BEAR Magazine

Gay boy movie

gay boy movie 19QZ3S


There are all kinds of stories in the world. Some are told more than the others because the people telling those stories are in more power. But, as the world has changed, every story has held on to its right to being told. The LGBTQ+ community has only recently been able to come out more openly and present their stories to the world, which have been as beautiful, as complex and as harrowing as the story of any other section of the society.

Tired of mediocre movies?

There are a ton of movies that have both gay characters and gay storylines, but so many of them are either poorly written, riddled with a ton of offensive stereotypes, have lackluster performances, or are just plain bad.

Fortunately for all the queer cinephiles, there are definitely critically-acclaimed, gay-themed movies out there that are worth a watch. Here are some of the best of the best!

1) do i sound gay?

This Kickstarter-funded documentary by David Thorpe explores the stereotypes about speech patterns of gay men and features Dan Savage, David Sedaris, Tim Gunn, George Takei and Margaret Cho. The film was first runner-up for the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary and has an 84% fresh score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Michael O’Sullivan of The Washington Post said of the film, “What begins as a first-person account of one man’s quest to change the way he speaks soon becomes something closer to pop anthropology, in the process throwing in a bit of sociolinguistics and stand-up comedy. This is, as it happens, a very funny little movie (as well as a sweet, wise and relatable one). Who among us — gay, straight, male, female — isn’t at least a little self-conscious about the way he or she sounds?” 

3) a single man

A Single Man, the Tom Ford drama based on the Christopher Isherwood novel of the same name, stars Colin Firth as George Falconer, a gay British university professor living in Los Angeles in 1962 and mourning the loss of his partner. Julianne Moore plays Charley, his best friend. Firth received Golden Globe, Academy Award, and Screen Actors Guild nominations for best Actor, while Moore was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. A Single Man also won Outstanding Film at the 21st GLAAD Media Awards. The film has an 85% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes.

4) tab hunter confidential

Women may have swooned for Tab Hunter, the actor and singer who rose to fame in post-war Hollywood, but this all-American star had a secret. Tab Hunter Confidential explores what it was like to navigate fame as a closeted gay man, and features extensive interviews with Hunter. John Waters, Clint Eastwood, and Debbie Reynolds are also featured in the film. The film won Best Documentary at the California Independent Film Awards, was nominated for Outstanding Documentary by the GLAAD Media Awards, and has an 88% fresh score from critics and a 98% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

5) to be takei

This documentary on Stark Trek icon and LGBT activist, George Takei, has a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a Certified Fresh rating. Variety said of the film, “A unique blend of camp and conviction, To Be Takei deftly showcases George Takei’s eclectic personality and wildly disparate achievements, from Star Trek crewmate to gay-rights activist.” Fans of George Takei, or those who want to know more about the iconic actor, should add this movie to their queue. 

6) eastern boys

Eastern Boys is a French drama that follows Marek, a Ukrainian immigrant in Paris who works the street with his friends. Daniel, a businessman in his fifties, approaches Marek. The solicitation turns into a home invasion, and then an unexpected relationship. The film explores themes of sexuality, immigration, and power dynamics with a sensitivity that earned it a 89% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. The film also won the Horizons Award for Best Film at Venice Film Festival and the Best International Film Award at Santa Barbara International Film Festival. 

7) the way he looks

The Brazilian coming-of-age romantic drama The Way He Looks follows Leonardo, a blind teenager who wants independence, as he falls for a new student named Gabriel. The film won multiple awards, including the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Feature Film, and the Teddy Award for Best LGBT-Themed Feature. It was also selected as the Brazilian entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards. The Way He Looks has a 92% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes

8) 4 moons

4 Moons is a Mexican drama about four very different interwoven stories of love. The film was shortlisted to be Mexico’s submission for the 88th Academy Awards, and has a 85% fresh score4 Moons paints a spirited and sensitive portrait of gay boys and men in 21st-century Mexico,” said critic Anita Gates of the film.

