Pride Month Movie Guide: 6 Films to Watch

Written by: Carla De Guzman/Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 04:36 AM

Happy pride month, everyone! We thought it would be nice to help inject a little love and fun into the world. This list of well-loved musicals include classics, funny movies you may have never seen and cult favorites that have achieved more fame out-of box office. So sit back, take a break, cry, laugh and sing along to these amazing pride month movie selections!

1. A Single Man (2009) 

Directed by Tom Ford, this Oscar-nominated movie is about a college professor (played brilliantly by Colin Firth), who lost his lover in a car accident in 1960s California. Because of the stigma surrounding his sexuality, he’s found himself suffering silently for eight months and declaring that he will commit suicide. The movie is a tour-de-force in Firth’s career. His depiction of despair and suffering seems familiar and so relatable. We all want to find a way to move past our own pain—by surrounding ourselves with people who love us, or new people who want to keep us from pain. 

2. Rent (2005) 

Jonathan Larson’s legendary musical exploded into the theatre scene at the height of the world just being aware of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He wrote this musical as and adaptation of La Boheme, and as an ode to his friends who lived in New York’s Alphabet City, casting a light on the bohemian/artistic scene. The best thing about this movie is the casting of six of the eight original cast members in their roles, which included Idina Menzel, Jesse L. Martin, Taye Diggs, Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal and Wilson Jermaine Heredia (Rosario Dawson and Tracy Thoms were brilliant cast additions). The movie is hopeful and painful at the same time, and we dare you not to sing along to ‘Seasons of Love.’

3. Paris is Burning (1990) 

This documentary is legendary in the drag community, shining a light on the drag community in a way no other film has done before. If you’re a fan of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, you might recognize some similarities here, and Ru directly references the movie in their ‘reading’ challenge. The film looks at New York’s ‘ball culture’, where drag queens of different houses (a support system of mothers and daughters that is still done) stage walk-offs based on different looks. It’s a great ‘Drag 101’ movie, and gives us a lot of insight and understanding to how these outsiders found a place of their own. 

4. Hairspray (1988) 

Before John Travolta danced around in pantyhose and Zac Efron donned a skinny suit, we had John Waters’ Hairspray - still considered a classic to today. The movie about a plus-sized girl fighting for racial equality in Boston with dancing, which seems unlikely but is told so well. The message is still relevant today that even thirty years later it's still being watched in its musical form on Broadway. The movie brought in stars like Debbie Harry, Ricki Lake, Jerry Stiller and Vitamin C, with drag legend Divine as Edna Turnblad. You can’t stop the beat, and this movie will have you putting on your dancing shoes! 

5. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) 

Another example of film using music to tell a fantastic story. A German immigrant in Kansas, Hedwig is an aspiring rockstar who just wants to find fame and love. But he’s held back by his past, where he was jilted by a man he married after a botched vaginoplasty and Tommy, the boy who stole all of Hedwig’s songs. It’s a complicated movie that just screams life. The musical hit Broadway in 2014, and Neil Patrick Harris, Darren Criss and Taye Diggs have all taken on the role of Hedwig. John Cameron Mitchell, who also directed the movie, stars brilliantly in the movie too. 

6. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

For something a little more light-hearted and a whole lot of fun, add Priscilla to your list. The movie shows the cross-country road trip of two drag queens (played by Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce) and transgender Priscilla (Terence Stamp) towards a hotel and casino in Sydney to perform their show. They meet a variety of characters on their way, and get into various hijinks that make for wonderful cinema. The movie is a fun comedy, with disco songs and a great message on acceptance, and is one you can’t miss. 


Got any more movie suggestions?
Share them with us in the comments below!

About Carla De Guzman
Carla de Guzman is the author of self-published books Cities, Marry Me Charlotte B! and We Go Together. She loves to travel, coming home to her dog Kimchi and spending her weekends having dinner with her crazy family by day. By night, she’s writer and an artist, spending her midnights at her desk. Follow her on Instagram (@somemidnights) for more!
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