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Speak Out: What is the First LGBT Movie You’ve Ever Watched?

(Photo Credits: Screengrab from IMDb)

Hey, guys! Some gay netizens took to Reddit to share the very first LGBT film they’ve ever watched and along with it came the confession of how some of them were terrified to bits about getting caught by their parents while they watched their first LGBT film. Another one revealed that when he watched the film Maurice, he remembered seeing two guys kissing and thinking, “Wow… this makes sense to me.”

This brings us to the importance of the LGBT representation in films and the media in general. Often, I’d read confessions of gay men online about how a gay romance book they’ve read or a certain movie they’ve watched was the first time they’ve read or watched romance between gay people. That, and how important it is for them to be able to watch two men kiss onscreen although of course there’s more to it than that. It is actually about saying loudly that gay people exists, that we don’t have to hide, and that we can be ourselves. It’s also more about the LGBT community being able to relate and identify with the characters and circumstances depicted in the film or book. At the same time, LGBT representation in the media would give other viewers/readers a glimpse of a gay person’s life and hopefully, this would help them see the LGBT community in a new light.      

The list of reasons as to why there should be LGBT representation in the media is long but going back to the topic at hand, what about you, guys? What is the first LGBT movie you’ve ever watched? Without further ado, here are some of their answers:

1. Shelter (2007, Jonah Markowitz) – this multi-awarded film stars Trevor Wright, Brad Rowe, and Tina Holmes. It tells the story of Zach, an aspiring young artist with a complicated family life, and how he fell in love with his best friend Gabe’s older brother, Shaun. 2. Love, Simon (2018, Greg Berlanti) – Simon Spier, a 17-year-old gay high school student, holds a closely-guarded secret. What will happen if this secret comes out? 

This coming of age film is based on Becky Albertalli’s book titled Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (2015). It stars Nick Robinson, Keiynan Lonsdale, and Jennifer Garner to name a few. 

3. Beautiful Thing (1996, Hettie MacDonald) – tells the love story of Jamie (Glen Berry) and Ste (Scott Neal). Jamie—who is crushing on Ste—is an introvert making him an open target for bullying at school. He is just discovering his sexuality while Ste on the other hand, is the teen who lives in the flat next door with his drug-dealing brother and abusive, alcoholic father.4. Maurice (1987, James Ivory) – follows the coming of age of Maurice Hall (played by actor James Wilby) as a gay man in Edwardian England, an era when homosexuality was regarded as “the unspeakable vice of the Greeks” and was punishable by law. The film also stars Hugh Grant as Clive Durham and Rupert Graves as Alec Scudder.

Happy viewing!


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    • wesley

      Same here. Making Love. But I hated the ending. Why couldn’t Clair and Zach remain friends? The ending leads you to believe that they will never see or talk to each other again. Why?

  1. Nathan

    NATHAN WRITES:

    The first film I saw which was either directly or indirectly related to Gay Themes were: “Z” and “Fortunes in men’s eyes.”

    Both were the very late sixties; also, “Midnight Cowboy” had a sub-plot about male hustling which, as we know, was/is gay.

  2. Jim

    The first would have been the marvelous “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” with Burl Ives, Paul Newman, and Elizabeth Taylor. I was 11 or 12; it made a big impression on me, besides its being a great movie. Next would have been “I Am A Camera,” an European art film based on Christopher Isherwood’s famous Berlin Stories. The Goodbye to Berlin story had already been made into a stage play before “I am a Camera”. “Goodbye to Berlin” was then subsequently made into the fabulous stage musical and 1972 film “Cabaret”, starring Joel Grey and Liza Minelli. Next was “Suddenly Last Summer,” starring Kathryn Hepburn, Montgomery Clift, and Elizabeth Taylor, a very well done but dark movie. Of the explicitly gay movies advertised as such was the revealing but depressing “Boys in the Band.” Fortunately, what with a gay married man running for President, things have turned out much better than “Boys in the Band” prognosticated.

    • Hunter4B

      I only recently discovered that “Brick” is holding a secret … never saw or heard of the next few you mentioned. What a great writer you are, and loved your point in the last line! – H4B

  3. Steve

    Good God, I hope ‘Love, Simon’ isn’t the first “gay” film anyone sees, it will scar them for life!
    What an awful movie with a truly self-serving asshole of a main character!

    • Tim

      WoW !!!!!! That’s harsh. They were high School teenagers. What good looking 17 or 18 year old white privileged teenager isn’t self serving and totally self absorbed. Get real. It was a cute movie !!!!!!

