This article is part of the Voyeur 2020
Valentine’s Day has arrived once again, and for many LGBTQ individuals, including myself, it has brought with it a familiar sense of displacement.
I came out as bisexual during my freshman year of high school and had been in a handful of Sapphic relationships by the time I started questioning my gender identity. In June of 2019, I came out again, this time as gender nonbinary. Currently, I am involved in a queer relationship with one of the most wonderful women I have ever known.
That means that today—just like a majority of Valentine’s Days since that first one in 2014, I found myself star-gazing while pressed against my girlfriend’s side in the back of a friend’s truck watching Titanic off of my phone—I’m feeling frustrated with the lack of diversity in popular romantic media. Just once, it would be nice to see a blockbuster film featuring a relationship even somewhat close to mine, but it seems that the Hollywood formula is set on Hemsworthian bodies, red-lipped women and heterosexual romances.
With that in mind, I’m recommending my three favorite LGBTQ films for those who
may be interested. They’re all available on Amazon Video, and “Handsome Devil” can currently be streamed on Netflix.
“A Date for Mad Mary” – This 2016 release may be the best meet-cute film I’ve ever seen. The titular character has just been released from a six-month prison stint to find that she’s to be the Maid of Honor in her best friend’s wedding, whom she may be more than a little in love with. What could quickly have become the lesbian “My Best Friend’s Wedding” is made deliciously complex with the introduction of the beautiful and bisexual Jess, as well as the revelation that Charlene, the bride-to-be, doesn’t seem to believe that Mary will bring a date to the ceremony. Bonus points for a happy ending.
“Handsome Devil” (2017) – I counted four points in the course of this movie where I was sure I knew how the story was going to end, and I was not right even once. In a school where rugby is king, loner musician Ned doesn’t have it easy. When he’s forced to share a room with the rugby team’s new star, things get even more complicated. Featuring several moments of beautiful cinematography, this film ends with a relationship reveal you’ll never see coming while also highlighting the importance of queer friendship.
“Boy Meets Girl” – This 2014 release was groundbreaking in its time. Today, instances of transphobic language and outdated terminology means it’s best viewed through a critical lens. Ricky is an aspiring fashion designer stuck in her job as a Kentucky barista.
By her side is Robby, who has been her best friend since long before her transition. Ricky and Robby have an easy and flirtatious dynamic, but sparks really start flying when debutante Francesca comes to town. R-rated, this film has some seemingly unnecessary sex scenes, but the story as a whole is powerful in its honesty.