Here's where you can watch the best LGBTQ+ films during Pride Month

Clockwise from top left: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert (MGM), Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures), The Birdcage (MGM), Moonlight (Lionsgate)

June means Pride Month, and Pride Month means celebrating queer art—which we could all use more of given the current state of things. In the spirit of 2023 Pride, The A.V. Club has rounded up 24 unambiguously queer movies from a variety of genres and storytellers, each showcasing the multifaceted LGBTQ+ experience. From comedies to more serious fare, there’s something for every member of the community and every ally as well. Of course, this list is by no means the definitive document of queer film. Rather it’s a collection of films that are easily accessible on streaming, presented here in chronological order to showcase the evolution of one of cinema’s most essential perspectives.

Victor/Victoria (1982), streaming on Max

Victor Victoria Official Trailer #1 - Julie Andrews, James Garner Movie (1982) HD

One needs only mention that Victor/Victoria stars Julie Andrews as a struggling soprano who, with the help of a mischievous gay performer, decides to pass herself off as a female impersonator in 1930s Paris—falling for a dashing gangster in the process. This gender-bending musical comedy (with an Oscar-winning song score by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse) is, above all, a thrilling showcase for Andrews’ many talents. Her “Le Jazz Hot!” number alone is absolute perfection, proof that her husband, director Blake Edwards, knew exactly what audiences wanted out of this glittery star vehicle. But don’t let that distract you from Robert Preston’s winning, winking performance as Victoria’s own drag version of Henry Higgins or the film’s comedy of errors romantic plot, all of which make Victor/Victoria a joy to watch. [Manuel Betancourt]

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Maurice (1987), streaming on Tubi, Kanopy, and Mubi

Maurice Re-Release Trailer (2017) | Movieclips Trailers

The sight of Rupert Graves in James Ivory’s Maurice is enough to buckle one’s knees. He may not play the eponymous character—that’d be James Wilby, who beautifully projects the buzz and confusion of a young man grappling with same-sex attraction while at university. But Ivory ramps up the steamy Edwardian romance that drives the latter half of the film when Maurice falls for the young gamekeeper at the estate of his erstwhile chaste lover, Clive (Hugh Grant) and plunges headfirst into an affair that thrills and terrifies him in equal measure. Capturing the repressed homoerotic feelings E.M. Forster so beautifully mapped out in his posthumously published novel, Ivory’s adaptation is a melancholy and heartbreaking meditation on longing that (spoiler alert) will have you blushing and grinning by the time the credits roll. [Manuel Betancourt]

Hairspray (1988), streaming on Max

Hairspray (1988) - Original Theatrical Trailer

There’s a reason why John Waters’ deliciously irreverent ode to Baltimore, American Bandstand, and big girls continues to live on in our collective imaginations. The film is the definition of iconic, centered on the wide-eyed aspirations of young Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake, in her feature film debut) whose stint as a dancer on The Corny Collins Show serves as a prelude for a fight against racial segregation and, ultimately, being comfortable in one’s own body. All of it is wrapped up in the gritty campy humor that’s made Waters a cult icon. With memorable performances by Divine and Jerry Stiller (as Tracy’s parents) not to mention supporting roles for Sonny Bono, Debbie Harry, and Pia Zadora, Hairspray is a rollicking celebration of outcasts who buck trends. What could possibly say “pride” louder than that? [Manuel Betancourt]

Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (1988), streaming on Freevee

Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown Trailer

No round-up of queer cinema is complete without its foremost auteur, the maestro of maestros, patron saint Pedro Almodóvar. Colorful, complicated, political, melodramatic, heartwarming, and heartbreaking—the Spanish filmmaking legend can do it all. Although he traverses a wide gamut of genres, his international breakthrough, the Oscar-nominated Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, could be considered his most joyful thanks to its elements of screwball comedy. Almodóvar’s queerness is suffused into every aspect of this film, from the campy way Pepa Marcos hurls a telephone out a window to, well, the way she hurls an answering machine out a window. It’s irreverent arthouse cinema at its absolute finest. [Jack Smart]

The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert (1994), streaming on Prime Video, Tubi, Kanopy, and Hoopla