      • Steve

        Rather than be outed he was prepared to throw anyone — including his closest friends — under the bus. Add to that pretty much everyone in the cast looks 30+ and the secret admirer reveal is like something out of a fifties musical.
        Sorry but it’s an awful example.

      • Edward

        >WoW !!!!!! That’s harsh. They were high School teenagers. What good looking 17 or 18 year old white privileged teenager isn’t self serving and totally self absorbed. Get real. It was a cute movie !!!!!!

        And? It doesn’t mean that we should make those the qualities of our protagonist.

        They glorified that attitude and mindset, they didn’t condemn it.

        Teens (and all people) are impressionable. Stop surrounding yourself with shitty examples of how to live.

  4. Hunter0500

    Brokeback Mountain. Out of town on business. Got up the balls to go to “that movie” by myself. lol.

    “… there should be LGBT representation in the media…” Of course!!! And there should be just as much LGBTQ+whatever as there is women, Black, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and others. Oh, and to be fair, White. There should be White as well.

    • Steve

      I maintain that if any anti-gay/gay conversion group needed a single piece of propaganda which would instantly scare someone straight, ‘Brokeback’ is it: Everyone in it lies (to themselves and each other) and then die unhappy. Ya gotta look REAL hard to find the positive in this movie.

      • TOM

        It feels so true about being gay in a certain place and time. It’s a period piece. We’ve come a long ways since then (early 80s is when the movie ends). Ennis’ deep love for Jack at the end is tragic but profound. We learn the lessons of the past to make a better future, and I find that very positive. I feel the same way about The Boys in the Band.

  5. Hunter0500

    Had time to review the trailers. All of them had one common issue … the announcement, the coming out.

    In my career, I have worked for painfully conservative companies. Have had two times now when at a company function where each employee brought a guest. At two separate evens, two of our guys brought their guys. Our guys had never discussed their guys in the office before. When our guys introduced their guys, the response each time was …. unremarkable. And as we got to know our guys’ guys during the function, why they were guys made sense.

    And yes, the next time we met at work, there was discussion between us and our guys about their guys and why they were their guys. Both times of the “your guy is cool” variety.

    It’s 2019.

    • Tim

      One of my favorite memories as a teenager was going with my best friend in 1981 taking the bus to the movies and sneaking into the theater in Hollywood FL we thought unobserved and watching Kate Jackson who we knew and loved from Charlie’s Angel’s and Harry Hamlin and Michael Ontkean kiss . Wow it was eye opening. Greatest movie ever. And I loved the ending and that she named the kid Rupert!!!

    • Marcus

      It was a movie called “Cover”. It caught me completely off guard because I had no idea it was going to be a down low movie with gay sex. I’m sure that was the intent from the movie maker.

  6. Steve

    Pretty sure the first overtly gay-themed thing I saw was the ABC Movie of the Week (remember those?) ‘That Certain Summer’ with Hal Holbrook and Martin Sheen. It was comparatively controversial largely for being one of the first portrayals of a same-sex couple which wasn’t condemning.
    As with what seems so many others here, the first I saw in a theatre was most likely ‘Making Love.’

    • Edward

      As I said was my first gay movie. I was surprised there wasn’t more controversy at the time. Still remember thinking how hot they both were.
      Does anyone remember The Louds on PBS?

  7. TEXSON2K

    The first: ‘ Norman,Is That You? ‘ followed by ‘ Ganja & Hess ‘, ‘ Looking for Langston ‘
    then ‘ Tongues Untied ‘

    • Dmgds

      “Norman is thatYou?” i saw it when it was 25= y\o. My mom thought it were funny and shared it with her young kids (me and my younger sister). Something awakward took place around that time with short-time-neighbor, opposite-sex-ferternal-twins. Life is weird! when i came home it were really strange b-cause my mom, sis, and only step dad i’ve had, knew or felt what happened. i forgot about that until reading these blogs(texson2k specifically).

      flipping through channels, i once saw men smashing in the shower. I watched it enough that day to find it were “Queer as Folk”. later i watched it enough to find that there was too much gay-talk and not enough gay-sex. i found myself closely ear-monitoring the halway, and all movements in this young woman’s home, with the tv crazy low in volume, so eagerly waiting to see some more white ass getting fucked. I’d wake up in the morning feeling like a pathetic secret-hiding pedofile. (even though i was like 12 watching old men fuckung on tv). somethin ironic happend there too which made me wonder if it were worth watchin though it wasnt enoughg fucking. though my dick would do jumpimg-jacks through the waiting.

      u.s. of tara. it was only interesting to see him start liking the guy. then irritating to see him persue him on top of whatever he was trying with the girl. Regardless though, the show was one of my favorite. They scenes made me want to know what…

