I’ve always enjoyed romantic movies but it wasn’t until I watched my very first gay romance movie that I truly ‘‘got it’’ and felt all the emotions you were meant to feel when watching a romantic film.
After years of watching heteronormative films, I could finally relate to the characters and to the gay romantic storylines playing out on screen.
This made me feel so much more invested and emotionally connected to what I was watching, something I am sure every gay person has felt when they have finally seen themselves portrayed in the media.
In my opinion, gay romance movies are incredibly important to society. They help normalise and destigmatise loving relationships between same-sex couples.
This in turn plays a part in creating a more accepting and educated society that is less likely to stare or react negatively to seeing a gay couple in public.
Gay romance films also give those that can’t come out the closet for a multitude of reasons, a sense of hope and reassurance that what they are feeling is normal and they should feel no shame – even if some societies and cultures may try to shame them.
I write this because some people may turn around and say ‘but why does it have to be a list of gay romantic movies, why not just romantic movies’ – I believe the above is enough to explain this alone.
With that in mind, let’s get on to my personal list of the best gay romance movies:
Best Gay Romance Movies
Get the tissues out, the gay romance movie/documentary is absolutely heart-breaking – I have never cried so much in my life but the feeling of true love is palpable.
It follows the real-life story and true events of Shane Bitney Crone.
After the same-sex marriage law is passed in California, life takes a tragic turn when Tom, Shanes partner of six years and fiance, accidentally dies and Tom’s family refuses Shane from attending the funeral.
Why Watch it? This is hard to watch and I have never cried so much during my life. But it is important to watch, terrifying in some respects and all we can hope is that it’s message of love and acceptance is heard far and wide. It will make you want to grab your loved one and hold them close.
- Release year:2013
- Running time: 1 hours 20 minutes
- Imdb rating: 8/10
If you want something light hearted and genuinely heart-warming then check out Love Simon.
The story follows Simon, who is not yet out to his friends or family but is starting to fall for a mystery boy at school who he speaks with online and whose identity remains a mystery to everyone including Simon for much of the film…
Love Simon is a modern coming out story that will tug at your heart strings, make you laugh and maybe cry a little.
Why Watch it? Watch Love Simon for that feel-good feeling and to put a smile on your face.
- Release year:2018
- Running time: 1 hours 50 minutes
- Imdb rating: 7.6/10
This was ground-breaking to watch in our late teens and was in fact the very first gay romance movie I ever watched (before I was even out).
The story is perhaps one many are familiar with and follows Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) throughout their life delving into their deep and somewhat tormenting love for each other, that in their time and society is forbidden.
Falling into marriages as society dictates (with Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams), can they keep their love burning or will everything come crashing down?
Why Watch it? Ground breaking, award winning, with an incredible cast and perhaps one of the most well-known gay romance movies of its time.
- Release year: 2005
- Running time: 2 hours 14 minutes
- Imdb rating: 7.7/10
Like Love Simon, Alex Strangelove is another cute and easy watch, the ideal gay romance movie for an afternoon on the sofa.
Alex is a high school model student with straight A’s, high school president and has a long term girlfriend, Clare.
With the mounting pressure to have sex with his girlfriend, he suddenly meets a new guy at school who makes him question everything when it comes to sexuality and what he wants.
Why watch it? Alex Strangelove keeps itself modern and reflects a positive representation of what it can be like to be a high school student in today’s day and age. It gave representation to a whole spectrum of the LGBTQ+ rainbow and was a heart-warming easy watch.
- Release year:2018
- Running time: 1 hour 39 minutes
- Imdb rating: 6.3/10
Call me by Your Name
Call me by your name has become one of the most popular and well-known gay romance films of the last few years winning many awards.
Elio is a 17-year-old boy living with his parents in Italy when Oliver turns up to work alongside Elios father.
With glances and subtle looks to start right through to the now infamous peach scene, this film is a slow but satisfying burn of ‘will they, won’t they’ and feels like a realistic depiction of how, what could be a somewhat controversial pairing, would play out.
Why we enjoyed it? The film spans the course of an entire summer and the sexual tension throughout is palpable. You can feel the frustration for the characters involved. Whilst the film is a long at 2 hours 11 minutes, it will keep you hooked until the end.
- Release Year: 2017
- Running time: 2 hours 11 minutes
- Imdb rating: 7.9/10
Holding the Man
Holding the Man is an awarding winning gay romance movie that follows the life story of Tim and John who first meet in an all-boys school.
It starts with them falling in love as teenagers and follows them through 15 years of everything from joy, to jealously, discrimination, trials and tribulations.
Expect to see their love really put to the test and find out whether it prevails.
Why we think you should watch it? Holding the Man is one of those gay movies that will give you a rollercoaster of emotions. It will make you laugh, cry, despair and most of all, hopefully relate with the characters.
- Release year: 2015
- Running time: 2 hours 7 minutes
- Imdb rating: 7.4/10
Representing a minority within a minority, Loev explores the tale of two friends in India on a weekend away where feelings suddenly take over, making them each question what love is and what it means to them.
Why watch it? Most gay romance films centre on mainly white characters in Westernised countries, it’s refreshing to move away from that in this film and whilst there are some romantic moments there are also some unexpected dark turns that may shock.
- Release year:2015
- Running time: 1 hour 32 minutes
- Imdb rating: 5.9/10
Your Name Engraved Herein
Tackling issues of homophobia and social stigma in Taiwan in 1987, ‘Your name engraved Herein’ follows the story of Jia-han and Birdy.
Expect pain, conflict, love, jealousy and desire.
What watch it? Taiwan has come a long way since 1987 in terms of LGBTQ+ rights, it’s incredibly interesting to learn more about this country. It has also been nominated for a Golden Horse Award for Best New Performer.
- Release year: 2020
- Running time: 1 hour 54 minutes
- Imdb rating: 7.2/10
Gods Own Country
A movie that strongly touches on the reality that when it comes to being gay, many hide their feelings in silence and rely on saying what needs to be said without saying anything at all.
God’s Own Country follows the story of Yorkshireman Johnny, who lives on his family farm relatively isolated from the world and take any spare time he has to binge and sleep around.
Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant worker is hired to help on the farm and their brutal yet tender relationship begins to blossom….
Why watch it? From family drama, to love and to heart wrenching scenes, Gods Own Country is well worth a watch.
- Release year: 2017
- Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Imdb rating: 7.7/10
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