LGBTQ Films in the Ithaca College Library

A Chronological Guide to LGBT Films

Here are more than 250 feature-length films covering 11 decades of LGBT cinema that are available as DVDs in the Ithaca College Library. The breakdown of films by era was done to help show how depictions of LGBT characters have changed over the years. A high percentage are in English, but foreign language films (all with English subtitles) are also included. TV movies and mini-series are included, but TV series are not. Posted here are groundbreaking films, campy favorites, Oscar winners, cult classics, films that have been called sick, movies that barely survived bans, uncensored erotica, and a few blockbusters.


  • Films in bold were included in The Advocate's The Top 175 Essential Films of All Time for LGBT Viewers (June 2014). The IC Library has the top twelve and more than 75% of all the films listed.
  • Documentaries are listed in red. Feature length documentaries are interspersed with other feature films. Short documentaries (an hour or under) are listed separately.
  • Foreign language films are listed with the original title first.


  • Carol (2016) VIDEO 10763
       An unexpected love affair set in 1950s New York.
  • The Danish Girl (2016) VIDEO 10726
       The evolving story of an artistic couple as they navigate a transgender journey.
  • Growing Up Coy (2016) VIDEO 10930
       A family fights for their 6-year-old transgender daughter’s rights.
  • Moonlight (2017) VIDEO 10998
        Three stages in the life of black man who faces his sexuality and identity.
  • A Womb of Their Own VIDEO 11284
    focuses on a "group of masculine-of-center-identified people who experience pregnancy."


  • Les Adieux a la Reine = Farewell, My Queen (2012) DVD 9263
       Marie Antoinette was a lesbian? In French.
  • Albert Nobbs (2011) DVD 2591
        Story of a 19th century Irish woman after passing as a man 30 years.
  • Anak-Anak Srikandi = Children of Srikandi (2013) DVD 9447
       An experimental film about queer women, combining documentary, fiction and shadow puppets. In Indonesian.
  • L'Armée du Salut = Salvation army (2013) DVD 2776
       A young gay man navigates the sexual, racial and political climate of Morrocco. In Arabic and French.
  • Beginners (2010) DVD 8366
       Old men can learn new tricks. An Oscar for Christopher Plummer.
  • Black Swan (2010) DVD 517
       Beautiful ballet, psychological melodrama, and a controversial sex scene.
  • Bridegroom (2013) DVD 10180
       What the death of a partner meant before same-sex marriage was legalized.
  • The Case Against 8 (2015) DVD 1615
  •    HBO film on the California case that overturned the ban on same-sex marriage.
  • Cloud Atlas (2013) DVD 9628
        One of the film's interwoven stories is a tragic tale of a bisexual composer and letter-writer.
  • Dallas Buyers Club (2013) DVD 1651
       A homophobe learns to deal.
  • Elena Undone (2010) DVD 9820
       A troubled marriage leads a woman to find hot romance elsewhere.
  • Foxcatcher (2014) DVD 10355
       Is this wrestling story homoerotic or homophobic
  • Gen Silent (2011) DVD 5208
       A documentary look at LGBT aging.
  • God Loves Uganda (2014) DVD 10777
       Examines the role American evangelics in the persecution of homosexuals in Uganda.
  • Grandma (2015) DVD 10757
       A lesbian poet in mourning bonds with her granddaughter seeking an abortion.
  • Growing Up Trans (2015) DVD 10622
       An exploration of the struggles and choices facing transgender kids and their parents. Originally aired on Frontiline.  
  • How To Survive a Plague (2012) DVD 9301
       How an improbable group of activists stopped AIDS from becoming a death sentence.
  • Howl (2010) DVD 4718
       Allen Ginsberg, his poem, and a trial.
  • The Imitation Game (2014) DVD 10459
       The life of cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing.
  • J. Edgar (2011) DVD 9852
       The story of J. Edgar Hoover, emphasizing sexual secrets.
  • Just Gender (2013) DVD 10426
       Stories of transgender individuals and their spouses, friends, and allies.
  • The Kids Are All Right (2010) DVD 7431
       A same-sex couple, their children, and a stranger
  • Living Adoption: Gay Parents Speak (2010) DVD 10956
        Lesbian and gay adoptive parents who share their experiences, feelings, challenges and strategies.
  • Love Is Strange (2015) DVD 10744
       A mature gay couple must deal with separation and other harsh realities.
  • Making the Boys (2011) DVD 8911
       The "boys" as in the play and movie Boys in the Band.
  • Mine Vaganti = Loose Cannons (2010) DVD 1248
    ​   Sibling rivalry over coming out. In Italian.
  • The New Black (2013) DVD 1615
       Examines the African-American church and community as it grapples with the gay rights issue.
  • The Normal Heart (2014) DVD 10042
       The early days of the AIDS crisis in NYC. First aired on HBO.
  • Omoide no Marnie = When Marnie Was There (2015) DVD 4334
       Anime film about adolescent girls developing a close and intimate friendship dripping with romantic tension.
  • Out for the Long Run (2010) DVD 9804
       Focuses on a handful of openly gay high school and college athletes.
  • Out Late (2008) DVD 3204
       Five individuals tell their stories about come out as a lesbian, gay, or transgender after the age of 55.
  • ParaNorman (2012) DVD 9240​
       The first mainstream animated film with an uncloseted gay character, a jock at that.
  • Pariah (2011) DVD 9700
       A young urban black lesbian's coming-of-age tale.
  • Patrik Age 1.5 (2010) DVD 7662
       A same-sex couple adopt a teen by mistake. In Swedish.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) DVD 9727
       Misfits, including a gay twin, show us what it means to belong.
  • Philomena (2013) DVD 9858
       To reveal the reason this film is on the list would risk spoiling the plot.
  • Photos of Angie: a Tragedy in Five Acts (2012) DVD 10334
       The story of Angie Zapata, a transgender teen murdered in Colorado in 2008
  • Pitch Perfect & Pitch Perfect 2 (2012 & 2015) DVD 9486
       Collegiate female a cappella, a story  sexual confusion, tension, and playfulness.
  • Pride (2014) DVD 10909 
    Feelgood and powerful fictionalized account of gay activists working together with reluctant miner families in a small Welsh town during a national strike.
  • Private Romeo (2011) DVD 9683 
       Shakespeare's tragic love story more than inspires two military school cadets.
  • PUZZLES: When Hate Came to Town (2012) DVD 10822
      Tells the story of a hate crime in a gay bar called Puzzles Lounge in New Bedford, MA.
  • The Same Difference (2015) DVD 10943
       Examines homophobia and gender discrimination within the black lesbian community.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) DVD 7762
       "Because I'm in lesbians with you."
  • Stonewall Uprising (2011) DVD 6461
       Story of the Stonewall Inn riot, originally broadcast on PBS's The American Experience.
  • Tales of the Waria (2011) DVD 10724
       A community of transgender women in Indonesia search for romance and intimacy.
  • To Be Takei (2014) DVD 10898
       Documentary look at the career and daily life of film star and gay activist George Takei
  • Valentine Road (2013) DVD 10243 
       A character study of a 14-year old killer.
  • La vie d'Adèle = Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013) DVD 9819
       Girl meets girl; one has blue hair; defining love story for the new century. In French.
  • Vision (2010) DVD 5261
    One of the subplots in this film about 12th century mystic, abbess, and composer Hildegard von Bingen is her intense attachment to a young nun.
  • We Were Here (2011) DVD 10213
       San Francisco, AIDS, and the power of community.
  • Weekend (2011) DVD 8915
       Brief Encounter updated, sorta, with two queer Brits.


