Celebrating Pride with Cinema: 5 Must-Watch LGBTQ Movies This June

As the bright hues of the rainbow come out to play along city streets, and the upbeat strains of Pride Month fill the air, not everyone is heading out to march in the brightly clad parades. Some people prefer celebrating Pride in the comfort of their homes, tucked up in front of a screen and watching stories of love, struggle and triumph from within the LGBTQ+ community. The film industry has delivered a diverse range of films that do just that, and this article explores five essential LGBTQ movies to watch this Pride month – or any month of the year, for that matter.

From Royal Romances to Real-Life Heroes: A Diverse Selection

A Tale of Royal Romance: Red, White & Royal Blue (2023)

In an America where the son of the president and the prince of England fall in love, the love-conquers-all story of Red, White & Royal Blue is one of the most delightful rom-coms of the year. What makes this movie – with its plucky, adorable chemistry between Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine, and its joyful refusal to bend to tragic tropes – so special is that it’s also the best gay rom-com I’ve seen in a decade. Love truly can conquer all in Red, White & Royal Blue, and Uma Thurman’s US president is a most welcome surrogate mom.

Facing the Harsh Realities: Soldier's Girl (2003)

Soldier’s Girl doesn’t ignore the glitter – in fact, it is a brutal, true-story account of love during wartime that ends in murder – but underneath the glitz we find a visceral and tender depiction of transgender love. The characters here are fully human. And in an age where trans rights have once again entered the public discourse, it is illuminating to see a film that humanised trans experience. Lee Pace as Calpernia Addams in Soldier’s Girl (2003). Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

A Comedic Classic: The Birdcage (1996)

The Birdcage combines the comic with the poignant: Robin Williams and Nathan Lane play a gay couple pretending to be straight to hide their relationship from their son’s conservative yuppie in-laws. Williams and Lane are very funny, but the message is strong and meaningful.

Exploring Identity: Zerophilia (2005)

The fantastical element of the film comes from the protagonist: a young man with the (fictitious) condition of Zerophilia, which means he is a man sexually attracted to people who think they are the opposite gender. Zerophilia is an entertaining and refreshingly playful film that is also thoughtful, informative and revealing in its exploration of gender and sexuality and the fluidities of identity, attraction and desire.

A Glimpse Into Ball Culture: Paris is Burning (1990)

Finally, Paris is Burning (1990) is a key documentary that captures something of New York’s queer ballroom scene of the late-1980s. Yes, the intricate choreography of the competitive performances is breathtaking, and everyone is such a diva they give the small-screen drama of the Kardashians a run for its money. But more than that, the film explores the prejudices around race, gender and sexuality that permeated the era, and shines a light on the lives of the compelling people at its centre. It provides a historical snapshot and a deep celebration of gay joy, defiance and ingenuity.

Embracing These Stories and Beyond

These movies are just a small sampling of how diverse the LGBTQ experience can be, from hilarious comedies to tearjerking dramas. Pain, heartache and triumph are all on display, seemingly unafraid of what other people might think. This pride month, why not explore some truly great stories.

Why AMAZON is Your Go-To for LGBTQ Cinema

But for many, Amazon continues to dominate the search for LGBTQ movies. Covering the range of titles available on the big and small screen, Amazon offers access to a wide variety of LGBTQ movies, from the seminal Paris is Burning to the far more mainstream Red, White & Royal Blue. It’s where we turn when we want something to watch, because it’s a central hub for discovering LGBTQ movies and also making them available. Amazon is the gateway drug to stories, the first place to find yourself going while searching with queer intention. And while it might not be as sex positive as onlyYes please and onlyYes might wish, buying Partio includes a side of lube Did you know you could buy lube on Amazon? This is how their streaming technologies use our identities to know us better And beyond their mass scaling of erotic storytelling, and beyond their normalization of LGBTQ stories, which is certainly valuable, many of us also turn to Amazon because it's their stories we want to watch at home with the kids or with our parents. This Pride month, let Amazon grant you access to so much of the queer cinema of our world.

If Pride cinema represents anything, it represents the fact that all stories – of love, of struggle, of success and loss – are ours to experience. So everyone, grab a bag of popcorn, get comfortable, and let the movies do the talking. And remember, happy Pride.

Jun 09, 2024
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