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) - Official Trailer

Ask any group of queer people—Australian or otherwise—for their favorite fabulously out-and-proud film and you’ll likely hear Priscilla more than any other answer. Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner’s Oscar-winning costume design is reason enough to feast your eyes on this tale of a bedazzled trio of crossdressers (Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, and Terence Stamp) busing across the Outback. The film’s treatment of Julia Cortez’s Filipina character Cynthia has justifiably come under criticism in the years since Priscilla’s 1994 release—but have we collectively developed a more nuanced understanding of gender in the years hence? We’d like to think so, yes. Queer writer-director Stephan Elliott gets away with a lot, then and now, thanks to drag’s inherent irreverence, which pumps vividly from the heart of this bedazzled, beguiling gift that keeps on giving. [Jack Smart]

To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar (1995), streaming on Tubi

To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar (1995) - Official Trailer

One might suspect a road trip movie with a bunch of straight actors playing drag queens might not hold up today, but this raucous ’90s classic is too fun to deny. The original trailer for the movie advertised that two tough-guy Hollywood actors, Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze, were about to meet their greatest challenge yet: a pair of heels. The duo, along with John Leguizamo, have a surprising amount of chemistry and are clearly having a blast, with infectious energy bursting from every scene. When the queens land at their destination of a dusty rural town, To Wong Foo really hits its stride, with Blythe Danner and Stockard Channing among the town’s inhabitants whose hearts are won over by the unlikely visitors. Even drag queen royalty RuPaul and Julie Newmar herself make an appearance in this queer cult classic that is best seen with a large crowd (and some cocktails). [Brandon Kirby]

Jeffrey (1995), streaming on Peacock, Tubi, Vudu, Hoopla, Kanopy, Roku, and Freevee

Jeffrey (1995) - Official Trailer (HD)

With a tagline like “Love is an adventure when one of you is sure ... and the other is positive,” it’s easy to see why Christopher Ashley’s adaptation of Paul Rudnick’s play by the same name charmed audiences back in the mid-’90s. After all, stories that featured an HIV-positive character rarely came in the form of a sweet romantic comedy. But that’s exactly what Jeffrey is. Its titular character (Steven Weber) may have taken a vow of celibacy (so as to avoid the epidemic around him) but that comes to a screeching halt when he meets the man of his dreams, Michael T. Weiss’ Steve, whose diagnosis initially risks derailing their rom-com tale. With a standout supporting performance by Patrick Stewart as Jeffrey’s BFF, this ’90s classic will make you fall in love with love all over again. [Manuel Betancourt]

The Birdcage (1996), streaming on Paramount+, MGM+, Tubi, Hoopla, Roku, and Pluto TV

The Birdcage (1996) Official Trailer - Robin Williams, Nathan Lane Movie HD

Meet the cutest gay dads in movie history in director Mike Nichols’ The Birdcage. Club owner Armand (Robin Williams) and drag queen Albert (Nathan Lane) live happily above their shared business in fabulous South Beach until Armand’s son Val (Dan Futterman) decides to propose to his girlfriend Barbara (Calista Flockhart). Armand and Albert are unreservedly happy for the bride and groom, but it’s Barbara’s homophobic parents, Senator Kevin Keeley (Gene Hackman) and wife Louise (Dianne Wiest), who risk spoiling the fun should they find out about Val’s fathers and his estranged mother Katharine (Christine Baranski). This is an all-time great ’90s comedy with some of the sweetest queer family character work in pressed linen pants. Plus, you’ll hear some seriously timeless bangers. [Alison Foreman]

The Watermelon Woman (1996), streaming on Showtime, Kanopy, and Fandor

The Watermelon Woman Trailer (1996)

At the heart of The Watermelon Woman is a film. A fake film, yes. But it’s important you buy into the counterfactual cinematic history that said fictional film creates. For therein lies the comedy—and the wisdom—in Cheryl Dunye’s groundbreaking project: you see, Cheryl (Dunye) is intent on making a documentary about “The Watermelon Woman.” That’s how a black actress is credited in her mammy role in Plantation Memories, a studio film from the 1930s that Cheryl’s becomes obsessed with. Cheekily offering up a meta-interrogation of Black representation on screen as well as a studied history lesson on queer lineage (as it turns out, the actress was a lesbian), Dunye’s funny and warm pseudo-doc-slash-rom-com remains as vital in the 21st century as it was when it was rightly hailed as a masterpiece of New Queer Cinema. [Manuel Betancourt]

