June is Pride Month and LGBTQIA communities around the world are preparing to celebrate after several years of subdued events due to the pandemic. Pride takes place each June to remember the 1969 Stonewall Riots, as well as the brave people who continue to fight for equality around the world. Although the riots happened over 50 years ago, they’ve had a profound impact on LGBTQ+ rights in the US and around the world, and are consequently celebrated to this day.
Netflix is participating in Pride Month’s celebration with an ever-expanding catalog of LGBTQ+ films and a dedicated page with dozens of films and TV shows. Since it is impossible to watch them all in a month, we have selected the best ones for you here, from comedies and dramas to documentaries, and more.
Duck Butter (2018)
Duck Butter is a quiet and sublime film from Miguel Arteta. Naima (Alia Shawkat) is an up-and-coming actor who becomes captivated by an eccentric peformer named Sergio (Laia Costa). After some light flirting, the two return to Sergio’s house and the conversation leads to relationships. Both have had their share of frustrating relationships and Sergio suggests they try something radically different—they will compress their relationship into 24 hours. There will be no sleep, and the couple will have sex on the hour. While Naima is hesitant, she ultimately agrees.
Duck Butter is funny yet tender film. Shawkat is the perfect actor to play Naima, and Costa’s performance is flawless. Areta injects his usual subdued style into the film, and uses a past relationship as inspiration for one disturbing scene. Ultimately, Duck Butter does something rarely seen on film—it approaches the female body and lesbian sex both honestly and outside the male lens.
Cloudburst is an unusual road film starring two quirky, gay women, Stella and Dotty, in love for over thirty years. When Dotty is admitted to a nursing home, Stella decides to flee with her to Canada in order to marry her. Along the way, the two women pick up a young hitchhiker.
Eternal Summer (2006)
Eternal Summer is a film about the fundamental themes of adolescence: friendship, self-discovery, and growth. But above all: love. Whether heterosexual or homosexual, reciprocated or denied, fleeting or eternal, love permeates every feature of this film in a sometimes heartbreaking and always powerful way.
In Tangerine, a trans woman gets out of prison, blaming her boyfriend for her time behind bars, and decided to make him pay for it. Despite having a lighter side, the film brilliantly explores a range of deep characters whose common denominator is loneliness and the need for affection and to feel accepted. The film is entirely shot with an iPhone 5, which adds to the originality of it all, but sometimes makes some scenes feel a bit clunky.
The Danish Girl (2015)
The Danish Girl follows the story of Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne), a famous Danish landscape painter in the 1920s. Less fortunate is his wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander), a portraitist who is too academic and still lacks her own style. When one day Gerda asks Einar to pose for his own painting of a female subject, she awakens in him a personality and a sexual identity long dormant. Against the aversions of society that sees him as a madman, deviant and schizophrenic, Einar will be the first person to undergo sexual reassignment surgery.
Super Deluxe (2019)
Super Deluxe is an extravagant comedy in Tamil language that experiments with rather new ways to entertain. The characters are comically imperturbable, every scene carefully staged. The pace of the narrative is slow. But it is precisely this calmness—interrupted by sudden, very short bursts of chaos—that makes it so funny. Despite its undeniable comedy essence, however, Super Deluxe also paints a fascinating picture of sexuality in India.
During World War II, Alice, an English woman opens her heart to Frank, a fugitive, against her initial judgment to get rid of him. The film explores the blossoming relationship between Alice and Frank, but also a parallel story from the past depicting Alice with a woman named Vera. Summerland is a moving journey into femininity, love, and friendship.
The Half of It (2020)
In The Half of It, Ellie Chu is a 17-year-old from the fictional town of Squahamish who has difficulties fitting into the social fabric of her school life. One day, she meets football player Paul Munsky, who asks her for help to write a love letter to Aster, a girl from the school. Ellie eventually agrees to give him a hand because she needs extra money to help her dad pay the house bills, but as the letter exchange between the two evolves, so do Ellie’s feelings for Aster.
Your Name Engraved Herein (2020)
Your Name Engraved Herein takes place in 1987 Taiwan. Martial law is finally abolished, but the country is far from a picture of modernization and social inclusion. The school attended by the young Jia-han and Birdy is a fitting example, with the instructors still imposing strict rules on the students. The two boys fall in love, but homosexuality is still seen as a taboo, something that could bring about dire consequences for the boys and their families. In order not to live in constant fear, Birdy begins to date a girl, triggering Jia-han’s jealousy, and creating a complicated love triangle.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)
Based on the August Wilson play of the same name, the film stars Viola Davis as the title character, a blues singer from the 1920s. Davis, a vastly talented artist and an advocate for Black rights, was also openly dating women at a time when the mere thought was taboo. In Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Davis’ performance is exceptional, as is Chadwick Boseman’s as the trumpeter Levee Green. However, the film is also an important testimony to the advancement of both Black and LGBTQ+ rights.
A Secret Love (2020)
A Secret Love is an excellent documentary that follows the lives of a baseball star and her partner, now in their 90s, who pretended to be friends for decades. The film is divided into several stories exploring their love and its perception by family members who only recently discovered their relationship. The documentary also looks at what it means to grow old together, particularly after decades of secrecy.
Celebrate Pride every day
There’s no need to wait until June to show your pride. While Netflix has a solid lineup of LGBTQ programming, some of the best films from queer directors are nowhere to be found. There are also a lot of incredible LGBTQ-inclusive games you’ll want to check out for your morning commute or on while hanging out on the beach.