Skip to Content

The 12 Best Gay Pride Movies You Should Already Have Seen By Now! 🏳️‍🌈

The 12 Best Gay Pride Movies You Should Already Have Seen By Now! 🏳️‍🌈

Sometimes you can get a little tired of the same old ‘boy meets girl’ stories. Luckily, the next time you feel like watching something exciting, you could choose from one of the many best Gay Pride movies that have been made over the years.

Cinema has always been a powerful medium for showcasing diverse stories and promoting inclusivity. In recent years, the film industry has embraced LGBTQ+ narratives with open arms, bringing forth a plethora of remarkable movies that celebrate the vibrant spirit of the gay community. From heartfelt coming-of-age tales to groundbreaking documentaries and powerful dramas, these films have provided a platform for representation, empowerment, and understanding.

In this article, we embark on a journey through some of the finest gay pride movies ever made. These films not only shed light on the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community but also honor the resilience, love, and courage that define their experiences.

From heartwarming tales of self-discovery to thought-provoking examinations of social justice, this collection of films will leave an indelible mark on your cinematic journey while fostering a greater understanding and appreciation for the LGBTQ+ community.

So, get some popcorn, a glass of wine and a blanket, and snuggle in to watch! We can’t promise all happy endings, but we can promise a rich and varied range of Gay Pride movies.

The 12 Best Gay Pride Movies You Should Already Have Seen By Now! 🏳️‍🌈

Wondering where to watch? It depends on where you live in the world and which streaming services you have. We link to the streaming service we watch on in each case - be it Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apply TV+, or elsewhere.

You can get one month free of Amazon Pride (or a 6-month trial for students) of Amazon Prime and also get immediate access to FREE Two Day shipping, Amazon Video, and Music. While you won't be charged for your free trial, you'll be upgraded to a paid membership plan automatically at the end of the trial period - though if you have already binged all these, you could just cancel before the trial ends.

Apple TV+ also has a one-week trial, and Hulu has a one-month trial (which can be bundled with Disney!). Another option might be using a VPN to access Netflix titles locked to other regions. Netflix is now available in more than 190 countries worldwide and each country has a different library and availability. US Netflix is (understandably) one of the best. 

While we wish everything could just be in one place - for now, it seems these are the best streaming platforms to watch on.

Stonewall (1995)

Stonewall is a groundbreaking film directed by Nigel Finch that delves into the historic events of the Stonewall riots in 1969, marking a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Finch, a British director and producer known for his contributions to LGBTQ+ cinema, tragically passed away in 1995 but left a profound impact on the representation of queer stories.

The film is set in late 1960s New York City, where being openly gay meant facing discrimination and violence. The story follows Danny, a young gay man seeking acceptance and freedom in Greenwich Village. As he becomes part of the vibrant LGBTQ+ community, Danny becomes involved in the Stonewall uprising, a series of protests sparked by police raids on the Stonewall Inn.

Stonewall offers viewers a deeper understanding of the struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community and emphasizes the importance of continued support and advocacy. Its authenticity and emotional depth make it a thought-provoking and impactful cinematic experience that resonates long after the credits roll. It emphasizes the power of unity and solidarity, illustrating how a marginalized community found strength in coming together to fight against oppression.

Stonewall is a landmark film that sheds light on the Stonewall riots, showcases the strength of the LGBTQ+ community, and pays homage to the visionary work of director Nigel Finch. Its enduring relevance and powerful message make it a must-see for anyone interested in LGBTQ+ history, activism, and the pursuit of equal rights for all.

Milk (2008)

Milk, directed by Gus Van Sant, is a remarkable film that recounts the inspiring life of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California. Released in 2008, the film masterfully captures the essence of Milk’s activism and the struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the 1970s. With a captivating narrative and outstanding performances, Milk is a cinematic masterpiece that continues to resonate with audiences today.

Gus Van Sant, an accomplished American director known for his distinct artistic vision and socially conscious filmmaking, brings his unique style to the story of Harvey Milk. With an eclectic filmography that includes Good Will Hunting and Elephant, Van Sant has consistently explored diverse themes and narratives.