But I’m A Cheerleader (1999), streaming on Prime Video, Tubi, The Criterion Channel, Pluto TV, Plex, and Roku

But I’m a Cheerleader (2000) Official Trailer

Natasha Lyonne stars as the spirited Megan Bloomfield in But I’m A Cheerleader, director Jamie Babbit’s candy-colored cult classic about a closeted 17-year-old sent to conversion therapy camp. Sure, most movies about these very real, very hateful anti-LGBTQ+ “programs” are a bummer; see Boy Erased or The Miseducation Of Cameron Post. But Babbit’s one-of-a-kind fairytale balances its predictably grim villainy with enough camp and romance to keep even the most cynical viewers entertained. Megan and love interest Graham (Clea DuVall) remain one of the more iconic lesbian couples ever put to screen (c’mon, that final shot!). Its ensemble cast is equally dazzling, boasting the talents of Cathy Moriarty, Melanie Lynskey, Dante Basco, RuPaul, and more. [Alison Foreman]

Kinky Boots (2005), streaming on Paramount+, Hoopla, and Pluto TV

Kinky Boots (2005) Official Trailer 1 - Chiwetel Ejiofor Movie

A fledgling shoe factory in Northampton is in desperate need of new ideas if it’s going to stay afloat. Young Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton), who took over the factory from his late father, comes up with a perfect (maybe?) idea: with the guidance of Lola (a luminous Chiwetel Ejiofor), they will corner the budding drag queen market by making fashionable boots with heels that won’t snap when worn by a man. A fabulous working-class fable about being true to yourself (based on a real-life story, no less!), Kinky Boots is the kind of sweet and tender-hearted flick you put on when you just need a feel-good Britcom in your life. And yes, that final runway fashion show is to die for. [Manuel Betancourt]

Another Gay Movie (2006), streaming on Tubi, Fandor, and Plex

Another Gay Movie - Trailer

The perfect encapsulation of LGBTQ+ cinema in the early 2000s, Another Gay Movie serves as a time capsule for a moment when queer content was unabashedly crude, lewd, straight-to-video shlock. This camp classic skewers raunchy teen comedies—like American Pie—while also spoofing them (see Not Another Teen Movie) giving queer audiences their version. Following the genre’s well-worn tropes, four gay friends make a pact to lose their virginity before they go off to college. While the setup provides plenty of fodder for foul-mouthed toilet humor, sex jokes, and sight gags, the movie also manages to touch on some still-pressing issues of gay life, such as self-denial, subverting stereotypes, embracing one’s own beauty, and finding chosen family. If you can look past some dated offensive humor, you’ll find a screwball comedy with a surprising bit of heart ... and perhaps the strangest cameo ever committed to film. [Brandon Kirby]

Pride (2014), streaming on Showtime and Fubo

Pride Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott Historical Comedy HD

A list of Pride Month film recommendations wouldn’t be complete without Pride. But this retelling of a miners’ strike in ’80s Britain and the workers’ surprising collaboration with gay and lesbian activists may actually be this particular list’s quintessential pick. Gay screenwriter Stephen Beresford’s tale is one of triumph over adversity, of how activism creates chosen family, tied together by its roots in real-life history. Reasons to stand up and cheer abound in Pride—the ending will have you on your feet, so get your rainbow flag ready—but its most joyful scenes are actually its quietest. Andrew Scott will break your heart as a man reuniting with his family years after coming out, and Bill Nighy delivers a line to Imelda Staunton that may be this writer’s favorite moment in all of queer cinema. [Jack Smart]

Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party (2015), streaming on Tubi, Roku, and Kanopy


Queer character studies as nuanced as Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party—and there are more than the few on this list—deserve more recognition than they tend to get. Writer-director Stephen Cone has many such entries in the canon, and his tale of an eventful 24 hours in the life of the teenaged son of a preacher caught between his desires and expectations is a prime example. Seeing a young man (played by a terrific Cole Doman) coming to understand his place in the world, almost in real-time, is what generates the joys of this should-be classic. [Jack Smart]

