Pride month 2019 is almost over, but people of all sexualities and genders are still searching for ways to celebrate the LGBTQ community. For those more interested in a celebration that takes place from the comfort of your couch, look no further than our list of the best LGBT movies on Amazon Prime and the best LGBT shows on Amazon Prime.
The best LGBT movies on Amazon Prime
It takes more than the inclusion of a gay character to make entertainment fall under the LGBTQ banner. Unfortunately, there are still painfully few solid movies or series that carry the soul of the community. As we wait for the creation of more excellent LGBTQ content, these LGBTQ movies on Amazon Prime should hold you over.
1) Brokeback Mountain
On one hand, Brokeback Mountain has received plenty of deserved acclaim. On the other hand, it’s still underrated. The story of Ennis and Jack’s romance is hopeful in the moments when the two men are together and able to be honest with each other and themselves. But it is absolutely devastating when they are apart and trying to live a lie as best they can. Despite the showier moments, one of the keys to the film’s success is the way it uses quiet moments to say all that it needs to. —Eddie Strait
Based on a true story, Pride is a delightful exploration of the formation of the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign in 1984 Britain. Centered around a group of struggling miners and the gay and lesbian activists who strove to assist them, Pride approaches the serious tones of the historical event it is based on with fun and frivolity.
Carol is a devastating love story, but it’s also hopeful. The film stars Cate Blanchett in the title role as a ‘50s housewife who’s starting to come into her sexuality, and Rooney Mara as Therese, a young woman who falls for her. As the movie’s lush, gorgeous look washes over the characters, every glance, every gesture, every hint of longing becomes something profound. The story is familiar territory for director Todd Haynes, who also explored forbidden sexuality in “traditional” America with 2002’s Far from Heaven. Either one could rightly be called a melodrama, but while the former heightens emotions, the latter tempers them. Both films are haunting and beautiful, but Carol feels like the masterwork he’s been approaching his whole career. —Chris Osterndorf
4) The Hours
The Hours may not feel like it fits with the other LGBT movies on Amazon Prime genre in a traditional sense, but it earns a spot on this list for its portrayal of the search for happiness and the effects that search can have on a person. Following three different women in three different decades whose lives are connected by the Virginia Woolf novel Mrs Dalloway, this 2002 film embraces emotion, heartbreak, and societal expectations with stunning results.
5) We Were Here
While several of the movies on this list are based on true stories, We Were Here is the only documentary included. The 2011 film chronicles the rise of the HIV/AIDS crisis in San Francisco. Telling the story of an epidemic through the lens of five prominent community members, We Were Here examines a harrowing time in San Francisco’s history with grace and compassion.
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The best LGBT shows on Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime claims some truly excellent queer content—like RuPaul’s Drag Race and Queer As Folk—but only with add-ons. Without renting, purchasing or subscribing to more than Prime, some of these options disappear. Luckily, you can still find plenty of great LGBTQ shows on Amazon Prime with a basic subscription.
1) The L Word
This exceedingly gay show can be enjoyed in its entirety on Prime, so say goodbye to your next few weeks. The L Word follows a group of young lesbians and bisexuals traversing their complicated lives in West Hollywood. Intertwining character arcs and tones of love, loss, and the very human struggle of adulthood make this series a favorite for many, regardless of sexual orientation.
2) The Benefits of Gusbandry
Many people compare this 2015 comedic series to Will & Grace. The comparison isn’t invalid—Gusbandry follows a quirky straight woman and her gay best friend—but it fails to communicate what makes this series great. The biggest downside to this modern take on life, friendship and the changing classifications of “gayness” is how few episodes we have to enjoy. The Benefits of Gusbandry only has 10 episodes across two seasons, all of which are available on Amazon Prime.
I absolutely love science fiction. The escapism of a barely conceivable world has always enticed me, but I’ve long found myself disappointed by the lack of women, people of color, and characters with various sexual orientations in sci-fi series. Torchwood, which follows the exploits of a group of alien hunters, explores a broad range of themes—including homosexuality and existentialism—without making them feel like a sideshow.
This Amazon dramedy about a dysfunctional Los Angeles family and its struggles with gender and sexuality is a landmark that’s sure to go down in the history of the medium as equal parts influential and important. The show stars Maura (Jeffrey Tambor), a trans woman who comes out to her family and must handle this process in real time alongside her children and ex-wife. Transparent took a dip in quality in its fourth season, and in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, Tambor was fired from the show. But even in its weaker moments, it’s still a messy, emotional, riveting rollercoaster. In its stronger ones, it’s a masterclass in generating empathy, and one of the most profound TV shows available. —Chris Osterndorf
5) True Blood
True Blood gained wide critical acclaim for its sexy, peculiar approach to storytelling. A world very much like our own—apart from its vampire, fairy and werewolf residents—proved extremely enticing for viewers. Throw in the parallels between the fight for vampire rights and the fight for LGBTQ rights, and you have a recipe for a binge-worthy show.
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Looking for something more specific? Here are the best comedies on Amazon Prime when you need a laugh, sad movies to make you cry, kids movies for the whole family, the best thrillers to get your heart racing, and the classic movies on Amazon Prime everyone should see. If that’s not enough, here are the best Amazon Prime channels.