  • The Aggressives (2005) DVD 2781
       Interviews with six transgendered lesbians of color.
  • American Psycho (2000) DVD 5016
       Was it his repressed homosexual desires that drove the serial killer's odd obsessions and hatred of women and gay men?
  • Angels in America (2003) DVD 984
       Parallel stories of men facing death in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. First aired on HBO.
  • Ararat (2002) DVD 4971
       In this film about making a film about the Armenian genocide, an important subplot involves homophobia against the gay foreign leading actor.
  • Assume Nothing (2009) DVD 7285
       Features NZ photographer Rebecca Swan and her exploration of the beauty and complexity of gender identity.
  • Auf der Anderen Seite = The Edge of Heaven (2007) DVD 5840
    ​    One of the interwoven stories is of two women who become lovers, one an illegal immigrant. In German, Turkish, and English.
  • L'Auberge espagnole = Spanish Apartment (2002) DVD 921
       A tale of love and friendship. The hero's love life improves after he receives sex tips from his lesbian roommate.
  • Before Night Falls (2000) DVD 1887 
       Gay love at the time of the Cuban Revolution. In English and Spanish.
  • Bend It Like Beckham (2002) DVD 629
       Reportedly the original screenplay was much different, but LGBT hints and sympathies remain.
  • Best in Show (2000) DVD 8853
       All of the humans at the dog show are crazy; one couple happens to be gay.
  • Blue Gate Crossing = Lanse da men (2002) DVD 1505
    Described as "a modern-day lesbo twist on the old Cyrano story." In Mandarin.
  • Billy Elliot (2000) DVD 229
    A key struggle in Billy's pursuit of ballet is his being thought of as gay by his tough working class family and community.
  • Boogie Nights (2007) DVD 72
       The story of the rise of a male porno star includes a significant gay sub-plot.
  • Bring It On (2000) DVD 484
        Good example of a film in which romantic adolescent friendships are presented with deniable lesbian overtones.
  • Brokeback Mountain (2005) DVD 2216
       Advocate #1. Cited as one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking love stories ever told. An Oscar for Ang Lee.
  • Brother Outsider: the life of Bayard Rustin (2002) DVD 4585
       The life of one of the most important civil rights leaders, kept in the shadows because of his homosexuality.
  • The Business of Fancydancing (2002) DVD 1518 
       Two old friends re-meet at a funeral on the Rez. One is embittered, the other a successful gay poet.
  • Capote (2005) DVD 2410 
       Capote in Kansas prior to writing In Cold Blood. An Oscar for Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  • Choses Secrètes = Secret Things (2002) DVD 3122 
       Once fired, a stripper and a naive barmaid join forces to overthrow male oppression. In French.
  • Chris & Don: a Love Story (2007) DVD 3446 
    ​   ​Chris in the title is Christopher Isherwood. The documentary includes home movies.
  • City of Borders (2009) DVD 9127 
       Love and consequences at Jerusalem's only gay bar. In English, Arabic and Hebrew.
  • Contracorriente = Undertow (2009) DVD 7986​ 
       When a Peruvian fisherman falls for a visiting artist, there's trouble. In Spanish.
  • C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) DVD 4596
       The consequences of growing up in a sexually repressive family.
  • Cruel and Unusual (2008) DVD 4243
       A documentary about transgender women convicted and incarcerated in men's prisons in the United States. Interviews to lawyers and prison custodians reveal the level of violence
  • Dangerous Living: Coming out in the developing world (2003) DVD 2232
    ​   Explores the lives of gay and lesbian people in non-Western cultures
  • De-Lovely (2004) DVD 1234
       A Cole Porter biopic that finally acknowledges his gayness.
  • Edie & Thea: a very long engagement (2009) DVD 9817
       Two women recount their improbable lifelong journey together.
  • Escape to Canada (2007) DVD 6063
       Political aspects of marriage equality and marijuana legalization in both Canada and the USA.
  • The Family Stone (2005) DVD 9181
       On the front lines in an "uptight" fiancée's Christmas battle with future in-laws are a deaf brother and his black boyfriend.
  • Far From Heaven (2002) DVD 3583
       Socially taboo relationships set in the suburban 1950s.
  • Le Fate Ignoranti = His Secret Life : "Ignorant fairies" (2002) DVD 1971
       When her husband dies, a woman discovers his "other" life and is drawn in.  In Italian and Turkish.
  • Fight Club (2002) DVD 17
       A rule, if not the first, of Fight Club is don't talk about homoeroticism.
  • Fingersmith (2004) DVD 2218
       Lesbian love, lust, and revenge set in Dickensian times. A BBC mini-series.
  • Freeheld (2007) DVD 5914
       A terminally ill detective battles to transfer her earned pension to her domestic partner. An ​Oscar winner.
  • Frida (2002) DVD 4780 bisexuality of Frida Kahlo is only briefly explored, but it is not neglected.
  • Gender Redesigner (2007) DVD 4770
       Five years of a rural Pennsylvanian's transition from female to male.
  • Ginger Snaps (2000) DVD 1636
       In which incestuous lesbian desire is complicated by lychanthropy.
  • Girl Inside (2007) DVD 9295
    ​   Follows a Canadian's three-year transition from male to female and her family relationships.
  • Girl, Interrupted (2004) DVD 6406
       Back in the 1960s, the mental disorders included lesbianism.
  • Girl Who Played with Fire = Flickan Som Lekte med Elden (2009) DVD 7330
       Dragon Tattoo II fleshes out Lisbeth's backstory and gives her a girlfriend. 
  • Gosford Park (2001) DVD 298
       A proper British aristocratic whodunnit explores class and sexual mores, including, subtlely, homosexuality.
  • The Gymnast (2007) DVD 2212
       An injured world-class gymnast develops a complex and transforming relationship with a mysterious dancer when they become trapese artists.
  • Hannah Free (2009) DVD 10191 
    ​   ​Two very different women and their lifelong love affair.
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) DVD 55 
        A German glam-rocker comes to America.
  • A Home at The End of The World (2004) DVD 10195
    ​    Two best friends and their complex relationship over the course of a dozen years.
  • Hot Fuzz (2009) DVD 5267
    ​    In which the homoerotic subtext of action movies is played for laughs.
  • The Hours (2002) DVD 972
       Three interconnected stories, all somehow connected to Virginia Woolf.
  • I Can't Think Straight (2008) DVD 9818
      A South Asian Brit struggles with class, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and her wedding. 
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007) DVD 6090
       Two male firefighters fake a domestic partnership for insurance purposes and receive unwanted notoriety.
  • Imagine Me and You (2005) DVD 9803
       A bride takes a surprising turn at the altar.
  • Inside Out (2007) DVD 2970
     No, not the Disney cartoon. This one is a documentary about being transgender in Iran.
  • Itty Bitty Titty Committee (2007) DVD 2177
    ​   ​The new grrrl on the block falls in with a radical feminist gang. Billed as a comedy.
