America to Brokeback: Enough Already!


(from Fish Drink Water)

Alright, America, it’s time to move on. This has officially gone too far.

Labelling Brokeback Mountain as the “Great Gay Movie” of our time is perhaps a bit short-sighted, in respect to the huge quantity of queer cinema out there.

In an effort to wean society off Brokeback, we’d like to make some other recommendations, and celebrate the brilliant gay films that were hitting the silver screen long before Jack and Ennis were hitting it in a tent. Plan a film festival party, invite over some of your favorite gays, and perhaps pick one of these stellar recommendations from our personal libraries:

Beautiful Thing
A British film about two teenage boys in love. Yes, the story has been told before, but not in such a touching, engrossing way. If you don’t cry tears of joy at the end, you aren’t gay. Or human.

Boys Don’t Cry
Brandon Teena, a woman living as a man, falls in love with another woman. Too bad everyone gets murdered at the end. A true story; Hillary Swank won the Oscar for her role. Don’t watch it unless you’re ready to be upset for the rest of the night.

If you don’t understand Liza Minnelli, watch Cabaret, and you will learn. She is brillaint in this movie, and she won the Best Actress Oscar. The story of Nazi persecution of gays, artists, and anyone else they didn’t like, we dare you to not dance along.

Desert Hearts
Set in the 1950’s, a university professor arrives in Nevada to divorce her husband, but falls for a lovely lady who works at a local ranch. Superb acting and a flawless script make this movie an all-time classic. The L Word can only dream of being this good.

Gods and Monsters
We could discuss Sir Ian McKellon‘s brilliant performance as Frankenstein director James Whale, who becomes romantically obsessed with a young man who poses for “drawing sessions.” But really, the movie is all about Brendan Fraser‘s naked scenes. Based on a true story.

Hedwig And The Angry Inch
A musical about a never-was glam rock superstar, who escaped East Germany by giving up something very, very important One of the best movie musicals we have ever seen, the song “Origins Of Love” is on our iPods. This movie is GENIUS! Funny, bizarre, and entirely engrossing.

Short for “Long Island Expressway,” the story of a teenage boy who falls prey to a pedophile, played by Brian Cox (of X-Men fame). Twisted and brilliant. Not for the faint of heart.

Ma Vie en Rose
This movie pulls at your heart strings in the way only a French film can. A little boy wants to be a little girl, loves another boy, and lives in a dream world filled with glamour and miracles. You’ll want to reach through your TV and give him a hug.

Making Love
The original gay love story, about a man who leaves his wife for another man. Schmaltzy, sappy, and lots of sex. Plus a supporting performance by the smart Charlie’s Angel, Kate Jackson!

Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil
Why have we forgotten about this one? Gay murder, voodoo, and The Lady Chablis (oh my!) run rampant. A considerable box-office success, this was directed by Clint Eastwood. Yeah, as in, Dirty Harry.

Mysterious Skin
A teenage hustler and a guy obsessed with alien conspiracy theories become friends, bonding in their shared pasts of sexual abuse. And from there…well, you’ll just have to see it, because we can’t explain more without giving it away. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the young alien from 3rd Rock From The Sun, pulls out all the stops to prove he’s the real deal. Another tough, tough movie, get ready.

The Opposite Of Sex
Not since she channeled Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family movies has Christina Ricci shined so brightly as she does in The Opposite Of Sex. A teenager (Ricci) tracks down her gay half-brother, seduces his boyfriend, and tries to extort everyone for money, but things don’t end how you would imagine. One of our absolute favorite movies of all time, please watch it again and again. Lisa Kudrow‘s performance as the resident spinster should have won every award out there.

Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert
Drag queens zoom across the Australian outback. So damned funny. In the group is Terrence Stamp, a.k.a. “General Zod” from Superman, Hugo Weaving, a.k.a. “Smith” from The Matrix, and Guy Pearce, the star of Memento. Who knew drag queens and trannies make good action stars?

Six Degrees Of Separation
Based on a true story, a young con-man weasels his way into the lives of uptown New Yorkers, and has some gay sex along the way. Although a gay kiss was now-infamously cut from the film, it still delivers; the next time you shake your head at Will Smith‘s crappy movies of late, watch this film and marvel at the genius of his performance. Also starring Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland, both of whom we love love love.

This is not a great movie. But we love it anyway. Tori Spelling–yes, Tori Spelling–plays the ultimate fag-hag, in a performance that is inspired, hilarious, and surprisingly sophisticated. And by the end, you can’t help but root for the main characters. Great movie-party choice.

The Wedding Banquet
Ang Lee‘s first major film available in the West, The Wedding Banquet is the story of a gay landlord who marries his female tenant, so she can gain citizenship; but when she ends up pregnant, the landlord’s boyfriend is less than pleased. Touching, clever, and entirely engrossing. It rivals Brokeback Mountain as Ang Lee’s best.

Don't forget to share:

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated