Top 10 Queer Movies That Will Probably Make You Cry A Lot

stock photo of women crying at a movie

Nobody does a tear-jerker quite like the gays! Sure, Beaches had death and a really heart-wrenching song about death, but gay movies usually feature death AND alienation from friends/society/lovers or AIDS or a hate crime or something else super super tragic and terrible!

I’ll never forget that one fateful afternoon in 2006 when I decided to watch whatever Netflix movie I’d just received and maybe finish the book I was reading before nightfall, at which time I was set to attend a girl party with my (straight) roommate/lover/best-friend/co-worker.

The movie? Brokeback Mountain.

The book? The Well of Loneliness.

Needless to say, when she returned home, excited for the night ahead, I was an inconsolable mess. I couldn’t possibly parade around in pants and makeup like the world was not a tableau of brutality and self-denial! I would be doing a disservice to my sexuality if I dared to smile, let alone DANCE! Furthermore, due to all the crying I’d just done, my face resembled, perhaps, a half-consumed plate of Spaghetti-Os.

But you know what I wasn’t thinking about? The fact that my straight roommate was also my lover/best friend/co-worker! I mean you think you’ve got it bad? No. Brandon Teena has it bad.

As with all Top Tens, many of you will want to use excessive punctuation and all-caps to express your disagreement with our selections and your feelings about our sub-par intelligence levels and list-making abilities. Please if you do so use no less than 5 question marks, otherwise we can’t tell if you’re serious.

No but really, this is based on movies we’ve seen, so it’s subjective. What movies made YOU feel depressed? Share in the comments!

(This list doesn’t include documentaries because all of those are depressing)

Top Ten Depressing Queer Movies


10. The Children’s Hour

Really you just weep for all the lesbos in the 60s who had this as their one and only lesbian movie. I mean Jesus, throw us a bone, Hollywood. Ideally a vegan bone.


9. Lost & Delirious

Not only does someone die at the end, but it’s like the worst fucking movie I’ve ever seen in my life and a waste of Mischa Barton’s incredible talent, which makes me weep because The Nicest Thing hasn’t been made and this was. (For a rundown on why Riese hates Lost & Delirious, go here.)


8. Angels in America

This one drags out your depression over many many hours. But it’s also so beautiful and well-written, so. Toss-up.

Inspirational Quote: “This disease will be the end of many of us, but not nearly all. And the dead will be commemorated, and we’ll struggle on with the living, and we are not going away. We won’t die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come.”


7. Gia

In my brain, the movie begins when she’s topless by the gate. If you start the movie there and stop it before she gets on the plane, you’d be a lot happier. She’s way emotional and needy. Like an orphan kitten. An orphan kitten who does drugs. There’s no greater hope in the end, just a beautiful woman who’s dead. And happens to be queer.

Inspirational Quote: “The pains that have burned me and scarred my soul, it was worth it, for having been allowed to walk where I’ve walked, which was to hell on earth, heaven on earth, back again, into, under, far in between, through it, in it, and above.”


6. Monster

My uber-compassionate social justice warrior friend Natalie, who I swear to G-d feels compassion for every ounce of pain you’ve ever felt in your life and every dead grasshopper, was totally inconsolable after this movie. It was worse than after Bowling for Columbine. Like I think she cried for two hours, upset about how you get born into hell and then keep on living in hell until it kills you, and sometimes takes a few others down with you.  But it started a conversation, I think. I mean the world is so fucking ugly in this, you know?


5. The Laramie Project

Community uniting in grief? Check. Announcement of great tragedy? Check. Unexpected allies? Check. Based on a true story? Check check check. Christina Ricci in a sheet being an angel or something? You bet! To top it off you’ll also cry out of love for people who endure/triumph despite tragedy and grow as humans/spirits.


4. Philadelphia

Fuckin’ AIDS, man. AIDS. On top of that, the “straight guy coming around and developing compassion for gay people” plot is always a tearjerker. When Denzel and his wife are at the costume party dancing? Just scoop my eyeballs out of my head and stick ’em on a juicer.

Inspirational Quote: “We’re standing here in Philadelphia, the, uh, city of brotherly love, the birthplace of freedom, where the, uh, founding fathers authored the Declaration of Independence, and I don’t recall that glorious document saying anything about all straight men are created equal. I believe it says all men are created equal.”


3. Brokeback Mountain



2. Milk

I managed to go into this movie not already knowing how it would end. I don’t want to ruin that for you if you haven’t seen it, as you too should have an opportunity to cry for 30 minutes or more following the film’s end. However, I think we started Autostraddle like two months later, so there’s that.

