Brutality and tenderness. Recklessness and wisdom. Lust and love. It’s all here.
Whatever the catalysts that spark sexual reaction, we find them here, in the 30 sexiest gay film scenes—all of which, though wildly different, capture the raw and visceral experience of passion, leaving viewers feeling both deeply aroused and self-consciously voyeuristic.
From the over-the-top hilarity of Wet Hot American Summer’s gay romp to the pugnacious fervor that drives the titular anti-hero of Querelle; the quiet longing in Bent to the bacchanal hunger that destroys Caravaggio; the affirming naïveté of My Own Private Idaho to the boundary-pushing world-weariness of Edward II.
It’s all here, eager for your eyes, waiting for you to watch:
Sweat and saliva aren’t essential to sexiness—sometimes it just takes a funny bone. Another cult classic,
3. Weekend – Dir. Andrew Haigh, 2011There’s little romance involved when it comes to the encounter that starts Glen and Russell’s isolated two-night stand. It’s raw passion and yearning, straightforward and frank, and that’s what energizes this touching and haunting indie hit about what happens when a casual hook-up turns into something more.
Lust provides the thrust of Zach and Shaun’s long-anticipated night of passion, an explosion of atavistic attraction — pull at the belt; get the fly; untangle the legs — but it’s love that wins the day in this movie about a young man coming to terms with his sexuality. The men can’t resist one another, and we can’t resist hitting rewind.
5. The Bubble – Dir. Eytan Fox, 2006″It would have to be when Noam (Ohad Knoller) and Ashraf (Yousef Sweid) first have sex in Eytan Fox’s The Bubble. The scene’s great for two reasons: first, because it dares to show an Israeli Jewish man and a Palestinian man making love, and second, because it eschews the spit-and-smile approach to movies like Brokeback Mountain to give viewers a more realistic version of what happens when someone loses his anal cherry—it’s a little awkard, a little painful, but also irresistble and tender and ineffably pleasurable. And no, it doesn’t hurt that Knoller and Sweid are totally cute, too.“—Dale Peck, novelist, ‚Sprout‘
6. Querelle – Dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982From start to finish, this adaptation of Jean Genet’s novel about a dangerously handsome murderer plays like the love child of Pierre et Gilles and Tom of Finland. Fetishes abound (soldiers, sailors, cops, criminals), yet of all the rendezvous and caresses, it’s Querelle and killer construction worker Gil’s long-anticipated embrace that lingers with viewers longest.
7. Shortbus – Dir. John Cameron Mitchell, 2006Shortbus stands out for its evocative, at times confrontational portrayal of real-life sex—largely because the actors were actually having sex. But it’s the scene in which actress Sook-Yin Lee’s Sofia Lin, a sex therapist who has never had an orgasm, gets to enjoy her first orgy that is this flick’s sexiest. The participants aren’t crude or bacchanal or drugged out; they’re simply uninhibited and having fun.
8. Bent – Dir. Sean Mathias, 1997“I never thought we’d do it without touching.” But they did: Max (Clive Owen) and Horst (Lothaire Bluteau) bring each other to ecstasy without ever making a single move in Bent, about gay men who fall in love in a Nazi concentration camp. The scene in question—where the two stand side by side, never looking at or touching each other while reaching silent climax—leaves the viewer reeling.
9. Un Chant D’Amour (A Song of Love) dir. Jean Genet, 1950″My favorite movie male-on-male love scene is one in which the male couple are separated by a cell wall but brought together by a straw and a shared lungful of smoke. Is this is a bad sign? Jean Genet’s Un Chant D’Amour, his only movie, is set, of course, in a prison. A middle-aged prisoner knocks on his cell wall, frantically trying to attract the attention of his younger neighbor, who is dancing with himself in a dirty vest with a face as tender as it is tough. The old lag lights a cigarette, inserts a straw through a tiny hole, and blows smoke through it into the next cell. After studiously feigning disinterest, the young brute finally kneels at the wall, closed-eyed and open-mouthed, and receives the billowingn white smoke. It’s a great, exquisitely poetic representation of the impossibility of romance—and even desire itself. To paraphrase Joni Mitchell, I’ve looked at glory holes from both sides now, from blower and inhaler, from younger and older, and still it’s glory holes‘ illusions I recall.“—Mark Simpson, writer, Metrosexy
Confused and traumatized by an unconsummated love, Maurice (James Wilby) finally gets some relief when he succumbs to gamekeeper Scudder’s (Rupert Graves) nocturnal advances in this Merchant Ivory adaptation of E.M. Forster’s posthumous novel. Though Maurice is initially dismayed when Scudder offers himself up, he comes to his senses and together the men find their happy ending.
