It’s June, which means that Pride Month is here! It’s the perfect time to catch up on all of the LGBTQ movies and shows on streaming and show some love to queer creatives. Whether you’re here to educate or celebrate, these titles represent and uplift the community in important ways.
What to watch on Netflix
Comedian Mae Martin brings some non-binary finery to streaming with their show Feel Good. Martin writes and stars in this semi-autobiographical series, centering their story of addiction recovery and personal discovery. Whether it’s their turbulent relationship with their closeted girlfriend George (Charlotte Ritchie) or the heavy baggage that their mother (Lisa Kudrow) brings to the table, Martin presents a little-seen, even less understood story about the LGBTQ community. At only two seasons with six half-hour episodes each, it’s the perfect bingeworthy and bingeable show to start your Pride viewing off right. Feel Good is streaming now.
Todd Haynes is one of the talented filmmakers who ushered in the New Queer Cinema movement of the ‘90s, and while just about everything he’s worked on makes for a great watch this Pride Month (Velvet Goldmine and Far From Heaven, specifically), 2015’s Carol is the main event on streaming. Starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, this dreamy period romance tells the story of two women who fall in love and must come to terms with what they want versus what’s expected of them. Sumptuously shot and elegantly acted, it’s a lesbian love story for the ages. Carol is streaming now.
What to watch on Hulu
Fire Island is a modern version of Pride and Prejudice that takes “Pride” to a whole new level. Instead of the English countryside, the movie takes place in the titular gay hotspot, and Elizabeth and Darcy are played by Joel Kim Booster and Conrad Ricamora. In this novel adaptation of manners, the social mores examined are the hierarchies in the modern gay community; be it race or body image, this movie has something funny to say about it. Bowen Yang, James Scully, Matt Rogers, and Margaret Cho also star. Fire Island is available to stream now.
Ryan Murphy’s Emmy-winning series Pose makes for the perfect Pride Month watch. Taking place in New York City’s ball culture of the ‘80s and ‘90s (which will be featured more in a documentary listed below!), the show highlights the underground opulence that queer Black and Latino communities reveled in despite rampant discrimination and the AIDS crisis. Queer creatives are at the heart of Pose, with Janet Mock and Our Lady J writing and directing several episodes while actors like Billy Porter, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, and Indya Moore made history on camera. Pose is available to stream now.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
A stirring historical romance that takes place on a remote island in France, Portrait of a Lady on Fire became an instant queer classic when it premiered in 2019. Adèle Haenel stars as a headstrong aristocrat who resents her inevitable betrothal to a nobleman, refusing to sit for a portrait that would be sent to her beau-to-be. Noémie Merlant plays her foil, a painter hired by the aristocratic woman’s mother to serve as her companion and paint her in secret. What follows is an awakening and an affair of the utmost artistry, as the two women fall for each other. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is streaming now.
What to watch on Amazon Prime
This major-studio gay romcom written by and starring a gay man—Billy Eichner—was a major event last year. Eichner plays Bobby, a podcaster and radio host who takes an active role in developing a new LGBTQ+ history museum in Manhattan. While he’s a big part of the community, he tends to have more pride in being single than anything else. Enter Aaron, a hunky guy with a slightly straighter way of presenting himself; a rollercoaster romance ensues. Bros is available to stream now.
But I’m a Cheerleader
This cult classic was made 24 years ago, but it features several of-the-moment stars, including Natasha Lyonne, Melanie Lynskey, and RuPaul herself. But I’m a Cheerleader tells the story of a teenage lesbian who falls in love—at the conversion therapy camp that her parents sent her to. Carefully color-coded, wonderfully tongue-in-cheek, and delightfully deranged in its depiction of teenage sexuality, the movie is John Hughes meets John Waters. Though reception was mixed back in 1999, the film has only gotten better with age, and it’s now widely considered a queer classic. But I’m a Cheerleader is available to stream now.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Sadly under attack now, drag has long been an art form filled with joy, comedy, and purposeful eccentricity. Few pieces of media have nailed the myriad faces and experiences of drag quite like The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. An untraditional road trip movie, the film follows three drag queens as they traverse the Australian outback to get to their residency at a remote resort. A bevy of iconic looks are worn by the likes of Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, and Terence Stamp in this cross-country tale of expression and acceptance. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is available to stream now.
What to watch on Max
Paris is Burning
A classic of American documentary filmmaking, Paris is Burning remains an important testament of the LGBTQ community in ‘80s New York. The film follows a series of drag queens, ballroom performers, and other gay and trans members of ball culture. It captures a moment in time when people were confronted with the harsh realities of AIDS, intense poverty, and society-wide discrimination—and they persisted with joy, fashion, and competition in spite of it all. It’s a celebration of life and the culture that originated in queer communities of color, and it’s one that demands to be watched now, when these same communities are under attack again. Paris is Burning is streaming now.
A small film that made big waves, Moonlight is a must-watch movie year round. Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, the film is divided into three separate parts, each following a different moment in the life of Chiron as he drifts through his particularly impoverished, drug-ridden area of Miami, all the while trying to hide his homosexuality. It’s a picture perfect portrait of Black masculinity, the effects of systemic racism, and the danger posed by repression. It’ll break your heart, too. Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes star as two versions of Chiron, with Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monáe, Jharrel Jerome, and André Holland turning in some stellar supporting performances. Moonlight is streaming now.
What to watch on Paramount+
Another ‘90s classic tags along on this list thanks to The Birdcage. Directed by Mike Nichols and adapted for the screen by Elaine May, this comedy sees Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a couple who must play things straight when their son brings home a girl—and her aggressively politically conservative family. It’s a delightful gay farce, complete with drag numbers, political scandals, and a very silly paparazzi escape plan. What more could you want this month? The supporting cast is a knockout too, from Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest to Hank Azaria and Christine Baranski. The Birdcage is available to stream now.
What to Watch is a regular endorsement of movies and TV worth your streaming time.