Can’t make the Bloomington Pride Film Festival this weekend? Here are the best LGBT, gender-queer and all around open-minded films to stream instead. From confused, intersex teenagers to gay fairytales for kids, these streaming platforms are making inclusive stories a priority.
“Tangerine” — A transgender sex worker named Sin-Dee leads the charge in this comedy of love, laughter and occasional misadventures in the pursuit of both. The film was shot on three iPhones, but the really groundbreaking aspect of the movie is its refusal to allow gender to limit any of its characters.
“Closet Monster” — In a sea of films where young leads struggle to understand their ambiguous identities, “Closet Monster” delivers a story about a boy who knows exactly who he is. Swathed in metaphor and heavily laden with symbolism, this film deals with emotional climaxes more impressionistically than concretely. The talking hamster isn’t as weird as you’d expect.
“The Duke of Burgundy” — Does a lesbian, May-December, bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism relationship film sound up your alley? Perhaps not, but “The Duke of Burgundy” neatly subverts almost every expectation viewers might have going in. Zero men appear in the movie.
“Pariah” — A 17-year-old black teen realizes her own sexuality but struggles to make her family understand. The movie balances strong female relationships — romantic, platonic and familial — with a poignant father-daughter bond.
“Margarita With a Straw” — Laila, a student at Delhi University, lives with cerebral palsy. “Margarita” doubles down on storytelling about marginalized identities by adding a romantic connection with a blind woman Laila meets after she transfers to New York University and by exploring her feelings for a male student in one of her classes.
“Passing” — This short documentary follows three men who have undergone gender reassignment surgery to go from female to male. The subjects discuss their experiences of being black trans men in a hostile society.
“XXY” — In this Argentinian drama, intersex 15-year-old Alex struggles with her gender identity. When a gay family friend comes to visit, she realizes that she has the right to choose a gender for herself.
“Spa Night” — David, a closeted Korean-American teenager, takes a job at a Korean spa in Los Angeles to help his impoverished family. “Spa Night” explores themes of desire, shame and cultural tradition.
“First Girl I Loved” — Dylan Gelula of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” falls in love with Brianna Hildebrand of “Deadpool” in this high school love story. Negasonic Teenage Warhead as the most popular lesbian in school? We’re in.
“Farewell, My Queen” — Finally someone gets history right. In this French period drama, Marie Antoinette secretly falls in love with her lady-in-waiting, played by Bond girl Lea Seydoux.
“Rosaline” — In this animated fairytale for kids, a young woman named Rosaline travels through a dangerous forest to deliver a picnic to her sweetheart. She braves everything from witches to wolves, finally making it to her true love — who is revealed to be a woman.
“The Bravest Prince Who Ever Lived” — By the same creators of “Rosaline,” this short follows a brave young pumpkin farmer who wants nothing more than to be a knight. After years of training, Sir Cedric rescues a pair of royal siblings from a monstrous dragon, ultimately deciding to marry the prince.
“Carol” — One of 2015’s best films, “Carol” follows a pair of women in the 1950s as they fall in love and face resistance from the men in their lives. If there’s a better way to spend two hours than watching Rooney Mara fall head over heels for Cate Blanchett — at her most fabulous — we don’t know of it.
“Y Tu Mama Tambien” — In this Mexican road trip film two teenage boys embark on a journey with a free-spirited older woman. Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal sparked a bromance for the ages in this famous exploration of masculinity and bisexuality.
“Weekend” — Director Andrew Haigh paints a restrained, beautiful picture of two gay men who have a brief but life-changing encounter. Exploring themes of identity, authenticity and true love, “Weekend” is a hyper-real snapshot of a relationship doomed from the start.
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