  • ​Jennifer's Body (2009) DVD 6557 
       ​Comedy/horror about a teen possessed by a man-eating demon and her “totally lesbi-gay” best bud. 
  • A Jihad for Love (2007) DVD 9337 
       Explores the "complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality."
  • Karmen Geï (2001)  DVD 6044
       A Senegalese musical tale of a bisexual woman, a prison escape and smuggling. In French and Wolof.
  • Kinsey (2004) DVD 1457
       "Variety of human sexual experience" in both the work and life of this researcher.
  • Lan Yu (2001) DVD 3824 
       A gay love story amid the Tiananmen Square uprising. In Mandarin.
  • Laramie Inside Out (2004) DVD 2114
       Coverage of the aftermath of the Matthew Shepard trial.
  • The Laramie Project (2002) DVD 2050
       The story of the Matthew Shepard trial and its aftermath. Originally shown on HBO.
  • Latter Days (2003) DVD 10207 
      A young Mormon missionary comes out and faces his hostile family.
  • Little Miss Sunshine (2006) DVD 2858
    ​   The suicidal gay brother is just one of the family.
  • Lost and Delirious (2001) DVD 9802
       At a boarding school, girls discover love and sexual passion.
  • Love! Valour! Compassion! (2004) DVD 4299
    ​   Evolves around eight gay friends who gather for three summer weekends.
  • La Mala Educación = Bad Education (2004)  DVD 3045 [in Viva Pedro: the Almodóvar collection]
       Two reunited childhood friends and lovers are caught up in a murder mystery. In Spanish.
  • Madame Satã (2002) DVD 692
       ​A biopic of Brazil's most notorious and flamboyant gay performer. In Portuguese.
  • Mango Soufflé (2002) DVD 1357
       Called India's "first openly gay male film." In English
  • Mean Girls (2004) DVD 2913 
       Its gay and lesbian undercurrents have been called both minor and pervasive.
  • Middle Sexes: Redefining He and She (2005) DVD 5783
       ​A scientific exploration of those who do not conform to rigid gender concepts. First aired on HBO.
  • Milk (2008) DVD 6011 ​ 
       Advocate #2. A portrait of the pioneering gay politician. Sean Penn won an Oscar.
  • Monster (2003) DVD 210
       A disturbing tale based on the true story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos. An Oscar for Charlize Theron
  • Mulholland Dr. (2001) DVD 247
       The confused story of Rita and Betty is surreal mystery of love and obsession.
  • Mysterious Skin (2004) DVD 10203 
       Child molestation by a baseball coach has different effects on two friends
  • Naked Boys Singing! (2007) DVD 6581 
    ​   Men celebrate their anatomy and gay lifestyle in comedy and song.
  • Normal (2003) DVD 1749
       After 25 years of marriage, a husband reveals he's a woman trapped in a man's body. First aired on HBO.
  • Notes on a Scandal (2006) DVD 2559 
       A dark film about an uncomfortable relationship between two women.
  • Les poupées Russes = Russian Dolls DVD 3688
       In this sequel to Spanish Apartment (2002, see below), sexual mores are most mocked in a scene where the lesbian roommate pretends to be the hero's fiancée on a visit to a grandparent.
  • Of Time and the City (2008) DVD 4716
       Liverpool, homoeroticism, and Catholic guilt.
  • 101 Reykjavík (2000) DVD 785
       A mother and a son share a lover. In Icelandic and English.
  • Paragraph 175 (2000) DVD 1032
       A documentary about the Nazi persecution of homosexuals.
  • Party Monster (2003) DVD 10211
       A star is born, rises, and plummets in the disco nightclub scene.
  • Plata Quemada = Burnt Money (2000) DVD 693 
       Two men become lovers, then bank robbers. In Spanish.
  • Quinceañera (2008) DVD 2856 
    ​   A pregnant teen bonds and bands together with her uncle and gay cousin. In Spanish.
  • Rent (2005) DVD 2302 
       A musical update of the opera La Boheme. All the characters are miserable; a few are LGBT.
  • The Rules of Attraction (2002) DVD 4318
       Love triangle on a college campus among a drug dealer, a virgin and a bisexual.
  • Saved! (2004) DVD 3751
       What could go wrong when a Christian teenager tries to "cure" her gay friend? ​
  • Saving Grace (2004) DVD 2161
       Family troubles for a young surgeon who has kept her sexual orientation secret from her conservative Chinese community in New York.
  • Segunda Piel = Second Skin (2000) DVD 588
       A woman discovers her husband is having an affair with a man. In Spanish.
  • Shortbus (2006) DVD 3680
    ​    ​ Shortbus, an underground salon, where art, music, politics, and polysexual carnality collide.
  • A Single Man (2009) DVD 7015
       After the death of his longtime partner, a professor struggles to find meaning in his life.
  • Small Town Gay Bar (2007) DVD 4183
       An intimate portrait of gay bars located in the deep South
  • Songcatcher (2000) DVD 5366
       While a professor is collecting folksongs in 1909, her sister struggles to hide a lesbian relationship.
  • Southern Comfort (2001) DVD 1907
        A transsexual fights ovarian cancer.
  • Stranger Inside (2001) DVD 10192 
       Life in a women's prison for a juvie as she looks for a new lover and goes on a quest to find her mother.
  • Sud Pralad = Tropical Malady (2004) DVD 3063
       A soldier's love for a peasant morphs into a Shaman's tale of a human soul in a tiger's body. In Thai.
  • Ten more good years: the battle for LGBT rights is far from over (2008) DVD 1571
       Examines the special difficulties that the aging LGBT community faces.
  • 300 (2007) DVD 4658
       Called both homoerotic and homophobic. Greeks vs. Persians, but the 300 doesn't include the Thespians.
  • Tipping the Velvet (2002) DVD 9811
       A lesbian love story set in an 1890's music hall. Originally a BBC miniseries.
  • Training Rules: No Drinking, No Drugs, No Lesbians (2009) DVD 8985 
       A look at homophobia among women's college sports. Focuses on a Penn State athlete.​
  • Transamerica (2005) DVD 2411
       A transexual's road trip with a her newly discovered and troubled teenaged son.
  • Two Spirits (2009) DVD 7957
       Examines the role and nature of two-spirit people in the Navajo culture.
  • Trembling Before g-d (2001) DVD 575
       Personal stories of gay and lesbian Hasidic and Orthodox Jews. In English.
  • V for Vendetta (2005) DVD 2843 
       Among those the totalitarian government are out to destroy are gays and lesbians.
  • Valentino, The Last Emperor (2008) DVD 3552
       A behind-the-scenes look at two years in the life of fashion designer Valentino Garavani, focusing on both his business and his relationship with Giancarlo Giammetti, his business partner and lover.
  • Watchmen (2009) DVD 4752
       ​An atypical superhero film that includes badass queers.
  • Wonder Boys (2000) DVD 9657
       Writer's block, campus politics, and intersecting encounters of gay and straight sex.
  • XXY (2007) DVD 6191
       A coming of age story of a 15-year old intersexual. Nominated for an Oscar. In Spanish.
  • Y Tu Mamá También (2001) DVD 666 
       Two teenaged boys on a road trip with an older woman explore more than their heterosexuality.
  • Yossi & Jagger (2002) DVD 1028
       A love story between two soldiers in the Israeli army. In Hebrew.

