June is Pride Month, and there’s lots you can do to celebrate with your kids. You can
go to a Pride parade as a family, learn about LGBTQ+ history, or maybe just be more intentional and inclusive in the media you and your kiddos are consuming. Fortunately, filmmakers are out there, ready to tell these diverse, important stories in a way that families can enjoy together. While many of these skew a bit older — more appropriate for teens than toddlers — we’ve compiled a list of family-friendly LGBTQ+ movies that has something for everyone.
Now, even as recognition and
acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community is on the rise, these important stories are still few and far between in the media landscape. While TV shows have featured more and more diverse characters in recent years, it remains particularly difficult to find family-friendly LGBTQ+ movies, often because these stories (problematically) often focus on the painful, violent, R-rated struggles of gay and lesbian folks. (Bisexual, trans, and other populations encapsulated in the “plus” are basically invisible in film, according to a report from GLAAD.)
particularly devastating for LGBTQ+ youth, who often do not see themselves on-screen until they get older. We have to do better. But, in the meantime, here are some great options to watch with your kids right now. Out Out was shortlisted for an Oscar back in 2021. Disney+
Greg and his boyfriend Manuel are packing for a big move when Greg’s folksy, traditional parents drop by unexpectedly, sending the still-closeted Greg into a panic. But when he magically switches bodies with his dog Jim, he’s able to see his life, and his mother, from another point of view. And, because it’s Pixar, this short animated film will very likely make you cry.
interview with Animation for Adults, writer and director Steven Clay Hunter said that the film was very personal and based, in part, on his own life, including the fact that he had a Jack Russell named Jim! Stream Out, rated PG, on Disney+. Strange World Diazo and Ethan in Strange World. Disney+
Three generations of a legendary family of explorers find themselves in uncharted territory full of fantastical and strange creatures. They don’t always see eye to eye, but if they want to survive they must learn to overcome their differences and work together as a team. LGBTQ+ themes are not central to the plot of this 2022 Disney feature but the character Ethan is gay and openly smitten with his friend Diazo.
Stream Strange World, rated PG, on Disney+. Tyler Daniel and Tyler learn a lot about themselves in their heart-to-heart conversation. Joel Junior/YouTube
Precocious 9-year-old Tyler and his older brother Daniel go out to a diner, where Tyler reveals he has a boyfriend. Initially shocked, Daniel asks how long he’s known he’s gay to which Tyler asks “How long have you known you’re straight?” Touché, Tyler! The two talk about their feelings and realize their love and bond as brothers. This film is not rated, but does not have any concerning violence, language, or themes that parents need to worry about.
Tyler has won a number of awards at film festivals around the world, and is a sweet addition to pride-month viewing. Stream Tyler on YouTube. Rosaline Rosaline finally reaches her beloved. Hulu
From the creators of
The Bravest Knight, a series that features queer characters (including a knight who marries and starts a family with his beloved prince), Rosaline is a short, animated film that tells the story of a brave young woman in a fairytale land who wants to gather a picnic lunch for her sweetheart. But it seems that, all along the way, she’s beset by tricky adversaries – a witch, a wolf, even a fairy godmother – but Rosaline will not be deterred. Her persistence finally pays off when she reaches her sweetheart’s house. (Pssst: her sweetheart is also a woman!) Stream Rosaline, rated TV-Y, on Hulu. Sweetheart Dancers Snyder and Stevens first met through dancing at Indigenous events and pow wows. FNX TV/YouTube
Two-spirit powwow dancers Sean Snyder and Adrian Stevens — of the Ute and Navajo nations, respectively — tell the story of how the powwow arena brought them together and how they hope their love will not only “make waves” but make the world more equal for everyone. Director
Ben-Alex Duprise describes the film as being about more than just one couple. “Through their story of tenacity, we see a glimpse of the front lines that Indigenous Two-Spirit youth are fighting. They are pushing outdated social norms back to a traditional time, where all human beings were honored.”
This film is not rated, but does not have any concerning violence, language, or themes that parents need to worry about.
Stream Sweetheart Dancers on YouTube. In A Heartbeat
This sweet tear-jerker gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “wear your heart on your sleeve” (or, like, on your chest...). This sweet short film follows two young boys, one blithely going about his day and the other following his heart, literally, before it reveals his powerful crush on the other. There’s no dialogue, but some stories are more powerful than words.
This film is not rated, but does not have any concerning violence, language, or themes that parents need to worry about... unless you’re worried about crying in front of your children, because you definitely might.
Stream In A Heartbeat on YouTube. Breakfast With Scot
Eric is a retired hockey player turned sportscaster who lives happily (but professionally closeted) with his partner Sam, a sports lawyer. But when they become the couple become legal guardians of Sam’s nephew, they must adjust not only to life as parents but life with a child who challenges their concept of gender norms. This proves especially difficult for Eric as Scot’s flamboyant personality – from his hobbies to his clothes – make him uneasy, and he and Sam set about trying to change him into a “normal boy.”
The movie is a charming ode to self-love and acceptance.
