lgbt movies

On June 12th, 2016, just two weeks shy of the 47th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a man with an assault rifle and a handgun shot just over one hundred people in an LGBT club in Orlando Florida, on that club’s regular Latin music night.  A little less than half of the victims of this shooting have since died, making this the deadliest shooting in American modern memory.

In the wake of such a tragedy, it’s very, very easy — especially for people like me, who are part of the LGBT community — to forget that we are not always doomed.  The world is hard for us, yes.  The world is dangerous and bloody and cruel.  Our history is one littered with centuries of corpses and jail cells and suicides.

But there’s something that, if we want to survive, we have to make ourselves believe: our history does not have to reflect our future.  We can live.  We have to live.

And in honor of that pivotal idea, and in memory of the forty-nine people who didn’t come home from the Pulse nightclub on Sunday morning, here are ten LGBT movies with happy endings.

This week, of all weeks, we need it.

1. Pride (2014) dir. Matthew Warchus

“U.K. Gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.”

2. Romeos (2011) dir. Sabine Bernardi

“A drama centered on the relationship between a young man and a [trans man in the midst of his transition].”

3. I Love You, Phillip Morris (2009) dir. Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

“A cop turns con man once he comes out of the closet.  Once imprisoned, he meets the second love of his life, whom he’ll stop at nothing to be with.”

4. Big Eden (2000) dir. Thomas Bezucha

An artist from New York goes back to his small-town origins to care for his grandfather.  While dealing with his unrequited love for his high school best friend, he meets the local general store owner, and the townspeople conspire to bring them together.

5. Hoje eu quero voltar so sozinho (2014) dir. Daniel Ribeiro

“Leonardo is a blind teenager searching for independence.  His everyday life, the relationship with his best friend, Giovana, and the way he sees the world change completely with the arrival of Gabriel.

6. But I’m a Cheerleader! (1999) dir. Jamie Babbit

“A naive teenager is sent to rehab camp when her straight-laced parents and friends suspect her of being a lesbian.”

7. Imagine Me & You (2005) dir. Ol Parker

“A newlywed bride becomes infatuated with another woman, who questions her sexual orientation, promoting a stir among the bride’s family and friends.”

8. Madchen in Uniform (1931) dir. Leontine Sagan, Carl Froelich

“At an all-girls boarding school, Manuela falls in love with a teacher, to terrific consequences.”

9. I Can’t Think Straight (2008) dir. Shamin Sarif

“A 2008 romance film adapted from a seame-name novel about a London-based Jordanian of Palestinian descent, Tala, who is preparing for an elaborate wedding.  A turn of events causes her to have an affair and subsequently fall in love with another woman, Leyla, a British Indian.”

And finally, because I feel that everyone should see this movie, even though it made me cry repeatedly — but I promise, they were happy tears:

10. Pay it No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson (2012) dir. Michael Kasino

“Marsha P. Johnson was a revolutionary trans activist, Stonewall instigator, Andy Warhol model, drag queen, [sex worker], starving actress, and Saint, as well as a downtown NYC fixture from the 1960s through her too-soon demise in 1992.  Johnson persevered through a life embodied by her middle initial P, which stood for “Pay It No Mind.”

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