11) we were here

This powerful documentary chronicles the AIDS epidemic in early 1980s San Francisco, and the personal and political issues that were raised. A number of subjects are interviewed, including Daniel Goldstein, an HIV+ artist who lost two partners to AIDS, Guy Clark, a Castro florist who supplied flowers to many funerals, and Ed Wolf, a counselor to gay men. The film holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes

12) how to win at checkers (every time)

This 2015 drama, the directorial debut of Josh Kim, was selected as the Thai entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. The film follows Oat, an 11-year-old orphan who has an older gay brother facing Thailand’s annual military draft lottery. The film has a 83% score on Rotten Tomatoes

The pioneering gay drama, long dismissed as a relic of self-hatred, is now a netflix film that remains brilliantly uncomfortable.

The Boys in the Band debuts on Netflix on September 30.

The Boys in the Band debuts on Netflix on September 30.

On September 30, an invitation to the most famously toxic gay birthday party in the history of New York City will go out once again when Netflix releases its film version of . It has been 52 years since Mart Crowley’s open wound of a drama, in which nine gay men get together for a long evening of cocktails, cake, and tearing into one another and themselves, premiered Off Broadway. It was acclaimed, then dismissed as a self-loathing relic of an unenlightened time, then acclaimed again as a milestone of frankness, empathy, and even liberation. This, its latest and most accessible return, should feel like the summit of its rehabilitation as an essential text of gay history, enshrined by a gay producer, Ryan Murphy; a gay director, Joe Mantello; and an entirely out cast led by Jim Parsons and Zachary Quinto, none of whom are doing anything in the least bit risky to their careers. And yet, even half a century later, The Boys in the Band defies the easy triumphalism of “Look how far we’ve come”; it’s too tough and brutal to be the occasion for a victory lap. Just like the characters themselves, you enter expecting a celebration, only to encounter something much more troubling.

That lack of compromise speaks very well for the durability of Crowley’s work, which tells the story of Michael (the characters are first names only, in the all too appropriate style of an AA meeting), a semi-lapsed Catholic who is trying to cut down on his drinking and has a mean streak as wide as a river of acid (especially when he drinks), and his attempt to throw a party for his frenemy, Harold, a self-described “ugly, pockmarked Jew fairy” who masks his insecurities with a demeanor of icy hauteur and unshakable self-possession. The guests — mutual pals, former lovers and their current partners, a 20-dollar hustler, an unexpected college roommate from long ago — converge on Michael’s shabby duplex for an evening of fun and games that, by its end, turns into games but no fun, reaching its nadir when Michael baits them all into picking up the phone, calling the person they love most in the world, and telling them, “I love you.” His cruel goal is to show them all that their gay lives can never be anything more than a travesty of human connection enacted for giggles or points on a scoreboard. But the game playing, just as it does in Edward Albee’s clearly influential Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, reveals something else — a depth of emotion that gives the play its lasting power.

The critical reaction to Boys when it first opened, even from those who liked it, is horrifying to revisit. In the New York Times, Clive Barnes called it “screamingly funny as well as screamingly fag” and, while warning that “camp or homosexual humor … like Jewish humor … is an acquired taste,” saluted Crowley for how well he captured “the special self-dramatization and the frightening self-pity — true I suppose of all minorities but I think especially true of homosexuals.” As infuriating as it is to know how recently and casually gay people were discussed with anthropological detachment, it is equally painful to realize how much of the praise Boys received was for what was seen as its daring in depicting how awful gay lives really were.

The show was a hit. Curious audiences kept the play running for more than two years, and in 1970, William Friedkin directed the original cast in a movie version. But by the early 1990s, The Boys in the Band was regarded as an antique that had written its own obit with the caustic line “Show me a happy homosexual and I’ll show you a gay corpse.” It was then that I first heard about the play (actually, the movie, which would turn up at revival houses now and then), and I remember thinking, Thanks, I’ll pass. In the middle of an existential threat to gay lives, a play whose purpose seemed to be to confirm all the worst things straight people ever said about us was the last thing I wanted to see. When I reluctantly went to the movie anyway, I understood what I hadn’t before: The Boys in the Band was, to use the slang of the time, FUBU — art made for us, by us — a time capsule, sure, but also a rich, complicated truth session from an artist who didn’t really care what impression it made on straight people; it didn’t belong to them.

