This article was published on August 20th, 2018
2018 has already been a landmark year for a lot of reasons. In times of political uncertainties, the arts have always been there for expression, creativity, passion, and authentic representation. This year will see more main stream queer or gay-themed artists, television shows, and movies than ever before. LGBT movies are some of the biggest audience drawers of the year, thus far. These are the queer films to look out for in 2018:
You’d have to have been sleeping under a rock to not have heard of the coming of age romantic comedy, Love, Simon. The movie is the story of Simon, a normal high schooler who is closeted gay and begins chatting anonymously over the internet with another male student who attends his school. When his secret is discovered by a student who wants to black male him, Simon must choose between coming out and potentially sacrificing everything or keeping the friends he has while sustaining his secret and keeping his blackmailer at bay. Perhaps the first gay movie with a major studio release and massive star power, Love, Simon, starring Jennifer Garner and the ever sexy zaddy Josh Duhamel, is a must see for the queer community.
A Fantastic Woman: For the first time in history, the Academy Award for best foreign language film went to a film about and starring a transgender woman. A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantástica ) is a Chilean film starring real life trans actress Daniela Vega (who was nominated for best actress by a slew of awards shows) that drew in more than $3 million in box office revenue in the US, alone. The film tells the story of Marina, an aspiring singer and waitress who loses her partner, Orlando, to a tragic accident. Orlando’s transphobic family wants nothing to do with Marina, as she struggles to make a life without her partner. Though it was released in late 2017, A Fantastic Womanis still being shown in theaters around the globe.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post: Everyone remembers gay flick and cult classic But I’m a Cheerleader, starring Orange is the New Black’s Natasha Lyonne and RuPaul, but The Miseducation of Cameron Post is one of two movies this year that deals with the darker side of queer kids and teenagers being forced to undergo conversion therapy. When her parents are killed in a car crash, 12-year-old Cameron Post, played by up and coming actress Chloë Grace Moretz, is sent to live with her aunt until it is discovered that Cameron has lesbian tendencies and a relationship with her best girl friend. Cameron is sent to Promises, a gay conversion camp, where she struggles with her sexuality and the absurd antics of the camp. Influenced by the Zach Stark controversy, where a young boy was sent to a conversion camp after coming out to his parents, The Miseducation of Cameron Post will be a dramatic queer flick worth watching.
The second movie dealing with conversion therapy is the star-packed movie Boy Erased. With an all-star cast including Nicole Kidman, Russel Crowe, Joel Edgerton, Lucas Hedges, and pop star Troye Sivan, Boy Erased is based on personal memories and experiences in a book by Garrard Conley called Boy Erased: A Memoir. When Jared is outed as gay to his Baptist preacher father, Crowe, and mother, Kidman, they force him to attend a gay conversion therapy camp or face being shunned and ostracized by his family and friends. Set to be released later this year, Boy Erasedhas Oscar buzz written all over it. With the United Kingdom recently voting to ban them, and films like Boy Erased and The Miseducation of Cameron Post, could these movies help lead to the inevitable downfall of gay conversion therapy camps?
A little film that circulated around the indie movie festivals and finally received a release date earlier this year, Saturday Church is a flick that has had people talking for over a year, now. This fantasy musical dramedy is the story of Ulysses, a feminine gay boy trying to come to terms with his sexuality following the passing of his father. Ulysses struggles with bullying at home from his aunt and at school, until one day venturing out into the city and meeting a new family of accepting transgender and queer kids like him. Only at Saturday Church, a program every Saturday run out of a church to shelter and feed LGBT kids, does Ulysses find acceptance and the courage to stand up for himself and be who he truly is. A film written, produced, and directed by Damon Cardasis, Saturday Church is on the radar for gay not-to-be-missed flicks of 2018.
Freak Show is yet another coming of age queer dramedy. English actress and producer Trudie Styler makes her directorial debut in this queer flick about a young boy in a conservative new school who wants to run for homecoming queen. With an all-star cast including Bette Midler, Abigail Breslin, Laverne Cox, and Willa Fitzgerald, Freak Show is based on a book of the same name by author and former club kid James St. James. Young actor Alex Lawther plays Billy, a new kid relocated to an ultra-conservative high school. The Oscar Wilde-quoting, drag wearing teenager shows resilience and demands acceptance as he runs for his school’s coveted position typically reserved for girls. If there ever was a time when a movie like Freak Show was needed, now is the time.
After the band Imagine Dragons’ song “It’s Time” was sung and performed on the show Glee by one of its gay characters to his love interest, another gay boy, a surprising amount of backlash happened and was directed at the band and their Mormon lead singer, Dan Reynolds. A staunch supporter of the LGBT community, straight ally (and now muscle hottie) Reynolds partnered with HBO to star in the documentary Believer about the relationship between the queer community and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The film is told through the eyes of Reynolds who struggled with his faith during the time the Mormon church was supporting and financially backing California’s ban on marriage equality: Proposition 8. With music by Hans Zimmer and two original songs by Imagine Dragons, Believer is a not-to-be-missed movie chronicling the struggle many face between being queer and supporting your queer friends while dealing with an un-supporting church and faith.
Seen any good queer flicks to add to the list? Let us know what’s good, gay, and meant to be seen!