      …”brokeback mountain”‘s sex scenes and story was about. 4-5 years late wit my bf and another friend. oops! what happened there is obvious. the 100% un-vers thing was incredibly dumb! dumb! dumb! Then heath dies in real life. damn. wasnt that du.. um .. a’lmost was that dumb!
      Ha then Jake is a ego fucked mystereo later. (Extraordinarily dumb)

      :moonlight” okay. that’s all? that’ll do I guess. But i didnt see that coming at all. wasnt hard to watch at all LMADO! What happens that week, I see I miss the maturity of such dumb situations often. Everything more would usually piss me off later, at some point, anyway. Cuz that was dumb too. But nothing-dumb compared to broke back. Or my daydreams.

  8. Ryan M.

    I first saw “Beautiful Thing” (1996) near the time I was a freshman in high school. I would have liked to have seen the play, but to my knowlege, that had only been in the UK. Thank goodness for cable TV though. I think it aired on IFC. I watched it in the middle of the night, not in sight of my parents. My memory of it is fond having this exposure to a gay storyline when I wasn’t out.

    Years later, I came across “Cruising” (1980). Also on cable TV. Al Pacino’s character at the end seemed to be played as not quite done with the cruising scene even though I seem to recall he was officially done with playing the under cover cop monitoring cruising activity.

  9. chutedoggerD

    Boys In The Band. I remember kinda liking it because I knew people who resembled each of the characters, but at the same time didn’t like it because the main character was so angry it seemed at himself for being gay.

  10. Tim

    Making Love in 1972 with Kate Jackson, Harry Hamlin, and Michael Ontkean was a great movie for the time ,, it was during a time of still a lot of suspicion and unknown facts about Aids and I say Aids because it was still the time that term was used not HIV yet. But me and my best friend took the bus to the theater in Hollywood FL to see two men kiss on the big screen. It was amazing , I was only 18 yrs old and to see this moving was so amazing. Thanks

  11. hank austin

    First gay movie for me was “Making Love”.. I was enthralled, as a 17 year old, that such a movie was on the big screen (it had just been released) at a time when I TRULY knew I was gay!

  12. Serge

    My first was Cruising with Al Pacino. As a young, gay teen it was probably not the best movie to start with and left me a little unsure if I’d ever want to be around the leather or even the gay community..
    Needless to say that was short lived once I started to get to know what the real world was like 🙂

  13. Charles Graham

    My first was the original La Cage aux Folles when it first came out in original French in Montreal.
    the second, was original Maurice after I had read the book.

  14. Greg

    I remember standing in line on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C., in 1982 to see MAKING LOVE, where just waiting outside to buy a ticket was a sexual and political statement. When I moved to Los Angeles in 1987, visiting some of the locations where the movie was filmed brought a special thrill. And even now, hearing the theme song by Roberta Flack brings back many memories of being young and recently out of the closet. The movie was a mark of progress right before the setback of AIDS. I admire the actors, especially Kate Jackson, for their courage in making a statement in a very challenging time.

  15. Jim47

    I think my first one was Andy Warhol’s Trash, starring Joe Dallesandro and Holly Woodlawn. Joe was quite handsome. I eventually saw Heat with Joe and Sylvia Miles (RIP) and Flesh, also with Joe. Andy directed, in some cases, but I think it was mostly Paul Morrissey. Andy Warhol Theater in the Village……the 70’s, of course.

  16. Kevone11

    Don’t forget reflections in a golden eye, from 1967,,with Brando and Liz Taylor,,Taylor made a lot of these themed movies,,,and what a champion for the cause,,she is missed

  17. Luigi Nonono

    I think it was A Very Natural Thing, which is still one of the best. Or Teorema by Pasolini. Other early ones were To Forget Venice by Franco Brusati, try and find that one.

  18. DeLuca Wannabe

    Probably my first gay film was also “Making Love”… Harry Hamlin was a spectacularly hot man back in those days. Evidently both Hamlin and Ontkean suffered repercussions to their careers from doing that film. That was shortly followed by “My Beautiful Laundrette” (the sex scene towards the end where Daniel Day-Lewis swigs champagne from the bottle, then drizzles it into his lover’s mouth is still incredibly hot). Then “Maurice”… a wonderful film by Merchant & Ivory, with an excellent story, beautiful cinematography, a gorgeous score, and a terrific cast. I actually didn’t get around to seeing “Cruising” and “The Boys in the Band” till much later, on DVD. Both excellent films, in different ways, although they both address the effects of internalized homophobia in men.