By the time I saw the film, AIDS had killed the play’s original director and five of its nine cast members. Crowley survived that pandemic and lived long enough to see Boys embraced by new generations with an Off Broadway revival in 1996 and another in 2010. I interviewed him for an onstage talkback after a performance of the second revival; he seemed shy, abashed, and a little disoriented by the torrents of applause, blinking as if, having lived in the shadows for so long, he couldn’t quite believe he was being allowed back into the light.

Crowley finally won a Tony two years ago when the play debuted on Broadway with the same cast and director as this new film; he died in March at 84. The Netflix movie is likely to be his final creative legacy, and it arrives at a good moment. It’s time for us to have another awkward, painful dance with a play that challenges current audiences in some ways they may not be used to.

At a moment supersaturated with anodyne statements about the importance of representation and of telling our own stories, here’s a piece of work that refuses to fill that prescription comfortably. Viewers unsettled by characters who are not readily identifiable as either heroes or villains, or by writing that resolutely refuses judgment, are unlikely to take well to the play’s lack of reassurances. The Boys in the Band has ideas about cruelty begetting cruelty, but Crowley is bracingly uninterested in making anyone feel better. His characters, all in their late 20s or early 30s (the film has shrewdly extended their age range into the late 40s), are not role models or “steps forward,” but the new film also makes clear that they can’t be condescended to as period-piece embodiments of oppression. If, for instance, it’s jolting to see the casual racism of a predominantly white gathering of gay men noted and challenged, it’s doubly so to realize that Crowley was prodding at this hot topic decades before Twitter was. The ugliness that pours out of Michael — and Parsons, in go-for-broke mode, spares audiences nothing — is, even today, a shock. But it’s just as jarring to see most of the other characters barely raise an eyebrow at it.

Any director who tries to adapt a play into a movie has to decide how much to concede to the camera’s default demand for realism. It’s a particularly challenging question for The Boys in the Band, which Crowley wrote in a heightened, deliberately brittle, strenuously arch style that gives any audience member who wants to ghost permission to do so by calling it “stagy” or “theatrical”; it remains an easy play from which to recoil if you’re looking for a reason.

Mantello doesn’t give you that out. For one thing, he has solved the problem of the set. The original production didn’t have one — it was just a group of chrome and Naugahyde chairs and side tables that Crowley, in the stage directions to the sequel he wrote, hilariously calls “dramatic and anal … it should positively scream ‘taste.’ ” (Yes, there’s a sequel; to quote one of the characters, “Oh, Mary, don’t ask.”) Since then, the set — Michael’s apartment — has been rendered as everything from kind of grubby (the first movie), to immersive (the 2010 revival, in which the audience essentially sat in the living room), to improbably luxe (the Broadway revival). In this movie, it feels like what it was always meant to be: a modest, unflashy set, a place for someone who likes to stage drama in his home and knows how to make room for the action to play out. There is a balcony, accessible by a spiral staircase. There’s even a sort of proscenium — the terrace, visible through a set of French doors, where the friends are camping it up when Michael’s college buddy walks in. In this version of the play, more than any other, the manipulative, insistent Michael comes off as a kind of failed director.

That’s one of many smart decisions Mantello makes; another is to keep The Boys in the Band real while leaning into the kind of artifice the play demands. He knows there can be no such thing as a relaxed or naturalistic version of Boys because, for most of its characters, the night itself is a tense performance. In the movie’s first minutes, he gives us fleeting glimpses of their lives outside that apartment — the decorator, the squash player, the porno-house cruiser — and we start to understand that, for many of them, walking through that door and presenting themselves to other gay men on a Saturday night requires a willed act of, in essence, getting into character. The Boys in the Band doesn’t settle for the sentimental idea that we automatically drop our guard around people like ourselves. For most of those celebrants, that apartment will prove no more of a safe space than any other, and Mantello is acutely aware of how quickly even the one moment of cutting loose that the men permit themselves — a joyful sing-and-dance-along to Martha & the Vandellas’ “Heatwave” — can turn into an occasion for anxiety and shame.

