Digital Pride is the only global Pride dedicated to enabling everyone to be part of a Pride, whoever they are and wherever they live in the world. This year, we are focusing on tackling loneliness and isolation. It takes place on Gay Star News from 29 April to 5 May 2019. Find out more.
1 Love, Simon (2018)
Never has a mainstream romcom been gayer. Directed by Greg Berlanti, the husband of gay US soccer star Robbie Rogers, LGBTI cast and crew members’ points of view feel infused at every turn in Love, Simon. Although admittedly, the main character – played by Nick Robinson – is very, very safe and straight-acting.
However, this does serve the story, and whatever your view on straight actors playing gay, certain castings make perfect sense when you see them on screen. With his puppy dog eyes and warm, kind voice, Nick is totally adorable in this Keiynan Lonsdale-costarring movie with one of the happiest – and most ridiculous – endings in cinema.
2 Pride (2014)
Let’s face it: LGBTI-themed cinema can often be pretty depressing, can’t it? Pride, on the other hand, is glorious. The ending, for example – and this isn’t really giving away any spoilers – sees a gang of passionate LGBTI activists cross London’s Westminster Bridge during a brief interlude in a storm, bathed in golden sunlight. It’s a beautiful moment.
Based on a true story, Pride also offers a primer on an important saga in UK LGBTI history: specifically, the unlikely alliance between London-based queers and Welsh miners who team up to take on Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government. Historical dramas can be unbearably dour, but Pride is fabulously silly and pleasingly serious in equal measure.
3 The Next Best Thing (2000)
Madonna’s filmography is so mocked, it’s easy to forget there are some gems in there – and that she won the 1997 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for Evita. But to have followed that up with this thinly-acted and plotted light comedy was misguided.
In it, Madge’s dislikable character Abbie jerks around gay BFF Robert (Rupert Everett, drenched in stereotype but generally being very cute). And it’s not like they are disagreeing over brunch plans either – rather, the weightier subject of how to bring up an unplanned child. Nevertheless, the film is inexplicably compelling and is proud a member of the ‘so bad it’s good’ canon.
4 The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (1994)
One of the most enduring LGBTI movies of all time, and also one of the most vibrant and colourful, Priscilla is a simple road movie at heart. In it, two gigging drag queens and a trans woman – played by Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp – cross the Australian Outback aboard a fabulous bus called Priscilla. It certainly beats our morning commute.
While we wouldn’t want to see its legacy tarnished, we wouldn’t be surprised if Priscilla gets remake in the coming years as its themes are all so pertinent – not least how seriously it takes the art of drag.
Digital Pride is the only global Pride and is dedicated to enabling everyone to be part of a Pride, whoever they are and wherever they live in the world. This year, we are focusing on tackling loneliness and isolation. It takes place on Gay Star News from 29 April to 5 May 2019. Find out more.
5 G.B.F. (2015)
A few years before Love, Simon came along, G.B.F. tried to motivate the masses with a similarly-packaged offering, but to lesser effect. This is a crying shame. G.B.F. is a glossily-produced teen comedy with a pretty subversive story, in which a high schooler’s popularity skyrockets after he’s outed.
Michael J. Willett– himself gay – is a dream in the role of Tanner; elsewhere, a trio of ferocious supporting actresses play the popular girls (played by Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen and Xosha Roquemore). They’re zingy one liners make this a spiritual cousin (or first cousin?) of Mean Girls. Also, JoJo and Natasha Lyonne have cameos. What’s not to love?!
6 This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous (2017)
Gigi Gorgeous is one of the most popular online personalities working today. Not to mention, one of the world’s most famous trans women. But how did she get there? Recounting her story, This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous sees the star get candid about her ups and downs. There’s an authenticity to its traditional documentary feel here that YouTube/Instagram, with their real and metaphorical filters, can’t beat.
Ultimately, it’s an inspiring watch: an intimate, detailed portrait of a person beautiful inside and out, in full control of her life, career and mission.
7 The Object of My Affection (1998)
I’m not interested in his Ant-Man, I’m bored of his middle-aged bros, and I even disliked his Mike in Friends. (Phoebe should’ve ended up with Joey). But I do like Paul Rudd because: the 90s. Specifically, his adorably dorky Josh in 1994’s Clueless and, of course, George in The Object of My Affection.
Will & Grace explored the oft-complex gay man-straight woman dynamic more affectively when it debuted later that year. (And that plunged into cliche a lot, too..) But W&G once having romantic feelings for each other? Never bought it. The ambiguous chemistry between Paul and Jennifer Aniston here, however, is palpable. In our more sexually-fluid times, perhaps this under-appreciated film is due a reevaluation?
8 My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
The Next Best Thing/The Object of My Affection clearly borrowed from a central relationship dynamic in My Best Friend’s Wedding. In it, a gay man and a straight woman blur the lines of their relationship when the latter ropes in the former to pose as her boyfriend to help her crash a wedding. Breezy, crowd-pleasing hilarity ensues.
Yes, the end result is essentially a straight woman’s story. (And thusly, a Julie Roberts star vehicle-and-a-half). And sure, some will balk at its straight audience palatability. But for its time, this bubbly, near-perfect romantic comedy has have a nice touch of queerness about it. And once again, it’s got Rupe stealing every scene he’s in with his sparkling humour.
What is Digital Pride?
Digital Pride is the online movement, created by Gay Star News, so you can take part in Pride whoever and wherever you are. Even if you are from a country where being LGBTI is criminalized or leaves you in danger – it’s a Pride festival you can be a part of.
In 2019, Digital Pride is tackling loneliness and isolation with articles and videos connecting LGBTI people. Join us by reaching out to someone who needs it. The festival takes place on Gay Star News from 29 April to 5 May 2019. Find out more.