Inspirational quote: “… the young people in Jackson Mississippi, in Minnesota, in the Richmond, in Woodmere New York, who are hearing her on television, hearing Anita Bryant telling them on television that they are sick, they are wrong, there is no place in this great country for them, no place in this world, they are looking to us for something tonight, and I say, we have got to give them hope!”

1. Boys Don’t Cry

The epic depression brought on by Boys Don’t Cry is multi-layered. If you know the story even before watching the movie and you think you’re prepared? No, you aren’t. Also, it’s CALLED Boys Don’t Cry! So even if you’re a girl or an otherwise-gendered-or-not-person, you’re already thinking about whether or not you’re gonna cry.

Plus like, Boys Don’t Cry is the reason we wrote this Top Ten at all. Because I got this formspring question and it pretty much sums up the importance of these movies — to inspire action, to push for change, to remind you of how things were and how far we’ve come, or haven’t, and to be, above all, aware:

We started Autostraddle like two months after we saw Milk, which as aforementioned, made me weep as I had never wept before.

You gotta give ’em hope.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3229 articles for us.


  1. No movie makes me cry as hard as Fried Green Tomatoes, which is full of homo-gay overtones.

    Didn’t find Lost and Delirious too sad, I was too busy being skeptical.

    • crap. i must be the most heartless lesbo ever.

      although i always tear up a bit at those ASPCA commercials so i think that must count for something.

    • YES YES YES!!!!! I thought I was the only one who felt that way about Fried Green Tomatoes! I cried during the scene Ruth died–Iggy was going to tell her she loved her, I just know she was! But she never got to…*weeps*

    • 14 year old me was soooo excited watching Fried Green Tomatoes for the 1st time “I think those gilrs like each other! I like other girls too! OMG This is the best movies EVER!”
      At the end of it I was crying so hard that I couldn’t find the rewind button on the VCR.
      And that last sentence just gave my age away.
      Oh, whatever. TOWANDA!!!

      • I can’t wait ’till I’m older so I can go around and fuck shit up “because I’m older and I have more insurance.”

        • I still think of that scene whenever someone steals my parking space at the mall

  2. Oh my god, Boys Don’t Cry made me bawl for HOURS. And then for days after tear up as I realized what a horrible, horrible world we live in.

    God dammit I’m tearing up now. Stupid empathy.

  3. I will start by saying that I’ve seen most of these! (yes! but actually that means I’ve been sad with my friends during finals week)

    What really has been making me cry is Fried Green Tomatoes! Every freakin’ time I see that movie I sob when ___ dies (for those who have not seen it, I left it blank).

  4. i REFUSE to watch boys don’t cry because i don’t think my heart can take it. also, i saw a performance of the children’s hour, and didn’t know what it was about, but could tell immediately that it had to do with lesbians before they said so. i think it was the actor’s shoes.

    • I know, me neither. I know I should see it but I’m not sure if I can bear how tragic it is.

  5. Can we get a Top 10 that make you smile to balance this depression.

    In all seriousness, most gay/lesbian movies end in someones death via drugs, suicide, AIDS, murder, or heartache.

  6. Great list girls, loving the story about ‘The fact that my straight roommate was also my lover/best friend/co-worker!’ that was me five years ago, we ran away to Brighton and had a CP – life is funny indeed!
    Not seen ‘The Children’s Hour’ – think I’ll give that one a miss!
    All the rest – bang on tear jerkers – did not enjoy ‘Brokeback Mountain’ (surprisingly) but my gay brother in-law was inconsolable after we watched it – love…
    Totally agree with ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ love that film.
    I cannot watch the first story in ‘If these Walls could Talk’ if ever we decide to watch it I always have to skip it – just too sad.

  7. I watched Boys Don’t Cry at some friend’s house in high school when it had just come out and it made me dry-heave in their bathroom afterward. They had an old wooden TV in their living room and remember staring at the grain while those unmentionably horrible things happened out of the corner of my eye. I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it since.

    • In case anyone was wondering, Aimee and Jaguar is streaming on Netflix, I just checked as a public service.

      • Aimee and Jaguar is my FAVORITE!!! Felice and Lily are amazing together. Also, Maria Schrader is unbelievably beautiful! Have you read the book? It comes in either German or English and is almost even better than the movie.

    • YES. YOSSI v’JAGGER. saddest and most beautiful film ever. Except, all of Eytan Fox’s films fall in this category: Walk on Water, and The Bubble, especially.