Mike Nichols once said there were no great movies of Chekhov plays because the plays themselves are master shots; both their comedy and their tragedy accrue from the cumulative effect of seeing all the characters onstage together virtually all the time. If Crowley’s play isn’t exactly Chekhovian, its sense of ennui and despair and confinement comes close enough, and when you see it onstage, your eyes often drift to characters who aren’t talking but watching as the slow-motion nightmare unspools. A movie can’t replicate that effect; almost by definition, a camera makes choices, and so a movie becomes about people taking action, doing things. That could be a hazard for The Boys in the Band, which is, in so many ways, a play about being stuck, not moving forward. But, somehow, it works. If the 1970 film, directed by a straight man, turned the audience into tourists, Mantello’s eye makes us silent guests at the party, peering through a looking glass at who, by an accident of birth timing, we might have been and how far we have or haven’t traveled from that.

By the end, I was aware of what a necessary reminder The Boys in the Band is that the struggle continues. Halfway through its original Off Broadway run came Stonewall, a date that has been commodified and oversimplified as a line of demarcation. But Boys isn’t cleanly readable as either a pre- or post-Stonewall work; it’s one in which constraint and freedom, pride and self-loathing, masochism and an unkillable survival instinct all exist in the same room on the same night. Many of the younger gay men who may decide to watch Boys in the coming weeks have grown up on a Bravo-Vh2 diet of overstaged confrontations. They know all about reading someone (“The library is open!”), about “living for the drama,” about savage takedowns — not to mention about the sexual hierarchies of Grindr. It’s upsetting, in the best possible way, to look at where some of that originated and at how much of it is toxic. After all, what is RuPaul’s mantra “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” but a think-positive rewrite of the still-heartbreaking line at the play’s end, when Michael, the self-styled illusion shatterer who has managed to shatter nobody but himself, pleads, “If we could just learn not to hate ourselves quite so very much.” Crowley left that sentence unfinished. Writing its ending is, as this vital revisitation of his work reminds us, our job.

*This article appears in the September 28, 2020, issue of New York Magazine.

1) but i’m a cheerleader

This 1999 satirical cult classic follows Megan Bloomfield (Natasha Lyonne), a high school cheerleader who is sent to a residential conversion camp to cure her lesbianism. At the camp, Megan falls in love with Graham (Clea Duvall) and embraces her sexual orientation. The supporting cast includes Melanie Lynskey, and RuPaul as the “ex-gay” Mike. The amazing soundtrack, camp set design, and awesome performances make this a must-see high school comedy. 

2) g.b.f.

In this 2013 comedy, three high school cliques led by Fawcett (PLL’s Sasha Pieterse), Caprice (Xosha Roquemore), and ‘Shley (Andrea Bowen) are at war. When Tanner (Michael J. Willett) is outed, he finds himself cast as a potential Gay Best Friend to the clique queens, who force Tanner to choose between popularity or true friends. Natasha Lyonne appears in a supporting role as a teacher, Ms. Hoegel.

3) the incredibly true adventures of two girls in love

Before starring in The L Word as Tina Kennard, Laurel Holloman played 17-year-old Randy in this 1995 romantic drama. Randy is mocked by other students for her tomboyish appearance, works at a gas station, and lives with her lesbian aunt Rebecca and her girlfriend. Evie (Nicole Ari Parker) stops by in a Range Rover to get her tires serviced, and Randy recognizes her from school and talks to her. Evie lives with her cultured well-off mother, but despite their different circumstances, they fall in love.