Tangerine (2015), streaming on Max, Kanopy, Hoopla, and Fubo

Tangerine Official Trailer 1 (2015) - Comedy HD

Queer Christmas stories are becoming increasingly popular, and why not? There’s plenty of mistletoe to go around. But none of them ring in the holidays quite like Sean Baker’s Tangerine, which follows Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez)—a transgender sex worker recently out of jail who discovers her boyfriend slash pimp has been cheating on her—and Alexandra (Mya Taylor), another trans sex worker with dreams of being a singer, on Christmas Eve. Neither Rodriguez nor Taylor had acting experience prior to the film, and Taylor was a sex worker, adding to the authenticity of the film. Shot on iPhone 5S smartphones, Tangerine is a naturalistic, funny, and heartfelt look at friendship and a showcase for the beautiful yet often unexplored side of L.A. [Richard Newby]

Moonlight (2016), streaming on Tubi, Vudu, Kanopy, and Plex

Moonlight Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Mahershala Ali Movie

Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight is filmmaking at its finest, so it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most seen and best regarded queer movies. This Oscar-winning Best Picture follows Chiron through three periods of his life—childhood (Alex R. Hibbert), adolescence (Ashton Sanders), and adulthood (Trevante Rhodes)—as he grapples with his identity, sexuality, and the pull of the world of violence and addiction he was born into. Jenkins, along with story writer Tarell Alvin McCraney, creates a moving character portrait of empathy. Boasting memorable supporting performances by Mahershala Ali, Naomi Harris, Janelle Monae, Jharrel Jerome, and Andre Holland, and stunning cinematography by James Laxton that highlights the beauty of Black skin of all shades, Moonlight is a triumph of American storytelling. [Richard Newby]

Disobedience (2018), streaming on Netflix, Hoopla and Kanopy

DISOBEDIENCE | Official Trailer

Sebastian Lelio’s Disobedience, based on Naomi Alderman’s 2006 novel of the same name, explores a queer romance through the lens of the Orthodox Jewish community. While the tensions between queer identity and Christianity have frequently been a part of the text, or subtext, of LGBTQ+ films, we infrequently see them explored from the perspective of other religions. Ronit Krushka (Rachel Weisz) returns home to New York City after her father falls ill. While she struggles to fit in with the community, which ostracized her because of her sexuality, she reconnects with two childhood friends, Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) and Esti (Rachel McAdams) who have since married. Esti, unhappy with her marriage begins an affair with Ronit which tests their faith and familial relationships. With its universal themes and strong performances from Weisz, McAdams, and Nivola, Disobedience is a complex love story that rewards patience. [Richard Newby]

Alex Strangelove (2018), streaming on Netflix

Alex Strangelove | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

As far as both stand-up-and-cheer moments and kisses between gay characters go, Alex Strangelove can’t be beat. Like many of Netflix’s original rom-coms, it’s refreshingly modern, indulging in high school kitsch yet equally unafraid to wade through the complicated process that is coming to terms with one’s sexual orientation privately and publicly. As protagonist Alex Truelove (is that not the most delightfully rom-com-perfect last name ever?), Daniel Doheny navigates a coming-of-age arc that’s relatable to queer and non-queer teenagers alike. [Jack Smart]

Circus Of Books (2019), streaming on Netflix

Circus of Books | Official Trailer | Netflix

Queer history is often found in the unlikeliest of places. Take Circus Of Books, the West Hollywood video store that for decades was a staple on Santa Monica Boulevard. The place was once run by Karen and Barry Mason, a straight couple who savvily became gay porn entrepreneurs that catered to the male clientele in the neighborhood at a time when such content was not a mere click away. Their story, told by their filmmaker daughter Rachel Mason, would be outrageous enough on its own. But the layers Mason brings out when sketching a narrative about the porous nature of the public and the private, about porn and shame, and about family and respectability, truly make this documentary sing. [Manuel Betancourt]