11. Caravaggio – Dir. Derek Jarman, 1986Brutal and violent, artist Caravaggio’s doomed affair with street fighter Ranuccio is sexuality at its most unrestrained. The men, played by Nigel Terry and Sean Bean, know perfectly well they can’t come out of their dalliance unscathed—nor do they—but it’s those elements of danger that make this story so combustible.
12. My Own Private Idaho – Dir. Gus Van Sant, 1991It’s tenderness that fuels the sexuality in this pick, Van Sant’s beloved tale of a gay narcoleptic street hustler (River Phoenix) who is desperately in love with his best friend, Scott (Keanu Reeves). The realistic portrayal of platonic, symbiotic intimacy sticks with the viewer longer than the image of Phoenix and Reeves cuddling up by a campfire.
“Here…touch it.” Jennifer Tilly’s domineering Violet knows exactly what she’s doing when she demands Corky’s attention. Encouraged, Gina Gershon’s butch Corky goes at it with gusto. She pushes all the right buttons, leaving viewers wondering where the line between fiction and reality really lies.
14. Cruel Intentions – Dir. Roger Kumble, 1999A strand of saliva suspended between two lithe, eager lips. That was all, yet Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair’s lip-lock rocked the world when this teenage take on Dangerous Liaisons hit theaters. The reviews were less than kind, but for an entire generation, The Kiss proved that sexuality can be fluid.
15. Gia – Dir. Michael Cristofer, 1998Angelina Jolie and Elizabeth Mitchell’s chemistry in this biopic provided what could’ve been a tacky sex scene with real heart, making the consummation of famously doomed model Gia and lover Linda’s relationship one of the most brave, candid, and erotic explorations of lesbian desire in cinema.
16. The Hunger – Dir. Tony Scott, 1983Dr. Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon) gives herself over to absolute pleasure when she allows vampiric seductress Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) to draw blood in Scott’s drama. These women gave vampires their gay bite onscreen long before True Blood or even Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, and the iconic actresses did it with a sensuality newer blood suckers can only hope to top.
Anaïs Nin didn’t make it into the title, but Maria de Medeiros’ portrayal of the erotica author made this 1990 indie flick sizzle, especially her encounters with June Miller, played by an always smoldering Uma Thurman. One scene in particular, the women’s trip to a lesbian speakeasy, stands out for its carefree bohemian spirit, nonchalant elegance, and Anaïs and June’s scene-stealing kiss.
19. Contracorriente (Undertow) – Dir. Javier Fuentes-León, 2009A complex tale of acceptance and rejection, this Peruvian film contains a plethora of sex scenes between fisherman Miguel and artist Santiago, who pursue a forbidden relationship that blurs the line between life and death. Of all those moments, it’s their encounter in an oceanside cave that marks the film’s sexiest scene.
20. Y Tu Mamá También – Dir. Alfonso Cuarón, 2001Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna capture the potent curiosity of two men questioning their sexual allegiances in Cuarón’s skin-filled, Oscar-nominated film. The pinnacle of their ambiguous relationship, a halting, yet charged, drunken kiss, changes them forever.
21. Yossi & Jagger – Dir. Eytan Fox, 2002Two Israeli soldiers are marching through the snow. They wrestle to the ground. One reveals he’s naked beneath his army-issued jumper. The other accepts the implicit invitation and they go at it as a rabbit watches. This scene from the tense Israeli military love story is pure slice of fantasy, heightened by its forbidden nature.
22. Velvet Goldmine – Dir. Todd Haynes, 1998Glam rock drama Velvet Goldmine is rife with sex, including Ewan McGregor locking lips with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and engaging Christian Bale in an out-of-this-world romp in a moon crater. There’s no one sexiest scene here; just unadulterated exploration and its climactic consequences.
La ley del deseo (fanvideo) from SpanishalRojoLGTB on Vimeo.
24. The Outsider – Dir. Delbert Mann, 1961″Tony Curtis’s 1961 , about an American Indian who was a hero of Iwo Jima, told the heartbreaking story of a soldier who mourned his buddy, missing in action. He shed tears drunkenly as the soundtrack played Where are you? You went away without me. I thought you cared bout me. In those homophobic days, it seemed like a great male-male love story.“—Edmund White, novelist, ‚A Boy’s Own Story‘
25. J’ai Tué Ma Mère (I Killed My Mother) – Dir. Xavier Dolan, 2009Hubert and Antonin seal their supple love in a paint-soaked encounter that’s sexy not just for the skin and kisses but for the rollicking enthusiasm the pair exudes. They’re trying to create an artistic kingdom for themselves, and they seem to be on the right track in French–Canadian director Dolan’s 2009 biographical drama.
