screen gems

10 queer sports movies to awaken the jock in all of us

The Shiny Shrimps

Maybe it’s the warmer weather. Maybe it’s the viral video of a baseball player’s posterior jiggling after getting struck by a stray ball. In any case, we here at Queerty have sports on the mind… not to mention any number of handsome players.

As such we’ve taken a few minutes to compile this roundup of our favorite queer sports films to renew our love of springtime recreation and quench our appetite for seeing our beloved LGBTQ folk at the center of a sports story.

And folks, trust us: the thirst is real.


Two soccer players fall in love in this 2018 drama. Other than the usual romantic beats, Mario deserves praise for highlighting the commercial elements of sports sponsorship, and how even in an age of greater acceptance, athletes still have to contend with homophobic attitudes that can derail their career prospects.

Streams on Amazon, YouTube & VUDU.

The Shiny Shrimps

This French comedy—still frustratingly unavailable in the US due to rights issues—is one of the best queer comedies in recent years. A homophobic professional swimmer tries to rehab his public image by coaching a gay men’s water polo team. Of course, the new coach doesn’t exactly feel comfortable around his flamboyant new team, which makes for some very hilarious sequences. Hey Hollywood, get this one stateside, would ya?

Streams on Amazon UK.

Battle of the Sexes

Oscar-winner Emma Stone stepped into the role of queer sports legend Billie Jean King in this biopic. Battle of the Sexes recounts King’s public rivalry with male tennis star Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), and their series of man vs. woman matches. Amid the public scrutiny, King also struggled with her hidden sexuality. Even though we knew how the Riggs-King matches ended, we couldn’t help but find ourselves rooting for her… and against Riggs’ slimy arrogance.

Streams on Amazon, Hulu & YouTube.

Personal Best

Legendary writer Robert Towne brought queerness to the screen in back in 1982. Two female track stars, Chris & Troy (Mariel Hemingway & Patrice Donnelly) meet and fall in love while training for the Olympics, much to the dissatisfaction of Chris’ coach Terry, who might just harbor feelings of his own for his trainee. Hemingway and Donnelly both give intense, physical performances…and yes, that includes the sex scenes too.

Streams on Amazon & YouTube.

The Pass

Russell Tovey gives one of his best performances in this drama. Jason (Tovey) and Ade (Arinze Kene), soccer teammates, spend the night together before a big match. Then, something unexpected happens: one kisses the other. So begins a decade of lies, secrets and burning passion that could derail both their careers.

Streams on Amazon, Tubi & VUDU.


15-year-old Sieger, a withdrawn track and field star, gets a summer he will never forget in this romance. When a handsome, wild new player joins the team, Sieger feels even more isolated… and ever more attracted to his new teammate. Call it a summer love story for the rest of us.

Streams on Amazon, Kanopy & Tubi.

Breaking the Surface

Olympic diver Greg Louganis gets the biopic treatment in this made-for-TV movie. Mario Lopez gets one of his best roles stepping into Greg’s speedo, as the film recounts Louganis’ abuse at the hands of his father (Michael Murphy) and boyfriend/manager Tom Barrett (Jeff Meek). The film also addresses Lougains’ coming out as HIV-positive, and the shattering impact that had in the world of sports.

Streams on Amazon & YouTube.


Two artsy surfer boys find romance in this 2007 drama. Zach (Trevor Wright) falls hard for Shaun (Brad Rowe), the older brother of his best friend. When their friends and family learn of their relationship, Zach and Shaun face tough decisions about their futures, and endanger Zach’s relationship with his young nephew, Cody.

Streams on Here.Tv.

Handsome Devil

Writer/director John Butler helmed this high school comedy about unexpected friendship. Ned (Fionn O’Shea), an artistically minded student gets paired with Conor (Nicholas Galitzine) the school’s new, star athlete as a roommate. Though the two first clash, they begin to form a connection that brings out hidden elements of both their personalities. Then Ned makes a shocking discovery about Conor’s past that threatens to derail their friendship and destroy Conor’s status. Can their friendship survive?

Streams on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Tubi & VUDU.

Play It to the Bone

Few readers will likely remember this 1999 sports comedy about the rivalry between a pair of thick-headed boxers. Longtime friends Cesar Dominguez (Antonio Banderas) and Vince Boudreau (Woody Harrelson) get one last shot to save their flailing boxing careers…by fighting each other. Secrets come to the fore as the pair prepare to duke it out, including the revelation that Dominguez is actually bisexual. Play It to the Bone isn’t exactly a heart-swelling queer romance, but it is an example of a mainstream movie that flirted with LGBTQ inclusion when those characters were still rare.

Streams on Amazon, YouTube & VUDU.