Watching a good movie can be transformational. Films have the power to touch our hearts, start important conversations, and influence us to think differently than we did before.
That’s why, as Repair the World celebrates Pride Month this June, we’re calling out some of the films that made the most impact and changed the conversation about LGBTQ awareness and rights in America.
THE BOYS IN THE BAND (1970): As one of the first major motion pictures to feature gay characters, this movie is considered an important milestone in bringing awareness of the gay community into national conversation.
PARIS IS BURNING (1990) This powerful documentary charted the lives of the fashionable New Yorkers who created “voguing” and drag balls, and fostered a sense of acceptance and joy in an uncertain world.
PHILADELPHIA (1993): Starring Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, and Antonio Banderez, this moving film was one of the first mainstream Hollywood movies to address homosexuality, homophobia, and HIV/AIDS. Hanks won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role.
BOYS DON’T CRY (1999) Starring Hilary Swank, this movie is based on the true story of Brandon Teena, a trans man who was raped and murdered in a vicious hate crime. Swank won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role.
BROTHER OUTSIDER: THE LIFE OF BAYARD RUSTIN (2003): This documentary chronicles the life of Bayard Rustin, visionary civil rights leader and gay rights activist in the 1960s.
ANGELS IN AMERICA (2003): While technically not a movie, this cinematic HBO miniseries, adapted from a play by Tony Kushner, told the story of two couples in the 1980s facing the challenges of the spreading AIDS epidemic and changing political climate. It was the most watched made-for-cable film the year it came out.
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2005): Based on a short story by Annie Proulx and directed by Ang Lee, this heart-wrenching drama depicts the decades-long relationship between two men – played by Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger – in the American West.
TRANSAMERICA (2005): Starring Felicity Huffman, this movie tells the story of a transsexual woman who goes on a road trip with her long-lost son. Huffman won a Golden Globe for her performance.
MILK (2008): Starring Sean Penn as 1970s politician and gay rights activist Harvey Milk, this movie shares the story of how one incredible person can spur on a movement.
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE (2012): The story of a group of young people, many of them HIV-positive young men, taking on Washington and the medical establishment. This movie brought the issues of healthcare, AIDS and the gay community in the 1980s and 90s to light.
Did we miss your favorite LGBT-themed movie? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting @repairtheworld #pridemonth.