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LGBTQ People Revealed 8 Queer Films That Were Done Wrong And 9 That Were Done Right, And It's Hard To Disagree With Them

Don't even get me started on Jenny's Wedding.

We asked LGBTQ members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which movies perfectly captured the queer experience, and which ones totally missed the mark. Here's what they had to say:

🚨Warning: Potential spoilers ahead!

1. Done right: But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)

Megan and Graham kissing in "But I'm a Cheerleader"
Lionsgate Films

"It was funny, heartwarming, and sent a message to stay true to yourself in the face of oppression. It also had a happy ending, which is rare for queer films."

audreyschockett

2. Done wrong: Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Elio talking to Oliver on the phone at the end of the movie
Sony Pictures Classics

"A big fat no to Call Me by Your Name. The age gap was really gross, and made viewing the whole relationship dynamic uncomfortable (Elio is 17, and Oliver is 24). Who thought that was ever an OK thing to put out into the world?!"

icantfigureoutagoodusername

"They could dress it up in the prettiest Italian village all they want — Elio was still a a child, and Oliver was a grown man. It was well acted, but the love story was borderline predatory — again, ELIO WAS LITERALLY A CHILD!"

anthonyjcody

3. Done wrong: Jenny's Wedding (2015)

Jenny and Kitty at the altar getting married
IFC Films

"When they cast big names like Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel, I thought there'd be more substance to the movie, but there was barely any romance — the story focused on a coming-out story, when that's always the main plot in queer media."

emmat467ee75a6

"The whole movie is about Jenny’s straight family coming to terms with her being a lesbian. The main couple — Jenny and Kitty — have no chemistry and no character. It’s a movie made entirely by straight people, and I wish I could have that hour and a half of my life back."

alicep4236c9ad6

4. Done right: Moonlight (2016)

Chiron and Kevin kissing on the sidewalk
A24

"Moonlight presented a story that displayed the intersectionality of being queer and Black, but it still felt predominantly coming-of-age (rather than coming out of the closet). The themes extended beyond queerness, to the more universal feelings of being alone and being loved — this was the kind of movie that stood for representation AND acceptance, and it was done beautifully."

upket

5. Done wrong: Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Rayon in a car saying: "You know what? You don't deserve our money, you homophobic asshole"
Focus Features

"The worst has got to be Dallas Buyers Club. I’m sick of Hollywood awarding cisgender actors like Jared Leto for their 'brave' choices to play a transgender character, when it’s such an over-the-top, unrealistic performance that’s out of touch with the lived experience."

dahliaparts

6. Done right: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Marianne and Héloïse embracing for one of the first times, saying: "Do all lovers feel they're inventing something? I know the gestures. I imagined it all, waiting for you"
Pyramide Films

"If you were to compare Ammonite to Portrait of a Lady on Fire, you'd see right away that the first one served the male gaze, while the second one did not. Portrait of a Lady on Fire did an amazing job of building intimacy without actually being voyeuristic — the result was altogether intricate and powerful."

mariloulebeld

7. Done right: Love, Simon (2018)

Simon's mom telling him: "You get to exhale now, Simon. You deserve everything you want"
20th Century Fox

"I loved how the movie showed that it's OK to be afraid to come out, even if you're sure everyone in your life will be accepting. The movie was diverse in its casting (even though the lead was played by a straight actor), and Simon and Blue weren't portrayed in a stereotypical light."

awesome-not-weird

8. Done wrong: Stonewall (2015)

Roadside Attractions

"Stonewall. Stonewall. Stonewall. The real Stonewall riots majorly featured POC, transgender women of color, and lesbians, but the lead character in the movie was a cisgender white man — not to mention Marsha P. Johnson's role was literally featured for comic relief. It was horrible."

saron_

9. Done wrong: The Prom (2020)

Dee Dee, Barry, Angie, and Trent singing: "This is our moment to change the world! One lesbian at a time!"
Netflix