26. Le Temps Qui Reste (Time to Leave) – Dir. François Ozon, 2005Living with terminal cancer, Romain (Melvil Poupaud), a fashion photographer who shoots subjects during orgasm, decides to fill what little time he’s left with as much sex as possible. While Romain and lover Sasha’s impetuous passion alone is reason enough to see this film, the taut narrative about life, death, and sexuality imbues it with existential gravity.
27. Edward II – Dir. Derek Jarman, 1991Gay-leaning Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe would appreciate Jarman’s adaptation of his work about King Edward II’s love affair with debaucherous nobleman Piers Gaveston. Controversial for its frank depiction of man-on-man action, this entry drips with sensuality from the get-go; the scene of Edward and Gaveston chatting as young squires cavort behind them is among the movie’s most gripping.
28. Presque Rien (Come Undone) – Dir. Sébastien Lifshitz, 2000The viewer knows from the get-go there’s no happy ending for the young men at the center of this drama, but that doesn’t detract from Mathieu and Cédric’s many joyful romps together while on holiday at the beach in coastal France. They’re playful and free and very, very nude—an unbeatably sexy, and European, combination.
29. My Beautiful Laundrette – Dir. Stephen Frears, 1985Race, sexuality, and class provide the backdrop for Omar and Johnny’s attraction, on that explodes at the titular laundrette in a scene as sexy and lustful as it is symbolic and artful. The film is essential viewing, full of unadulterated passion, instinctive longing, and, most importantly, a young, bare-chested Daniel Day-Lewis.
30. Happy Together – Dir. Wong Kar-wai, 1997The despair and self-destruction of a doomed relationship saturates this film by Hong Kong–based filmmaker Wong. From the opening scene featuring Ho Po-wing and Lai Yiu-fai reenacting their post-breakup ritual of a roll in the sheets, the viewer is given a wide, grainy view of romance at its most toxic and passion at its most irresistible. The cinematography here adds an extra layer of allure, adding a gritty vintage quality that only heightens the experience.
25 sexiest gay scenes in film
Whatever it is that sparks sexual reaction between men, we’ve found it. Out magazine picked the 25 of the sexiest gay scenes ever in film. „Though wildly different,“ Out says they „capture the raw and visceral experience of passion.“ Expect to feel „both deeply aroused and self-consciously voyeuristic.“
It’s all here from Out, for your eager eyes, waiting to be watched:
2. Wet Hot American SummerSweat and saliva aren’t essential to sexiness—sometimes it just takes a funny bone. Another cult classic, found its heart in a furtive love affair between two camp counselors, played by Bradley Cooper and Michael Ian Black, in identical tube socks, stolen in a dim shed. (2001)
5. The Bubble“It would have to be when Noam (Ohad Knoller) and Ashraf (Yousef Sweid) first have sex in Eytan Fox’s The Bubble. The scene’s great for two reasons: first, because it dares to show an Israeli Jewish man and a Palestinian man making love, and second, because it eschews the spit-and-smile approach to movies like Brokeback Mountain to give viewers a more realistic version of what happens when someone loses his anal cherry—it’s a little awkard, a little painful, but also irresistble and tender and ineffably pleasurable. And no, it doesn’t hurt that Knoller and Sweid are totally cute, too.“ —Dale Peck, novelist, ‚Sprout‘ (2006)
8. Bent“I never thought we’d do it without touching.” But they did: Max (Clive Owen) and Horst (Lothaire Bluteau) bring each other to ecstasy without ever making a single move in Bent, about gay men who fall in love in a Nazi concentration camp. The scene in question—where the two stand side by side, never looking at or touching each other while reaching silent climax—leaves the viewer reeling. (1997)
10. MauriceConfused and traumatized by an unconsummated love, Maurice (James Wilby) finally gets some relief when he succumbs to gamekeeper Scudder’s (Rupert Graves) nocturnal advances in this Merchant Ivory adaptation of E.M. Forster’s posthumous novel. Though Maurice is initially dismayed when Scudder offers himself up, he comes to his senses and together the men find their happy ending. (1987)
12. My Own Private IdahoIt’s tenderness that fuels the sexuality in this pick, Van Sant’s beloved tale of a gay narcoleptic street hustler (River Phoenix) who is desperately in love with his best friend, Scott (Keanu Reeves). The realistic portrayal of platonic, symbiotic intimacy sticks with the viewer longer than the image of Phoenix and Reeves cuddling up by a campfire. (1991)
