8 progressive LGBTQ films to watch | Inquirer Entertainment

8 progressive LGBTQ films to watch

/ 12:45 PM June 29, 2023

Graphics: Samuel Yap

Every community deserves to be seen and heard. This Pride Month, it’s all about promoting inclusivity and proper representation of the members of the LGBTQIA+ community. As we live in a progressive society that has become more accepting and open to queers, we also begin to recognize their struggles as they continue to fight for their rights.

We have selected these eight movies that mirror the experiences of LGBTQIA+ members to help you better understand the vibrant world of this community—from exploring their gender identity and sexual orientation to falling in love, achieving dreams and coming of age.

  1. The Handmaiden (2016)

    Official poster of The Handmaiden

“The Handmaiden” is an astoundingly beautiful and progressive lesbian film among Park Chan-wook’s best. It is a South Korean imaginative thriller film with a lot of depth and an unexpected turn of events. Set in Japanese-occupied Korea in the 1930s, “The Handmaiden” is a film whose plot is rooted in class tensions, and the story refuses to objectify its subjects.


2. Moonlight (2016)

Chiron (Ashton Sanders) in the middle of students at the campus | Photo courtesy: A24/Youtube

“Moonlight” is a visually breathtaking film with a simple yet powerful plot about a young African-American man who struggles with his identity and sexuality as he approaches adulthood. With an all-black cast, this LGBT-themed movie recognizes diverse races and queerness.

3. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Official poster of Portrait Of A Lady On Fire 

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” is a phenomenal French historical film by Céline Sciamma about a woman assigned to paint a young woman’s wedding portrait. With an all-female cast, this progressive lesbian film also rejects the idea of objectifying bodies and displays the stellar potential of women while also providing the audience a cinematic experience.

4. Die Beautiful (2016)

Trisha (Paolo Ballesteros) inside a casket | Photo courtesy: Regal Entertainment/Youtube

“Die Beautiful” is a breakthrough Filipino LGBTQIA+ comedy-drama film that revolves around the life of a transgender woman, Trisha (Paolo Ballesteros), who had a beautiful wish until her death. More than a comedy film with an outstanding comedian as the lead, this film immerses its audience into the world of gays and transexuals, providing deeper context and understanding of the lives of the members of the community. 


5. Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Elio and Oliver on a beach in Italy | Photo courtesy: Sony Pictures Classics/YouTube

A beautiful story about how a first love blossomed in the Italian summer of 1983, “Call Me by Your Name” is a movie about how Elio (Timothy Chalamet) discovers more about themself and their sexuality as they get close to Oliver (Armie Hammer), a doctoral student who is working as an intern for Elio’s father. Themes such as the stigma of homosexuality are reflected in the film.

6. The Prom (2020)

Official poster of The Prom

In this musical movie, the viewers will witness how Emma, a lesbian teenager in a conservative town in Indiana, faces different challenges as she tries to attend her high school prom with her girlfriend. Watch Emma as she fights for her right to love regardless of gender with the help of supportive allies and liberated Broadway stars who are trying to gain their sparkles back.

7. Love, Simon (2018)

Simon walks down the school hallway with his friends | Photo courtesy: 20th Century Studios/YouTube

“Love, Simon” tells the story of a closeted gay high school student who finds comfort and love in an anonymous gay schoolmate as they exchange a series of emails about their experiences and plans as they go on with their lives after high school. This light and heartwarming movie presents themes of coming out, friendship, coming of age, and supportive family.

8. Disclosure (2020)

Official poster of Disclosure

“Disclosure” is a documentary discussing how the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly transgender people, is represented in Hollywood. Throughout the film, transmen and transwomen talked about their experiences as a member of the queer community affected by how they are represented in the media. More about this and themes such as crimes and employment discrimination are discussed in the film.

As we celebrate Pride month, may these progressive films serve as eye-openers to the struggles the queer community faces today. Together, let’s create a space for everyone and make a more inclusive world.—Joanne Melegrito and Paula Acuavera, INQUIRER.net trainees


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