      • Except I just realized you are talking about another film. Make this a comment to the post in general. oops.

    • I don’t remember watching Aimee and Jaguar but it has 4 stars on my Netflix so I agree with this.

    • Aimme and Jaguar is my favorite lesbian movie ever. The fact that it’s a true story makes it both awesome and sad at the same time.

  8. I think it is a great list of Movies That Are Not Available For Instant Play On Netflix. Well done! (!!!!!)

  9. A Single Man is an amazing movie and made me cry in the first five minutes and again at the end. Totally wrenching and really well done.

    • great movie indeed – the cinematography is breathtaking. the book is pretty good too.

  10. oh my god, the children’s hour, painfully good (one of those self-recognition things) but i maintain that if audrey hepburn were not so damn skinny she could have cut shirley maclaine down

    also you did not include “a single man”? which was almost better than the children’s hour, except without attractive lesbians.

  11. Part 1 of If These Walls Could Talk 2 is one of the saddest 40 minutes ever. Luckily, it’s followed by Part 2 (Chloe Sevigny!! hot!) and Part 3 (Ellen!! funny!), so it balances out.

  12. So my recollection of Boys Don’t Cry was that my mom took my very young (early high school? middle school?) self and my even younger sister to see it while we were on vacation and my mom cried a lot. I think I tried really really hard not to cry and didn’t succeed.

    I think my mom really wanted to see the movie and she kind of thought it would be a good thing to show us kids? Maybe?

    Also then there was a lot of conversation in the car that ended up with my mom explaining that the world is a really fucked up place full of shitty people and she hoped/knew we would grow up to be decent human beings. I seriously love my family. Also I should probably see that movie again now that I am an adult.

  13. OH my g-d Fried green Tomatoes hands down. I’m not sure exactly what was going on that day, some sort of PMS/issues with friends/who knows but I watched that and bawled like a baby. Like screaming into a pillow crying so hard you get a headache, can’t explain why your so damn sad but you feel like your stomachs falling out cried. and I’m not generally a crier.

  14. I watched Milk in the theater with my mom when I was still in the closet and bawled during the movie

    • I also watched this movie, but it was with my girlfriend and I still cried at the end.

    • There’s one scene in that movie where I cry my eyes out, every single time. And it’s supposed to be an inspirational, awe inspiring moment. Just watching the community come together to support Harvey Milk’s memory is enough to set me off, and I’ve seen it 3 times.

      Also, has anyone seen Soldier’s Boy? It’s about a straight U.S soldier with a mild cognitive impairment who has a relationship with a transwoman performer. Sad, terrible things happen and it broke my heart. Maybe not the BEST movie, but I’d recommend it.

      Boys Don’t Cry is my #1 favorite movie.

      • Do you mean Soldier’s Girl? With Lee Pace? Because if so, YES. I have seen it and oh my god. Lee Pace plays a better woman than I do.

        • I really really want to watch Soldier’s Girl, but I just don’t know if I can. I read an article about it a year or so before I knew there was a movie, and died a little it was so heartbreaking. I think I would fall to pieces if I saw it dramatised.

  15. I watched this German movie on Netflix instant about an Iranian lesbian who has to pass as a man to get asylum. Think it was called “Unveiled” or “Under the Veil” in English? It wasn’t as sad as most of the ones on this list, but for some reason it made me tear up once or twice.

    Also, Milk and The Laramie Project and Boys Don’t Cry…gah. So intense.

    • Unveiled aka Fremde Haut

      i watched this just the other night, and found myself bawling

  16. Bent- technically it’s a play, but there’s a movie version.


    You know the scene where Rudy dies? I scream, “Stop! Please, stop!” and reach out at the screen like a bad actress.

    And the ending, while sort of uplifting in a bitter way, makes you cry if you know the history of pink triangle prisoners. When the allies liberated the concentration camps, gay men were forced right back into prison, to serve out the remainder of their sentences since Paragraph 175 was still in effect, and no one in power would stand up for them. Even if everyone had lived, they would have gone right back to prison. There was no possible happy ending for them, from the very beginning.

    Oh yeah, and the play was pretty much the first public acknowledgment that gay men were holocaust victims. So it also represents decades of homophobia being used to mask serious human suffering.

    • Omg Bent broke my heart the first time I read it, I really don’t think I could handle it as a film.

  17. I have to say, I was disappointed by “The Children’s Hour” when I saw it a bit ago…bad acting makes my tear ducts malfunction although I love Hepburn in other films.

