The 20 Best LGBT Movies on Netflix Right Now (October 2020)

Enjoy pride anytime with the best queer, trans, bisexual, lesbian, and gay films

There are so many LGBT movies on Netflix right now that it's impossible to watch them all in a month. That's why we've put together a rundown of the best gay and lesbian movies on the streaming service. On this list, you'll find award-winning films, historical dramas, documentaries, and coming of age stories.

01
of 20

To Each, Her Own (2018): Best Movie About Bisexuality, Race, and Religion

Sarah Stern and Julia Piaton in To Each, Her Own

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 5.3

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Sarah Stern, Jean-Christophe Folly, Julia Piaton

Director: Myriam Aziza

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 95 minutes

To Each, Her Own is a somewhat controversial French comedy about a Jewish woman (Sarah Stern) who comes out to her conservative family as a lesbian, only to find herself falling for a man (Jean-Christophe Folly). Like life, the story unfolds in unexpected ways, offering a nuanced approach to sexuality and the intersections of religion, race, and gender.

The French title, Les Goûts et les Couleurs, translates to “Tastes and Colors.” Fortunately, the American version is dubbed in English, so you don't have to read subtitles.

02
of 20

Duck Butter (2018): Most Erotic Lesbian Romance

Alia Shawkat in Laia Costa Duck Butter

The Orchard

 

IMDb Rating: 5.3

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama

Starring: Alia Shawkat, Laia Costa, Mae Whitman

Director: Miguel Arteta

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 93 minutes

In this sexually-charged romantic comedy, two women who meet at a club named Naima (Alia Shawkat) and Sergio (Laia Costa) decide to date for a 24-hour period. Will their tryst survive the day?

The movie, like their relationship, isn't particularly deep. Nonetheless, it's an enjoyable watch for adults. The lead actresses have great chemistry, even if their characters aren't fully developed.

03
of 20

Secret Love (2020): Best Documentary About Lesbians in Sports

A Secret Love on Netflix

Blumhouse Production

IMDb Rating: 7.9

Genre: Documentary, Drama

Starring: Terry Donahue, Pat Henschel, Diana Bolan

Director: Chris Bolan

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 81 minutes

A Secret Love documents the lives of professional baseball player Terry Donahue and her partner Pat Henschel, who maintained a secret relationship for over 60 years. Through social discrimination and personal adversity, their love endured.

The film is both heartwarming and sad at some points, but it's an overall sweet story that will touch and inspire anyone. It never made it the film festival circuit, but if it had, the movie would have likely picked up a few awards.

04
of 20

The Perfection: Best LGBT-Themed Horror Movie

Allison Williams and Logan Browning in The Perfection

 Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.1

Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller

Starring: Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Alaina Huffman

Director: Richard Shepard

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 90 minutes

Historically, depictions of LGBT characters in horror movies have been either stereotypical, shallow, or downright hostile. That's why it's refreshing to see a movie like The Perfection that features a gay protagonist.

An innocent relationship between two young women, Lizzie (Logan Browning) and Charlotte (Allison Williams), takes a dark turn in this psychological thriller. There's not much violence or blood in the movie, but it does have some really creepy imagery. If you're grossed out by bugs, you should definitely skip it.

05
of 20

Handsome Devil: Best Irish Gay Teen Romance Story

Fionn O’Shea and Nicholas Galitzine in Handsome Devil

Treasure Entertainment 

IMDb Rating: 7.1

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sports

Starring: Fionn O'Shea, Ardal O'Hanlon, Amy Huberman

Director: John Butler

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 95 minutes

Set in an Irish all-boys boarding school, Handsome Devil is a coming-of-age story about a misfit teenager (Fionn O'Shea) who falls for his new roommate (Nicholas Galitzine), who happens to be the school's star rugby player. As their relationship becomes more intimate, the teens must hide their feelings for each other from their classmates.

Handsome Devil received quite a few accolades, including the awards for Best Irish Feature at the Dublin International Film Festival and Best Foreign Feature at the Outflix Film Festival. Fionn O'Shea also won Best Actor for his role at the Out San Diego LGBT Film Festival.

06
of 20

Transformer (2017): Best Film About a Transgender Athlete

Janae Marie Kroczaleski in Transformer

 Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Genre: Biography, Documentary

Starring: Janae Marie Kroczaleski

Director: Michael Del Monte

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 78 minutes

Transformer documents the gender transition of former US Marine and competitive bodybuilder Janae Kroc. This movie challenges preconceived notions about gender and serves as an inspiration to all competitive athletes.