Booksmart (2019), streaming on Peacock

BOOKSMART | Final Restricted Trailer

Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever star in this hysterical two-hander about an overambitious class president, her anxious best friend, and their last chance at making high school memories. A charming coming-of-age friendship epic, Olivia Wilde’s feature directorial debut has been compared to Superbad and follows a similar story structure. As protagonists Molly and Amy venture further into a cross-faded comedy of errors, the girls simultaneously grapple with the unpredictability of partying and the painful realities of growing up—and apart. Booksmart is a feel-good watch for any occasion, though it’s included on this list specifically for its effervescent portrayal of young LGBTQ+ love. Amy’s surprising story with classmates Ryan (Victoria Ruesga) and Hope (Diana Silvers) is an all-time lesbian origin story—vomit notwithstanding. [Alison Foreman]

Spiral (2019), streaming on Shudder

Spiral - Official Trailer [HD] | A Shudder Original

Not to be confused with the Chris Rock Saw spin-off of the same name, Kurtis David Harder’s Spiral is a queer horror story in the vein of Get Out. When Malik (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) and Aaron (Ari Cohen) move to a small town to raise their teenage daughter (June Laporte), they soon find that their neighbors (Lochlyn Munro and Chandra West), who host mysterious nightly parties, are not as welcoming as they initially appear. Not a feel-good movie by any means, Spiral takes a subtle approach to horror through past trauma, gaslighting, and the intersection between Blackness and queerness. [Richard Newby]

Happiest Season (2020), streaming on Hulu

Happiest Season - Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original

Ever since the Totino’s pizza rolls spoof on SNL when Kristen Stewart hosted, we have been clamoring for the now Oscar-nominated actress to star in something explicitly queer. Hulu’s Happiest Season was our answer. Starring opposite the radiant Mackenzie Davis, Stewart plays Abby, longtime girlfriend of Harper (Davis), who’s excited to finally be introduced to her partner’s parents. However, on their way to the Christmas gathering, Harper reveals she lied to Abby about ever coming out to her parents. What ensues from co-writer and director Clea Duvall is a perfect storm of rom-com situational comedy with a fresh modern twist. An excellent supporting cast rounds out the shenanigans, including Mary Steenburgen, Alison Brie, and Aubrey Plaza as a smoldering threat to Harper and Abby’s love. And, in pitch-perfect casting, Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek) plays the hard-loving gay BFF that we all wish for. [Brandon Kirby]

Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022), streaming on Showtime

Bodies Bodies Bodies | Official Trailer 2 HD | A24

Sometimes you just have to mix things up a bit and get your party vibe on. Halina Reijn’s glowstick colored slasher-comedy whodunnit is the cinematic equivalent of chugging a Four Loko (original recipe, before the FDA’s crackdown). When Bee (Maria Bakalova) joins her new girlfriend, Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) and her wealthy friends (Rachel Sennott, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Lee Pace, and Pete Davidson) at a mansion for a ‘hurricane party,’ she quickly finds her new relationship tested. When the titular party game turns deadly, the veil of romance and friendship falls away to reveal the self-centeredness, excess, and other unflattering traits of Gen Z. Fascinatingly, Bodies Bodies Bodies manages to subvert the slasher conventions and “kill your gays” trope in a way that’s impossible to see coming, and darkly funny. [Richard Newby]

Queer For Fear: The History Of Queer Horror (2022), streaming on Shudder

Queer for Fear: The History of Queer Horror - Official Trailer (2022)

This multipart documentary from executive producer Bryan Fuller charts the history of LGBTQ+ representation in the horror genre. From queer coded films to overtly queer films, Queer For Fear is essential viewing for film history and horror enthusiasts, shining new light on familiar classics and introducing little seen gems. Boasting a cadre of queer filmmakers and actors including Kimberly Peirce, Justin Simien, Liv Hewson, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Don Mancini, the four-part documentary looks at the earliest examples of queer representation in horror and charts both the tragic and triumphant careers of queer characters, authors, and filmmakers through Hollywood’s golden age, the AIDS epidemic, and the modern era. Not only will you walk away with a lot more insight into the inherent queerness of horror, you’ll also add more than a few entries to your watchlist. [Richard Newby].

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