The Nineties

It has been argued that Hollywood's normalized depiction of LGBT characters during the 90s in both major and minor roles led to a greater acceptance of LGBTs in mainstream opinion.
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) DVD 1641
       Advocate #12. Drag queens on a road trip through Australia. An Oscar for Best Costume Design.
  • After Stonewall: from the riots to the millenium (1999) DVD 2741
       Message: Stonewall was important.
  • Aimée & Jaguar (1999) DVD 135 
       A lesbian affair is not a safe thing to have in Nazi Germany. In German.
  • American Beauty (1999) DVD 2744
       Just one of the hollow ad executive's suburban problems is caused by a homophobic neighbor.
  • And the Band Played On (1993) DVD 2920 
    ​   Strong-willed men and women fight to save lives in the face of a mysterious illness. First aired on HBO.
  • Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City (1994) DVD 5058
       Intersecting San Francisco stories. A PBS miniseries.
  • As Good as it Gets (1998) DVD 1029
       Life in the French Foreign Legion changes when a new recruit arrives. In French.
  • Beautiful Thing (1996) DVD 9500 
       Boy discovers boy next door in the lower class suburbs of London.
  • Bent (1997) DVD 10188
       A complicated gay love story set in a Nazi concentration camp. 
  • Better Than Chocolate (1999) DVD 2206
    ​   She meets the woman of her dreams. Then her mother and brother move in. 
  • Bound (1996) DVD 5236
       Advocate #7.  Praised for its humor and realistic portrayal of a lesbian relationship and criticized for excessive violence.
  • Boys Don't Cry (1999) DVD 198 
       Advocate #9. Tragic retelling of the Brandon Teena story. Oscar for Hilary Swank.
  • The Celluloid Closet (1995) DVD 29
       Narrative of the changing face of homosexuality in cinema with footage from over 120 films.
  • Chun Guang Zha Xie = Happy Together (1997) DVD 1633
       A pair of gay expatriates fall out of love in Buenos Aires. In Cantonese.
  • Chutney Popcorn (1999) DVD 10416
       An Indian American lesbian volunteers to be a surrogate mother for her sister's baby.
  • Clueless (1995) DVD 5185 
       A Jane Austen-inspired heroine doesn't limit her matchmaking to heterosexual couples.
  • Coming Out Under Fire [In Stories from the War on Homosexuality] (1994) DVD 563
       An account of military policy regarding homosexuals during World War II. Packaged with Family Fundamentals (2002) and Licensed to Kill (1997).
  • Crash (1996) DVD 5070
       Erotic obsession with car crashes.
  • The Crying Game (1992) DVD 5080 
       A tale of Northern Ireland's troubles that includes obsession and transvestism. An Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
  • Different for Girls (1996) DVD 10183
       Childhood friends are reunited, but one is no longer a male.
  • Edward II (1991) DVD 4982 
       A king imperils his throne by bringing a male lover to court.
  • Europa Europa (1991) DVD 2805
       When a Jewish boy disguises himself as an Aryan, only when a homosexual soldier makes advances on him, does he find someone with whom he can share his secret. In German and Russian.
  • Fire (1996) DVD 3496
       Arranged marriage, celibacy, and lesbian love intertwine.
  • Fresa y Chocolate = Strawberry and Chocolate (1993) DVD 4854
       A comic look at the Castro regime's attitude toward the LGBT community. In Spanish.
  • Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) DVD 6648
       Only some of the LGBT themes from Fanny Flagg's novel survive.
  • The Full Monty (1997) DVD 4097
       One sub-plot involves two of the bonding males being outed.
  • Gazon Maudit = French Twist (1994) DVD 662 
       A wife gets revenge, with the help of her new girlfriend. A comedy. In French.
  • Go Fish (1994) DVD 10217 
       A feminist professor goes on a same-sex blind date.
  • Gods and Monsters (1998) DVD 99 
       Story of James Whale, a gay horror film director from the 1950s. An Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
  • Hanging Garden (1997) DVD 5996
       Both sexuality and reality are explored in this Nova Scotia tale of a missing and/or dead brother and his sister's wedding.
  • Heavenly Creatures (1994) DVD 4371 
       When parents try to separate them, two fantasy-obsessed girls take revenge.
  • Henry and June (1990) DVD 9345 
       Anaïs Nin meets both Henry & June Miller.
  • Hocus Pocus (1993) DVD 10904
       The high camp and presence of more than one gay icon is enough to get this Disney Halloween comedy in this list.
  • I Like It Like That (1994) DVD 8344
       The chief confidant of a young Puerto Rican mother trying to turn her life around is her transgendered sister, who is played flamboyantly, but not stereotypically.
  • In & Out (1997) DVD 10212
       Called "the first big blockbuster comedy about coming out."
  • The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love (1995)  ">DVD 9809
       An incredibly true adventure of two girls in love.
  • JFK (1991) DVD 719
       Didn't you know? Homosexuals plotted the assassination.
  • L.A. Confidential (1997) DVD 3060
       At its core is the murder of a Hollywood hunk, who is a bisexual hustler. But was he the only closest gay character in the film?
  • Longtime Companion (1990) DVD 7165
       A group of friends learn about loyalty, love, and courage in the face of AIDS.
  • Love! Valour! Compassion! (1997) DVD 4299
       Eight gay men spend summer holiday weekends together at a beach house.
  • Ma Vie en Rose = My Life in Pink (1997) DVD 2812
       A 7-year old boy can’t wait to grow up to become a beautiful woman. In French.
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) DVD 6559
       What secrets lie behind the murder at an elegant Christmas party in Savannah?
  • Miller's Crossing (1990) DVD 1817
       The gangland violence is over the top, but the homosexual love triangle is subtly presented.
  • Mulan (1998) DVD 1748
       Chinese warrior woman. The earliest and perhaps closest Disney has come to tackling gender identity issues head on. With Mulan II.
  • My Own Private Idaho (1991) DVD 5036 
       Two friends on a quest; one's a gay street hustler.
  • Naked Lunch (1991) DVD 4972
       A weird but surprisingly hetereosexualized interpretation of William Burrough's work. 
  • The Opposite of Sex (1998) DVD 1938
    ​   A runaway, her gay half-brother, and hunky boyfriend go cross-country after a heist.
  • Orlando (1992) DVD 361 
       A ​nobleman undergoes extraordinary transformations.
  • Paris Is Burning (1990) DVD 4011
       Advocate #3. Explores the 1980s ball culture in NYC.
  • Philadelphia (1993) DVD 448 
       Advocate #6. Called a "a groundbreaking time capsule." It's about a discrimination case. An Oscar for Tom Hanks.
  • The Pillow Book (1996) DVD 33
       A woman is inspired by 10th century Japanese courtisan. In Japanese, Chinese, and English.
  • Poison (1991) DVD 1767
       T​hree interweaving tales tell of abusive sex, monstrous sex, and obsessive sex.
  • Priest (1994) DVD 10193 
       A gay priest is torn between keeping the faith and exposing the truth.
  • Quand Tombe la Nuit = When Night Is Falling (1996) DVD 10184
       A professor & a circus performer. In English & French.
  • Reality Bites (1994) DVD 4094
       Why does one of the main character's gay friends remain celibate?
  • Les Roseaux Sauvages = Wild reeds (1994) DVD 821
       Two French teenaged boys, uncertain of their sexuality, come of age. In French.
  • Silverlake Life: the View from Here (1993) DVD 8878
       A video diary of living with AIDS.
  • Six Degrees of Separation (1993) DVD 1558
       Themes of race, class, deception, and sexuality all intersect.
  • Smoke Signals (1998) DVD 1215 
       An odd friendship on the Rez. One is very straight, the other is not.
  • Swoon (1992) DVD 5296
       A thriller based on the Leopold and Loeb case.
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) DVD 6555
       Duplicity, lies, gay lust, and murder, not necessarily in that order.
  • Thelma & Louise (1991) DVD 428
       Two bold women, desperate and funny, now iconic.
  • To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) DVD 9801
       A road trip to a drag queen beauty pageant. Basically a buddy pic.
  • Todo Sobre Mi Madre = All About My Mother [in Viva Pedro: the Almodóvar collection](1999) DVD 3045
       A nurse deals with AIDS, homosexuality, transsexualism, faith, and existentialism. It's a comedy. 
  • Velvet Goldmine (1998) DVD 4082
       A reporter looking for a glam-rock superstar finds weirdness and truth.
  • The Watermelon Woman (1996) DVD 4315
       Parallel stories of mixed race lesbian couples.
  • Wilde (1997) DVD 10204 
       The importance of being of Oscar Wilde.
  • Xi yan = The Wedding Banquet (1993) DVD 8281
       He is gay; she needs a green card; the aren't the same race; their parents misunderstand. In Mandarin and English.
  • Yo, la Peor de Todas = I, the Worst of All (1990) DVD 4003
       The making of a poet after a woman develops an intimate relationship in a convent and has to face the Inquisition. In Spanish.
  • Zero Patience (1993) DVD 5818
       "Patient Zero," in this complex tale, is the flight attendant accused of bringing AIDS to North America.