The film revolves around the true story of Harvey Milk (played by Sean Penn) and his relentless pursuit of equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community. The film takes us on a journey from Milk’s early involvement in community activism to his historic election as a city supervisor in San Francisco. It delves into the challenges faced by Milk and his colleagues, as they combat prejudice, hatred, and political resistance. The narrative expertly weaves together personal struggles, triumphs, and the impact of Milk’s groundbreaking political achievements.

Milk is an emotionally charged and thought-provoking film that pays homage to a true icon of the LGBTQ+ rights movement. Through its exceptional direction, powerful performances, and resonant themes, the film captures the essence of Harvey Milk’s inspiring journey. By immersing audiences in the struggle for equality, Milk serves as a testament to the power of activism and the importance of embracing one’s authentic self.

Pride (2014)

Directed by Matthew Warchus, Pride is a British comedy-drama film that captivates audiences with its heartwarming story of unlikely friendships and unwavering solidarity. Matthew Warchus, a seasoned theater director, made his mark in the film industry with this critically acclaimed gem.

Set in the mid-1980s during the Thatcher era, Pride recounts the true story of an alliance between the LGBTQ+ community and striking coal miners in Wales. Led by the spirited Mark Ashton, portrayed brilliantly by Ben Schnetzer, a group of gay and lesbian activists form Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) to offer their support to the striking miners. Initially faced with skepticism and apprehension from both sides, the LGSM finds common ground, fostering a remarkable bond of understanding and acceptance.

One of the film’s notable strengths lies in its portrayal of gay pride. Pride presents the LGBTQ+ community not only as a collective demanding acceptance but also as individuals with diverse experiences and struggles. It challenges stereotypes and highlights the power of unity, love, and resilience. The film beautifully captures the essence of the LGBTQ+ pride movement by showcasing the intersectionality within the community and emphasizing the significance of standing up for one another.

Pride is a cinematic gem that effortlessly combines humor, heart, and social commentary. It is a moving portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community’s fight for equality, celebrating the triumph of love and acceptance in the face of adversity. This film is highly recommended to all audiences, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Pride will leave you inspired, uplifted, and with a renewed sense of the power of compassion and togetherness.

How to Survive a Plague (2012)

How to Survive a Plague, directed by David France, is a critically acclaimed documentary that provides an intimate and powerful account of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and the relentless activism that emerged in response. David France, a renowned journalist and filmmaker, makes his directorial debut with this remarkable film, drawing upon his years of experience covering the AIDS crisis to deliver a deeply personal and poignant narrative.

The film focuses on the early days of the epidemic when the government and pharmaceutical companies turned a blind eye to the devastating impact of the disease. It follows the formation of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and the Treatment Action Group (TAG), two advocacy groups that fought tirelessly for better treatment options, public awareness, and funding for research.

Through a mix of archival footage, interviews, and personal testimonies, How to Survive a Plague vividly captures the desperation, anger, and determination of those affected by AIDS. The film not only explores the tragedy and loss but also celebrates the power of collective action and the remarkable strides made by the LGBTQ+ community during those challenging times.

How to Survive a Plague is an emotionally charged documentary that provides an essential perspective on a critical period in LGBTQ+ history and sheds light on the importance of solidarity and perseverance in the face of adversity. By watching this film, audiences will gain a profound appreciation for the progress made in the fight against AIDS and a renewed sense of empathy and compassion for those who endured the crisis.

The Normal Heart (2014)

Directed by Ryan Murphy, The Normal Heart is a powerful and emotionally charged film that sheds light on the early years of the AIDS crisis in 1980s New York City. Murphy, known for his ability to tackle sensitive subjects with a compassionate touch, has made a name for himself as a versatile and bold director in both film and television.

Prior to The Normal Heart, Murphy achieved critical acclaim for his work on the television series Nip/Tuck and Glee. He later went on to create the anthology series American Horror Story and American Crime Story, solidifying his reputation as a director unafraid to tackle provocative and socially relevant themes.

Set against the backdrop of the growing AIDS epidemic, The Normal Heart follows the story of Ned Weeks (played by Mark Ruffalo), a writer and activist who becomes one of the first voices to raise awareness about the disease. As the death toll rises and the government remains apathetic, Ned forms an organization to fight for funding, research, and understanding of the crisis.

