6th September 2018 was a true triumph for the LGBTQ community in India. That day, the law that criminalised the community was declared unconstitutional and abolished. Almost 2 years later, our society is trying to perceive the queer community and stop the brutal discrimination against it. One way to bring this awareness is via big-screens. Cinema is known to influence societal behaviour.

Tons of movies showcase the hardships that this community face because of their sexual identity. The sole objective of these movies is to combat for fair share of equality for the LGBTQ group. In the honour of Pride month, we have listed a few classic must-watch LGBTQ movies with a strong message and learning

1. Call Me by Your Name

Along with it being a love story between a teenage boy and an adult man, ‘Call Me by Your Name’ is also a reflection on parenting. Mr Perlman accepts his 17-year-old son, Elio (Timothée Chalamet), for who he is and in no way tries to meddle with his feelings towards the 24-year-old Oliver (Arnie Hammer). He exhibits righteous and responsible parenting by comprehending the relationship between Elio and Oliver which is “more than just friendship”.

Sadly, such an understanding from the parents is sometimes a dream for most gay kids and adults.

2. Dallas Buyers Club

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Rayon(Jared Leto) is a sensitive character with a million emotions who has normal expectations out of her life – just like you and me. 

Her story is an impeccable mirror image of the adversities faced by transgender community and the insensitivity of people towards them. Amongst all, the moment that hurts her most is when her father ‘thanks’ her for dressing up like a man and treats her like an embarrassment, before Rayon reveals that she has AIDS.

The movie portrays how society takes away the right to live a normal life from transgenders just because they are different.

3. Bohemian Rhapsody

The movie is based on the real life of music prodigy Freddie Mercury who is a bisexual.

The storyline harps on the reality of bi-erasure (the tendency to ignore evidence of bisexuality) faced by bisexuals on a daily basis. They are either tagged as “gay” or “not gay enough”, vehemently ignoring their true innate sexual identity and feelings.

Freddie suffers a similar brawl which led to an inner disruption of emotions making him vulnerable and alone despite his glamorous life.

4. Kapoor & Sons

It is not so common for Indian cinema to cast one of the lead characters as gay.

The movie shows the clear denial of an Indian mother when her son comes out to her. Rahul is shown explaining to his mother that being gay changes nothing. In the meltdown scene, Rahul (Fawad Khan) poses an intriguing question to his mother(Ratna Pathak): ‘If she is saddened by his lies or by his reality’, a question every parent of gay kid must answer to themselves.

Indian society has a long way to go but movies like these develop a perspective to accept the identity of LGBTQ people. 

5. Brokeback Mountain

Ennis and Jack, two Wyoming cowboys, fall in love which is forbidden. Like most gay couple they are reluctant to face the world.  And so they end-up getting married to their respective girlfriends despite being gay. 

After almost 4 years, Ennis and Jack rekindle their affection only to part ways again. Jack’s death traumatizes Ennis who is left to live his whole life thinking if they could have done something to celebrate their love openly. 

This movie is a real-life story for many homosexual people, who out of fear of not being accepted, spend their lives living a lie. 

6. Angry Indian Goddesses

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Frieda and Nargis decided to tie the knot in a closed ceremony with the support of just their girlfriends. This is when Section 377 of IPC was still live. The concerns shown by Pam, one of Frieda’s girlfriend, projects the daunting reality of the mind-set of people towards lesbians. 

At the time of its release, this movie was quite ahead of its time and in many ways is an encompassment of mortifying struggles faced by Indian women. 

7. Moonlight

Life of black people has never been easy in America and that is clearer now given the worldwide #BlackLivesMatter protest. 

Chiron’s life is a reflection of the difficult journey that a black homosexual man faces to create his place in American society. His sexual identity becomes his biggest curse. In many ways, the movie gives a glimpse of how racism tagged with non-acceptance of homosexuality has become a living sin for many people in America.

Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company.