13. Taxi zum Klo (Taxi to the Toilet)“There’s an encounter in Taxi zum Klo between director-star Frank Ripploh and his real-life lover, Bernd Broaderup. It was the first sex scene I’d ever seen that combined hotness, narrative necessity, a dom/sub dynamic, and the ineffable sweetness that comes only from a real relationship. It as the seed for Shortbus.“ — John Cameron Mitchell, filmmaker, Shortbus and Hedwig and the Angry Inch (1980)
16. Yossi & JaggerTwo Israeli soldiers are marching through the snow. They wrestle to the ground. One reveals he’s naked beneath his army-issued jumper. The other accepts the implicit invitation and they go at it as a rabbit watches. This scene from the tense Israeli military love story is pure slice of fantasy, heightened by its forbidden nature. (2002)
19. The Outsider“Tony Curtis’s 1961 The Outsider, about an American Indian who was a hero of Iwo Jima, told the heartbreaking story of a soldier who mourned his buddy, missing in action. He shed tears drunkenly as the soundtrack played Where are you? You went away without me. I thought you cared bout me. In those homophobic days, it seemed like a great male-male love story.“ —Edmund White, novelist, A Boy’s Own Story (1961)
22. Edward IIGay-leaning Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe would appreciate Jarman’s adaptation of his work about King Edward II’s love affair with debaucherous nobleman Piers Gaveston. Controversial for its frank depiction of man-on-man action, this entry drips with sensuality from the get-go; the scene of Edward and Gaveston chatting as young squires cavort behind them is among the movie’s most gripping. (1991)
23. Presque Rien (Come Undone)The viewer knows from the get-go there’s no happy ending for the young men at the center of this drama, but that doesn’t detract from Mathieu and Cédric’s many joyful romps together while on holiday at the beach in coastal France. They’re playful and free and very, very nude—an unbeatably sexy, and European, combination. (2000)
The 50 best lgbtq movies ever made
Here are the best movies that depict the queer experience in all its complexities.
The good news: this year you have time for some movies.
Under normal circumstances, June busts out all over with Pride Month parties and parades. The gay neighborhood thumps with house music. Your bank, cable company and sandwich shop rush to remind you of their support for the LGBTQ+ community. And if you can bear the crowds, you leave a Pride festival with a draft-beer buzz, an application for a rainbow-flag credit card, and a paper fan with Chelsea Handler’s face on it. It’s a lot, but it’s ours.
This year, the public events of LGBTQ Pride Month—much like sports, school, and life itself—are cancelled. We’re stuck inside unless we’re marching for police reform. The few bars that have reopened are for the reckless and foolish, and let’s be honest: there’s only so much dancing a person can do on Zoom. The conditions are optimal for you to catch up on your queer cinema.
We’ve come a ways in fifty years, from the self-loathing middle-aged men of The Boys In The Band to the peppy teens of Love, Simon. The range runs from the shoestring brilliance of The Watermelon Woman to the big-budget glitter-bomb that is Rocketman. 1982’s tentative Making Love derailed the careers of its two lead actors; 2017’s Call Me By Your Name cemented its pair as movie stars. While gay characters tended until much too recently to be one-dimensional, white, and doomed, in 2018 Barry Jenkins won a Best Picture Oscar telling the layered and hopeful story of a gay Black man in Moonlight.
There’s a lot of history to explore, and there’s never been a better time to do it. Borrow a streaming service password from family– however you define it!–and dive in.
If it feels a bit like a CW version of an Afterschool Special, that’s no mistake: teen-tv super-producer Greg Berlanti makes his feature film directorial debut here. It’s as chaste a love story as you’re likely to see in the 21st century— the hunky gardener who makes the title teen question his sexuality is wearing a long-sleeved shirt, for God’s sake—but you know what? The queer kids of the future need their wholesome entertainment too.
Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine play headmistresses at a school for girls who are accused by a student of being in a lesbian relationship. While the accusation is false, it nearly ruins the women’s standing in their community and threatens their friendship—and forces one of them to reevaluate her own identity.
A gay fantasia on Elton themes. An Elton John biopic was never going to be understated, but this glittering jukebox musical goes way over the top and then keeps going. It might be an overcorrection from the straight-washing of the previous year’s Bohemian Rhapsody, but when it’s this much fun, it’s best not to overthink it.
