The following list of my top 10 coming out movies have a little of the mainstream, a little of the hidden gems, and a little bit of a foreign flavor too. There’s a lot I took from these films, and if you still haven’t come out to your friends/family, no pressure, then I hope these films give you enough strength to take the big leap forward whenever you’re ready. All of these films have a special place in my heart, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Blue is the Warmest Colour
This passionate and sex-heavy French film follows a student’s journey. She discovers her sexuality after meeting (and becoming obsessed with) a slightly older art student. Although it’s quite pornographic and almost geared to male sexual gaze, it reminds me of the first girl to stop me in my tracks and make me throw away societal norms in the pursuit of absolute lust.
A tender romcom that gay teens might not have even known they needed. But when they watch it, they’ll find themselves deeply reflected. The movie is positive and affirming, with messages of courage. I came out once I found someone worth coming out for, just like in this film.
Call Me By Your Name
Elio and Oliver meet and develop a delicate, poignant romance that avoids the cliches portrayed in many films about gay love. Meanwhile, Elio’s parents allow him to explore his feelings and are accepting of his sexual orientation. The caring, tender family dynamic that also functions as one of the more loving movies about coming out. It made me wish my Dad was more open to things, but it made me more hopeful for the gay youth of the future.
Below Her Mouth
A movie about a married woman grappling with her sexuality, and inevitably having an affair with a woman. Borderline pornographic. I also remember being in a straight relationship and cheating with a woman. I experienced a lot of the same doubt, shame, and guilt because of the betrayal after discovering my sexuality later in life.
This is a testimony to the political effect of coming out in Hong Kong. It’s beautifully depicted by the painful codependent relationship between the two characters. But it made being gay look so cool.
Profoundly sad, with beautiful, complex, sympathetic performances across the board. It was refreshing to see big name stars in a mainstream gay romance. Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger are both exceptional. Michelle Williams is also superb as the wife left reeling after the discovery of her husband’s true sexuality. It’s a crier, but it reminds you that you can’t stop loving someone no matter what commitments you’ve made, much like when I left my college boyfriend for a girl.
Suffering from PTSD after witnessing a homophobic murder, an artistic gay teenager is driven to escape from his hometown so that he can finally come out as gay. I, too, knew of homophobic attacks in our hometown that lead most of us to wait to move out of the city before coming out.
Moonlight grapples with questions of race, masculinity, sexuality, class, and love with unnerving confidence and poetry. It will move you to tears but also inspire you to live your truth truly.
An important part of American history that is under-reported to the general public. Coming out used to not be a civil right. It’s a stark reminder of how far we’ve come when it still feels like we have so far to go. I still get asked how my girlfriend and I have sex when I tell them I have one. I always respond, “no please, you first.” But this reminds me how small that struggle is.
Paris Is Burning
This is an epic gay ballroom film about the underground scene that facilitated community and expression for many who were disenfranchised by their sexuality, gender identity, ethnicity, and poverty. A safe-haven for those rejected by the community and their families, they developed their own scene. The most legendary LGBT documentary ever made. I still only go to gay bars and places where I can freely express myself without fear of being sexualized by others for dancing with my girlfriend.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.