  19. Philip

    The first was “Making Love” in 1982, and the second was “Parting Glances” in Atlanta, Summer 1986. (The theater was in a gay part of town, but I don’t remember if it was Ansley Square area or Cheshire Bridge.)

  20. Jim

    I knew about “The Children’s Hour” at the time but never saw it until maybe 50 years later on early Netflix (on which such old movies don’t seem available any more). Of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” I knew of the catchy title and probably read a review, but I didn’t see it when it came out, and I really have no recollection of every seeing it, or if I did, I’ve forgotten the performances. The question was about “first” movies one had seen, and I didn’t see either of those “first”!

    • Nathan

      Jim:

      I will be 73 in August of 2019. The movies of which I wrote were a product of my time…particularly, during my teaching years, at two, distinct, community colleges.

      Subsequently, I saw many of the aforementioned Gay Film but, most of them, were tainted with “Political Correctness” and “Propaganda” both of which I detest.

      However, depending on whatever year were were born, what films we remember reflect our time.

  21. Joel Rivera

    The very first movie I ever saw that dealt with gay issues was “THE BIRDCAGE” . It is a comedy but it exposes very well the issues of homophobia and at the end show that in reality you don’t have to hide, you can be gay and people will have to deal with it. Straight and gay people should learn how to love each other.

  22. T.

    My first gay movie was “Love! Valor! Compassion!”, watching it in the late 90’s. It was awful to watch back then with the sad stereotypes overpowering the plot, but now, it offers a snap shot into life and culture at that time. Little did I know that back then, the social gatherings and comaradery of gay men depicted in that movie, was the absolute best depiction of gay life. Fast forward to my mid 30’s, with flake culture, lack of involvement in the community, social anxiety, and addiction/ mental health issues with most of the gay males I know, I long for the invitations to brunch socials, networking, and interaction with other gay men out in the world around me, just like the freinds in “Love! Valor! Compassion!” had…

  23. Mike

    Dog Day Afternoon. Yes for me because the character wanted to rob the bank to help pay for his partners sex change operation. As a young kid, he had a major impression on me. Then Brokeback Mountain. I Cried and saw so much of me in that film.

  24. Charles Hanagan

    Making Love was the first movie I saw in the theater, it was the mid to late 70’s. And Harry Hamlin, and Kate Jackson stared in it. So I was still in elementary school, and to see on the big screen one man kiss another man, well back then at that point it was totally mind blowing.

  25. TOM

    I’m a bit older… My first clearly gay movie was “That Certain Summer” on TV when I was 14 or 15. I was enthralled AND terrified.

    • kevone11

      Deliverance? lol, not a gay movie,,,but it did have that hillbilly rape scene, sort of erotic,,but i think it was meant to terrify you than turn you on,,,of course you could have gotten excited by Burt Reynolds and his moustache,,he was hot,

  26. Rudee

    Cruising…about a serial killer on the hunt for gay guys so he could them while they sucked him off…was really scary and made you stop and think before you had sex with any guy…but in the end gay lives mattered won…next Making love…

  27. Rudee

    Cruising…about a serial killer on the hunt for gay guys so he could kill them while they sucked him off…was really scary and made you stop and think before you had sex with any guy…but in the end gay lives mattered won…next Making love…

  28. Mark

    Doing Time on Maple Drive — or something very similar to that name. It was a TV movie. Starred William McNamara I think was his name. I enjoyed it. Sad at times. Asshole dad.

  29. R

    My Beautiful Launderette, waaay back in 1986. Ironically, my girlfriend at the time had told me about what a great movie it was. It’s the first time I saw two men making out, and immediately became iconic for me.
    Thanks for asking……

  30. Eric

    To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar

    Not only was this my first gay themed movie, I had tickets to see it with select others before it was released.

  31. David

    I am surprised no one mention the French film L’ AMOUR. Kind of a coming of age, yet wonderfully done. The love between a young closeted man and a man in his later 20’s. Trying to make him choose between being out or being ridiculed by his family as he had a cousin who committed suicide rather deal with being gay, a very moving movie. I cried…so touching

  32. David

    That wasn’t my first movie. I guess I would have to say “Ode to Billy Joe” Sad movie. I have since learned that most of the earlier gay films the gay man usually dies in the end. More recently it’s much better, yet still we are looked at as something is wrong with us. BLAH!!!

  33. Dylan

    Cruising with Al Pacino. I was like 6yo. I snuck down to the basement and put it on. My dad walked in and asked what I was watching. I said some Al Pacino movie. He said,”ahhhh he’s a good Italian. Don’t stay up too late.” I was trying to keep track of bandana colors and what they meant. I knew right then I wanted cock.


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