5) the perks of being a wallflower

This 2014 coming-of-age drama based on the Stephen Chbosky novel of the same name follows Charlie (Logan Lerman), who is struggling with depression and uneasy about starting high school. Two seniors, Sam (Emma Watson), and her gay stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller) take him under their wing. 

8) geography club

This comedy-drama based on the Brent Hartinger novel of the same name follows 16-year-old Russell (Cameron Deane Stewart), who is going on dates with girls while having a secret relationship with football quarterback Kevin, and will do anything to keep his secret from his teammates. He falls in with other LGBT students who form a secret support group that they call the Geography Club. 

9) the curiosity of chance

This 2006 comedy is set in 1980s Europe at an international high school and follows gay student Chance Marquis who is bullied for his sexual orientation. When he discovers self-expression through drag, he realizes the only way he’ll ever fit in is by standing out. 

11) love, simon

The 2018 film (based off of Becky Albertalli’s young adult novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) follows the story of typical, suburban high school senior Simon Spier as he tries to navigate life after being blackmailed and threatened with outing by one of his classmates while also trying to figure out the identity of his anonymous, romantic, online pen pal named Blue.

Although there are serious themes and instances of casual homophobia throughout the movie, like most teen rom-coms, the ending is really sweet and gives the audience a feeling of hope for the titular character and his life as a newly-out, gay man.

12) booksmart

Olivia Wilde’s 2019 feature directorial debut, Booksmart is a hilarious coming-of-age film that stars IRL queer actress/Lady Bird star Beanie Feldstein and Unbelievable’s Kaitlyn Dever as smart-as-hell high school seniors Molly and Amy as they try to live it up on their last night as high schoolers. One of the storylines in the film centers around Amy (Dever), an out lesbian, trying to muster up the courage to tell her crush she likes her.

29. vicious(2013–2016)

Freddie Thornhill (Sir Ian McKellen) and Stuart Bixby (Sir Derek Jacobi) are an old gay couple who have been together for nearly fifty years. Their lives now revolve around entertaining their frequent guests and hurling insults at each other at every opportunity.

Stars:Derek Jacobi, Ian McKellen, Frances de la Tour, Iwan Rheon

35. (2005)

Ennis and Jack are two shepherds who develop a sexual and emotional relationship. Their relationship becomes complicated when both of them get married to their respective girlfriends.

Director:Ang Lee | Stars:Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams, Randy Quaid

44. moonlight(i) (2016)

A young African-American man grapples with his identity and sexuality while experiencing the everyday struggles of childhood, adolescence, and burgeoning adulthood.

Director:Barry Jenkins | Stars:Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes, Alex R. Hibbert

50. love, simon(2018)

Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.

Director:Greg Berlanti | Stars:Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Katherine Langford

55. just a question of love(2000 tv movie)

After his gay cousin dies from hepatitis, young Laurent, who lives with his best friend Carole, falls in love with Cedric, a plant scientist. He’s afraid to inform his conservative parents that he is gay.

Director:Christian Faure | Stars:Cyrille Thouvenin, Stéphan Guérin-Tillié, Éva Darlan, Caroline Veyt

57. (1997)

William, a once obese and depressed adolescent, is able to move past his teenage years when he moves to the city and comes out as being gay. When he returns home though, he can’t cope with his memories.

Director:Thom Fitzgerald | Stars:Chris Leavins, Kerry Fox, Ian Parsons, Peter MacNeill

70. prayers for bobby(2009 tv movie)

True story of Mary Griffith, gay rights crusader, whose teenage son committed suicide due to her religious intolerance. Based on the book of the same title by Leroy Aarons.

Director:Russell Mulcahy | Stars:Sigourney Weaver, Henry Czerny, Ryan Kelley, Austin Nichols

73. were the world mine(2008)

A bullied and demoralized gay student at an all-boys school uses a magical flower derived from Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to turn many in his community gay, including a comely rugby player for himself.

Director:Tom Gustafson | Stars:Tanner Cohen, Wendy Robie, Judy McLane, Zelda Williams

84. weekend(ii) (2011)

After a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what’s expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special.

Director:Andrew Haigh | Stars:Tom Cullen, Chris New, Jonathan Race, Laura Freeman

87. amnesia: the james brighton enigma(2005)

Inspired by a true story, Amnesia tells the story of a young man (Dusan Dukic) who wakes up on a Montreal street knowing nothing about himself, except that he’s gay.

Director:Denis Langlois | Stars:Dusan Dukic, Tyler Hall, Derek Lebrero, Maurizio Terrazzano

98. come undone(2000)

Mathieu, 18, spends the summer at his mother’s summer house, in Brittany. On the beach, he meets Cédric, a boy his age. A love-story begins between the two boys.

Director:Sébastien Lifshitz | Stars:Jérémie Elkaïm, Stéphane Rideau, Marie Matheron, Dominique Reymond

3. the doom generation(1995)

Jordan White and Amy Blue, two troubled teens, pick up an adolescent drifter, Xavier Red. Together, the threesome embark on a sex-and-violence-filled journey through an America of psychos and quickie marts.

Director:Gregg Araki | Stars:James Duval, Rose McGowan, Johnathon Schaech, Cress Williams

7. (1997)

Two gay teenage runaways thrown out of their repressive homes try to survive on the streets of Prague. Hunger and desperation forces them into a life of prostitution, drugs, and teen-porn.

Director:Wiktor Grodecki | Stars:Miroslav Caslavka, David Svec, Pavel Skrípal, Kostas Zerdolaglu

11. nico and dani(2000)

A Spanish coming of age story focusing on the antics of two 17 year olds, who have a posh beach house almost all to themselves one summer. This is also a summer of sexual awakenings.

Director:Cesc Gay | Stars:Fernando Ramallo, Jordi Vilches, Marieta Orozco, Esther Nubiola

12. come undone(2000)

Mathieu, 18, spends the summer at his mother’s summer house, in Brittany. On the beach, he meets Cédric, a boy his age. A love-story begins between the two boys.

Director:Sébastien Lifshitz | Stars:Jérémie Elkaïm, Stéphane Rideau, Marie Matheron, Dominique Reymond

14. the rules of attraction(2002)

The incredibly spoiled and overprivileged students of Camden College are a backdrop for an unusual love triangle between a drug dealer, a virgin and a bisexual classmate.

Director:Roger Avary | Stars:James Van Der Beek, Ian Somerhalder, Shannyn Sossamon, Jessica Biel

19. (2004)

High school senior Dorian begins a gay man’s odyssey when he determines that he’s gay and decides to come out. Chief among concerns is the reaction of his father, who has never liked him.

Director:Tennyson Bardwell | Stars:Michael McMillian, Lea Coco, Steve Fletcher, Mo Quigley

26. the curiosity of chance(2006)

A confident, out-of-the-closet gay teenager has the support of an eclectic range of friends while dealing with a homophobic bully during his first year at an international high school.

Director:Russell P. Marleau | Stars:Tad Hilgenbrink, Brett Chukerman, Aldevina Da Silva, Pieter Van Nieuwenhuyze

28. were the world mine(2008)

A bullied and demoralized gay student at an all-boys school uses a magical flower derived from Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to turn many in his community gay, including a comely rugby player for himself.

Director:Tom Gustafson | Stars:Tanner Cohen, Wendy Robie, Judy McLane, Zelda Williams

30. (2010)

A sexually "undeclared" college freshman’s clairvoyant/prophetic dreams are the first sign that something very strange is going on involving his class-mates — with him at the center.

Director:Gregg Araki | Stars:Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Chris Zylka, Roxane Mesquida

35. weekend(ii) (2011)

After a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what’s expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special.

Director:Andrew Haigh | Stars:Tom Cullen, Chris New, Jonathan Race, Laura Freeman

37. geography club(2013)

At Goodkind High School, a group of students with varying sexual orientations form an after-school club as a discreet way to share their feelings and experiences.

