Vibe: tough but uplifting; happy tears
The true story of a group of queer activists in the UK forming bonds of support and solidarity with a small mining town during the 1984-85 miners’ strike. (Contains offscreen anti-gay violence.)
Breakfast with Scot (2007)
Vibe: heartwarming found family
A former NHL player and his partner unexpectedly must care for an effeminate preteen boy. (Contains struggle with internalized homophobia and references to fatal drug overdose.)
Brother to Brother (2004)
Vibe: bittersweet, community connection
A gay college student in New York meets an old homeless poet and learns about the Harlem Renaissance from someone who lived it, in the process developing his own sense of identity as a gay black man. (Contains racism and suicide.)
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (2010)
Vibe: empowering historical
A biopic about a badass 19th-century lady from Yorkshire who refused to let anybody shame her out of living, dressing, and fucking as she damn well pleased.
Friends and Family (2001)
Vibe: campy, sweet comedy
A pair of openly gay Mafia goons get a surprise visit from one’s parents and scramble to convince them that they actually run a catering company, with the assistance of a very supportive mob family. (Contains theater blackface and a cringey rape joke.)
Contracorriente / Undertow (2009)
Vibe: heartbreaking, beautiful
A tragic love story about a fisherman and a ghost.
Quand on a 17 ans / Being 17 (2016)
Vibe: artistic coming-of-age
Two boys in rural France gradually evolve from beating each other up to looking at each other differently. (Contains violence, animal death, and mention of miscarriage.)
Vibe: boisterous comedy with a sad ending
An old lady breaks her longtime partner out of a nursing home and they take off on a road trip to Canada to get married. Hysterically funny and touching.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)
Vibe: bleak comedy
A cranky washed-up biographer starts forging celebrity letters to make money. (Contains animal death.)
Beautiful Boxer (2004)
Vibe: struggle to success
The true story of a transgender Thai kickboxer who built a career on fighting in lipstick. (Contains transphobia, forced public nudity, rape jokes, violence against a child.)
Vibe: gritty coming-of-age
Three sections about three stages of the main character’s life, showing the evolution of his relationships with drugs, sexuality, and the people who are important to him. (Contains onscreen anti-gay violence.)
But I’m A Cheerleader (1999)
Vibe: campy satirical coming-of-age
A classic of queer cinema, the story of a teenage girl who gets sent to ex-gay conversion camp and falls in love with another girl while she’s there.