taylor (played by Quinn Shephard). But their teenage romance is interrupted when Cameron’s boyfriend walks in on them having sex.

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That is when Cameron’s whole world falls apart, as her boyfriend outs her with her very conservative, Christian aunt. Her aunt decides to then send Cameron to a gay conversion therapy center for teenagers called God’s Promise, and we follow Cameron’s journey through this traumatizing experience.

#7. Paris Is Burning (1990)

Paris Is Burning is an iconic documentary directed by Jennie Livingston. It follows New York City’s ball culture in the mid-to-late 1980s, as well as the Latino, African-American, gay, and transgender communities that were involved in it. For many reasons, this film is considered a national treasure.

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It is considered invaluable for its documentation fo the “Golden Age” of NYC drag balls, and also for its thoughtful dive into race, gender, class, and sexuality in America. For this reason, the film was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

#6. The Pass (2016)

The Pass follows the story of two nineteen-year-olds, Jason and Ade, who have been part of a famous London football club since they were just eight years old. But one special night, before their first-ever game in the Champions League, things between them change forever, as they share a hotel room in Romania.

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The two young boys are over-excited about their upcoming match, so they can’t sleep. They fight, play around, and watch a teammate’s sex tape. And following that, they unexpectedly kiss, and their worlds are turned upside down. This pass in their lives ends up taking them on an unbelievable journey that lasts a decade.

#5. The Perfection (2018)

The Perfection tells the story of a very talented yet troubled cello player, Charlotte, who reconnects with her former mentor Anton (Steven Weber) on a trip to Shanghai. Anton and his wife are running a cello competition that Charlotte decides to enter, and there she meets another student: Lizzie (Logan Browning).

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The two not only become friends, but things between them turn sexual. So far so good, right? Well, surprisingly, this movie is a horrifying psychological thriller, and you need quite a stomach to watch it. If horror movies with a queer protagonist are your thing, then this one’s for you!

#4. Pride (2014)

Pride is a British comedy-drama mixed based on historical events that took place in the United Kingdom. From 1984 to 1985 there was a major British miners’ strike, which involved 142,000 workers at its height – so yeah, a pretty big deal. During the strike, a group of lesbian and gay activists came together.

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This LGBT group raised money to help families affected by the strike, and it evolved into the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign, which was highly successful. This alliance of lesbians and gays that supported the striking miners also helped further gay rights, and the first group spawned 10 more groups across the country.

#3. Tab Hunter Confidential (2015)

Actor, singer, and film producer Tab Hunter rose to fame during the 1950s, and for many years, his sexuality was a hot topic which he never addressed. That was until 2005 when he released his autobiography, where he came out as gay. Tab Hunter Confidential is a documentary inspired by Tab’s memoir.

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The fantastic documentary focuses not only on Hunter’s life and career but also on his experience as a gay man in Hollywood’s Golden Age. Many stars like Debbie Reynolds and Clint Eastwood are interviewed, and it gives great insight into what it was like to live the life of a heartthrob in the 50s.

#2. Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

Fresh out of the oven, Velvet Buzzsaw tells the story of art critic Morf Vandewalt (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), who isn’t satisfied with his relationship with his boyfriend. After a series of strange events, Morf’s friend Josephina (played by Zawe Ashton) finds a dead man in her apartment building.

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As it turns out, the dead man was an artist, and both Morf and Josephina steal his paintings and start exhibiting them in a gallery. However, several supernatural events take place after they get a hold of the paintings, and a mystery must be discovered. So yeah, it’s actually a horror film.

#1. Holding The Man (2015)

Rather than popcorn, you should get a box of tissues before watching this movie – but don’t worry, it’s totally worth it. Holding the Man is based on the life and memoir of Timothy Conigrave, an Australian writer and activist. The film, titled like his memoir, tells the story of his 15-year love affair with John Caleo, the love of his life.

Photo: Courtesy of Gay Times

The story begins when Timothy and John were just teenagers in an all-boys high school, where they fell in love. John was the captain of the football team and Tim was a theater kid. From there, we see the chronicles of a beautiful but heartbreaking relationship in this masterpiece of a film that you should definitely watch!

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    Angeles

    24 - Argentina.

    She's a journalist and a website developer based in New York.

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