Transformer won audience awards at the 2017 Austin Film Festival, the 2018 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, and the 2018 Queer North Film Festival. Editor Graham Withers was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Editing in a Documentary.

07
of 20

Holding the Man (2015): Best Tear-Jerking Gay Romance

Craig Stott and Ryan Corr in Holding the Man

 Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance

Starring: Ryan Corr, Sarah Snook, Francesco Ferdinandi

Director: Neil Armfield

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 127 minutes

Tim (Ryan Corr) and John (Craig Stott) fell in love as teens at their all-boys high school, where John captained the rugby team and Tim was an aspiring actor. Facing discrimination and adversity, their relationship lasted for fifteen years until they both succumbed to complications from AIDS.

Holding the Man is based on Timothy Conigrave's memoir, which has also been adapted as a stage play. The film got positive reviews for the chemistry between the lead actors, and it picked up several awards for its screenplay and editing.

08
of 20

I Am Divine (2013): Best Documentary About an LGBT Icon

Divine in I Am Divine

 Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Divine, Michael Musto, Mark Payne

Director: Jeffrey Schwarz

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 90 minutes

Wait for the kids to go to bed before you watch this one. If you don't know who Divine is, I Am Divine is the perfect introduction to one of the world's most famous drag queens.

The movie has received universal acclaim from critics and audiences for accurately portraying the legendary career of Divine. She's outrageous, vulgar, and there will never be anyone else quite like her.

09
of 20

A Single Man (2009): Best LGBT Movie About Love and Loss

Colin Firth and Julianne Moore in A Single Man

 Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Genre: Drama, Romance

Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode

Director: Tom Ford

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 99 minutes

Based on a 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood, A Single Man is about an English professor (Colin Firth) who is grieving the death of his boyfriend of sixteen years. Having kept their relationship a secret for so many years, he slowly begins to open up about his pain.

The movie won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film and AFI's Film of the Year. For his role, Colin Firth received a nomination for Best Actor at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes.

10
of 20

Susanne Bartsch: On Top (2017): Best Movie About New York Nightlife in the 80s

Susanne Bartsch: On Top (2017)

 Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.7

Genre: Biography, Documentary

Starring: Susanne Bartsch, Hector Xtravaganza

Director: Anthony Caronna, Alexander Smith

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 86 minutes

Netflix is a treasure trove of LGBT documentaries, and this one is definitely worth a watch. Susanne Bartsch: On Top is about one of New York's most iconic party planners. Bartsch threw epic monthly events in the 1980s and had a tremendous impact on nightlife culture. This movie features never-before-seen footage, interviews, and avant-garde cinematography that will make you wish you had been there.

11
of 20

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (2019): Best LGBT Bollywood Movie

The cast of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
Fox Star Studio

IMDb Rating: 5.5

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: Sonam Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao

Director: Shelly Chopra Dhar

TV Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 120 minutes

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, which roughly translates to "How I felt when I saw that girl," is a Hindi-language comedy about a young lesbian named Sweety (Sonam Kapoor) who is pressured into dating men by her conservative Indian family. When a charming playwright proposes to her, Sweety must choose between being true to herself or keeping others happy at her own expense.

LGBT characters are still rare in Bollywood films, so it's exciting to see more diversity in the genre. Fans of Bollywood may recognize stars like Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla.

12
of 20

Dallas Buyers Club (2013): Best Movie About the AIDS Crisis

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

 Focus Features

IMDb Rating: 8.0

Genre: Biography, Drama

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 117 minutes

Although it's not an explicitly LGBT-themed film, the story of Dallas Buyers Club centers largely around the business partnership and friendship that emerges between a rugged, heterosexual man (Matthew McConaughey) and a transgender woman (Jared Leto) who are both diagnosed with AIDS. The duo team up to illegally traffick life-saving drugs to people dying of the disease in America.

Dallas Buyers Club swept the 2013 Oscars, winning the awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor among several others. Based on a true story, the film provides a stark look at a time in history that is too often ignored.

13
of 20

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin (2017): Best Documenatry About a Gay Author

Promotional poster for The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

 PBS

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Armistead Maupin, Frank Biafore, Kate Bornstein

Director: Jennifer M. Kroot

TV Rating: NR

Running Time: 90 minutes

Despite knowing he was gay as a child, Armistead Maupin hid his sexuality until adulthood for fear of the discrimination he'd face living in the American South. He worked for notoriously conservative North Carolina congressman Jesse Helms before denouncing the senator at a gay pride march on the state capitol. Soon after, Maupin moved to San Francisco and became one of the most prolific writers of his generation.