Director:Gary Entin | Stars:Cameron Deane Stewart, Justin Deeley, Meaghan Martin, Wesley Eure

15. beautiful something (2015)

This film tells the story of four gay men who struggle with different things in their lives. One of them is Bob, a talent hunter who wanders the street of Los Angeles, more like drives through in his limo, looking for fresh talent. The criteria of the talents he is looking for vary from one day to another. Next is Brian, a poet who is looking for an interaction that will help him in getting out of his writer’s block. He really needs to finish his work because the deadline is approaching and he has no other option. The other two are Drew and his lover Jim. Drew is an artist. He makes sculptures and dreams of becoming a successful sculptor. Jim, on the other hands, acts as his muse while trying to make a breakthrough in his acting career.

14. district (2018)

There are a lot of criteria that create a division in society. The division of wealthy and poor is perhaps one of the most prominent ones. Growing up, a young adult gay realises that the acts of some of the wealthy men in the area are not because they want to help others or that they sympathise with the poor. It is because there is something for themselves in it and that the poor boys in the hood are nothing more than a commodity to them. As new discoveries come to light for him, the man starts to question the self-worth of people who live around him.

13. disobedience (2017)

‘Disobedience’ is the story of a photographer called Ronit who has to return to the old orthodox Jewish community where she grew up when she learns that her father has passed away. As the film moves forward, we are made to understand that Ronit had a sexual relationship with Esti, the wife of her best friend. This is what caused Ronit to be ostracized from the community in the first place. Though things go smoothly at first, the two women find themselves attracted to each other once again. However, they are found kissing by locals and now Ronit fears that Esti will have to suffer because of her. This is a brilliant film that portrays how religion has many-a-time stood between man and his liberation. We have to break free from the shackles of religious conservatism if we have to be truly happy.

12. body electric (2017)

‘Body Electric’ follows the story of Elias, a gay man in his early twenties who is finding his way through his career and relationships. He works in a garment factory and most days he likes his job, but he also feels stagnant at times because nothing seems to inspire him anymore, which is not a good sign, considering how young he still is. He finds himself moving on from one affair to another creating a string of lovers wherever he goes. For now, he has been in an on and off relationship with a man who is much older than him. As Christmas approaches, Elias thinks about making new connections and spends his time with the labourers of the factory. His easy-going attitude and friendly manner attract attention and he, soon, becomes friends with Wellington who invites him home for Christmas to meet his equally eccentric family.

11. four moons (2014)

This film, in its essence, tells four different stories, but they are somehow interwoven with each other. All of them centre around homosexual males and the struggles they have to undergo in order for society to accept them the way they are. The first story revolves around a boy who has always had romantic feelings for one of his male cousins. The second story is about two college-goers who start a relationship secretly while the third story is one that centres around a married couple, who see a strain in their relationship when a man comes and stays with them for a while. The final story is about an older man who is attracted by the perseverance of a man much younger to him. The film deals with stories about people from various walks of life, all of whom go through their own personal struggles in a world which is still not ready to accept them completely.

10. the falls: testament of love (2013)

This film is a sequel to the film ‘The Falls’ which introduced us to the characters of Chris and RJ who fell in love with each other while in the same missionary service. After they were discovered in bed together, they were sent away from the missionary where they both came out as gay to their family. But, the story didn’t end well for them. After having promised to spend the rest of their lives with each other, their love story met a hitch when Chris didn’t return from the last mission. ‘The Falls: Testament of Love’ picks up the stories of Chris and RJ five years after the events of the first film. RJ is in a stable relationship with someone else and Chris has submitted to religious beliefs and “reformed” himself to be a heterosexual. When their mutual friend, Rodney, dies, both of them attend the funeral. Seeing each other after such a long time, their unresolved feelings resurface which does not do any good to their present relationships.