    I would add “The World Unseen” to the list. I thought it was beautiful, but then again not sure if it qualifies as a “tearjerker”

  18. The year of thirteen moons by Fassbinder. The best movie on any LGBT subject i have seen and also one of the most difficult movie i´ve seen.

  19. Oh god, when I saw Brokeback Mountain and also Milk, both at the cinema, I was a MESS. I bawled. Serious, upretty, struggling to breathe crying. No delicate tears, full on weeping. In public. That is what they do to you.

  20. Maggie and Annie defiantly the saddest lesbian movie ever. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that hard at any movie ever. I was devastated.

  21. I love how you emphasized how FUCKING AWFUL Lost and Delirious was. It’s probably the worst move I’ve ever seen. Mischa Barton’s character has no reason to be in it and I’m not sure why she is. Really, the movie could exist just as badly without her character at all. Also EVERYONE is creepy and there’s the weird raptor storyline and the fencing thing?

  22. I didn’t cry much at Milk because it was not really as tear-jerking as The Times of Harvey Milk, which I saw a few years before hand. The Times of Harvey Milk is the documentary about Harvey Milk’s life, with interviews with all of his friends and coworkers etc. – and it will make you utterly inconsolable.

    After I watched it I went for a walk to try to clear my head. And then I teared up while walking and it was a clear spring night and I was just walking down the road thinking “What a senseless tragedy” with tears in my eyes.

    It’s one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen and definitely the best gay documentary, so I think you should really see it.

    Can we have a list of movies that will make you cry because everything works out and everyone lives happily ever after now? I need something like a compilation of heartwrenchingly beautiful gay weddings.

  23. I wasn’t a fan of Brokeback Mountain. It was my first LGBT movie, so I have a connection to it but I feel like there are so many better alternatives. Contracorriente is one of them.

  24. I was an undergrat at the University of Wyoming when they filmed ‘The Laramie Project’ there. Cathy Connolly was my academic advisor as well as one of my profs that semester and we were having a class potluck celebrating the end of the semester when the topic of the movie came up. Cathy said “The actress playing me wants to meet me. Who’s Janeane Garafalo?” The rest of us: “….” Then one of the other girls and I were trying to think of the name of one her movies that Cathy might have seen (‘Reality Bites’), but for some reason we were just blanking on the title, so we started acting out the My Sharona scene. Good times.

    I went home over break so I wasn’t there when they filmed it, but my friends who stayed said that Josh Jackson is entirely awesome. Just so you know.

    Also! I knew I’d cry like I’d been diagnosed with cancer of the puppy at ‘Milk,’ so I deliberately didn’t see it in the theater and waited to get it from Netflix and watched it alone in my room. And I did indeed cry until I was dehydrated. But I also found it inspiring and motivating.

    • Ha! Amazing story. I performed in a production of “Laramie” in high school back in . . . ’03, I think? — I haven’t seen the movie, but I’m definitely interested.

  25. Gosh, every time I hear/read Harvey Milk’s Hope speech, tears immediately spring to my eyes. This article plus Portia’s memoir I’m reading this week plus my PMS is making me for one weepy queer with tons of feelings.

  26. If I want to make myself uncontrollably depressed, I watch Mississippi Damned. Especially since it hits very very close to home. Ughhh, Leigh. :((((((((

  27. Trans movies count too right? Because Soldier’s Girl made me weep. Like full on, sobbing until I dry heave, how the fuck could anyone hate us so much, ugly cry.

    • This movie made me cry harder than any movie on the list, and that is saying alot. I’m right there with you, I was so upset I was choking from crying so hard. Also, not only did Boy’s Don’t Cry make me cry uncontrollably, it made me think that if I ever came out as trans I would be killed.

      • Which is one of the problems with trans-related films (which, again, aren’t made by trans people). So many of them are about punishment, humiliation and murder that they scare the hell out of young people who see them and keep them in the closet. There is a lot more to the trans experience than approaching transition, being yelled at and rejected and getting your head split open.

    • Definitely called it “Soldier’s Boy” by accident. I haven’t seen that movie in years, but I’m so glad somebody else mentioned it. I ran into the bathroom and practically dry heaved during his murder.

  28. I stumbled across Boys Don’t Cry on tv when I was in my early early teens (maybe even as young as 12, idk) when I was just beginning to figure myself out, and yeaaah I somehow sat through the whole thing. I remember afterwards I kind of had a moment of clarity, like: Oh. Okay. The world is awful. People REALLY HATE US, don’t they? And then I spent the rest of the night + most of the following day in bed. Even now, just under a decade later, the mere thought of the movie makes me feel ill.