Stream Breakfast With Scot, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime. The Prom Catchy musical numbers abound in Prom. MELINDA SUE GORDON/NETFLIX
An ensemble of washed-up Broadway actors descend on a small town in Indiana to help Emma, a teenager girl whose school PTA has cancelled prom to prevent her from attending with her girlfriend, the still-closeted Alyssa (whose mother is the president of the PTA and the reason prom was cancelled in the first place – plot twist!). Based on the Broadway musical of the same name, this dazzling, flashy, and fun movie features a star-studded cast – including Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, and Keegan-Michael Key – and calls to mind our favorite (or at least most well-known) springtime traditions.
Watch Prom, rated PG-13, on Netflix. The Most Dangerous Year
This documentary follows the 2016 fight to protect transgender children against so-called “bathroom bills” in Washington state and is told from the perspective of a small group of parents who joined together to fight proposed laws that would strip away the rights of their young, transgender children. Unfortunately, since the film was made, each year has been more dangerous than the last for trans folks in the United States in terms of discriminatory legislation according to
tracking from the Human Rights Campaign, so the subject remains timely.
This film is not rated, but
Common Sense Media suggests it is appropriate for children 12+ due to difficult themes of bigotry and discrimination, so it’s definitely not a “fun” watch, but it’s very much an important one. Rent The Most Dangerous Year on Amazon Prime. Love, Simon
Simon is a typical high school kid with great friends and great parents. The only complication is that he hasn’t come out to him as gay. But when a classmate anonymously comes out online, Simon finds himself falling for this mystery man via chat... leaving him to wonder who it could be IRL. But when another student figures out Simon’s secret, Simon finds himself getting blackmailed into helping a straight student win over his own crush.
Common Sense Media notes that while the film has some “spicy” language and references that are, perhaps, better suited for middle school than grade school, it’s less racy than most teen movies and includes lots of positive messages and role models.
Rent Love, Simon, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime. Trevor: The Musical Trevor and his parents in Trevor: The Musical. Disney+
Based on an off-Broadway musical (which itself was based on a short film that inspired the nonprofit organization The Trevor Project),
Trevor: The Musical is about a 13 year old in the 1980s discovering his sexuality amid bullying by his classmates. Though dark themes are present, including suicide and conversion therapy, the movie is ultimately about living your truth and embracing who you are, regardless of what other people think. Is there a better message for Pride? Stream Trevor: The Musical, rated PG, on Disney+. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie Max Harwood as Jamie. Amazon Video
Based on a true story,
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a musical that follows Jamie, a gay boy living in northern England who dreams of becoming a drag queen. While his mother, Margaret, is supportive of who he is and what he wants to be, the rest of his community isn’t. He’s also supported by his best friend Pritti, who is also bullied at school for her religion. And sometimes, just one or two people are enough to encourage you to follow your dreams! Stream Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime. To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar John Leguizamo, Wesley Snipes, and Patrick Swayze play three drag queens on a road trip. Amazon Video
Vida Boheme and Noxeema Jackson are New York City drag queens at the top of their game who have just secured spots in a national drag competition in Los Angeles. Novice queen Chi-Chi Rodriguez hasn’t charmed the judges, but charms Vida and Noxeema, who take her under their collective, fabulous wing. The three journey across America to attend the show, but find themselves stranded in a town that, it seems, does not take kindly to queer culture. Will they make it to the competition in time?
This movie was made in 1995 and, as such, the way we talk about (and depict) queer culture is different. (There’s a discussion at one point that distinguishes between transvestites, “transsexuals” and drag queens that wouldn’t necessarily pass muster in today’s understanding of gender expression.) But at its core this movie is a sweet story about friendship and living authentically.
Stream To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime. But I’m A Cheerleader Graham and Megan have a moment at conversion camp. Amazon Video
Megan is an American girl. She’s sweet, a great student, and loves cheerleading.... her football-player boyfriend? Not so much. Concerned with her lack of interest in the opposite gender, her parents send her to True Directions, a conversion camp hyper-focused on traditional gender roles. There she meets Graham, a rebellious and unashamed lesbian, and it isn’t long before she starts developing feelings for her.
This heartfelt but hilarious movie pokes fun at those who believe sexuality is a “choice” and features a fabulous cast including Natasha Lyonne, Clea DuVall, Melanie Lynskey, RuPaul, Michelle Williams, and Cathy Moriarty.
Stream But I’m A Cheerleader, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime. Freak Show
Billy Bloom is
fabulous. Flamboyant, fashionable, gender-fluid, and witty, he finds himself challenged when his also fabulous mother sends him to live with with his decidedly more conservative dad. Suddenly Billy finds himself in a much more “traditional” high school, complete with homophobic bullies. But adverse circumstances and narrow minds don’t stop him from deciding to run for homecoming queen. Witty, fun, but touching and dramatic, Freak Show is ultimately heartwarming and a great, fun pride watch.
This unorthodox coming-of-age story is not rated, but
Common Sense Media suggests it is recommended for viewers 13 and older. Stream Freak Show on AppleTV+.
Whether you’re watching to celebrate pride month or just want to have some wholesome queer fun, these movies are just the thing.
This article was originally published on
June 1, 2021