Maupin's books have been adapted into films and can be found on the shelves of almost every public library in America. Even if you're not a huge fan of literature, you may find Maupin's story inspiring.

14
of 20

Alex Strangelove (2018): Best Gay High School Coming Out Movie

Daniel Doheny and Antonio Marziale in Alex Strangelove

Netflix 

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: Daniel Doheny, Antonio Marziale, Madeline Weinstein

Director: Craig Johnson

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 99 minutes

Well-written, well-acted, and well-directed, Alex Strangelove is a teenage romantic comedy about a young man dealing with competing feelings for his female best friend and an openly gay boy who has an obvious crush on him. This Netflix exclusive is by no means groundbreaking, but it's a great movie for parents and older teens to watch together. The film concludes with an inspirational montage of real-life coming out stories from people of all ages.

15
of 20

Moonlight (2016): Best Academy Award Winning LGBT Movie

Moonlight promotional image

A24

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Genre: Drama

Starring: Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert

Director: Barry Jenkins

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 111 minutes

If you're in the mood for a gay-themed movie with a strong black lead, you can't go wrong with an Oscar winner. Moonlight is an emotional coming-of-age tale that covers three defining periods in the life of a gay African American man (played by Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, and Alex Hibbert).

Not only is it the first LGBT-themed film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, but it's also the first movie with an all-black cast to receive the honor. In fact, Moonlight is considered by some critics to be one of the best films of the century so far.

16
of 20

The Danish Girl (2015): Best Transgender Themed Movie

Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

 Working Title

IMDb Rating: 7.1

Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard

Director: Tom Hooper

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 119 minutes

The Danish Girl tells the story of Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne), who transitioned from male to female in 1920s Copenhagen. The costumes and sets capture the spirit of the time period while exploring a little-known figure in history.

Based on a book by David Ebershoff, the movie takes some liberties with historical facts. Nonetheless, The Danish Girl got several Academy Awards nominations as well as the BAFTA Award for Best British Film.

17
of 20

The Half Of It (2020): Best Lesbian Coming of Age Story

Daniel Diemer and Leah Lewis in The Half of It

IMDb Rating: 6.9

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire

Director: Alice Wu

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 104 minutes

In The Half Of It, a high school jock (Daniel Diemer) recruits a shy straight-A student named Ellie (Leah Lewis) to help him win the heart of the girl he has a crush on. Little does he know, Ellie has her eyes on the same girl causing their unlikely friendship to evolve in unexpected ways.

Directed by Alive Woo, The Half Of It received the award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. The film is light-hearted and appropriate for teens, and it brings some much needed Asian-American representation to the LGBT genre.

18
of 20

Elisa & Marcela: Best LGBT Historical Love Story

Natalia de Molina and Marcela Gracia Ibeas in Elisa & Marcela

 Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.5

Genre: Biography, Romance, Drama

Starring: Natalia de Molina, Greta Fernández, Sara Casasnovas

Director: Isabel Coixet

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 118 minutes

The story of Elisa Sanchez Loriga (Natalia de Molina) and Marcela Gracia Ibeas (Greta Fernández) is finally getting the attention it deserves thanks to Elisa & Marcela. This Spanish movie recounts the first known same-sex marriage in Spain, which took place in 1901. Elisa Sanchez Loriga adopted a male persona to marry her partner, but her true identity was eventually discovered by the Catholic church.

Elisa & Marcela received international praise, including a nomination for the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. It's worth checking out if you're into love stories and historical dramas.

19
of 20

Wanda Sykes: Not Normal (2019): Best LGBT Stand Up Comedy

Wanda Sykes in Wanda Sykes: Not Normal

 Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.1

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Wanda Sykes

Director: Linda Mendoza

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 60 minutes

One of the funniest comics of a generation offers some much-needed laughs and social commentary with this topical standup set. Wanda Sykes isn't afraid to get political, but she doesn't forget to also be funny.

This Netflix exclusive won several awards and nominations including the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Comedy Special. It's only an hour long, so give it a shot.

20
of 20

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017): Best Queer Documentary

Marsha P. Johnson in The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

 Public Square Films

IMDb Rating: 7.2

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Michael Baden, Taylor Mead, Victoria Cruz

Director: David France

TV Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 105 minutes

Marsha P. Johnson was a key figure in the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York. A life-long advocate for transgender people, people of color, and homeless youth, Johnson drowned in the Hudson river in 1992. This film follows LGBT rights activist Victoria Cruz as she investigates the mysterious circumstances of Johnson's death.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson is an emotionally gripping documentary that will both inspire and outrage viewers. It's highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of LGBT activism.