The Eighties

Vito Russo, author of The Celluloid Closet, said of the Eighties, the films usually are about homosexuality, not about people and their stories.”
  • Another Country (1984) DVD 10206 
    ​    A spy reflects on his boarding school homosexuality and Marxism.
  • Before Stonewall: the Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community (1985) DVD 5503
       Chronicles the social, political, and cultural history of lesbian and gay life.
  • Burroughs: The Movie (1983) DVD 10714
       An intimate portrait of beat generation author William S. Burroughs that does not shy away from his "often-tortured relationship to his homosexuality."
  • Brideshead Revisited (1981) DVD 251
       Was the friendship at Oxford that started it all more than a friendship? An ITV/PBS mini-series.
  • Caravaggio (1986) DVD 5099
       The Italian painter's life is tragically complicated when he becomes the lover of a male model and his girlfriend.
  • The Color Purple (1985) DVD 4276 
       Only after a balck woman forms intimate relationship with another woman does she find her strength and confidence.
  • Desert Hearts (1985) DVD 10400
       Advocate #8. The first lesbian film in which both women enjoy a happy ending? Really?
  • Doña Herlinda y Su Hijo = Doña Herlinda and Her Son (1986) DVD 5932 
    ​   A satire of bourgeois manners. He is gay, and his mother doesn't understand. In Spanish.
  • Dressed to Kill (1980) DVD 3921
       The key to the murder may involve the psychiatrist's transgender patient.
  • Fame (1980) DVD 5548
       Lauded for showcasing "the parallels between a gay man’s and an entertainer’s desire for acceptance."
  • Hairspray (1988) DVD 5026
    ​   Camp classic. 
  • Heathers (1989) DVD 5277  
       A fierce look at high school culture including its hostility toward LGBTs.
  • The Hunger (1983) DVD 10215
       A vampire film that pivots around a lesbian relationship.
  • I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987) DVD 10194 
       A clueless temp at an art gallery has a complex relationship with her lesbian boss.
  • James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket (1989) DVD 2997
        A non-narrated PBS documentary that mixes footage of his speeches, debates, and interviews, as well as readings. His homosexuality is addressed, but not a focus.
  • Kiss of The Spider Woman (1985) DVD 5220
       Cell mates become soul mates.
  • The Last of England (1988) DVD 5101
       An apocalyptic portrait of England that has been called the a potent, troubled work of "gay identity politics."
  • La Ley del Deseo = Law of Desire (1987) [in Viva Pedro: the Almodóvar collection] DVD 3045
       A gay filmmaker makes a film about a gay filmmaker. In Spanish. 
  • The Long Good Friday (filmed in 1979, but released in1981) DVD 1393
       The movie opens with a scene of extreme violence in a gay bathhouse, but has been called tolerant on the subject of gay sex.
  • Making Love (1982) DVD 10210
       Advocate #11. A marriage is rocked when the husband confronts his long-repressed attraction to men.
  • Mala Noche = Bad Night (1985) DVD 4964 
       Chicano street kids and a gay bohemian in Portland, Oregon.
  • My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) DVD 1415 
       Examines culture clashes, racism, political turmoil, and sexuality.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (1985)  [in Nightmare on Elm Street collection]
      Horror film as a gay allegory. DVD 403
  • Parting Glances (1986) DVD 4127
       Advocate #10. The first film ever to deal frankly, realistically, and humorously with AIDS
  • Prick Up Your Ears (1987) DVD 10216
       The life and death of gay British playwright Joe Orton.
  • Querelle (1982) DVD 3069 
  •    A tough sailor gets involved in drug-smuggling, murder, and a strange whorehouse.
  • Silkwood (1983) DVD 5178 
       Biopic of a labor activist. Surprisingly, her lesbian relationship is not omitted.
  • The Times of Harvey Milk (1984) DVD 933 
       Oscar-winning documentary of the politician's life, career, and assassination.
  • Tongues Untied (1989) DVD 3633
       Called "part documentary, part spoken-word poetry, and all about black men loving men."
  • Tootsie (1982) DVD 4032 
       A crossed-dressed romantic comedy of errors.
  • Torch Song Trilogy (1988) DVD 7849
       Ian McKellen: "the first film, as far as I know, that presents the gay characters as if they are normal and the heterosexual characters as the strangers in the society."
  • Victor/Victoria (1982) DVD 2008 
       A female performer masquerading as a female impersonator.
  • Withnail & I (1987) DVD 4224 
    ​   A British cult classic about male friendship, acting, alcohol, and a gay uncle.
  • Yentl (1983) DVD 5819
       Gay icon stars in and directs a film about a girl who disguises her sex to become a scholar.