The Normal Heart is widely recommended for its exceptional performances, heartfelt storytelling, and its ability to shed light on a crucial moment in history. By immersing yourself in this film, you will gain a deeper understanding of the struggles faced by the gay community and witness a gripping portrayal of love, loss, and the fight for justice.

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

The Kids Are All Right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko, is a poignant film that explores the complexities of modern family dynamics and the quest for identity. Cholodenko, known for her compelling storytelling and rich character development, has carved a niche for herself in the realm of independent cinema.

Throughout her career, Cholodenko has demonstrated a keen ability to delve into human relationships, often challenging societal norms and offering fresh perspectives. Her previous works, such as High Art (1998) and Laurel Canyon (2002), have received critical acclaim for their authenticity and emotional depth.

In The Kids Are All Right, Cholodenko takes audiences on an intimate journey into the lives of Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore), a lesbian couple raising two teenage children, Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson). When their children express curiosity about their sperm donor father, they contact him, bringing Paul (Mark Ruffalo) into their lives.

Whether you identify with the LGBTQ+ community or not, The Kids Are All Right has the power to resonate with anyone who appreciates genuine storytelling and authentic character development. It reminds us that the complexities of love, family, and self-discovery are universal and that ultimately, what truly matters is the unwavering bond of love that holds us together.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson is a captivating documentary that pays homage to the inspiring transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson and sheds light on her mysterious death. Like the film before, it was also directed by David France, known for his profound exploration of LGBTQ+ history and activism, the film is a remarkable addition to his career as a filmmaker.

The film delves into the life and untimely death of Marsha P. Johnson, a prominent figure in New York City’s gay liberation movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Johnson was an outspoken advocate for transgender rights and a leading voice in the fight against discrimination. Her death in 1992 was initially ruled a suicide, but her friends and community strongly believed she was murdered.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson is not only a poignant exploration of a historical figure, but it also highlights the importance of LGBTQ+ pride and community. Through interviews with Johnson’s friends, fellow activists, and LGBTQ+ historians, the film captures the vibrant spirit of the gay rights movement and the resilience of its members.

This documentary serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and the importance of honoring the trailblazers who came before us. Whether you are interested in LGBTQ+ history, social justice, or simply appreciate a well-crafted documentary, this film is a must-watch. Prepare to be moved, inspired, and educated by the life and legacy of Marsha P. Johnson.

Paragraph 175 (2000)

Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Paragraph 175 is a groundbreaking documentary that sheds light on a hidden chapter of LGBTQ+ history. Epstein and Friedman, known for their thought-provoking documentaries, have a remarkable track record in exploring LGBTQ+ issues and promoting social justice through their films.

The film centers around Paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code, a law that criminalized homosexuality in Germany for over six decades. Through a combination of interviews, archival footage, and personal testimonies, Epstein and Friedman skillfully weave together a narrative that exposes the persecution and imprisonment of gay men during the Nazi regime and beyond.

Paragraph 175 takes us on a journey, unraveling the lives of several survivors who experienced the horrors of Nazi concentration camps due to their sexual orientation. Their firsthand accounts are both heartbreaking and inspiring, offering a glimpse into the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable cruelty.

Whether you are interested in LGBTQ+ history, human rights, or simply appreciate compelling documentaries, Paragraph 175 is a film that deserves your attention. It will not only expand your understanding of history but also inspire you to advocate for justice and acceptance in our present-day society. Watch it, and let its stories resonate within you, serving as a catalyst for change and compassion.

Paris Is Burning (1990)

Paris Is Burning is a groundbreaking documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. As a talented filmmaker, Livingston has captured the essence of the LGBTQ+ community in this iconic piece of cinema. Although Paris Is Burning was her first feature-length film, Livingston’s career has been marked by her dedication to exploring and shedding light on marginalized communities.

The film takes us deep into the heart of New York City’s ballroom culture of the 1980s, a vibrant and underground subculture where gay and transgender people of color gather to celebrate their identities and express themselves through extravagant and competitive drag balls. Through intimate interviews and breathtaking footage, Livingston introduces us to a cast of remarkable characters who share their stories, dreams, and aspirations, providing an intimate glimpse into their lives.