    On another note! I had planned to watch Lost & Delirious sometime in the future and now, now so much. So yay for avoiding Bad Life Decisions and getting that 1GB of space on my harddrive back.

  29. I’ll never forget seeing Boys Don’t Cry in the theatre because I was 14 years old and it was my first ever double date with my high school boyfriend. AWKward.

    We were all super depressed until we looked at the marquee and it read HILLARYS WANK. hehe, wank.

    • On happier notes relating to that movie- I first heard about it as a pretty little kid, from someone who gave me a fairly warped impression of the plot.

      Basically, she kept going on about how in this movie a girl dresses up like a boy, and this slutty girl comes up and sits on her lap an’ they kiss an’ touch an’ stuff. And the slutty girl takes off her shirt. Going into excruciating detail, since kids that age area all obsessed with sex. Pretty much all I could think was, “I really need to see this movie.”

      I pretty much went through life thinking Boys Don’t Cry was like a semi-pornographic version of She’s The Man. Naturally, I was shocked when I finally did see it.

  30. I haven’t seen Lost and Delirious, but I weep right now for the fact that you think Mischa Barton can ACT.

  31. All you Boys Don’t Cry fans should watch This Film Is Not Yet Rated because it will make you appreciate the movie even more and now I’m going to add excessive punctuation just so you know that I’m serious about this recommendation!!!!!!!!

    • TFINYR is in my queue but I have been putting off- I will have to watch that soon!(!!!!!)

  32. I saw “I Love You Philip Morris” in the theater with my friend at midnight and I started crying twice during the movie. I usually make an effort not to cry when I’m watching movies around other people and got through A Single Man/probably Milk and some others too in this way, but omg.
    Ewan McGregor will always make an adorable gay man, though.

    People have been making some good points… a lot of queer movies end in death/sadness. Can we think of happy queer movies? Like, um… I’m pretty sure The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is fun even though it doesn’t actually show gay kissing/sex. I’m trying to think of a happy lesbian movie or just a good lesbian movie in general but I’m having trouble.

    Angels in America is good, though, and I feel like it ends on a kind of happy note? Or at least… positive.

    • The first two that came to mind are “I Can’t Think Straight” & “The World Unseen”. Both are directed by lesbian director Shamim Sarif. Of her two films, “The World Unseen” is my fave.

      • I freaking LOVE The World Unseen. So beautifully-shot and so good! And the chemistry between those two actresses is just electric.

    • Other queer movies that don’t end in depression: Kissing Jessica Stein, Imagine Me & You, Nina’s Heavenly Delights… basically all the romcoms. :)

      • imagine me and you is my “get happy” movie :3
        it always leads to me spamming my WoW guild with quotes from the movie and then i sing the song in vent :D

    • DEBS. Entirely happy. And ridiculous, but whatevs, there’s Jordana Brewster and girls in short skirts being spies.

      Also, does Bend It Like Beckham count?

      • How about “Breakfast on Pluto”? That movie was like crack. Cillian Murphy makes a really pretty girl. And there are a lot of Irish accents.

        • I don’t know if that qualifies as ‘happy’. It’s got some uplifting parts, but there’s a lot of depressing stuff too.

      • Debs! Yes. This movie cemented my love for Jordana Brewster. I would say that ‘Bend it like Beckham’ CAN be considered GLBT because Kiera Knightley is so damn sexy in this movie. Those abs and that haircut…heavenly.

        • I totally count Bend it Like Beckham as an LGBT movie. Jess and Jules fell in love with each other and the movie was about that, in the original version of the screenplay. But unfortunately the director decided to rewrite it so as not to upset conservatives in the South Asian community. It gives me the sads!

          The movie actually makes way more sense with Jess/Jules as the story, not the least of which because neither of them have any chemistry with the coach. And Keira Knightly and Parminder Nagra are so dang cute together!

          • Yeah, I totally read the movie as gay. I usually just ignore the coach storyline and pretend Jess and Jules actually are together…because they clearly are ;)

            I’d read about that script change and felt kinda ambivalent. On the one hand it would’ve been awesome if the movie was actually about Jess and Jules, not just subtext-y. But I do think the rewrite got more exposure than a “lesbian movie” would’ve, especially considering when it was released; it still managed to present a pretty pro-feminist, gay-friendly message, but it reached a more mainstream audience–including people like Jules’ mom and lots of future baby-gays.

    • i bet “the nicest thing” is the happiest queer movie not made yet.