Charming Irish movie that answers the question: “What if John Hughes were Irish and gay?” Misfit Ned struggles at a rugby-obsessed boarding school until a mysterious new kid moves in and an unlikely friendship changes them both. Along the way, a rousing performance from Andrew Scott as an inspiring teacher with a secret of his own, and a rugby game set to a Rufus Wainwright song. Just the thing to lift your spirits.
The life of Cuba’s „transformistas“ is captured beautifully in this father-son story about a boy who wants to perform drag and his father, newly released from prison and unable to accept who his son is. Shot beautifully, with great music and a close look at Havana in all its run-down and colorful glory.
The quintessential ’80s lesbian romantic drama, Desert Hearts follows an English professor and a young sculptor as they fall in love at a Nevada ranch in the 1950s. Unique for its time, it sets its romance in a warm, affirming environment and lets its leads enjoy their relationship without angst or fear of death.
Ira Sachs’s autobiographical drama packs a hard punch as it follows a filmmaker, Erick, throughout his relationship with a young lawyer, Paul, which begins as a random sexual encounter and implodes following Paul’s drug and sex addiction.
Wong Kar-wai won Best Director at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for this film about two Hong Kong men who emigrate to Buenos Aires, after the handover of Hong Kong to China put LGBT lives in jeopardy.
Former SNL head-writer and The Other Two co-creator Chris Kelly makes his directorial debut in a semi-autobiographical account of his mother’s death from cancer. Molly Shannon gives a devastating performance, the tragic qualities of the Sacramento gay bar are hilariously explored, and the viewer is forced to re-evaluate Train’s “Drops of Jupiter.” Given how much you will cry, this is perhaps a risky watch in a time when tissue paper is scarce. We say pull a full-size bath towel out of the cabinet and dive in.
Cheryl Dunye directs and stars in this microbudget indie about an African-American lesbian searching for an uncredited black actress from a 1930s film. Along the way, she falls in and out of love, and meets the real Camille Paglia.
Julianne Moore and Annette Bening play lesbian mothers to two teenagers whose blissful modern family is rocked when their kids seek out their sperm-doner father played by Mark Ruffalo. The family unit falls into crisis when his sudden appearance into their lives causes a rift between the two women as well as their kids
Starring Mariel Hemingway and a raft of real-life track and field stars, Personal Best follows a young bisexual pentathlete vying for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team and exploring a relationship with her lesbian coach—played by Olympic hurdler Patrice Donnelly.
Eliza Hittman’s dark and moody film plays out a bit like a thriller, one in which a Brooklyn teenager named Frankie (a superb Harris Dickinson, in a nearly wordless performance), who spends his idle hours hanging with his delinquent friends, fooling around with his girlfriend, or hooking up with men he meets online. Beach Rats is a provocative look at the personal and secret urges we often fear will come out into the light.
Gus Van Sant’s loose Shakespearean adaptation brought the New Queer Cinema movement into the mainstream, with River Phoenix as a young, narcoleptic hustler and Keanu Reeves as his best friend and unrequited love interest.
„Don’t you know I would have gone through life half-awake if you’d had the decency to leave me alone?“ All the lushness of a Merchant Ivory production, with gay men at its center. Even if this weren’t a beautiful, affecting film, Hugh Grant’s hair alone would earn it a spot on this list.
Peter Jackson was journeying through fantasy worlds long before Lord of the Rings—albeit one conjured up by two very real New Zealand school girls (played by then-newcomers Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey) who escape their own realities through their imaginations. But their connection turns intense and dangerous when they conspire to commit murder in one of the most notorious true crime stories of all time.
The first wide-release studio film with a homosexual relationship at its center (and for decades, the last). Making Love follows Michael Ontkean’s Zack, who is married to Claire (Kate Jackson) but exploring his homosexuality with Harry Hamlin’s Bart. It’s not a perfect film, but it took a giant risk, and gives us a rare snapshot of Los Angeles‘ gay life in the moment just before AIDS.
Long before his groundbreaking Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee directed this sweet, comic tale about a Taiwanese immigrant living in New York with his partner. When he offers to marry a Chinese woman so she can obtain a green card, the marriage of convenience spirals out of control when his parents find out and throw a lavish wedding party.
Mike Mills’s sweet 2010 film concerns a Los Angeles artist, played by Ewan MacGregor, building a relationship with his newly-out father (Christopher Plummer) in the last year of the older man’s life. Beginners earned Plummer an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and features a talking Jack Russell terrier. In short, it’s pretty much perfect.
