Weekend (2011), directed by Andrew Haigh, is a beautiful if too real portrait of a hook up turned heated romance stretched out over the course of a weekend. It ends sadly when one of the boys announces he’s moving away for two years. The film captures the power of love-at-first-sight, and it shows that people come into our lives for different reasons. The message is we should enjoy our loved ones while they’re there.
Tig (2015) is a touching Netflix documentary about a lesbian comedian who has been hit with a number of life setbacks, including breast cancer, and turns to stand-up comedy to laugh and celebrate the joy of life.
You know how there’s that thing where the most conservative, anti-gay politicians, who lobby against gay rights, AIDS research, marriage equality and all the rest are the same ones trolling for cocks in bathroom stalls and spreading their ass cheeks on Scruff? Outage (2009) chronicles the scandals and wonders why closeted politicians continue to make laws that hurt their own quality of life.
4. The Bubble
The Bubble (2006) is a portrait of queer life in Tel Aviv and at its heart is a love story between, one Jew and one Arab, and it is painful to realize how much they love each other and yet can’t be together. I saw this movie in France when it came out and I’m not really a cryer but I was balling at the end. So yeah: get a tissue box.
5. Do I Sound Gay?
Do I Sound Gay (2014) is a speedy documentary about the “gay voice” stereotype. Haven’t you heard that before? It’s either “you don’t sound gay” or “you sound really gay.” But what does it even mean to “sound gay”? Does sexual orientation have a sound quality? This documentary offers some funny commentary on the topic.
6. Blue Is The Warmest Color
A love story between a French teenager and a blue-haired art student who helps her find freedom and expression. Blue Is The Warmest Color is based on a 2010 graphic novel of the same title and was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2013.
7. Five Dances
Five Dances is a beautifully shot portrait of an ambitious dancer who moves to New York from Kansas — sound familiar? — where he finds his creative soul, love, and the life he wants to live. Then, before long, he needs to decide whether to go back to the midwest to help his family or stay in New York so he can pursue his dreams. The boys are beautiful and their chemistry is exciting, sure, but the dancing is just as beautiful, making this movie a visual treat.
So this is one of those films that’s colorful and kooky and when it came out in 2010 I saw it, like, four times. It’s a sexually fluid coming of age story/LSD trip about the sexual adventures of really well-dressed college friends, one of whom has a really huge dick. Like really big. His name is Thor, as you would expect from a guy with a huge hammer. Anyway, Kaboom is gorgeous, funny, way out there and super satisfying. Probably one of my favorite gay movies.
9. Come Undone
Come Undone (2000) is one of the first gay movies I remember seeing at a time I was obsessed with learning French. Set in a beach town in France here is yet another love story between two boys with a really HOT sex scene on the beach. It’s a shame that so many gay movies are totally tepid on the sex scene front, doing very little to show two boys passionately fucking each other the same way we see all the time in similar coming of age movies about straight people. Gay sex is not pornographic!
In 2010 Teen Vogue published an article about how in one California high school it seemed like having a gay best friend or “GBF” was the “must-have accessory of the season.” Three years later a film called G.B.F. dropped that looked like a cross between Mean Girls and Clueless, and I was really hesitant to watch it when it first came out. But I did watch it and I can say that it is one of the best gay movies I have ever seen. It’s just so fun and funny and the writing is sharp. I wish I had a movie like this when I was a gay teenager in high school. It’s basically the new Clueless.
11. Paris Is Burning
By now you’ve heard about Paris Is Burning (1990), the Jennie Livingston produced documentary about the voguing and house ball scene in New York of the 90s. You’ve heard about it if you watch RuPaul’s Drag Race or really if you have ever used any words like “realness” or “shade” or “kiki.” But learn your history and watch Paris Is Burning so you can know that “kiki” was not invented by the Scissor Sisters and that black and latino gay, queer, lesbian and transgender people have made enormous contributions to popular culture that are all to easily forgotten.