Or maybe, you want to take a more low key approach and watch a movie or documentary streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or another streaming service.
The only question is: Where to begin? If you’re on the hunt for the best LGBTQ movies, new or old, we’ve got you covered.
This list of the best queer movies ever includes everything from the cute high-school dramedy “Love, Simon" to award-winners like "Moonlight" to documentaries that are guaranteed to make you tear up. There are also romantic dramas — including ones that have happy endings.
So, grab your popcorn, settle in and let’s get started with some of the best queer films of the decade, and beyond.
In this comedy-drama shot entirely with smartphones, Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez), a transgender sex worker recently released from jail, enlists the help of her best friend, Alexandra (Mya Taylor), to search for her cheating fiancé on Christmas Eve.
After bailing early from a party at a friend’s house, Russell (Tom Cullen) ends up at a gay nightclub, where he meets Glen (Chris New). The two share a one-night stand that turns into a weekend of discovery and heartache.
‘Call Me by Your Name’ (2017)
In this lush drama set in the 1980s, a 24-year-old college student finds himself drawn to the 17-year-old son of the professor he’s working for. Their complicated relationship unfolds in the heat of an Italian summer and is a master class in desire.
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara star in this film about two women searching for fulfillment in 1950s New York. One trapped is trapped in a loveless marriage, the other stuck in a dead-end job. Their chance meeting leads to a complicated love affair that changes them both forever.
‘Brokeback Mountain’ (2005)
At the center of this 2005 classic is the forbidden love between two ranch hands working in the Wyoming mountains. Set in the 1960s, the story unfolds over two decades and revolves around their tortured affair and the cultural conventions that prevent them from ever being together.
'A Fantastic Woman' (2017)
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, “A Fantastic Woman” features Marina (Daniela Vega), a transgender waitress and nightclub singer who falls for Orlando (Francisco Reyes), the owner of a textile company. When Orlando dies suddenly, Marina falls under scrutiny for both his untimely death and their unconventional relationship.
'God's Own Country' (2017)
Unhappily tasked with running his family’s sheep and cattle farm in Northern England, Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor) is living a life of hard partying and casual one-nighters. That all changes when he meets Gheorghe (Alec Sacareanu), a Romanian migrant worker whose gentle nature draws him into an unexpected relationship.
'Portrait of a Lady on Fire' (2019)
Set in 18th-century France, an intimate relationship develops between an artist commissioned to paint, and her a reluctant subject. Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant's chemistry grows through long glances and through what is left unsaid.
'The Kids Are All Right' (2010)
Julianne Moore and Annette Bening play a couple whose life is upended when their teenage kids connect with their biological father (Mark Ruffalo) without their knowledge. Lisa Cholodenko's movie is a heartwarming, generous portrait of a family, and hearts, expending to make room for one another.
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2017, “Moonlight,” is an emotional ride that follows the life of a Miami pre-teen into adulthood in three separate acts. Bullied and neglected by his mother, who struggles with substance abuse, Chiron slowly comes to terms with his sexuality amid the increasing pressures of his peers.
'Love Simon' (2018)
Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) is a high school senior who has kept his sexuality a secret from friends and family. After starting an anonymous online relationship with a fellow classmate, Simon must decide between maintaining the status quo and surrendering to love in this YA novel adaptation.
'BPM (Beats Per Minute)' (2017)
This Cannes Film Festival award-winner follows the AIDS advocacy group, ACT UP, in Paris during the 1990s. The film spotlights the group’s struggles to surmount an apathetic government, as well as the personal stories of its members suffering from the disease.
'The Normal Heart' (2014)
Mark Ruffalo and Jim Parsons star in this HBO drama about the unfolding AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. Based on the play of the same name, the story centers around a gay New York City writer whose friends and acquaintances are increasingly afflicted by the virus.
‘The Birdcage’ (1996)
A remake of the classic French film “La Cage aux Folles,” this hilarious film features Robin Williams and Nathan Lane at their finest. Portraying a gay cabaret owner and his live-in companion, the two pretend to be a straight, married couple in a disastrous attempt to assuage their future in-laws.
‘But I’m a Cheerleader’ (1999)
Megan (Natasha Lyonne) is a high school cheerleader who adores Melissa Etheridge and is interested in being a vegetarian. Translation? She’s gay. Terrified over her potential lesbianism, her parents ship her off to conversion camp to help “cure” her. Hilarity ensures in this cult classic.
‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ (1994)
After agreeing to perform at a drag show in the Australian desert, three friends (Terence Stamp, Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving) board a lavender bus named Priscilla and head out on an unforgettable road trip full of misadventure.
‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ (2001)
This musical-comedy film follows the trials and tribulations of Hedwig Robinson (John Cameron Mitchell) a punk rock singer whose path to fame is cut short after her lover- protégée steals all her music, then goes on to become famous with it.
‘Kissing Jessica Stein’ (2001)
Surrounded by married and engaged couples, a single New Yorker sets out to please her Jewish mother by going on a dating spree to find the right guy. Instead, she meets the right girl, leading to romance and confusion.
Wesley Snipes, John Leguizamo, Patrick Swayze and RuPaul appear in this star-studded comedy (with a memorably long title) about three drag queens who travel cross country to appear in the Drag Queen of America pageant in California. When their Cadillac breaks down in a small conservative town, they’re forced to contend with the locals.
‘Saving Face’ (2004)
Directed by Alice Wu, “Saving Face” is a comedy-drama-romance about a Chinese-American surgeon whose 48-year-old pregnant mother unexpectedly moves in with her after being banished by her father.
Through a series of flashbacks, “Beginners” follows the life of Oliver (Ewan McGregor) and his father, Hal (Christopher Plummer), who comes out with a younger man after Oliver’s mother dies. Heartfelt and heartbreaking at the same time, the film centers around finding love and acceptance at any age.
This Netflix documentary offers an unflinching look at how transgender individuals are represented in film and television. Featuring conversations with Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Chaz Bono and more, “Disclosure” sheds light on continuing issues of bias and stereotyping in the media, and how it affects individuals.
‘Circus of Books’ (2019)
“Circus of Books” chronicles the real-life story of Karen and Barry Mason, a couple who after falling on hard financial times in the 1970s, go on to become the biggest distributers of gay pornography in the U.S.
‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’ (2017)
One of the original activists at the 1969 Stonewall Riots, Marsha P. Johnson, a self-identified drag queen, is considered a vanguard of the gay rights movement. Her life, and her mysterious 1992 death after Gay Pride, are recounted through interviews and film footage in this Netflix documentary.
‘Paris is Burning’ (1990)
"Paris Is Burning" is a seminal look into New York’s ‘80s ball culture. This documentary follows the lives of ball contestants, who sit at various identity intersections, like Latinx, Black, gay and transgender, capturing the community's warmth and the individuals' dreams.
‘A Secret Love’ (2020)
This emotional documentary chronicles the lives of Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, two woman who fell in love in 1947, then kept their relationship a secret from their families for more than 65 years. Donahue was on the baseball team that inspired "A League of Their Own." The documentary was created by her great-nephew.