"I'll start with the obvious and universal criticism of casting James Corden — I think we can all acknowledge how horrible that was. The other issue that stuck out to me was how horribly the conflict was resolved — not only were the two queer characters such awkward stereotypes of queer women, but the protagonist just ended her hometown's anti-gayness with...a song? In no world is empathy that easily taught. I get it's a campy musical, but I'll always feel like this was just a really queer movie made by (and for) really straight people."

upket

10. Done right: Saving Face (2004)

Vivian asking to stay the night at Wilhelmina's apartment
Sony Pictures Classics

"I think Saving Face did an exceptional job of navigating the complexity of being out but not accepted, and yet still feeling dedicated to your family. The plot around Ma wasn't something you'd typically expect to see in a movie, and helped explore another side of 'forbidden' love."

duct_tape_heart

11. Done right: Booksmart (2019)

Hope and Amy getting intimate in the bathroom
United Artists Releasing

"Booksmart is a classic in the making — I loved how Amy's sexuality was never a big deal, or a deal at all, really. She was just a relatable teenager who happened to identify as a lesbian."

person192829

"Amy never had to do a coming-out scene to her parents or her friends — she just was who she was, and they made her storyline about dating just like any 'normal' teen. It was so refreshing."

katelynf4787a7cd3

12. Done wrong: Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013)

Emma and Adèle having sex, saying: "My love"
Wild Bunch

"The sex scenes felt very much like they were made for men — I think I would have liked to see what a female director would have done with the graphic novel."

nekkonekkok

"I HATED Blue Is the Warmest Colour for exactly that reason — the sex scenes were so over-the-top and unrealistic, I completely lost interest."

klanceem

13. Done wrong: The Handmaiden (2016)

Lady telling Maid: "Your face...every night in bed, I think of your face"
CJ Entertainment

"The Handmaiden was so male gaze-y — it could have been a great opportunity to represent East Asian women as regular people instead of stereotypical sex objects. It completely pandered to that [straight] audience."

justice4hufflepuff

14. Done right: Pride (2014)

Everyone protesting in the streets, holding signs saying: "Lesbians and gays support the miners;" Gwen saying: "Where are my lesbians?"
20th Century Fox

"Pride was really well done. It was based on true events that occurred in '80s UK, so some terminology might've felt dated, but the characters were full, complex humans, and the story was about much more than coming out. In fact, that was the best part of the movie: It highlighted the extended history of the LGBTQ community standing in solidarity with other marginalized groups."

corellianne

15. Done right: Appropriate Behavior (2014)

Shirin and Maxine setting boundaries, making "safe word" their safe word
Peccadillo Pictures

"Appropriate Behavior showed that being bisexual doesn't make life or romance any less challenging, especially when you're in the closet to your conservative family. It was done without being overly depressing or discouraging — plus it starred Desiree Akhavan, who is bisexual (she also wrote and directed the movie)."

nonexistant_knight

16. Done wrong: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Jack and Ennis embracing; Ennis holding Jack's shirt after he's dead
Focus Features

"I've always had a hard time with Brokeback — it was beautifully made, but it was ultimately just a deep dive into the trope of the tortured queer man who ends up getting killed for it. It's gay trauma for the straight gaze."

wolfinwolfscothing

"I know Brokeback was ahead of its time and the actors are both good people, but I just don’t think it should be regarded as a gay 'classic.'"

thequeencalledana

17. And done right: Carol (2015)

Therese and Carol listening to music, spelling each other's perfume
StudioCanal / The Weinstein Company

"The movie did a brilliant job portraying WLW relationships — from infatuation to desire to meaningful connections — it was also one of few queer movies that actually had a happy ending. Carol didn't surrender to the queer media trope that LGBTQ characters must have a tragic finale, and I, for one, was relieved to watch that."

Kayla Yandoli

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Which LGBTQ movies do you think were done right or wrong? Tell us in the comments below!

Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out all of BuzzFeed's posts celebrating Pride 2021 here.

Kevin Valente / BuzzFeed