Alex Strangelove (2018)
Directed and written by Craig Johnson, Alex Strangelove tells the story of Alex Truelove (Daniel Doheny) who struggles with his sexuality as he falls for his best friend Elliot (Antonio Marziale).
Along his journey, Alex begins a romantic relationship with Claire (Madeleine Weinstein), doomed for failure as he begins to realize his true feelings for Elliot.
Alex Strangelove tells a realistic story of the teenage struggle with sexuality, along with a support system of friends and family to help the protagonist get through the tougher times.
What Keeps You Alive (2018)
"'What Keeps You Alive' features two prominent lesbian characters, Jules and Jackie. One is kind and moral, while the other lack all empathy and it isn't long before those differing personalities shift the drama from a fun cabin getaway to a gut wrenching battle for survival."
The Half of It (2020)
Directed and written by Alice Wu, The Half of It tells the story of Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) who agrees to ghostwrite love letters for Aster (Alexxis Lemire) from Paul (Daniel Diemer). The twist? Ellie is also in love with Aster.
However, in their small town of Squahamish, Washington, Ellie must keep her crush a secret, which eventually blows up the love triangle between her, Paul, and Aster.
"'The Half of It' is the lesbian coming-of-age romcom we've needed for decades. The movie makes you think you're watching one thing until it completely flips the narrative in one fell swoop."
"The movie explores how toxic film and t.v. portrayals affect how the world sees the trans community."
Due to poor casting choices and toxic characters, Hollywood has a history of treating the trans community as though they aren't real or that they are mentally ill.
The documentary adds much needed attention to the trans narrative of film.
The Boys in the Band (2020)
"'The Boys in the Band' tells the story of a group of gay men celebrating a birthday party in New York City offering one of the earliest positive examples of gay representation."
The film explores the struggle one may have with identity, due to the judgement of members in their life, and learning to build a network of those who will support you.
Freak Show (2017)
"Gay high schooler Billy Bloom's world feels like it's ending when he's sent to his estranged father's house after his mother's alcoholism gets out of hand. He has to find a way to fit into a small town ruled by small minded bullies and their phobic mindsets including his father."
Billy Bloom (Alex Lawther) deals with the homophobia of a small town with set "morals," while highlighting the drag scene as a means of escape for the protagonist.
Other People (2016)
"This family drama centers around David played by Jesse Plemons as he deals with his mother's cancer diagnosis and impending death."
Interestingly, the film does not center around David's sexuality as it isn't the main focus. This film stands on the belief that there can, and need to, be LGBTQ+ representation in cinema without ostracizing sexuality.
Films such as Other People normalize LGBTQ+ lead characters in film and television.
There is so much more to go, but as the years have progressed, the LGBTQ+ community has become less of a taboo concept and these films, along with many more, are a part of the movement towards a more accepting world.
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