10 LGBT movies to celebrate Pride

Canadian Living's executive editor, Doug O'Neill, shares his 10 favourite movies to celebrate Pride, in honour of WorldPride 2014 in Toronto.

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10 LGBT movies to celebrate Pride
Image courtesy of pbear6150/FlickrCC
1. Making Love (1982)
A successful doctor (played by Michael Ontkean) must chart a new path in life with his wife (one-time "Charlie’s Angel’s" actor Kate Jackson) when he can no longer repress his desire to be with men. "Making Love" was one of the first cinematic releases to portray gay characters in a positive light.

2. Desert Hearts (1985)
Helen Shaver portrayed a university professor in 1950s Nevada who suddenly confronts her passion for another woman."Desert Hearts" contained one of the first woman-to-woman necking scenes on the big screen.

3. Colour Purple (1985)
Steven Spielberg directed a genuine intimacy – emotional and physical – between Whoopi Goldberg and Margaret Avery in Alice Walker’s story of a young African woman in the American South who’s downtrodden and abused until she meets a spirited and sexy nightclub singer.

4. Maurice (1987)
Rupert Graves and Hugh Grant starred in this movie based on the E.M. Forster novel about repressed sexuality in Edwardian England. Two Cambridge lads fall in love. However, one is determined to hide in a traditional and loveless marriage while the other struggles alone until he falls passionately for a game keeper.

5. Torch Song Trilogy (1988)
Matthew Broderick, Harvey Fierstein and Anne Bancroft were incredible in this movie that explored same-sex love – as well as a mother’s difficulty to fully accept her gay son. The gay-bashing scene was gut-wrenching.

6. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

Terence Stamp as a transsexual stage performer won numerous awards and a Golden Globe nomination for his role in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. A trio of characters head across Australia in a bus named, what else, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

7. Beautiful Thing (1996)
In this fantastic movie, two young teenagers in a working class suburb of London fall in love, much to the dismay and shock of their families and bigoted neighbours. It also comes with a great “Mamas and the Papas” soundtrack.

8. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Ang Lee’s film about two gay cowboys (played by Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger) in 1960s Wyoming won three Academy Awards. The scenes were raw, tender and real. We'll never forget that one unforgettable line from Jack, frustrated by his uncontrollable love for Ennis: “I wish I knew how to quit you.”

9. C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)

This Genie-award-winning movie chronicled a gay Quebecois boy’s coming-of-age in the 1970s in a society still immersed in Catholic conservatism and rigid definitions of what it means to be male.

10. A Single Man (2009)

Colin Firth won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a man grieving for his dead partner (Matthew Goode). The film was one of the first to present a middle-aged gay character, seldom depicted in mainstream movies.

Learn more about Toronto's historic Church Street and WorldPride in our celebration of WorldPride 2014 in Toronto.  


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This article is featured on Celebrate WorldPride 2014 in Toronto