After Stonewall, 1969-1979

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) abandoned its production code and on November 1, 1968, establshed a rating system (originally G, M, R, and X). Coincidentally, six months later, the Stonewall Riot occured (June 28, 1969) Suddenly the topic of homosexuality was no longer taboo. However, with the exception of some breakthrough films and roles, the prevailing stereotypes and depictions of LGBT characters was slow to change. Hollywood filmmakers were much further behind than Europeans.
  • Die Bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant = Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972) DVD 3070 
       Claustrophobic lesbian melodrama. In German.
  • The Boys in the Band (1970) DVD 7884
       Advocate #5. The first mainstream film in which all the main characters are gay. 
  • Cabaret (1972) DVD 67
       Advocate #4. "Willkommen!"
  • La Cage aux Folles (1978) DVD 8780
       The lives of two gay men are turned upside down when one's son wants to get married. In French.
  • The Conformist = Il Conformista (1970) DVD 2915 
       Can fascism be linked to repressed homoerotic desire?
  • Death in Venice (1971) DVD 8441
       Obsession of a composer for a boy. 
  • Deliverance (1972) DVD 838 
    The male rape was presented as just another way those mountain men were degenerate.
  • Desperate Living (1977) DVD 5027
       ​A woman and her maid on the lam after a murder meet some kinky people. [packaged with another John Water's film, Polyester]
  • Dog Day Afternoon (1975) DVD 3801 
       Based on the true story of a gay bank robber.
  • Faustrecht der Freiheit = Fox and his friends (1975) DVD 679
       The fortuntes and misadventures of a gay carnival worker. In German.
  • Grey Gardens (1975) DVD 2648
       ​According to the Advocate: "A haunting and wistful story, the film was dormant for years until 1992 when it suddenly caught fire with VHS copies circulating among gay men 'in the know.'"
  • Hair (1979) DVD 5189
       The film version of the revolutionary musical reduced the sexuality of the original theater production that it was now left with only gay overtones. Still there is the song, "Sodomy."
  • Je, Tu, Il, Elle (1976) [in Chantal Akerman in the Seventies] DVD 6643
       A jittery young woman discovers sex, food, and herself as she travels around France. In French. 
  • Little Big Man (1970) DVD 3836 
       The "hee-man-eh" character showed gender variance as an accepted idea among Plains Indians.
  • El Lugar Sin Limites = Place Without Limits (1978) DVD 5975
    ​   Tribulations of a transvestite who lives in a brothel run by his daughter. In Spanish.
  • The Maids (1974)  [in American Film Theatre collection] DVD 810
       A tale of sado-masochistic sisters plotting murder more than strongly hints of incest. 
  • Midnight Cowboy (1969) DVD 4221
       Oscar winner. Originally received an X-rating for its unsubtle homo-erotic theme. Oddly missing from the Advocate's Top 175 list. 
  • The Naked Civil Servant (1975) DVD 3638
       ​The story of a homosexual who lived flamboyantly, openly, and true to himself in an unwelcoming age.
  • The Night Porter (1974) DVD 10707
        In this film about a sadomasochistic relationship between an former Nazi and former prisoner, there are strong undercurrents of sexual ambiguity and homoeroticism.
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) DVD 118
       The mysterious disappearance of Australian schoolgirls is ripe with ambiguity and lesbian subtext.
  • Pink Flamingos (1972) DVD 5024
       Called a "truly gay film though it hasn't much to do with homosexuality."
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) DVD 214 
       Unabashed in its absurd campiness and exploration of sexuality.
  • Satansbraten = Satan's brew (1976) DVD 3068
       A frustrated writer's fortunes change when he takes a look at the "gay scene." In German.
  • Shaft (1971) DVD 4253
       One of the few non-exploitive scenes in the whole film is Shaft's friendship with his friend, a gay bartender.
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) DVD 463
       Psychologically complex triangle among a straight woman, an gay man, and a young bisexual artist.
  • Symbiopsychotaxiplasm (1971) DVD 105
       In this daring experimental film about filmmaking, the film within the film within the film explores forbidden topics of abortion and homosexuality.
  • Una Lucertola con la Pelle di Donna = A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971) DVD 2249
        Did a girl's psychedelic nightmares drenched in lesbian sex lead to murder?

