12 New(ish) Queer Films You Can Stream in Isolation

From flashy fashion docs to frilly period pieces to artsy gay eye candy, we've got you covered.

Have you binged Tiger King and now feel lost, empty, and unsure where to turn for your next dose of all-consuming entertainment? We get it—it’s a high bar, girl!

Our suggestion: Why not catch up on some of the great LGBTQ movies you may have missed pre-lockdown, when you were running all over, hitting the gym and touching your face?

Sure, almost everyone’s heard of and seen Moonlight and the sweet gay rom-com Love, Simon (soon to be spun off into a Hulu series), but what about The Happy Prince, Rupert Everett’s outstanding, under-the-radar 2018 biopic about Oscar Wilde’s final years? Or H.P. Mendoza’s darkly comic family dramedy Bitter Melon?

Here, we’ve pulled together a handy guide to 12 recent film-fest favorites and quality art-house flicks that are all streaming right now. Whether you’re alone or just want to shut your chatty roommate/doting partner/nagging mother up, they’re a perfect way to pass the time during self-isolation.

  1. Adam (2019)

    Adapted from Ariel Schrag’s 2014 novel, Transparent producer Rhys Ernst’s feature debut dramedy brings us trans representation realness, suspense, and laughs through its tale of a straight cis teen (Nicholas Alexander) who falls in with his older sister’s LGBTQ social circle and gets romantically involved with a lesbian (nonbinary actor Bobbi Salvör Menuez) who assumes he’s a transman. Adam also introduced the world to handsome trans newcomer Leo Sheng, who went on to play Micah in The L Word: Generation Q.

    Watch It On: Hulu

  2. Cubby (2019)

    If you’re up for a little off-kilter queer cinema that takes cues from early Gus Van Sant and James Bidgood, try writer-director-star Mark Blane’s sometimes cringey confection about a 20-something gay hipster manchild who babysits a 6-year old (Joseph Seuffert) while fantasizing about the Tom of Finland–esque Leather-Man (Christian Patrick).

    Watch It On: Amazon

  3. Halston (2019)

    Dior and I director Frédéric Tcheng has a passion for fashion, and his latest designer-focused documentary—released theatrically last May—revisits the enigmatic American icon’s fabulous innovations and most famous works (Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat; hot pants), and 1990 death from AIDS complications. Expect plenty of archival footage and interviews with celebrity friends like Liza Minnelli.

    Watch It On: Amazon

  4. Rafiki (2019)

    Although hopes were high that Kenya would finally decriminalize homosexuality last year, its High Court decided to uphold those laws in May, making this acclaimed Kenyan feature about a young tomboy named Kena (Samantha Mugatsia), who falls for the well-heeled daughter (Sheila Munyiva) of her father’s political rival, as timely as ever. Banned in its home country until director Wanuri Kahiu won a landmark Supreme Court case, it was the first Kenyan film to play Cannes and became a runaway hit back home. Because love wins—at least on screen!

    Watch It On: Hoopla, Kanopy

  5. Vita & Virginia (2019)

    If Portrait of a Lady on Fire left you thirsty for another period lesbian romance, check out director Chanya Button’s slept-on adaptation of Dame Eileen Atkins’ 1993 play about the affair between bipolar author Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki) and socialite Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton, also an executive producer).

    Watch It On: Hulu

  6. Bitter Melon (2018)

    Filipino-American filmmaker and musician H.P. Mendoza (Fruit Fly, Colma: The Musical) audaciously blends sassy, whip-smart comedy with shockingly dark drama in this tale of a San Francisco family reunion gone awry when gay New York–based Declan (Jon Norman Schneider) returns home and discoveres his pothead sibling, Troy (Patrick Epino), has become a toxic serial abuser whose reign of terror can only be stopped by murdering him. Paging Joe Exotic!

    Watch It On: Tubi

  7. Casandro, the Exotico! (2018)

    In the world of Mexican lucha libre wrestling, a type of luchador known as “exotico’ is sissying the match. Marie Losier’s documentary, released in theaters last July, focuses on the sassy and campy Cassandro, an openly gay English-speaking veteran of the sport, as he prepares to retire.

    Watch It On: Ovid

  8. Girl (2018)

    A Golden Globe Best Foreign Language Picture nominee and winner of four Cannes awards (including the Queer Palm), Belgian director Lukas Dhont’s drama about an aspiring teenage ballet dancer came under fire for casting a cis male, Victor Polster, as its trans female protagonist, Lara. A year after the backlash, Girl still leaves a powerful mark, and truth be told, Polster—whose character was based on real-life trans ballet dancer Nora Monsecour, an advisor on the movie—is sensitive and utterly convincing.

    Watch It On: Netflix

  9. The Happy Prince (2018)

    Ten years in the making, Rupert Everett’s passion project—which he wrote, directed, and stars in—dramatizes the iconic queer wit Oscar Wilde’s final years, from his prison stint for “gross indecency” to his self-destructive exile in Paris and ill-advised rekindling of his ruinous affair with Sir Alfred “Bosie” Douglas (Colin Morgan). All that’s missing from this descent into tragedy is tigers, lost teeth, and Carole Baskin.

    Watch It On: Starz

  10. McQueen (2018)

    Late fashion genius and tortured soul Alexander McQueen gets the documentary treatment from director Ian Bonhôte, with equal emphasis on his stunning work (where would Lady Gaga be without those armadillo shoes?), his eye-popping catwalk shows, and the darkness that inspired it all.

    Watch It On: Amazon

  11. My Best Friend (2018)

    Shy 16-year-old Lorenzo (Angelo Mutti Spinetta) lives with his family in remote Patagonia, South America, but when his parents take in Caíto (Lautaro Rodríguez), the difficult yet handsome son of a friend, Lorenzo finds himself dealing with overwhelming (and wholly entertaining) new feelings.

    Watch It On: Tubi

  12. Postcards From London (2018)

    British actor Harris Dickinson made for a compelling (and very hawt) closeted Brooklyn teen in 2017’s Beach Rats, but did you catch his turn in this stylized feature about a handsome young Brit, Jim (Dickinson), who finds work as an elite gay escort and becomes literally immersed in art due to a condition called Stendhal syndrome? Didn’t think so. Get streaming!

    Watch It On: Netflix

Main image: Harris Dickinson in Postcards From London.

Lawrence is a New York-based travel and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Time Out New York and The New York Post.
@LawrenceFerber