One of the film’s most remarkable achievements is its representation of gay pride. Through the lens of the ballroom culture, Livingston showcases a community that has historically been marginalized and silenced, offering them a platform to speak and be seen. Paris Is Burning celebrates the resilience and creativity of these individuals as they navigate a world that often fails to acknowledge their existence.

Paris Is Burning is one of those must-watch documentaries. It is a powerful and moving documentary that not only educates but also inspires. The film provides a glimpse into a vibrant subculture, exploring the struggles and triumphs of its members. It serves as a reminder of the importance of acceptance, understanding, and the power of self-expression.

The Celluloid Closet (1995)

The Celluloid Closet is a groundbreaking documentary film directed by Rob Epstein. Epstein, an acclaimed filmmaker and producer, is known for his work on LGBT-themed documentaries. His career has been dedicated to exploring and shedding light on the experiences and struggles of the queer community through the medium of film.

The Celluloid Closet is based on Vito Russo’s book of the same name and delves into the representation of homosexuality in mainstream cinema. The film traces the history of how homosexuality has been depicted on screen, from the early days of Hollywood to the present. It examines the use of stereotypes, subtext, and coded language to portray queer characters and stories, and how these portrayals have affected society’s perception of homosexuality.

The Celluloid Closet is a thought-provoking documentary that shines a light on the portrayal of homosexuality in cinema. Directed by Rob Epstein, it offers a comprehensive and compelling examination of the history and impact of queer representation on screen. It is a must-watch film for anyone interested in film history, LGBTQ+ issues, and the power of media to shape societal attitudes.

And the Band Played On (1993)

And the Band Played On is a powerful and thought-provoking film directed by Roger Spottiswoode. The movie explores the early days of the AIDS epidemic and the struggles faced by scientists, activists, and individuals affected by the disease. Spottiswoode, known for his ability to tackle complex social issues, brings a sensitive and compassionate approach to this emotionally charged subject matter.

The film follows the efforts of Dr. Don Francis (portrayed by Matthew Modine), an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as he battles bureaucracy, political indifference, and personal loss to understand and contain the emerging HIV/AIDS epidemic. As he investigates the mysterious illness, Don becomes increasingly frustrated by the lack of urgency and resources dedicated to confronting the crisis. The film also touches upon the societal stigma faced by the gay community during this time.

The film offers a poignant portrayal of the early days of the AIDS epidemic and the challenges faced by those affected. The film’s representation of gay pride is a crucial aspect of its narrative. It highlights the discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community during this period and underscores the importance of acceptance and unity.

And the Band Played On for its powerful storytelling, stellar performances, and its ability to shed light on an important chapter in our history. It serves as a reminder of the collective struggle against a devastating disease and the need for compassion, understanding, and continued efforts to fight against discrimination. By watching this film, viewers can gain a deeper appreciation for the ongoing fight for equality and the importance of standing up for those affected by social injustices.

Before Stonewall (1984)

Before Stonewall is a groundbreaking documentary directed by Greta Schiller and Robert Rosenberg. Greta Schiller, an American filmmaker, has dedicated her career to telling stories that highlight the struggles and triumphs of marginalized communities. With Before Stonewall, she explores the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States, focusing on the events leading up to the iconic Stonewall Riots of 1969.

The film’s narrative takes the viewer on a captivating journey, chronicling the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals before the Stonewall Riots. Through interviews, archival footage, and personal anecdotes, it delves into the experiences of queer individuals during a time when homosexuality was considered illegal and highly stigmatized.

The film offers a rich portrayal of the diverse challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the pre-Stonewall era. From the pervasive discrimination and violence to the covert underground networks that provided a sense of community and support, the film captures the resilience and courage of those who fought for their rights in an oppressive society.

Before Stonewall is a must-watch film for anyone interested in LGBTQ+ history, human rights, or social justice. It serves as an important reminder of the progress made and the challenges that still lie ahead. By exploring the past, the documentary fosters understanding and empathy, encouraging viewers to reflect on the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights.