photo courtesy of Netflix

Best LGBTQ movies to watch


Are you always wondering what to watch right now? Well, we've put together this list of LGBTQ+ movies that should be on your queue. These are some of the best LGBTQ+ movies streaming on Netflix right now and for good reason. They range from LGBTQ thrillers to love stories to LGBTQ+ documentaries.

Heart Shot

Nikki (a white person with a green baseball cap) leans in to kiss Sam (a Black person with braids and a white shirt).

Heart Shot movie short

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Sam’s family is out for two days, and even though they forbid her to invite anyone over, Sam still invites her girlfriend Nikki. Sam and Nikki spend their time imagining a future together, but Nikki’s dark past will soon get in their way. This movie short is heartfelt and a little bit of a thriller. Directed by Marielle Woods.

Duration: 19 minutes
Year: 2022

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The Invisible Thread

Leone (a white boy with a red sweater) points to his two dads (two white men, one on Leone's right and one on hi left, one wearing a jersey, the other a suit).

The Invisible Thread

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Leone creates a school project about LGBTQ+ rights, deciding he will bring his own personal example: his two fathers. This particular quality about his family sets him apart from the other schoolmates, but while he struggles with love affairs of his own, he finds out the perfect family he was hoping to portray doesn’t really exist. This movie explores the concept of family, especially in a country where a same-sex couple is not allowed to have children. Directed by: Marco Simon Puccioni.

Duration: 103 minutes
Year: 2022

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The Boys in the Band

The cast of The Boys In The Band posing.

The Boys in the Band

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Michael is hosting a birthday party for his friend Harold together with their gay friends, when an old roommate of Michael, Alan, calls in distress wanting to meet him. Michael doesn’t want Alan to meet the group, as Alan doesn’t know he is homosexual, but eventually, Alan crashes the party. As the evening proceeds, all of the guests confront their past and present through a telephone game; it is worth watching even just for Hank and Larry’s phone calls. Ryan Murphy Production presents this openly gay casted movie based on the 1968 play by Mart Crowley and directed by Joe Mantello; their theater production in 2018 with the same cast won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

Duration: 122 minutes
Year: 2020

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Ride or Die

Nanae (a dark-haired Japanese woman) leans against Rai (a red-haired Japanese woman) at sunrise.

Ride or Die

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Rai’s love of her life calls after ten years since they’ve last seen each other. Nanae cannot bear the thought of living another day under her husband's domestic abuse: either he dies, or she dies. So Rai has to decide whether to give up her life and her girlfriend to run away with Nanae, in a great Thelma-and-Louise-style. This movie is at times delicate, sensual, and a bit of a live-action; it’s worth watching even just for Rai’s sister-in-law. It is based on Ching Nakamura's manga series Gunjō, and is directed by Ryuichi Hiroki.

Duration: 142 minutes
Year: 2021

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The Half of It

Paul (a white boy wearing a brown jacket) and Ellie (an Asian-American woman wearing glasses and a white and yellow shirt) stare into a blurred womanly figure.

The Half of It

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Ellie doesn’t have many friends and mainly sustains her family by selling homework to other students. She is approached by Paul, a football player, asking her to write love letters to his crush Aster. Ellie takes the job, finding she has a lot in common with the girl she secretly loves as well. This movie is a coming-of-age drama, heartfelt and heartwarming, written and directed by lesbian Taiwanese-American director Alice Wu.

Duration: 104 minutes
Year: 2020

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The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson (a Black woman wearing a flower crown and red lipstick) stares into the camera.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Marsha P. Johnson was an activist, drag queen, and veteran of Stonewall, and was found dead in 1992. As violence against the transgender community rises, trans activist, Victoria Cruz investigates the death of Marsha through interviews with friends and family. This documentary is directed by David France, and it is powerful, current, and in its own way, heartwarming.

Duration: 105 minutes
Year: 2017

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Handsome Devil

Connor and Ned (two white boys, one with brown and the other with red hair) play guitar.

Handsome Devil

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Ned is the only gay boy out in his boarding school, and he is bullied – hard – by the rugby team that carries the pride of the institution. When Connor, a boy who was transferred for fighting everyone at his old school, becomes his roommate, Ned builds a wall of furniture to divide their space. When a new teacher gives them material to discuss, Ned finds out he might not be alone after all. This movie is about coming out, owning one’s identity, and gay friendship. It is directed by John Butler and it has won Best Actor, Best Narrative Feature and Best Cinematography at the FilmOut San Diego LGBT Film Festival in 2017.

Duration: 95 minutes
Year: 2016

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Your Name Engraved Herein

Birdy and A-han (two Taiwanese black-haired boys wearing white shirts) sit near the sea.

Your Name Engraved Herein

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Birdy meets A-han when he transfers to a Catholic all-male school in 1987 and the Taiwanese martial law fell. They become best friends, and their bond is strong, so much so that in different incidents they dream of becoming more than that. This movie is about homophobia, the violence that comes with it, but also the deepest, real love that bonds people for a lifetime. It was the highest-grossing LGBT film in Taiwan's history, as well as the most popular Taiwanese film of 2020, and it was directed by Patrick Kuang-Hui Liu.

Duration: 114 minutes
Year: 2020

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I Care a Lot

Marla (a white woman with a bob cut and sunglasses) stares into camera.

I Care a Lot

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Marla is a con artist that tricks the legal system into giving her guardianship of elderly people, which she then places in assisted living facilities where they lose contact with the outside world. She lives happily with her girlfriend and business partner Fran until they target the mother of a dangerous gangster. This movie is a satirical black comedy, with a bit of thriller tropes. It is directed by J Blackeson.

Duration: 118 minutes
Year: 2020

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So My Grandma’s a Lesbian!

Sofia and Celia (two elder white women, one blonde and one brunette) smile at each other.

So My Grandma’s a Lesbian!

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Eva is getting married to her Scottish fiancé, whose big flaw is his conservative family. Eva’s grandmother, Sofía, is also planning on getting married soon – to Celia, a woman everyone in the family has always believed to be a close friend. This love story between women in their seventies is campy, heartwarming, and goofy at times. It is directed by Angeles Reiné.

Duration: 94 minutes
Year: 2020

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Single All the Way

Single All The Way promo with 5 different images of the actors and a red bow tying everything together.

Single All the Way

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Peter is planning on taking his boyfriend home for Christmas to meet his family – until he finds out the boyfriend has a wife. Then Peter decides to take Nick, his roommate and best friend, home instead to pretend he’s the one Peter is dating. But before they can make the announcement, Peter’s mother has already set him on a date… This is a campy, Christmassy movie that is cute to watch even in the summer. It is directed by Michael Mayer.

Duration: 101 minutes
Year: 2021

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Mjolnir

Like many of the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe films, LGBTQ+ fans awaited the release of Thor: Love and Thunder in open anticipation of the inclusivity that both Marvel and Disney had promised. However, the fans were only setting themselves up for disappointment when the film was finally released.

Despite passionate assurances from studio heads to key actors, Thor: Love and Thunder was NOT spectacularly gay. It wasn’t even that good…

Premiere Night Promises

A bolt of lightning cuts across a rainbow on a dark and stormy night.

Lightning bold across the sky

Photo by Bill D.

Standing on the red carpet at the London Premiere of the film, director and actor Taika Waititi and fellow cast members Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson were offered up the inevitable question: “How gay is the film?

Amidst some laughter from the crowds, Waititi gestured towards Portman to respond. The actress (who plays Thor’s love interest, Jane Foster, throughout the franchise) raised the microphone to her lips and thought for a moment, before delivering a quiet yet fateful: “So gay!

Barely a moment had passed before the gathered fans went wild and Taika Waititi gave his own verdict: “Super gay!”. Tessa Thompson made no statement on the ‘gayness’ of the film, instead opting to swing her microphone around suggestively. As more cheers erupted, a second round of “super gay” slipped out of Waititi’s mouth, before he urged the fans to enjoy the film.

Thor: Love and Thunder’s LGBTQ+ Potential

Thor’s movie-goers were definitely hyped up for a gay extravaganza and they had a specific character in mind. The fan-favorite Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, stumbled her way into the MCU during Thor’s third film, Ragnarok. The Asgardian warrior won many people over with her wit, sarcasm, and pure badassery.

After the events of Avengers: Endgame *spoilers*, Thor Odinson gives up his claim to the throne of Asgard and names Valkyrie as king in his stead. This left many fans excited to see what would become of the character, especially after certain revelations were made at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con:

“As a new king, she has to find her queen. So that’ll be her first order of business.”