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Social Sciences Librarian
(607) 274-1961

The Hays Years 1934-1968: Sixties

During the years from 1934 to 1968, the Motion Picture Production Code, usually called the Hays Code, stifled filmmakers or made them creative when it came to sexuality. The code stated that "any inference of sex perversion," including homosexuality, was prohibited. Films could be made if nothing was overt and if queer characters were not presented positively. It should be noted that this was not government censorship; the restrictions were self-imposed by the movie industry itself – but out of concern that if they didn't act the government might impose regulations on the industry. By the sixties, the code was routinely was being tested.
  • Advise and Consent (1962) [in Controversial Classics collection] DVD 6495 
       One the good guys is being blackmailed for a homosexual indiscretion.
  • Barbarells (1968) DVD 7490
       In which the Great Tyrant may have been filmdom's first lesbian supervillain.
  • Becket (1964) DVD 5667
       Were Henry II and Thomas a Becket lovers? Being the sixties, there's only a strong suggestion.
  • Billy Budd (1962) DVD 3610
       All about a captain's fatal attraction and obsession.
  • The Chelsea Girls (1966)  DVD 10900
       This Andy Warhol creation was called by Rex Reed “a three-and-a-half-hour cesspool of vulgarity and talentless confusion which is about as interesting as the inside of a toilet bowl.” 
  • The Children's Hour (1961) DVD 474 
       The lesbian relationship, which makes up the heart of the film, is never spoken of directly.
  • La Dolce Vita (1960) DVD 4101
       Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters are interwoven throughout the film.
  • The Haunting (1963) DVD 8063
       Its depiction of a predatory​ lesbian is as clear as it is unspoken.
  • The Killing of Sister George (1968) DVD 2180
       ​How a lesbian soap opera star copes with the killing off of her character. 
  • A Lion in Winter (1968) DVD 6901
       Richard the Lionhearted's physical relationship with Philip II of France is a major sub-plot.
  • Satyricon (1968) DVD 7003
       The perversion and degeneration of Nero's Rome. Allegorical?
  • Teorema (1968) DVD 3239
       A stranger tries to seduce every member of a bourgeois Italian household. In Italian.
  • A Taste of Honey (1961) DVD 7885 
    ​   The only person with any sympathy for the awkward pregnant lass is gay.
  • Victim (1961) DVD 10182
    ​   Boldly a closeted barrister takes on a blackmail ring.

The Hays Years 1934-1968: Fifties

During the years from 1934 to 1968, the Motion Picture Production Code, usually called the Hays Code, stifled filmmakers or made them creative when it came to sexuality. Through the fifties, innocence still ruled, but homoerotic subtexts and innuendoes started to proliferate.
  • All About Eve (1950) [in Marilyn Monroe premiere collection] DVD 9467 
       The Advocate: "A movie that practically defines gay sensibility."
  • Ben-Hur (1959) DVD 4049
       What aren't they telling us about Ben-Hur and Messala? Gore Vidal has taken credit for inserting the homoerotic subtext without Charlton Heston having a clue.
  • Les Diaboliques = The devils (1955) DVD 5276
    You have to look closely, but the lesbian relationship is presented more clearly than other films of its time.
  • Glen or Glenda? (1953) DVD 57
       Its alternative titles reveal a lot: I changed my sex; Transvestite; I led two lives.
  • In a Lonely Place (1950) DVD 5035
       Murder mystery in which a lesbian relationship is very thinly coded.
  • Johnny Guitar (1954) DVD 3213
       Butchly feminine gun-toter seeks power in a boomtown. Said Roger Ebert: “one of the most blatant psychosexual melodramas ever to disguise itself in that most commodious of genres, the Western.”
  • Mädchen in Uniform (1958) DVD 10190
       A girl falls in love with her teacher. Remake of a 1931 film called the first lesbian-themed feature film. In German.
  • Rebel Without a Cause (1955) DVD 66
       Sal Mineo called his character Plato "the first gay teenager on film."
  • Some Like It Hot (1959) [in Marilyn Monroe Premiere Collection] DVD 9467 
       "Nobody's perfect." 
  • Strangers on a Train (1951) DVD 426
       The homoerotic tension is there for any who wishes to see it.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) DVD 3806
       Tortured hyper-masculinity meets sensitive, unstable hysteria.
  • Suddenly Last Summer (1959) DVD 4998
       A dead gay man lies at the center of this Southern gothic tale, but, of course, he is only called vulnerable and sensitive.

The Hays Years 1934-1968: Thirties & Forties

During the years from 1934 to 1968, the Motion Picture Production Code, usually called the Hays Code, stifled filmmakers or made them creative when it came to sexuality. Filmmakers were not yet very venturous, and sexual perversion signaled villiany.
  • Crossfire (1947) DVD 6501 [in Film Noir classic collection. Vol. 2]
       An example of self-censorship: The murder victim in the book was a homosexual; in the film he was Jewish.
  • Dark Victory (1939) & Now, Voyager (1942)  [in Betty Davis collection] DVD 5772
       Two Bette Davis films most cited in establishing her as a gay icon.
  • Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) DVD 6386
       Directed by Dorothy Arzner, the film's lesbian themes are only hinted at.
  • Dracula's Daughter (1936) [in Dracula: the legacy collection] DVD 1919
    ​    Original tag: "Save the women of London from Dracula's Daughter!"
  • Les Enfants du Paradis = Children of Paradise (1945) DVD 1000
       Filmed during Nazi occupation, it has surprisingly thin coding of its gay themes. 
  • Germany, Year One (1948) [In Robert Rossellini's War Trilogy] DVD 734
       The homosexuality of an ex-Nazi school tearcher informs the audience he is a villian.
  • Gilda (1946) DVD 2766
       Male intimacy portrayed in the shadow of Rita Hayworth.
  • Lost Weekend (1948) DVD 4264
       An example of self-censorship: A past homosexual incident that is key to the book is omitted from the film.
  • Mildred Pierce (1945) DVD 328
       The film that gave Joan Crawford her gay icon cred.
  • Orphée (1949) DVD 1272
       Orpheus in post-war Paris. Called both "not a gay film" and "a landmark gay film." In French.
  • Ossessione (1943) DVD 3587
       Neorealist deadly romantic triangle, with a homoerotic subplot. Facsists failed to destroy all copies. In Italian.
  • Rebecca (1940) DVD 228
       Thinly-veiled lesbian cautionary tale?
  • Rope (1948) DVD 405
       Hitchcock holds a dinner party hosted by two coded gay murderers.
  • Rome, Open CIty (1945) [In Robert Rossellini's War Trilogy] DVD 734
       Characterizes Nazis as sexual deviants.
  • Seventh Victim (1943) [In the Val Lewton Horror collection] DVD 6502
       "Robbed of the will to love" screamed the movie's poster, but even with a Satanic cult boldly portrayed,the repressed lesbian desire is subtle.
  • Thirst = Törst (1949) [in the Early Bergman collection] DVD 7759
       A secondary female character is openly seduced by a woman who has become disgusted with men.
  • The Wizard Of Oz (1939) DVD 408
       A misunderstood kid in a black and white world has empowering adventures in technicolor. Oh, my! 
  • The Women (1939) DVD 6130
       Campy, bitchy, subversive.

