The 20 Best LGBTQ+ Romance Movies & Where to Watch Them

From heartwarming to heart-wrenching, here are our top picks.
The 20 Best LGBTQ+ Romance Movies
Photos, left to right: Amazon, Netflix
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Brittany Barber
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Brittany Barber
The Knot Contributor
  • From top movie picks to celebrity scoops and travel advice, Brittany writes on a wide range of topics for The Knot.
  • While Brittany is a contributing writer for The Knot Worldwide, she also provides shopping content for publications like BuzzFeed, CTV and The National Post.
  • Brittany has a Bachelor of Arts in media and communications studies, along with minors in creative writing, theater studies and music performance....
Updated Jan 17, 2024

range from the heartwarming to the heart-wrenching. The best LGBTQ+ movies entertain and often educate, challenging stereotypes and fostering a deeper understanding of the LGBTQ+ community's experiences. This collection of rom-coms and romance movies showcases a wide scope of LGBTQ+ films from different parts of the world, spanning various genres and eras.

From the beautiful coming-of-age story in Moonlight to the intricate period drama of Carol, each film provides a unique window into the lives, struggles and triumphs of LGBTQ+ characters. Whether portraying the subtle nuances of everyday life or the grand gestures of romantic love, these films offer a mosaic of plots that resonate with LGBTQ+ audiences and allies alike. And they aren't just about the LGBTQ+ experience; they're about the human experience, with themes that transcend sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Knot's LGBTQ+ Romance Movies Ranking

My Beautiful Laundrette
Photo: Amazon

When it comes to LGBTQ movies we love, here are our top picks.

Most Nostalgic: My Own Private Idaho

Steamiest: Blue is the Warmest Color

Tear-Jerker: My First Summer

Best Comfort Film: Love, Simon

Most Underrated: My Beautiful Laundrette

Read on for our complete list of the 20 best LGBTQ+ romance movies.

Moonlight

Moonlight presents a poignant story of Chiron, a young black man grappling with his identity and sexuality while growing up in a rough Miami neighborhood. Told across his three life stages (childhood, adolescence and early adult life), it's a deeply personal and touching portrayal of self-discovery and love.

Release Date: September 2, 2016 | Watch Trailer

Carol

Carol film for the best LGBTQ+ films
Photo: Netflix

Set in 1950's New York, Carol tells the story of a forbidden affair between an aspiring young photographer and an older woman going through a difficult divorce. Starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, this LGBTQ romance movie beautifully captures the complexities of love and the societal pressures of the time.

Release Date: November 27, 2015 | Watch Trailer

My First Summer

Set in the Australian countryside, My First Summer tells the story of two teenage girls who find solace in each other while dealing with personal tragedies. It's a delicate exploration of young love, identity and the healing power of connection.

Release Date: October 24, 2020 | Watch Trailer

Blue is the Warmest Color

This incredibly intimate French film follows the life and love of a young woman named Adèle. It explores her deep emotional and sexual connection with another woman, Emma, capturing the intensity, heartbreak and passion of first love.

Release Date: October 9, 2013 | Watch Trailer

Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name
Photo: Netflix

Starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name is based off of André Aciman's novel of the same name. In Italy in the 1980s, a romantic relationship blossoms between a 17-year-old boy and an older doctoral student who's working as an intern for the boy's father.

Release Date: January 19, 2018 | Watch Trailer

Disobedience

Disobedience tells the story of a woman who returns to her Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her for her attraction to a childhood friend. It delves into themes of faith, sexuality and personal liberation.

Release Date: April 27, 2018 | Watch Trailer

Ammonite

Set in 1840s England, Ammonite is loosely based on the life of British palaeontologist Mary Anning (played by Kate Winslet). It follows the intense relationship that develops between Mary and Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan), a young woman sent to convalesce by the sea.

Release Date: November 13, 2020 | Watch Trailer

My Own Private Idaho

This groundbreaking gay romance film follows two friends living on the fringes of society as they embark on a journey of personal discovery. It blends themes of love, friendship and the search for family.

Release Date: September 29, 1991 | Watch Trailer

Love, Simon

Love, Simon film for the best LGBTQ+ movie
Photo: Amazon

When it comes to charming LGBTQ+ romance movies, you won't want to miss this heartwarming coming-of-age story. It follows Simon, a closeted gay teen navigating life in high school. If you loved this film, watch Love, Victor, a series set in the same world as Love, Simon.

Release Date: March 16, 2018 | Watch Trailer

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire tells the story of a forbidden romance between an aristocrat and a female painter commissioned to paint her portrait. Set in 18th century France, this film is a mesmerizing period piece that explores themes of desire, art and memory.

Release Date: February 14, 2020 | Watch Trailer

Elisa & Marcela

This Spanish film recounts the true story of Elisa Sánchez Loriga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas, two women who posed as a heterosexual couple in order to be together. They married under their heterosexual guise in 1901 Spain, becoming the first same-sex couple to be married in Spain — but were eventually discovered and were forced to flee the country.

Release Date: May 24, 2019 | Watch Trailer

Happy Together

Happy Together film
Photo: Amazon

Happy Together tells the story of a tumultuous romance between two men from Hong Kong who are living in exile in Buenos Aires. The film explores themes of love, loneliness and the struggle of maintaining a relationship in a foreign land.

Release Date: February 13, 2019 | Watch Trailer

The World To Come

Set in the 19th century, this film explores the intimate relationship between two neighboring women in an isolated rural area, against the backdrop of hardship and frontier life. It's a story of connection and longing in a time of immense challenge.

Release Date: September 6, 2020 | Watch Trailer

My Beautiful Laundrette

Set in 1980s London, My Beautiful Laundrette tells the story of a young British Pakistani man who opens a laundrette with his white boyfriend. It explores issues of race, class and sexuality in Thatcher-era Britain.

Release Date: November 16, 1985 | Watch Trailer

Maurice

Starring Hugh Grant, James Willby and Rupert Graves, Maurice is based on the 1971 novel by E.M. Forster. It tells the story of a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality in early 20th-century England, a time when it was illegal to be gay.

Release Date: September 15, 1987 | Watch Trailer

Beautiful Thing

Beautiful Thing, based on Jonathan Harvey's play of the same name, portrays a tender story set in a working-class area of Southeast London. It follows the romance between two teenage boys, Jamie and Ste, who discover love and joy despite tough circumstances.

Release Date: June 21, 1996 | Watch Trailer

The Way He Looks

The Way He Looks film
Photo: Amazon

This Brazilian film tells the coming-of-age story of a blind teenager, Leonardo, who yearns for independence. His life takes an unexpected turn when he falls in love with a new classmate, Gabriel.

Release Date: April 10, 2014 | Watch Trailer

My Summer of Love

Based on the 2001 novel of the same name, this LGBTQ+ romance movie is set in the English countryside. It follows the passionate romance that develops between two young women (played by Natalie Press and Emily Blunt), who come from completely different classes and backgrounds.

Release Date: November 5, 2004 | Watch Trailer

Imagine Me & You

Imagine Me & You is an LGBTQ+ romantic comedy-drama that revolves around a newlywed woman who finds herself falling for a female florist. The film playfully navigates through themes of love, commitment and the unexpected turns life can take.

Release Date: January 27, 2006 | Watch Trailer

Bound

This neo-noir thriller presents the story of a woman who desires to escape her mafia-affiliated boyfriend as she develops a romantic relationship with a female ex-con. The film is known for its stylish direction and the exploration of themes such as betrayal and loyalty.

Release Date: October 4, 1996 | Watch Trailer

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