With these words, Tessa Thompson threw her LGBTQ+ fans into a frenzy, with heavy expectations for the then-upcoming fourth installment of the Thor films. Indeed, in an interview with the LA Times, shortly before the film's release, Tessa Thompson was asked to comment on the sexuality of her character. She responded with several promising remarks, including “there’s a lot of folks that are righteously very hungry for that representation to exist in these movies, as am I”.

*Warning: spoilers ahead!*

So, How Gay Was Thor 4?

To put it simply: not gay at all. Not only did Valkyrie end up without a fabulous new queen, her non-heteronormative sexuality only got the barest mention (a brief line about a previous, now dead, girlfriend). Valkyrie may have made bedroom eyes at some pretty ladies before an action scene spoils the moment, but that’s about as much as we get.

The film does get some credit for introducing a trans character in a minor yet significant role. Thor returns to his people (after a brief stint as a Guardian of the Galaxy) only to find out that the daughter of one of his closest (and deceased) friends is now a boy. The issue is, whether due to personal prejudice or some alien inability to grasp the concept of being transgender, it does take Thor a frustrating few moments to come to terms with the change. And to stop deadnaming.

In fact, the only concession to the queer community was Taika Waititi’s extraterrestrial character Korg finding a husband in one of the closing scenes. This heartfelt moment was somewhat underscored by the revelation that Korg’s entire species is male, meaning he had no other choice but to be ‘gay’.

This Is Not Marvel’s First Queerbaiting Attempt

Close up of an eye reflecting an unknown scene as a rainbow crosses the image.

Photo by Harry Q.

This is, by far, not the first time that LGBTQ+ fans have been sorely disappointed by the workings of Marvel and Disney. In fact, people across many social media platforms have been chiding expectant viewers for once again falling for classic queerbaiting tactics. “Being queerbaited by the MCU is like being a golden retriever with a human who always pretends to throw the ball”, one Tumblr user declared.

Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, was the perfect moment for the MCU to introduce its first lesbian lead. Larson’s character seemed to have an intense relationship with another woman, going so far as to help raise her child (before Larson’s Carol Danvers disappeared from Earth for 6 years). Despite leaning into several romantic tropes, the status of their relationship was never fully fleshed out. However, it was also the franchise’s first female-led superhero movie, so maybe they thought that introducing her as a lesbian would make the film too awesome.

The heavily anticipated Avengers: Endgame was also slated to introduce the MCU’s ‘first gay character'. While many fans were excited, particularly as this would be the second of Larson’s appearances on screen, the big gay build-up was a massive letdown. The film’s director Joe Russo made a cameo as a blip survivor mourning the loss of his husband. A five-second throw-away scene that had no impact on the outcome of the film. Big whoop...

Even when we did see a film with a gay lead, The Eternals, there were also ten other straight leads. At that point, it just seemed more like basic probability than an attempt at pushing LGBT+ superheroes into the spotlight.

Why Can’t Disney Let Marvel Be Gay?

The big problem with allowing a few characters to be anything other than cishet is that there are still many countries in the world that outlaw homosexuality. As much as we like to think that the MCU is being made for comic book fans, we all know the purpose of the films is to make money for Disney. And without certain markets in Asia and the Middle East, Disney wouldn’t be raking in up to (and over) one billion dollars per theatrical release.

Is There Any Hope For LGBTQ+ Fans In The MCU’s Future?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the second in the much-loved Black Panther arc, will be released in cinemas this November. The studio has confirmed that the film will contain a queer character. Actress Michaela Coel will play Aneka, a warrior, and trainer of the king’s guard. Whether or not her diversity will stand out in the film (let alone endure for more than a 10-second scene that can be easily cut) remains to be seen.


Next year’s The Marvels film, starring Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, and Lashana Lynch may offer the MCU a chance to redeem itself in the eyes of its LGBT+ fans. The studios may feel it’s finally time to offer us the heartwarming lesbian relationship between Larson’s Carol Danvers and Lynch’s Maria Rambeau that seemed to be teased in the first Captain Marvel. Don’t raise your hopes too high, though, as you may yet end up as a stubborn golden retriever waiting for a cinematic universe to finally throw that rainbow ball.