The 2018 film (based off of Becky Albertalli’s young adult novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) follows the story of typical, suburban high school senior Simon Spier as he tries to navigate life after being blackmailed and threatened with outing by one of his classmates while also trying to figure out the identity of his anonymous, romantic, online pen pal named Blue.
Although there are serious themes and instances of casual homophobia throughout the movie, like most teen rom-coms, the ending is really sweet and gives the audience a feeling of hope for the titular character and his life as a newly-out, gay man.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This 2014 coming-of-age drama based on the Stephen Chbosky novel of the same name follows Charlie (Logan Lerman), who is struggling with depression and uneasy about starting high school. Two seniors, Sam (Emma Watson), and her gay stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller) take him under their wing.
This 2014 drama tells the story of Randy Rousseau, a gay teen in a small Baptist town. His younger sister has been missing for years, and his family feels like it’s unraveling. Mo’Nique and Isaiah Washington star as Randy’s parents.
But I’m a Cheerleader
This 1999 satirical cult classic follows Megan Bloomfield (Natasha Lyonne), a high school cheerleader who is sent to a residential conversion camp to cure her lesbianism. At the camp, Megan falls in love with Graham (Clea Duvall) and embraces her sexual orientation. The supporting cast includes Melanie Lynskey, and RuPaul as the “ex-gay” Mike. The amazing soundtrack, camp set design, and awesome performances make this a must-see high school comedy.
In this 2013 comedy, three high school cliques led by Fawcett (PLL’s Sasha Pieterse), Caprice (Xosha Roquemore), and ‘Shley (Andrea Bowen) are at war. When Tanner (Michael J. Willett) is outed, he finds himself cast as a potential Gay Best Friend to the clique queens, who force Tanner to choose between popularity or true friends. Natasha Lyonne appears in a supporting role as a teacher, Ms. Hoegel.
The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love
Before starring in The L Word as Tina Kennard, Laurel Holloman played 17-year-old Randy in this 1995 romantic drama. Randy is mocked by other students for her tomboyish appearance, works at a gas station, and lives with her lesbian aunt Rebecca and her girlfriend. Evie (Nicole Ari Parker) stops by in a Range Rover to get her tires serviced, and Randy recognizes her from school and talks to her. Evie lives with her cultured well-off mother, but despite their different circumstances, they fall in love.
This 2011 drama written and directed by Dee Rees follows 17-year-old Alike (Adepero Oduye) who slowly comes to terms with her identity as a butch lesbian, and eventually comes out to her unaccepting parents.
The Way He Looks
This 2014 Brazilian romantic drama follows Leonardo, a blind high school student who struggles with independence, and falls in love with a new student named Gabriel.
This comedy-drama based on the Brent Hartinger novel of the same name follows 16-year-old Russell (Cameron Deane Stewart), who is going on dates with girls while having a secret relationship with football quarterback Kevin, and will do anything to keep his secret from his teammates. He falls in with other LGBT students who form a secret support group that they call the Geography Club.
The Curiosity of Chance
This 2006 comedy is set in 1980s Europe at an international high school and follows gay student Chance Marquis who is bullied for his sexual orientation. When he discovers self-expression through drag, he realizes the only way he’ll ever fit in is by standing out.
Edge of Seventeen
This 1998 high school dramedy is set in Sandusky, Ohio in 1984. Eric is a Eurythmics-obsessed teenager who is coming to terms with his sexual orientation, and dreams of moving to New York after graduation.
Olivia Wilde’s 2019 feature directorial debut, Booksmart is a hilarious coming-of-age film that stars IRL queer actress/Lady Bird star Beanie Feldstein and Unbelievable‘s Kaitlyn Dever as smart-as-hell high school seniors Molly and Amy as they try to live it up on their last night as high schoolers. One of the storylines in the film centers around Amy (Dever), an out lesbian, trying to muster up the courage to tell her crush she likes her.
Gay Short 2016
(Ben & Ethan)
Episode 1 (Pilot) Sixteen year old Ben is anxious to meet his mystery online boy-crush while best friend Evie agonises over her body image and crippling desires. Their foil Karly, a rambunctious tomboy, reveals her singing talents with an all-too-appropriate cover of Missy Higgins’ “Secret”. Hedley High newcomer Ethan intrigues them all. An Australian first, this made for TV drama features teen LGBT characters at the core of its storytelling. Through a coming-of-age narrative, witness the harsh difficulties faced in suburban Australia by following these young adults as they deal with their complex and conflicting emotions. It will be a rocky road to love and inclusion through their final years of high school.
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