    • Think this was covered in a previous movie roundup, but: “Show Me Love”! It’s a super cute, very real-seeming Swedish film about two high school girls (one a lonely babygay and total weirdo and one a popular, “straight” total weirdo) and the ending is happy and it is just a delight. Probably the best of the coming-out genre I’ve seen.

    • “Ewan McGregor will always make an adorable gay man, though.”

      Does he ever! Have you seen ‘Velvet Goldmine’?

      Also, ‘Itty Bitty Titty Committee’ is a fun lezzie movie. It has some serious parts, but it ends on a happy note.

    • Love & Other Catastrophes was the first lesbian romcom I ever saw. I think I even saw it before I saw But I’m A Cheerleader. It’s pretty fun and silly (and never gets on any of these lists!) (I didn’t open with But I’m a Cheerleader because everyone’s seen that who’s ever been slightly questioning, right? right?) I don’t know how widely it’s distributed (it’s an Australian indie) but if I could get it from a tiny Wellington video hire in 2004, I’m sure someone will have pirated it at some point.

    • “Bound” is a delightful neo-noir crime caper romp that ends happy for the ladies of the hour. And Gina Gershon/Jennifer Tilly…whoa.

  33. I saw Boys Don’t Cry when I was just 11, and 13 years later the horribleness is still fresh in my memory. Just tearin up thinking about it :(

  34. Boys Don’t Cry is the first movie trailer I remember seeing on tv – around the age of 10 or 11. I had no idea what it was about, but I vividly remember thinking: “hmm, that looks really interesting.” Flash forward about 6 years later and I buy the DVD on sale at Best Buy.

    It’s a great film but a MAJOR BUMMER. But, after watching the film once, it now sits in the corner with the other DVDs. Each time I browse through the DVD collection and come across the case, it just makes me sad.

    The other films on the list are sad to, but BDC just takes it to another level.

  35. I feel like I’m a bad gay, but shit son I hated Brokeback Mountain. All I remember of it was that it made me so, so angry.
    Am I alone in this? All my friends cried for like 8+ hours straight* after watching it and don’t understand my hatred.

    *slight exaggeration

    • i found it incredibly boring. i wish i had just looked at a painting of some epic beautiful misty mountains for an hour, i think i would have gotten more out of it.

      • Part of what I liked about the novella was it was so short and dense. The film just dragged on and on- which is even worse when you know exactly what’s coming.

    • i just watched that! felt like tv-movie or a documentary, but enough sexy scenes & michael’s mom (QAF) to keep me interested!

  36. What about Bent? No lady ‘mos but dear god it’s just tragic.

    Plus it gets bonus points for having Mick Jagger as a drag queen named Greta for the first 20 mins.

  37. Angels in America forever and ever amen. If I could only watch one televisual-based thing for the rest of my life, I think this might be it, and I’m a NUT for TV. I’ve seen the plays live, too, and it was great and a whole other thing, but the cast in this is just EPICALLY GOOD and OMG YES, is my point.

    • “angels in america” is a revelation. i freaked out after seeing it for the first time, pacing around my house and ranting in stream-of-consciousness mode about how my life was now irrevocably transformed and I had just witnessed the ABSOLUTE FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH OF HUMAN EXISTENCE and Tony Kushner is like our generation’s Homer and OMG SUFFERING CAN BE BEAUTIFUL and ART CAN SAVE THE WORLD, etc, etc, etc. Seriously, it had a drug-like effect on me (in the best way possible). I didn’t sleep at all that night.

    • I watched Angels in America in that period in my life when you’re kind of young and out to yourself but no-one else or maybe just your best friend but definitely not your parents, and consuming gay media is a BIG DEAL. It came on TV and I knew it was sort of gay and got VERY SERIOUS about watching it but also trying to make sure my family was not in the room watching it. It made a HUGE impression on me.

  38. First, I saw the Laramie Project as a play in Houston with 3 actors playing all the various parts…awesome.

    All Over Me was a pivotal movie for me personally and I will forever have a crush on Leisha Hailey after seeing it.

    High Art…

  39. Thanks for recommending Aimee and Jaguar – great great film, should be required viewing. I’ve got a few other recs for the subtitled tear-jerker category:

    Le Fate Ignoranti (sometimes translated as “His Secret Life”) is uneven and annoying in places but there are beautiful scenes as well, and one particular scene by the river that I defy you not to weep during.

    La Vie en Rose – not actually super super depressing, but makes me cry every time.

    (not actually subtitled but really artsy so it might as well be) Wittgenstein. Last ‘visual’ film that Derek Jarman made before he went blind and then died of AIDs. About a gay logician who fights with the world and ultimately dies of cancer. Try not to cry at the end.

    Let’s throw in Almodovar’s “All About My Mother” too…it has a happy ending but one of the most depressing starts to a movie ever….

  40. Ive seen some pretty shitty gay movies. Thats all i have to contribute to this.

  41. I cried so much that I felt dehydrated after Boy’s Don’t Cry, also I cried a lot yestarday watching Santana singing Songbird to Brittany.

  42. I am a crier, so I cried at all of these. But I think the movie I cried most at ever ever ever omg you guys was Latter Days, which is not a particularly good film but oh my gosh is it a tearjerker. It rips out your heart and stamps all over it.

  43. I saw “Milk” for the first time last year with my wife. I sobbed like a baby….then felt inspired…then said “I want to BE Harvey Milk when I grow up” BTW – I’m 33 but that statement still stands! LOL!

    I LOVED “Philadelphia”. Still one of my all-time faves despite it’s sadness/depressing factor.

    Wasn’t overly impressed with “Gia”

    Thought “Monster” was ok.

    And – haven’t seen the rest but now want to!

    As for really well done, albeit sad, lesbian movies “High Art” was PHENOMENAL! Sooo well acted, well written, etc. VERY good movie…but have the tissues ready!

  44. Brokeback Mountain, Boys dont cry, and Gia are just so sad, but Monster takes the cake. It had me bawling, tbqh.

  45. Here’s another depressing (but amazing) gay movie: Fire (1995). It’s Indian and surprisingly (at least for my ignorant self) understanding. The ending will leave you crying and miserable, but it’s worth it.

    Allow me to offer two cheerful gay movies to help with the tears and sadness:

    Saving Face (2004). Cute cast, funny and heartwarming as hell, and bilingual to boot.

    The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (2010). Or “How to Successfully Seduce Girls and Be A Badass Queer in 19th Century Yorkshire”. That’s all you need to know. (There are some sad moments, but on the whole it left me feeling elated and grinning at the thought of someone like Anne Lister having been around at that time and place.)

    • If you liked “Fire,” please do yourself a favor and see Deepa Mehta’s other film “Water.” Not queer per se, but fantastic nonetheless.

  46. I cried SO HARD at Milk. Just, ouch. But it left me with hope.

    You know what other homo stuff makes me cry? The It Gets Better commercial that aired during Glee last night.

    I also cried at Fried Green Tomatoes, that counts right? I was twelve and I think it was probably more at the KKK than the gay stuff, though.

  47. The death and alienation we so often see in gay films is usually worthy of a good old fashioned weep-fest, but what makes me cry even harder is how many gay films are just not that good. Bad acting, bad writing, bad storylines, bad quality overall. The gay & lesbian section on Netflix always leaves a hole in my little homo-heart. Of course there are some really great gay films out there, but by and large they’re hard to find.

    I would probably put Fried Green Tomatoes, Aimee And Jaguar, and If These Walls Could Talk 2 on my top ten, but great list here.

    • “what makes me cry even harder is how many gay films are just not that good. Bad acting, bad writing, bad storylines, bad quality overall”

      ^ this
      the 5 minute scene about Valerie the lesbian in V for Vendetta is better than entire gay movies.

    • I’m going to admit, I’m probably contributing to the support of crap gay movies. I’m willing to cut a movie a lot of slack if it’s got front-and-center gay storylines. Sometimes I’d rather watch a crap gay movie than a well-done straight movie, just because I get so bogged down in the hetero-ness of modern media.

  48. I love Latter Days & At Home at the End of the World. I don’t think they are too depressing though. At least not Latter Days. Home is depressing to me, cause (SPOILER) Bobby ends up alone, the only way he wouldn’t want it.

  49. Milk made me angry. I loved the movie but I went and yelled at my straight best friend about being a heteronormative asshole when he didn’t deserve it. So you might not want to be around straight people immediately after this movie, especially when they ask you dumb things like “why do you need a pride patch anyway?”

  50. The first time I ever watched Boys Don’t Cry, it was late at night while I was waiting for my girlfriend to come over so we could say goodbye to each other before she left for college.


  51. I feel the need to comment and say not all docs are sad and depressing. THE TOPP TWINS: UNTOUCHABLE GIRLS is hilarious and inspiring and awesome. And EDIE AND THEA: A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT is also not at all depressing.

  52. Where is ‘But I’m A Cheerleader’?
    Seriously, that film fully started my sexual awakening.

    & RuPaul is in it.
    & it’s totally surrealist film-making.


    • Really? But I’m a Cheerleader made me laugh and smile. Maybe it was just the intensity of the realization?

      Lost and Delirious made me cry so so much [not at the ending, though, I don’t understand people who cried at the ending] mostly because it made me realize that I was in love. I started crying when Tori walked away from her sister on the bridge, and was practically bawling when Paulie was in the window with the Ani. I continued crying, kind of in waves, and then it all died down mostly when it gets weird in the woods with the Shakespeare.
      [This is how I talk when I’m trying not to give spoilers.]

      I was very, very reticent to say ‘I love you’ before watching that because words mean SO MUCH, and love means vulnerability. Then I realized that what I had was SO MUCH, and I was vulnerable.

      • I think it probably hit me at the wrong time. I was like, 13, and at a sleepover with my school friends, and there was all this inner turmoil and ANGSSSTTT and I couldn’t coherently explain why the film meant so much to me and made me cry so much.

        But it probably was just me realizing everything about myself at once then immediately repressing it that made me cry. I think if I watched it now I’m out and all, I’d probably laugh and smile. :)

        It’s a good film. Such a GOOD FILM.

  53. THE COLOR PURPLE: It was the summer after I graduated college. I was full of feelings and full of hurts. I was all bruised up by the world for a myriad of reasons and I needed to cry. Like, really really REALLY cry. For whatever reason, I couldn’t do so without help. I pulled out a memory from deep inside of my fragile psyche and remembered watching THE COLOR PURPLE as a kid. I remembered watching it and being really sad afterwards and being confused about a lot of the undertones of gayness (that I only figured out were gay after reading the story years later). So I decided that it was time to watch it again, as a broken 22 year old. I went to the library, checked it out, came home and watched.

    I proceeded to cry uncontrollably for three hours straight. You guys, I howled and screamed and poured out all of the tears from my broken little heart for THREE HOURS. In fact, I’m not really sure how it was possible that the police wasn’t contacted. If I was a neighbor and had heard my own racket I would have feared for my life and called the cops.

  54. I know that it’s kind of a travesty that Four Weddings and a Funeral is like … the straight pride movie with the dead gays, BUT. I cry at Auden every time. EVERY TIME.

    Other than that it’s basically my life mission to NOT watch and read things that make me cry, so I think it’s a testament to … something that I’ve seen three of these! (Angels in America, Brokeback, Milk.) I keep meaning to see the Laramie Project, though.

  55. Heavenly creatures. I’m not sure if I cried a lot but it hit me for sure. Partly based on quotes of a diary of a truly insane girl, I would say. Kind of horrible how her environment deals with homosequality.

    Also: Kate Winslet when she was younger :)

  56. I had a friend in high school who watched Boys Don’t Cry and spent the entire next day in the counselor’s office. true story, she was like traumatized. I can’t say I blame her, I still can’t watch the whole thing through. Same with Monster

  57. “We started Autostraddle like two months after we saw Milk, which as aforementioned, made me weep as I had never wept before.

    You gotta give ‘em hope.”

    You are giving me hope !

  58. I just saw Frida for the first time last night. Beautiful movie, but definitely pretty tragic. I was crying at a couple different parts. Good bisexual movie =)

  59. my ex got me to watch boys dont cry and we watched it during duty hours in the female day room and our male sergeant walked in during the sex scene and that kinda broke the tension cuz we were trying to make it sound like a really girly movie and he made some sexist comment and left. luckily we pulled it off.

    but then we got to the end and cried lots my ex had to leave she can’t handle the end. also hilary swank as brandon teena is so sexy to me am I wrong for thinking that? unfffff I watched it at first just to see brandon’s sexy mirror scene talking about what an asshole he is mmmmm

    k im done now.

  60. Almost cried watching Gia, too bitter to cry watching Lost & Delirious, but Fingersmith always makes me tear up.

  61. Along similar lines of “A Single Man” is “Far From Heaven,” though ultimately the bi-racial relationship is the one you end up sympathizing/rooting for rather than the queer relationship, but the themes are similar. And sad, sad, sad.

    “High Art.” I can remember being totally wrecked when it first came out, though I saw it recently, and while still a tear-jerker, I would not classify it as the brilliant film I once thought it was. But HotDamn Rhada Mitchell.

  62. The Children’s Hour is amazing. And definitely weep-worthy. The play, by Lillian Helman, is a little different from the movie. Take a look at both. But honestly, any movie with Audrey Hepburn deserves to be watched. This is also one of Shirley MacLaine’s earlier movies. So that’s a plus.

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