Pre-Hays, before 1934

Listed in chronological order.
  • Anders als die Andern = Different from the Others (1919) DVD 8241
       A prosperous gay man's encounter with a blackmailer. Film barely survived destruction by the Nazis. Titles in English (translated from the German).
  • Manslaughter (1922) DVD 7658
       May only be noteworthy for including the earliest known cinematographic depiction of lesbians kissing.
  • Le Sang d'un Poète = Blood of a Poet (1930) DVD 1271
       Jean Cocteau's surreal eroticism. Titles in English (translated from the French).
  • Geschlecht in Fesseln = Sex in Chains (1928) DVD 8247
       When the husband is sent to jail, a newly wed couple seek relief from sexual frustration in different ways: she with her boss; he with a cellmate.
  • Morocco (1930) [In Marlene Dietrich: the glamour collectionDVD 1280
       Marlene Dietrich in a tux kissing a woman has been called a "Great Moment in Gay Cinema." 
  • Queen Christina (1933) [In Greta Garbo: the signature collection] DVD 7680
       Noted for its androgynous sensibilities and lesbian aesthetic.
  • Zèro de Conduite (1933) in The complete Jean Vigo VIDEO 3137
    The story of an anarchic revolution at a boy’s school was enough to get this film banned, but it helped that it included an openly homosexual relationship between two of the boys.

Short Experimental Films

In chronological order.
  • The Films of Kenneth Anger (1947-2002) DVD 6931 
       Oeuvre of an underground experimental filmmaker, including Scorpio Rising (1964), a biker orgy film that led to a Supreme Court case. ​(11 films)
  • Akermania (1968-1984) DVD 9355 & Chantal Akerman in the Seventies (1972-1978) DVD 6643
       Belgian director whose experimental films often feature lesbian content. (8 films, some short, some feature length)
  • The Films of Su Friedrich (1984-2004) DVD 2516
    ​   Called groundbreaking and provocative in their exploration of feminist and lesbian themes (13 films).
  • Meeting Two Queens (1991) DVD 4836
       Excerpts from Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich films re-edited to make them appear as lovers.
  • Rock Hudson's Home Movies (1992) DVD 1858
       A pseudo- posthumous diary using clips from Rock Hudson's films examines the actor's image and sexual orientation.
  • Wittgenstein (1993) DVD 5645
    Derek Jarman's experimental biography of the gay philosopher, combining comedy sketch, theatre, performance art, and surrealism.
  • The Videos of Sadie Benning, Vol. 1 (2003) DVD 5363
       Five very short films record a teenager's thoughts, feelings toward her growing lesbian sexuality.​
  • I'm Just Anneke | Family Journey (2010) DVD 7958
       Two films exploring transgender issues from the Youth & Gender Media Project.

Shorter Documentaries

Of classroom length, for the most part.
Most recent listed first.
  • Me, my sex & I (2012) DVD 7345
  •    Stories of people born with ambiguous genitalia or what has often been called “intersex” anatomy.
  • Transgender Tuesdays (2012) DVD 10250
       Chronicle of patients at the first US public health clinic to offer full primary care to transgender people.
  • Genderf*kation: a Gender Emancipation (2011) DVD 8823
       The story of six individuals and their journey
  • Gen Silent: a Documentary Film about LGBT Aging (2011) DVD 5208
    A expose of discrimination, bullying and abuse of LGBTs, especially in elder care settings​
  • Passionate Politics (2011) DVD 8888
       Covers the life of Charlotte Bunch, a civil rights organizer, lesbian/feminist activist, and global human rights fighter.
  • Gais = Gay Games (2011) DVD 8276 
       French coverage of the 2010 Gay Games, held in Cologne.
  • Bisexual Virgins: Crossing the Line (2009) DVD 2139 
    ​   Follows two small town Canadian young women who are unsure about their sexual identity.
  • Straightlaced: How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up (2009) DVD 7377
    ​   Follows 50 students to examine how popular pressures around gender and sexuality shape the lives of American teens
  • No Dumb Questions [alternate title: Uncle Bill is Becoming a Woman] (2009) DVD 9126
       Follows three sisters after they are told their Uncle Bill is becoming Aunt Barbara.
  • One Summer in New Paltz: A Cautionary Tale (2009) DVD 5224
       The tale of a young mayor of a NYS college town who defied state law to perform same-sex marriages.
  • Out Late (2008) DVD 3204
       Stories of five individuals who came out after the age of 55.
  • Queer China, Comrade China (2009) DVD 10534
       Interviews with over 30 figures in China's LGBT community who have experienced changes in attitudes and lifestyles in China over the past 30 years.
  • Out at Work (1996, 1998; 2009) DVD 4896
       An examination of homophobia in the workplace. Includes the original film and a revised version, both re-edited in 2009.
  • Gender Me: Homosexuality in the World of Islam (2008) DVD 7271
       A personal approach to the topic by a Turkish Norwegian filmmaker.
  • Dreams Deferred: the Sakia Gunn film project (2008) DVD 8129
    ​   Depicts the hate and homophobia that caused the murder of a Black gay teenager.
  • She's a Boy I Knew (2008) DVD 5563
    ​   ​A Canadian filmmaker documents her family and herself as she makes the transition from male to female.
  • In God's House: Asian American Lesbian and Gay Families in the Church (2007) DVD 9846
       In English and Indonesian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.​
  • Further Off the Straight and Narrow (2006) DVD 4699
       A survey of gay visibility on television. A sequel to Off the Straight and Narrow (2002) DVD 5864
  • Inside Out (2006) DVD 2970
       Transsexualism in Iran.
  • A Litany for Survival: the Life and Work of Audre Lorde (1996) DVD 5407
       The lesbian-feminist writer reads from her poetry and talks about being lesbian and black in New York in the 1950s and her social and political activity.
  • Looking for Langston (1989) DVD 5168
       A tribute to the poet Langston Hughes, emphasizing his importance both as a black and a gay voice.
  • CBS Reports: The Homosexuals (1967) DVD 9023
       For a look back on how LGBTs were viewed by society in the Sixties, see this special report hosted by Mike Wallace.


Several sources were used in the compiling of this list. In addition to The Advocate's The Top 175 Essential Films of All Time for LGBT Viewers, these other sources were consulted:
In addition, many films, especially documentaries and foreign language films were found by keyword and subject searching of the IC online catalog.

Many of the documentary films have previously been shown on campus as part of the Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen film series sponsored by the Ithaca College Center for LGBT Education, Outreach & Services, Luca Maurer, Program Director.

Film image attributions