The 13 Most Heartbreaking, Romantic Gay Movie Kisses Ever

“Once you get that first kiss in, you are comfortable,” Michael Douglas told New York Magazine on tongue-wrestling with Matt Damon.

There’s always a sort of morbid fascination whenever openly straight actors — particularly openly straight male actors — play gay characters, as if kissing a man is the ultimate test of a thespian’s mettle.

It’s just a kiss, after all.

But sometimes, a kiss is more than a kiss. It moves mountains, ignites fires, heals wounds and/or leads to some tastefully-filmed love scenes. Ahead of the premiere of Douglas and Damon’s Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra on HBO this Sunday, we look back on queer cinemas best dude-on-dude smooching.

A lot has been made about how “GAY!!!” Steven Soderbergh’s film is, but he and his leading men have some big lips to fill.

Break out the Chapstick and pucker up to Queerty’s favorite gay kisses in cinema!

Harry Hamlin and Michael Ontkean in Making Love (1982)

This movie was groundbreaking at the time as the first mainstream Hollywood drama to deal with being gay, being closeted and coming out. Ontkean is married to Charlie’s Angel, Kate Jackson, till Harry Hamlin comes along and turns him on like a Fawcett (*rimshot*), awakening long-suppressed feelings.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Gordon Warnecke in My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

Worlds collide, drama unfolds and clothes are folded at a small London laundromat started by old friends and lovers, Omar (Warnecke) and Johnny (Day-Lewis). Their beautiful laundrette becomes a symbol of their love in the face of racial, political and social tensions. Also, Daniel Day-Lewis has never been hotter:


Young Lincoln was so frisky. Photo

James Wilby and Rupert Graves in Maurice (1987)

Effete aristocrat Clive (Hugh Grant) is unable to commit to Cambridge classmate Maurice (James Wilby), who finally finds the love he’s been dreaming of with Clive’s gameskeeper (Rupert Graves) in this great adaptation of E.M. Forster’s way-ahead-of-its-time novel of the same name. The book was originally written in 1913 but only published after Forster’s death in 1971 due to its rather liberal views on homosexuality.

Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix in My Own Private Idaho (1992)

People use “revelation” pretty fast and loose nowadays, but River Phoenix truly is in Gus Van Sant’s indie classic as Mike, a narcoleptic hustler who falls in love with Scott, the black sheep son of the mayor of Portland (Reeves). Mike’s love is, sadly, one-sided, though Scott relents after hearing this:


And honestly, who wouldn’t? SighPhoto

Ewan McGregor and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Velvet Goldmine  (1998)

The world comes to stop for a moment when Rhys Meyers, playing the David Bowie-esque Brian Slade, and McGregor, his onetime lover, lock lips. At 20 seconds, and in extreme close-up, that moment seems like forever.


History, repeating. Photo

Ohad Knoller and Yehuda Levi in Yossi and Jagger (2002)

Israeli soldiers Yossi (Knoller) and Lior, aka Jagger (Levi) enjoy a passionate, but secret affair that abruptly comes to an end during a surprise attack on the Israel-Lebanon border when Jagger is fatally injured. While the story ends on a super depressing note, Yossi is given a second chance at love and life in the recently-released sequel.


Moves like Jagger. Photo

Steve Sandvoss and Wes Ramsey in Latter Days (2003)

Being a gay Mormon ain’t easy. That whole celibacy thing is the most glaring dealbreaker, but deals and hearts are broken when the devout Aaron (Sandvoss) falls for LA party boi Christian. But they both get more than they bargain for and we get this clichéd but still effective kiss before flying.


And we have take-off. Photo

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain (2005)

If you want to get your heart ripped out for two-and-a-half hours, sit down with a box of Kleenex to Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain. Jack Twist (Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar’s (Ledger) tale of unrequited love is  one of cinema’s most poetically beautiful and the violent, passionate kiss they share after finally being reunited is just about perfect:


Fuck that hat. Photo

Trevor Wright and Brad Rowe in Shelter (2007)

Zach (Wright) and Shaun (Rowe) find a bond through surfing, but boards aren’t the only things they’re riding. Shaun helps Zach comes to grips with his sexuality and life in general after they share this sweet first kiss. And while nothing beats a first kiss, a “rip-your-clothes-off-because-I’ve -been-waiting-for-this-so-we’re-totes-doing-it-right-now” kiss comes in a close second:


Catch the wave, bro. Photo

Matthew Goode and Ben Whishaw in Brideshead Revisited (2008)

Jeremy Irons, before sticking his foot in his mouth then swirling it around for good measure, starred in the critically-acclaimed 1981 miniseries, but for those without 11 hours of their lives to spare, the 2008 adaptation has its own merits. Particularly this:


Goode to the last drop. Photo

Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey in I Love You Phillip Morris  (2009)

Ewan McGregor returns to our list as the titular object of Jim Carrey’s affection in this twisted love story based on the real-life exploits of con artist Steven Jay Russell, who wouldn’t let something as silly as the law get between him and his man.

Tom Cullen and Chris New in Weekend (2011)



A one night stand opens the possibilities to something much more for everygayman Russell (Cullen) and aspiring artist, Glenn (New), over the course of a passionate, but ultimately fleeting weekend. For modern gay romance, it doesn’t get much better than their parting kiss goodbye.


Such sweet sorrow. Photo

Thure Lindhardt and Zachary Booth in Keep the Lights On (2012)



Before things get messy — like, sloppy — between them, Erik (Lindhardt) and Paul (Booth) share this sweet moment. Their relationship gets complicated by drug addiction and basically a whole lot of crazy, but at the center of it all is just two people struggling to keep it together.

So by now you’re either in a romantic mood or wading through a puddle of your own emotional filth —preferably both. Let us know which scenes are your favorite — and which ones we missed — in the comments!