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As someone who celebrates pride month, June is the time of year when I look for any chance I can to appreciate and embrace my truth and movies are a great way to do that. So, when you take a break from parties, parades, and rallies you should check out these eight must see films focusing on the LGBTQ community.

Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche Cast: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux
This raw, powerful and sex-heavy French film follows a 15-year-old schoolgirl named Adèle who is lusting for her first love when she meets Emma, a slightly older art student who she begins an intense yet complicated relationship with spanning the course of a decade. Blue is the Warmest Color has some of the rawest sex scenes that borders between compassionate to scandalous, but one things for sure, you can’t take your eyes off it.
Available for streaming on Netflix.

Moonlight (2016)

Director: Barry Jenkins Cast: Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Janelle Monáe, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali
Moonlight tells the emotional and heart wrenching story of a young man’s journey to find himself and come to terms with his sexuality through three defining chapters in his life. We follow Chiron, from childhood to adulthood as he learns to accept the complexities of his situation in his home and school life as well as into young adulthood. While the film covers a lot of difficult issues you can’t help but feel optimistic about one man’s story that is too rarely seen on screen.
Available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

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Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Director: Luca Guadiagnino Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg,
Based on the praised novel by André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name follows Elio, a 17-year-old boy who stays at his family’s summer home in Northern Italy, where he meets Oliver, an older man who is working under Elio’s father. The two begin a relationship where they bond over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and living in Italy. The film offers a look at a summer romance that will alter their lives forever. Come for the beautiful coming-of-age-romance and stay for the Apricot scene... Just trust me.
Available for streaming on Amazon and iTunes.

Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

Director: Kimberly Peirce Cast: Hilary Swank, Peter Sarsgaard, Chloë Sevigny
Based on the true story of Brandon Teena, born Teena Brandon, Boys Don't Cry follows a transgender man who chose to live his truth and suffered tragic consequences as a result. Hilary Swank gives an incredible performance that garnered her the Best Actress prize at the 1999 Oscars. This biography drama shows the courage it takes to be yourself and opened minds and hearts alike to transgenders at the turn of the millennium.
Available for streaming on Amazon and iTunes.

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Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Director: Ang Lee Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Anne Hathaway
This epic love story follows a ranch-hand and a cowboy who begin their relationship as budding friends, but quickly strike up a passionate romance that lasts all summer. The film explores a connection that lasts a life time and whose struggles and heartaches provide a testament to the power of true love. Brokeback Mountain made over $140 million worldwide and scored eight Oscar nominations, making it a hard film to beat as the highest grossing gay romance in history.
Available for streaming on Amazon and iTunes.

Carol (2015)

Director: Todd Haynes Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler
Based on the novel “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith, set to the backdrop of a 1950s Manhattan, Therese, a young department-store clerk meets Carol, a beautiful older woman who is stuck in a depressing marriage. When their bond begins to deepen they become romantically involved, but Carol finds she may not be able to leave her husband when he starts to raise questions. While I could tell you more about its beautiful cinematography and brilliant story telling this should sell you on it: Cate Blanchett + Rooney Mara + Sarah Paulson as lesbians, what else do you need to hear?
Available for streaming on Netflix.

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Philadelphia (1993)

Director: Jonathan Demme Cast: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas
This is a film I have to recommend to everyone, just because of its relevance when it first hit theaters in 1993. Philadelphia was the first big-budget Hollywood film to tackle the political, medical, and social issues of AIDS. Tom Hanks stars in his first Academy Award-winning performance as Andrew Becket, a homosexual lawyer who contracts the disease. Apart from having an incredibly talented group of actors delivering incredible performances, this is a piece of history that anyone who has a sense of compassion and justice can understand while shedding light on an urgent problem.
Available for streaming on Amazon and iTunes.

Love, Simon (2018)

Director: Greg Berlanti Cast: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner
If you're looking for a happy, feel-good movie, Love, Simon is your film. Think of it as a gay John Hughes film that hits the coming-of-age beats with a long overdue sense of inclusion. Based on the book "Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda" by Becky Albertalli, the film follows 17-year old Simon who has yet to tell his family and friends he’s gay and that he’s fallen in love with an anonymous classmate online. This film captures the hilarious, awkward and life-changing events that happen as you come of age. No matter who you are, I guarantee you won’t be able to stop smiling.
Available for streaming on Amazon and iTunes.

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