16 LGBT Movies With Happy Endings

Spoiler Alert: These will fill you with joy! 🌈

As queer people, we barely ever get to see positive representations of the LGBTQIA+ community in mainstream media. Our stories are either met with tragic endings or turn out to be utterly depressing. Growing up, whatever pieces of queer cinema I could find were rooted in heartbreak and misfortune. While these stories are very much a reality for most people, it is incredibly important, especially for the younger generation, to experience stories that do not always end in tragedy. Knowing that there is a possibility of a happier life by accepting your sexuality is something we need more of.

Therefore, here’s a list of queer movies that, for a change, have happy endings!


Fire Island (2022)

Jax Media

Fire Island is a unique movie adaptation of the beloved Jane Austen novel, “Pride and Prejudice”. This masterpiece not only depicts the humour and honesty that queer culture brings along, but is also an extremely important film because it has queer Asian actors in leading roles. A celebration of queerness and queer people who have otherwise been ridiculed, if there’s one movie you should watch, let it be this one.  


The Handmaiden (2016)

Moho Film/Yong Film

The Handmaiden is a South Korean psychological thriller about a Japanese heiress and her handmaiden. The many twists, turns, and deceptions make this movie an epic love story in the queer canon. The film is jaw-dropping and will make your heart feel strangely full towards the end.  


The Birdcage (1996)

United Artists/Nichols Film Company

An all-time classic featuring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, The Birdcage is about a gay couple who run a nightclub in Miami. Their perfect life is shaken up when their son decides to marry the daughter of a conservative senator. A unique feature of The Birdcage is that prejudice is often handled with hilarity and that alone will keep you coming back to this movie.  


But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)

Ignite Entertainment/The Kushner-Locke Company

While many countries have taken a firm stand against it, conversion therapy is still a reality for many and claims several lives every year, if not leaving people traumatised for life. But I’m a Cheerleader, starring Natasha Lyonne, is a satirical take on the subject that is not discussed enough in mainstream media.  


In a Heartbeat (2017)

Ringling College of Art and Design

In a Heartbeat may be an animated short film, but the storytelling, that is done in a mere four minutes, is incredibly larger than life. This story about a closeted boy who is nervous about his crush finding out about him, is told without any dialogue and only uses expressions that will make you grin from ear to ear.  


Looking: The Movie (2016)


Although it’s a wrap-up movie for the HBO show, Looking, the film beautifully maintains the essence of the series about a group of queer friends navigating their everyday life in the heart of San Francisco.  


God’s Own Country (2017)

British Film Institute

God’s Own Country is a story about a troubled farmer who meets a Romanian migrant worker and begins a relationship with him. Set against the stunning visuals of Yorkshire, this slow and simple tale of passion and acceptance will leave you gushing.  


Badhaai Do (2022)

Junglee Pictures

Badhaai Do is a comical depiction of the concept of lavender marriages, wherein a gay man and a lesbian enter into a marriage of convenience for the sake of their families and the society, while living their own separate lives. Rajkummar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar’s portrayal of queer characters is devoid of any stereotypes that have otherwise been perpetuated in Bollywood, thereby setting a great example for future movies.  


To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995)

Universal Pictures

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar stars Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, and John Leguizamo as three amazing drag queens and depicts their journey of transformation of the self and the conservative town they find themselves in.  


The Way He Looks (2014)

Lacuna Filmes

The Way He Looks was one of the first movies that I watched that did not end on a sad note or with someone’s death. This Brazilian coming-of-age romance is an earnest portrayal of Leo and Gabriel’s blooming relationship. It is also an important film for its representation of queer people with disabilities, with Ghilherme Lobo playing Leo, a visually impaired teenager.  


Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan

A group of three homeless individuals from Tokyo — Gin, Hana, and Miyuki, come together to rescue an infant they find in a garbage dump, thereby weaving a tale of suspense, comedy, and compassion.


Margarita with a Straw (2014)

Viacom18 Motion Pictures

Laila (Kalki Koechlin), a young girl with cerebral palsy, falls for Khanum (Sayani Gupta), a blind girl of Pakistani-Bangladeshi descent. The film, without being preachy and motivational, tells the stories of people living with disabilities while also exploring the issues of sexuality and self-love.


Carol (2015)


Adapted from the highly acclaimed romance novel, “The Price of Salt”, Carol documents the lives of lesbian women in the ’50s. Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett play lovers who chance upon each other at a department store. This bittersweet tale is an exploration of emotions and an acknowledgment of the same.  


Moonlight (2016)


This one is not your typical joyous story, but eventually proves to be a coming-of-age, uplifting tale of perseverance and humanity. Themes of sexuality and identity are explored through the three stages of a young African-American boy’s life and are depicted with a fabulously fresh perspective and stunning visuals.  


Maurice (1987)

Merchant Ivory Productions

Perhaps one of the most appropriate movies to be on this list, considering the original source — E.M. Forster’s novel of the same name — the movie was bound for a happy ending. Maurice is a beautiful film that will stay with you forever.  


Laurence Anyways (2012)

Alliance VivaFilm

Laurence Anyways is about 35-year-old Laurence (Melvil Poupaud) and her decision to finally accept herself as a trans woman. Laurence’s decision to transition while navigating her relationship with her fiancée, Fred (Suzanne Clément), makes for a heart-achingly beautiful tale told through Xavier Dolan’s stunning visuals. This story is honestly a masterpiece.

Did we miss out on a movie that you think deserves to be on the list? Tell us in the comments!

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