When Megan (Natasha Lyonne) shows more interest in being a vegetarian and female-fronted folk rock, her parents send her away to have her presumed homosexuality cured. Conversion therapy is no joke, but Jamie Babbit’s satire perfectly skewers puritanical homophobia on its head—and it has a joyful, happy ending. (Plus, RuPaul!)
Dee Rees’s gorgeous directorial debut stars Adepero Oduye as Alike, a Brooklyn teenager who comes to terms with her own sexuality and puts the comforts of friends and family at risk as she discovers how to express her identity.
On a scorching August day, Al Pacino’s Sonny attempts to rob a bank in Brooklyn, and…things do not go well. The instant, intense media fame Sonny earns feels more relevant than ever, and things turn surprisingly tender when we learn he plans to use the stolen money for his lover’s gender confirmation surgery.
A Pakistani Brit and his former lover, who has become a fascist street punk, reunite and run a family laundromat. The characters deal with the materialism and anti-immigrant furor of Thatcher’s England—elements that feel just a little bit too relevant at the moment.
Based on the autobiography of gay Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, Julian Schnabel’s film brought Javier Bardem to the world’s attention and highlighted the cruelty and homophobia of Castro’s Cuba and Reagan’s America
John Cameron Mitchell brings his cult musical about „internationally ignored“ transgender rock star Hedwig to the screen. In this version, Mitchell shows us the backstory he was only able to tell on stage, and introduces us to Michael Pitt’s Tommy Gnosis. The rare rock musical that actually rocks.
Tom Ford’s directorial debut adapts Christopher Isherwood’s novel about an English professor in returning to life a year after the death of his lover. As you would expect from Ford, it is a relentlessly stylish affair, with indelible performances by Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.
Some might find this adaptation of Paul Rudnick’s off-Broadway play to be a little dated with its treatment of the dating scene in early to mid-’90s New York City. But Jeffrey’s strength is found in its comic and playful look at a search for love amid the AIDS crisis, offering the kind of unabashed joy most of its contemporaries were unable to match.
Lisa Cholodenko’s chic directorial debut features a revelatory performance from Ally Sheedy as a prematurely retired photographer, and Radha Mitchell as the young woman who can revitalize her career.
Pedro Almodóvar’s comic melodramas are filled to the brim with delightfully absurd characters, and his Oscar-winning All About My Mother offers some of the best. After the death of her son, Manuela seeks out to find his father—who now goes by the name of Lola. Along for the journey is a young nun (played by Penelope Cruz) who is newly pregnant with Lola’s baby.
A group of London LGBT activists form a coalition with striking Welsh miners in Thatcher’s U.K. Stephen Beresford’s Golden Globe-nominated screenplay underscores the need, as urgent as ever, for oppressed groups to join forces. There is power in a union!
Norman Rene’s film follows a group of gay men through the early years of the AIDS crisis, one day per year, starting on the day the New York Times first covered the story of the „gay cancer.“ A deep meditation on grief, gallows humor, and the families we make with our friends.
What do a recently divorced woman and a middle-aged gay man have in common? They’re both having an affair with a charming and stylish artist—and they’re aware that the lover they share in common isn’t exclusive to them. John Schlesinger’s acclaimed drama depicts two people who seek surprising ways to break free of their dull lives and reclaim their untamed youth.
When her older lover, Orlando, dies suddenly, Marina must put her grief on pause as Orlando’s ex-wife and family immediately shun her because she is transgender. The winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, Sebastián Lelio’s drama features a stirring lead performance from actress Daniela Vega.
A closeted Northern Englishman prepares to take over his family farm, with some help from a Romanian farmhand whom his father has hired. A heartbreaking depiction of British repression, with a supporting performance from a newborn lamb that will make you vegan for at least an hour. It’s as delicate and beautiful as it is— let’s be honest here—extremely hot.
Spielberg followed up Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom with this adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel. In her film debut, Whoopi Goldberg plays Celie, an African-American woman in the early 20th century, who fights her way through oppression and abuse and finds an unexpected love along the way.
This slice of gay life in mid-’80s Manhattan gave Steve Buscemi his first major film role, and tackled the AIDS crisis in a frank, non-sensational, even humorous manner. Along the way, glimpses of a long-forgotten bohemian New York, Reagan-era Fire Island, and a pre-Drew Carey Show Kathy Kinney
Shot on iPhones along Santa Monica Boulevard’s unofficial red light district, Tangerine follows two transgender sex workers and one lovesick cab driver through a particularly eventful Christmas Eve. Director Sean Baker found his leads—two first-time film actors—at the actual donut shop where much of the movie’s action takes place.
