Many LGBT+ filmmakers focus on the coming-out narrative.
Although depicting such an important storyline has resulted in a substantial increase in the number of coming-of-age film narratives, there are still many shortcomings to being limited to this narrative. The coming out narrative is somewhat linear, and the LGBT+ community's experiences are far more diverse than the coming out narrative implies.
Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) has been absent since the tenth grade, and on the eve of her high school graduation, she joins forces with her best friend Molly (Beanie Feldstein) to make the most of their final night as high schoolers.
Olivia Wildes' 2019 directorial debut is a refreshingly modern, feminist, and queer twist, which takes a teen film formula to the next level. Amy's last night as a high schooler is a relatable story for LGBT+ high schoolers who desire to experience the same coming-of-age experiences as their peers.
The Kids Are All Right (2010)
Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) are the proud lesbian parents of Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson). When the two children reach the age of 13, they seek out their mother's sperm donor, Paul (Mark Ruffalo), and bring him into their family's lives.
The Kids Are All Right, a 2010 Oscar-nominated film, depicts an unusual family dynamic. With equal parts comedy and drama, this film is a realistic representation of LGBT+ family structures outside of the typical nuclear convention.
When Therese (Rooney Mara) visits Carol (Cate Blanchett) at a department store during the busy Christmas season in 1952, the two fall for one other, yet when Carol's ex-husband Harge (Kyle Chandler) is hired to examine her homosexuality in order to grant him full custody of their child, Therese and Carols relationship isnt the only thing on the line.
Carol, a 1995 period film directed by Todd Haynes, provides a glimpse into the lives and struggles of LGBT+ people in an era when it was widely ignored.
BPM (Beats per Minute) (2017)
BPM (Beats per Minute) is a documentary set in Paris in the early 1990s that follows a group of young activists demonstrating against the French government's inadequate response to the AIDS epidemic that was affecting the lives of many gay men.
BPM, directed by Robin Campillo, tells the true story of French AIDS activism on the big screen. BPM depicts ACT UP, the real-world political organization that worked to improve the lives of people with AIDS, and opens up a new chapter in LGBT+ activism in France.
Pride is a story about the ties between LGBT+ activists and strike miners during the Summer of 1984 in the United Kingdom. Set in a time when Margaret Thatcher was in power, the union of mineworkers is initially embarrassed to receive their support.
In a time of conservatism, Matthew Warchus' historical comedy focuses on LGBT+ activism. Pride brings together two vastly different groups of people to find a sense of belonging in a crisis.
Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) is the first openly gay man ever elected to public office in San Francisco in the late 1970s, following politicians' time as a gay activist and his work inspiring others to join him in his fight for equal rights for all Americans.
Milk is a biographical portrait of Harvey Milk, a real-world politician murdered for less than a year before.
Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodrigues) is a trans sex worker on a quest with her best friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor) to uncover a shocking story concerning the woman she tricked her on Christmas Eve.
Sean Bakers 2015 filmTangerine, a groundbreaking and contemporary film in many ways, made waves upon its release, not just for the fact that it was shot entirely on an iPhone 5, but also for the way it depicted sex work with such nuance.
Amy (Sara Foster) is a member of the D.E.B.S. (Discipline, Energy, Beauty, and Strength). However, when she meets Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster) during a reconnaissance mission, the two discover a unique bond for one another, causing them to question their loyalty.
D.E.B.S., based on Angela Robinson's short film of the same name, is a campy and queer spy comedy that became a cult classic. Its a fresh and fun film that transcended the typical dramatic trappings that LGBT+ narratives often encountered during that time.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
Marianne (Noemie Merlant) is asked to paint Heloise's wedding portrait, and the film follows the story of Marianne's intense desire for Heloise.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire, by Celine Sciammas, won the Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival for depicting desire through a queer female gaze.
The Watermelon Woman (1996)
Cheryl Dunye is a young, black, lesbian filmmaker working on a documentary about a fictional 1930s queer Black actress known as the Watermelon Woman (Lisa Marie Bronson).
The Watermelon Woman, Dunyes' first feature film, was a landmark for radical LGBT+ representation as it aided in the birth of the New Queer Cinema movement in cinema in the 1990s. A film that saw more radical and honest portrayals of the LGBT+ community beyond the norms aimed for heteronormative audiences, The Watermelon Woman was a film that infused a unique queer perspective into its narrative.