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PRIDE: "Different From The Others" & 70 LGBTQ+ Films That Helped Change The World

Updated: Jun 14


Contrary to popular belief, LGBTQ+ film and filmmakers didn’t suddenly appear in the 1970s. They have been a key part of the cinematic landscape since the beginning of the twentieth century.


Take, for example, 1919’s Different From the Others, directed by German filmmaker Robert Oswald. Regarded as the first openly and unapologetically pro-gay film in history, the original title of Oswald’s film, “Paragraph 175”, reflected the prevailing German law that rendered homosexuality a criminal offense.


“You must not condemn your son because he is a homosexual,” the film’s doctor tells the parents of a gay man they are trying to cure. “He is not to blame for his orientation. It is not wrong, nor should it be a crime. Indeed, it is not even an illness, merely a variation, and one that is common to all of nature. You should live to change the prejudices by which this man has been made one of the countless victims. You must restore the honor of this man and bring justice to him, and all those who came before him, and all those to come after him. Justice through knowledge!”


Progressive language for 1919, to say the least.


In response to the film, religious groups pressured the Weimar government to strengthen censorship laws. When the Nazis rose to power, Hitler ordered all prints of the movie to be destroyed. Where copies persisted, only physicians were permitted to see it, largely for the purpose of refuting its message among the public.


Nonetheless, around the world, movies continued to be made advocating for the LGBT community. In the decades that followed, Different From The Others would be held up as a shining example of the power of film to educate, inspire, and change behaviour.


In the spirit of Oswald, here are my all-time favourite films by, about, or exploring the many complex realities experienced by the LGBT community:

  1. A Boy Erased

  2. A Fantastic Woman

  3. A Single Man

  4. All About My Mother

  5. Beautiful Thing

  6. Before Night Falls

  7. Beginners

  8. Better Than Chocolate

  9. Blue is The Warmest Colour

  10. Blush

  11. Bohemian Rhapsody

  12. Boys Don’t Cry

  13. Boys In The Band

  14. Brokeback Mountain

  15. But I’m A Cheerleader

  16. Call Me By Your Name

  17. Carol

  18. Coming Out

  19. Dallas Buyers Club

  20. Dog Day Afternoon

  21. Edge of Seventeen

  22. Fireworks

  23. Gods & Monsters

  24. Heavenly Creatures

  25. Hedwig And The Angry Inch

  26. I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing

  27. If These Walls Could Talk 2

  28. Imitation Game

  29. In and Out

  30. In The Bedroom

  31. La Cage Aux Folles

  32. Looking For Langston

  33. Love Simon

  34. Making Love

  35. Maurice

  36. Milk

  37. Moonlight

  38. My Beautiful Launderette

  39. My Own Private Idaho

  40. My Summer of Love

  41. Normal

  42. Pariah

  43. Paris is Burning

  44. Parting Glance

  45. Personal Best

  46. Philadelphia

  47. Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

  48. Pride

  49. Rocketman

  50. Rocky Horror Picture Show

  51. Savings Face

  52. Shortbus

  53. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

  54. The Birdcage

  55. The Crying Game

  56. The Danish Girl

  57. The Favorite

  58. The Handmaiden

  59. The Kids Are All Right

  60. The Normal Heart

  61. The Object Of My Affection

  62. The Watermelon Woman

  63. To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything

  64. Tom At The Farm

  65. Tomboy

  66. Torch Song Trilogy

  67. Un Chant D’Amour

  68. Velvet Goldmine

  69. Victor Victoria

  70. Weekend (2011)

Happy Pride Month!



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