Two drag queens (Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce) and a transgender woman (Terence Stamp) travel across the barren Australian Outback in a giant pink bus named Priscilla en route to a cabaret gig in Alice Springs. Hilarity ensues as their travels involve misadventure after misadventure, but the trio come together as a family unit as they learn more about each other and their personal lives
This film kept its NC-17 rating for some explicit, passionate sex scenes between leads Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, but it is at its heart a movie about youth, art, heartbreak, and the thrill of exploring one’s identity.
Who among us hasn’t been hanging out in the late 1700s, waiting on our customary proposal portrait to be finished so that we can find a proper spouse, only to fall for our portrait artist of the same sex? Rats! Fooled by queer impulses again. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is one of the most recent additions to the queer canon, and it already boasts quite a reputation for examining the complex relationship between two women who dared to love in an era when their love was absolutely forbidden.
The first mainstream queer film of the new millennium, Brokeback Mountain ushered its themes into the mainstream. Heath Ledger’s shy Ennis del Mar falls in what he cannot articulate as love with Jake Gyllenhaal’s Jack Twist over a long, lonely winter, and their lives bounce off each other’s for years afterward. Ang Lee and screenwriter Larry McMurtry expand Annie Proulx’s short story into a film without one false moment.
Melissa McCarthy got an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Lee Israel, a caustic celebrity biographer who turns to literary forgery when her career stalls. Richard E. Grant is wonderful as her co-conspirator, but it’s McCarthy’s attempt at romance with Dolly Wells’ shy bookstore owner that gives the movie its heart.
The greatest, most achingly beautiful gay male romance movie. Timothée Chalamet plays the precocious Elio, a teenager living in Italy who becomes infatuated with an older American student, Oliver (Armie Hammer), who is staying with his family for the summer. What begins as a contentious friendship turns into a full-blown love affair as the two young men spend their idle summer days in the lush Mediterranean locale, bracing themselves for an inevitable heartbreak.
If any film can be credited with kicking off our cultural conversation on gender, this is it. Hilary Swank’s breakthrough performance anchors Kimberly Peirce’s film about the murder of Nesbraskan trans man Brandon Teena. Boys Don’t Cry was originally given an NC-17 for even addressing trans issues, but was later downgraded to an R.
Mike Nichols’s American remake of La Cage aux Folles features Robin Williams as a gay nightclub owner whose son announces his engagement to the daughter of an ultra-conservative politician. In typical farce style, his partner (Nathan Lane)—the star of his club’s drag show—poses as his dowdy wife in order to convince his son’s future in-laws that they’re a wholesome American family.
Set in the early ’90s, this energetic and emotional drama follows a group of activists in Paris fighting the government and its slow-moving efforts to battle the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While highlighting the dramatic and powerful work from ACT UP, the film also depicts the personal stories of those fighting for their lives, delivering a human and urgent remembrance of the plague that afflicted millions across the globe—and continues on today.
Todd Haynes brings Patricia Highsmith’s cult novel to the big screen in this lush and seductive film following a young shopgirl named Therese (Rooney Mara) who finds herself charmed by an alluring older woman named Carol (Cate Blanchett). The two set out on a road trip on which they consummate an unspoken passion for each other—one that ultimately brings ruin to Carol’s marriage and awakens dark desires within Therese.
Tom Hanks won his first Oscar for his performance as Andrew Beckett, a successful lawyer who is fired from his firm once the senior partners discover he has AIDS. Jonathan Demme’s searing drama was the first mainstream film to tackle the AIDS crisis, and it gave a familiar face and voice to a marginalized community often ignored by their neighbors and left to suffer because of an intolerant society.
Based on the play by Mart Crawley, and released less than a year after the Stonewall riots, The Boys in the Band perfectly depicts the complex experience of being a gay man at the time—at times joyful, often times confusing, painful, and informed by self-loathing. This comedy still manages to balance the bite and the tenderness for its collection of characters, with its group of young gay men in New York City falling in and out of love (and friendship), and unknowingly on the brink of a cultural revolution.
The only film on this list to earn an Oscar for Best Picture—and deservedly so. Barry Jenkins explores masculinity and repression in his study of Chiron, a young man coming of age in Miami (and played by three different actors at various stages of his life) who grapples with his sexual identity amid his troubled relationship with his crack-addicted mother. Chiron longs to break free of the predetermined path set out for himself by his environment, a journey set into motion by encounter with one of his male peers
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Scene from , a German film about gay cops Marc and Kay.
