straight for equality
movies new allies will love

Some of the best ways to learn more are as close as your TV, tablet, or computer! The list can’t possibly include all of the great movies out there, so we’ve picked a few that represent a good place for new allies to begin.

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Faith and Religion:

Prayers for Bobby
Based on a true story, Prayers for Bobby follows the Griffith family as son Bobby comes out and mother Mary turns to religion to find a “cure”. Starring Sigourney Weaver, the first Straight for Equality in Entertainment award winner, this film demonstrates the tragic real-world implications of being rejected by one’s faith and family.

Coming Out:

Torch Song Trilogy
Released in 1988, Torch Song Trilogy is a film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play written by playwright Harvey Fierstein. The hilarious and quick-witted film is about coming out and searching for love but also familial relationships and faith in New York City.

Brokeback Mountain
An Oscar Award-winning film, Brokeback Mountain tells the story of two men in need of work in Wyoming in the early 1960’s. After a summer together both go on to get married and have children in spite of having a meaningful gay relationship together. Their tortured relationship goes on for nearly 20 years dramatically impacting their lives and the lives of their families.

Edge of Seventeen
Edge of Seventeen is a poignant coming-of-age film about a young gay man in Sandusky, OH during the 1980s. The main character, Eric, experiences what many would claim to be “gay rites of passage” as he discovers who he is, who is true friends are, and what it means to be a young gay man in America.

In & Out
In & Out is a fictional tale about a popular, about-to-be-married drama teacher who is very publically outed by a former student while accepting an Academy Award. This causes everyone, from his parents, to his fiancé, and even himself to question his sexuality in the media frenzy that ensues.

The Sum of Us
Based on the play by David Stevens, The Sum of Us tells the story of a widowed father and his son both looking for the right person. Over-eager to help his son find Mr. Right the overbearing parent provides just the right amount of humor and awkwardness to the film.

Transgender Community:

A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Arujo Story
Based on a true story, A Girl Like Me is the story of a young transgender woman who begins her transition while in high-school. The film details coming out as trans in a large, traditional, Latino family and the struggles they faced. Like too many others, Gwen’s story ends in tragedy.

Image result for boys don't cry

Boys Don’t Cry
Based on a true story, Boys Don’t Cry is the story of a young transgender man named Brandon Teena who moves to a small town in Nebraska in the early 1990’s where he makes a life for himself, makes friends, falls in love, and encounters unspeakable violence.

Starring Felicity Huffman, Transamerica tells the story of a transgender woman named Bree that learns she has a 17 year old son, Toby, who has recently run away from his home in rural Kentucky. As they drive across the country Bree and Toby develop a bond full of trials and tribulations.

Tom Wilkinson and Jessica Lange star in Normal, a film about Ray and Irma who have been married for 25 years and have two grown children. When Ray comes out as transgender and begins to transition family relationships change, friends and coworkers express confusion, and life goes on.

Politics / Social Issues:

The Matthew Shepard Story
Perhaps the most well-known hate crime in modern history, the death at Matthew Shepard changed the discussion surrounding federal hate crimes legislation. This film tells Matthew’s story detailing the final weeks of his life, his killer’s trial, and the advocates his family has become.

Daddy and Papa
Daddy and Papa is a documentary about the ups and downs of gay fatherhood. The journey of one couple as they attempt to become parents introduces the experiences of other couples who are faced with divorce, being a single parent, the foster care system, adoption and surrogacy.

LGBTQ+ History & Culture:

An Oscar Award-winning film, Milk is a biopic about Harvey Milk the first openly gay official elected to major office in the United States. Harvey Milk inspired a generation of young LGBT activists and believed that coming out was one of the most significant things a person could do.

Recently released on HBO, Vito is a film that details the life of LGBT activist, author, and film historian Vito Russo. Using archival footage, interviews, and film clips Vito’s involvement in the birth of the modern gay rights movement is honored by those who loved him most.

International Films:

Aimee and Jaguar
A German film, Aimee and Jaguar tells the story of two women who fell deeply in love in Berlin during World War II. One is a model Nazi wife and the other a Jewish member of the underground resistance movement. Based on a true story, this film is an adaptation of the book by Erica Fischer.

An Indian film, Fire caused controversy, protests, and riots throughout India when it was released in 1998. It tells the story of Hindu sisters-in-law who fall in love. It masterfully weaves Hindu stories into the narrative and is a story of hope, love and redemption.

The Wedding Banquet
A Taiwanese film, The Wedding Banquet is a comedy about a young Taiwanese immigrant living in New York City with his partner. Under pressure from his parents this young man plans to wed a woman in need of a green card. Drama ensues after his parents arrive in the US to celebrate his wedding.

La cage aux folles
What is now a familiar story, La cage aux folles is the tale of two gay men who pretend to be husband and wife in front of their ultra-conservative prospective in-laws. Since its 1977 release, this film has inspired a Broadway musical, an American remake (The Birdcage), and two sequels.

Ma vie en rose
A French film, Ma vie en rose is the story of a young boy, named Ludo, who dreams of being a girl when he grows up. Tormented by not only his peers but adults from the neighborhood Ludo tries to deny who he is until he finds acceptance and understanding in friends and family.


Longtime Companion
Among the first mainstream films to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Longtime Companion tells the tale of a small group of friends in New York City. We watch as they first hear of a new “gay-cancer” and as the disease slowly affects each of them in different and powerful ways.

The Oscar Award-winning film starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, tells the story of a gay lawyer who believes he has been fired after the partners at his firm discover he has AIDS. It was one of the first Hollywood films to tackle the topic of HIV/AIDS, and workplace discrimination.

Based on the off-Broadway play by Paul Rudnick, the film Jeffrey is a romantic comedy that also tackles the paranoia and fear that many gay mean felt during the HIV/AIDS crisis. Men feared not only contracting the disease but also falling in love with someone who was HIV positive and then losing them.

Just Because We Love Them:

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
The Oscar Award-winning cult classic, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert follows three drag performers as they journey through the Australian Outback on a pink tour bus performing in bars along the way. It is now a Broadway Musical featuring Straight for Equality Award winner Will Swenson.

The Birdcage
With an all-star cast, The Birdcage is a modern American adaptation of La cage aux folles for American audiences. His father owns a drag club in South Beach and her father is an ultra-conservative Senator in the midst of a scandal. Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, and Gene Hackman really shine in this hilarious comedy.

The Broken Hearts Club
Sometimes called the Steel Magnolias for gay men, The Broken Hearts Club introduces us to a group of friends living in West Hollywood. Rather than focusing on a controversial topic this film is really about the common themes of love, acceptance, and family.

The Incredibly True Adventures of 2 Girls in Love
Framed by Whalt Whitman’s “Leave of Grass”, The Incredibly True Adventures of 2 Girls in Love is a coming of age story about falling in love for the first time. Randy and Evie may be opposites but they pursue each other. Their developing relationship is then tested by the judgment of family and friends.

A romantic comedy, Beginners is a film about a young man beginning a new relationship while recounting his childhood, his parents, and the impact they had on his life. His father came out of the closet at the age of 75, six months after his mother’s death informing the way he understands love.

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar
Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo star in To Wong Foo, a cult classic about three drag performers traveling from New York City to Hollywood for a beauty pageant. When their car breaks down in a small mid-western town they have a huge impact on the town’s inhabitants.