7. heartstone (2016)

In an isolated Icelandic village live two boys. They have been best friends since forever, they spend all their time together, they manage mischiefs together and tease the girls they like. Another thing that binds them is the condition of their families. They both come from broken households. One’s mother was left by his father because the man found a younger girl for himself. The other’s father is a bully who does not shy away from showing his homophobic side to everyone. When they are with each other, they escape the tensions of their families. They try to make girlfriends but their efforts don’t turn out so successful. And then in a game of ‘truth and dare’, they are dared to kiss each other. It is after this incident that they realise that their friendship could move forward in more intimate terms. But, it is not so easy for them to accept their reality.

6. paternity leave (2015)

When Jacob Yorks had been studying medicine in college, he never realised that one day he’d come across a situation that would completely alter his understanding of biology and how things work in nature. He suffers from body issues and can easily lose his wits if something doesn’t happen according to him. A complete opposite of him is his boyfriend, Charlie David. He is a successful lawyer, is smart and confident, without any issues of body or mind. Both Jacob and Charlie want kids but don’t know how to go on about it. And then one day, they get their answer. After a midnight session that they had on the couch of the people for whom they were babysitting, Jacob wakes up in the morning with what could very well be morning sickness. As he starts to exhibit more unnatural symptoms, he is taken to a doctor who tells the couple that Jacob is pregnant.

4. subways (2014)

Life is difficult as it is without people interfering in one’s private matters. Life is even more difficult when people try to tell you who you are and who you should be, rather than allowing you to just be someone that you already know yourself to be. A series of events in his life take a toll on the psyche of a young gay man and push him into the spiral of depression. His life seems to be full of twists he never saw coming and he can’t stop himself from pursuing a love that the society doesn’t want him to have. Though the subject matter of the film sounds pretty intense, ‘Subways’ is a light-hearted film with music from indie artists of the LGBT community.

3. pride (2014)

Set in 1984, ‘Pride’ looks at a period of time when workers and the sexually marginal people were under severe oppression of the Margaret Thatcher government in England. The film follows Joe, a closeted homosexual, who arrives in London to take part in a Gay Pride march. He meets a group of activists, and one of them says that as the miners are also being attacked by the police and the government, it will be favourable for them if they are able to team up with the miners and form a solid consolidation. The film then follows a group of gay people who find themselves in a small Welsh town where they join up with the locals. There are people who constantly try to malign this movement, but the activists have to rise above hate to show the detractors that they are much stronger than their provocations. Based on true events, the film is a comedy which depicts a rather important part of the LGBTQ movement’s history in Britain.

2. in the name of (2013)

Adam always knew that he was a homosexual. Yet, he also knew that his faith as a Roman Catholic wouldn’t allow him to live like his normal self. In order to get a reprieve from his demons and suppress his sexual urges, he decided to abstain his desires by living the life of a priest. Living in a village in Poland, he soon made a reputation for himself, not only because of his good looks but also because of his liberal methods of trying to reach out to people. He was more interested in playing football with kids than delivering sermons in the church. He also seemed to cure the confusions of young men who struggled with their sexuality. But, all this work comes undone when a young boy comes to town and starts telling everyone about the homosexual nature of the priest. Even though the priest despises the boy for ruining his reputation, he sees something else in him that complicates the nature of their relationship.

1. philadelphia (1993)

One of the earliest films to vividly portray homosexuality and AIDS, ‘Philadelphia’ is now widely considered one of the greatest movies of the 1990s. The film stars Tom Hanks as Andrew Beckett, a lawyer who works at a rather powerful law firm where he has to be very discreet about the fact that he is gay and has been found to be HIV positive. However, Andrew’s secret does not remain hidden for long, and when a colleague of his discovers the same, Andrew is promptly shown the door. Enraged at this discrimination, Andrew decides to hire a lawyer called Joe Miller (Denzel Washington) to sue his former employers. It becomes very clear from the start that Joe is a homophobic individual. The film earned Hanks his first Academy Award for Best Actor and was thoroughly praised by the critics and the audiences. It speaks of the extreme perils a person suffering from HIV has to undergo, not only physically, but also in every other walk of life.

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