Queerty recently did a great roundup of the most realistic gay sex scenes in modern cinema — covering everything from Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger’s magical moment in that tent on Brokeback Mountain to some newer offerings like Blue is the Warmest Color, which just premiered in Philly at the Philadelphia Film Festival.
Below, you’ll find clips (when available) of all the selections with links to where you can find them on Netflix (when available.) Warning: These are all NSFW, so wait till you get home to watch.
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harry styles’ surprise ‘love on tour’ dates have fans freaking out
If so, it may be thanks to Harry Styles and producers behind the upcoming Amazon Studios film “My Policeman,” who are promising — count ’em! — two gay sex scenes from the crooner.
Based on the 2012 novel of the same name by British author Bethan Roberts, the story sees Styles as Officer Tom Burgess — a man caught in a sordid love triangle between his wife, Marion, played by Emma Corrin (“The Crown”), and lover Patrick, portrayed by David Dawson (“Peaky Blinders”).
Precious few details about the film have been revealed thus far, save for one extremely juicy tidbit from one “insider,” who told the Sun this week that scenes shared between Styles, 27, and Dawson, 38, are sure to be steamy.
“Harry will be having sex on-screen, and they want it to look as real as possible,” they alleged.
“The plan is to shoot two romps between Harry and David, then another scene where Harry is naked on his own,” the source continued. “Not much is going to be left to the imagination.”
Production is ongoing in Brighton, about two hours down from London on the UK’s southern coast, where the book’s protagonists are said to reside.
Set in the 1950s, a time when homosexuality was illegal in Great Britain, the story follows jilted wife Marion attempting to have her husband Tom’s mister arrested for their illicit sexual relationship.
“Harry is throwing himself into this new role and is really excited about the challenge, even though it’s a daunting task,” the Sun’s insider added. “He always wants to do things that people wouldn’t expect and challenge what people think about him — and this film will really do that.”
This project marks Styles’ biggest on-screen turn since 2017’s “Dunkirk,” in which the pop star played a nearly silent soldier on World War II battlefields.
The “Watermelon Sugar” singer is also set to star opposite 25-year-old Florence Pugh (“Midsommar”) in upcoming psychological thriller “Don’t Worry Darling,” directed and produced by Styles’ real-life lover Olivia Wilde, 37. Against another 1950s backdrop, he plays husband Jack to Pugh’s Alice, who suspects her spouse is hiding a dark secret.
1. wings (1927)
Featuring the first gay kiss on film, Wings is a silent romantic action film that takes place during World War I. Starring the iconic Clara Bow, the kiss takes place between Charles Rogers and his dying friend, played by Richard Arlen. Though the kiss is platonic, the lines between the two young men include: “Just stay here with me for a little while” and “You know there is nothing in the world that means so much to me as your friendship.” #JustGuyPals
2. buffy the vampire slayer (1997-2003)
Back when The WB was still The WB, Buffy the Vampire Slayer blended supernatural terror with the regular, everyday terrors of being a high school student. The relationship between girl-next-door-turned-powerful-witch Willow Rosenberg and quiet, thoughtful Tara Maclay was one filled with love, kindness, and positivity, and that’s why it makes our list of best gay kiss scenes.
3. in & out (1997)
After being outed in front of millions on national television, Howard Brackett (played by Kevin Kline), insists to everyone who knows him (and himself) that he’s not gay. However, with the arrival of an entertainment reporter, played by Tom Selleck, things begin to get complicated. Funny and innovative, In & Out gained attention for featuring a 12-second kiss between two men. Watch that gay kiss scene here:
4. dawson’s creek (1998-2003)
Another WB classic, this coming-of-age high school drama followed the lives of four friends in their idyllic fictional town of Capeside, Massachusetts. It also featured one of the first gay kiss scenes on TV, and remains one of the most iconic television shows of all time.
8. moonlight (2016)
Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, Moonlight is a coming-of-age drama that explores three stages of the main character’s life: childhood, adolescence, and young adult. Black masculinity and Black male sexuality, vulnerability, and love are consistent themes throughout this Best Picture winner, but one of our favorite gay kiss scenes caught on film is the below beach scene:
9. love, simon (2018)
Finally, the queer rom-com we’ve deserved all along. How incredible to think that baby gays can watch this movie and see themselves represented on the big screen — not just represented by older folks who have their shit figured out, but by teenagers like themselves.