Steve June 3, 2022
15-brilliant-lgbtq-movie-endings-that-left-queer-folks-100%-satisfied-instead-of-100%-disappointed

“In God’s Own Country, so much was said without words. The setting, character growth, and symbolism were all beautiful.”

In Hollywood, there’s a problematic narrative that’s unfortunately been embedded in many LGBTQ-focused films: the “bury your gays” trope. It essentially constitutes movie screenwriters, directors, and creators who stick to the horrific pattern of killing their queer characters. They show that it’s basically impossible for someone in the LGBTQ community to have a happy ending, when in reality, that’s beyond untrue.

Focus Features

But, there are some films out there that have brilliantly combatted this narrative.

NBC

So, we asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which LGBTQ movies had happy endings instead of deeply depressing ones. Here are the brilliant results.

Note: Not all submissions are from Community users.

2. But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)

Lionsgate Films

But I’m a Cheerleader is one of my all-time favorite lesbian movies, and Megan and Graham are my favorite movie couple. When Megan returned to the camp to get Graham back and did that whole cheer for her, it was sooooo romantic. As a lesbian who’s very feminine, Megan and Graham are the kind of love I want to have with someone one day, and the kind of relationship I wish was shown in movies more often ❤️❤️❤️.”

sarahroze

“These were the first gay main characters I saw in a movie who didn’t end up dying!”

theuselessfollower

But I’m a Cheerleader is my favorite — it’s funny and lighthearted, and I love Clea DuVall and Natasha Lyonne together.”

hyacinthmourning

3. Latter Days (2003)

TLA Releasing

Latter Days was a really sweet film, and an interesting look at the gay experience in the mid-’90s. It followed a young Mormon man and his West Hollywood neighbor falling in love with each other — the men were hot, and there was a dignity in how the characters were treated. There’s a strong message for loving and accepting people for who they are rather than how you would want them to be — it’s good, sappy fun. Also, mad props to our older LGBTQ trailblazing movies — our experience has been miles better than previous generations because of those who stood up to repression and anti-gayness.”

heinrichgabrielf

4. Booksmart (2019)

United Artists Releasing

“I think Booksmart did an amazing job at providing an ending to an LGBTQ romance that’s realistic, but hopeful. Even if Amy and Hope didn’t end up together, you knew they shared a special memory, and that Amy was more sure of herself and ready to try new experiences.”

yourfavoritebibliophile

“I honestly loved that movie so freaking much — I was happy that it showed the awkwardness of hooking up at a party and the aftermath. It was awkward and sweet!”

redastherose

5. Shelter (2007)

Regent Releasing

“I’m completely obsessed with queer films, and I even teach a high school film class — I’ve seen almost every single queer movie out there. My favorite is Shelter because it represented real people and had characters who weren’t stereotypes or ‘queer’ as their only driving identity. But, as a woman married to a woman with kids, the movie The Kids Are All Right (2010) felt like a horrible step back for gay movies.”

amandao46fd701d6

Shelter is easily my favorite LGBTQ movie. It might’ve seemed like a cheesy, stereotypical romance movie, but really it displayed class issues and family bonds. The two leads had amazing chemistry, plus the music and art were gorgeous — it never ceases to make me incredibly happy each time I watch it.”

sonder535

6. Saving Face (2004)

Sony Pictures Classics

Saving Face was the ultimate happy ending for me — as an Asian-American lesbian, I think that it grappled with intersectionality and cultural challenges really well (in a heartbreaking way). But, the happy ending meant the world to me. It showed me (a ‘baby gay’ teenager) that I, too, could have a happy ending, even as an Asian-American lesbian — happy endings aren’t just reserved for straight people.”

fromthegoldengate

7. Imagine Me & You (2005)

Focus Features

Imagine Me & You is an overlooked queer rom-com from the 2000s that’s so sweet and joyful! The characters faced very little hate (one character was shitty, but eventually came around). The two main characters even ended up with supportive families, which sometimes feels rare even nowadays in queer entertainment. Also, shoutout to Lena Headey (of Game of Thrones fame) for playing a lesbian florist — I highly recommend watching this film for a feel-good movie night.”

corellianne

8. God’s Own Country (2017)

Picturehouse Entertainment

“The first movie I always think of when it comes to happy LGBTQ movies is God’s Own Country — I’ve joked that the entire script is about five pages long, but so much was said without words. The setting, the character growth, the symbolism — it was all beautiful.”

alyxanderrowan

“The actor who played Prince Charles on The Crown was in God’s Own Country, and he was one of the leads (Josh O’Connor). The movie’s about a Yorkshire farmer who got involved with a migrant worker — this movie made me sob and sob and sob, and it had such a warm and fuzzy ending.”

letsjetset

9. I Can’t Think Straight (2008)

Enlightenment Productions

I Can’t Think Straight is a movie with two BIPOC women as the lead characters, who show how it’s hard to realize you’re gay and be accepted in Indian culture. It’s an absolute favorite of mine, and it has a very happy ending!!!”

yungprince

Crush has quickly become one of the best teen, queer rom-coms of our time — it totally combated the “bury your gays” narrative in the most wholesome way possible. Paige declared her love for AJ in front of the whole school through her art, drawing all of the little, romantic moments between them. Who says a queer teen who’s caught up in a classic high school love triangle can’t get a happy ending?

11. Love, Simon (2018)

20th Century Fox

Love, Simon gave me a lot of hope for LGBTQ representation in entertainment because the story actually approached Simon as a typical teen instead of just ‘the gay kid’ (like many other coming out plots in movies do).”

hiitsnicetomeetyou

“I loved how the movie showed that it’s okay to be afraid to come out, even if you’re sure everyone in your life will be accepting. The movie was diverse in its casting (even though the lead was played by a straight actor), and Simon and Bram weren’t portrayed in a stereotypical light.”

awesome-not-weird

12. The Half of It (2020)

Netflix

The Half of It was so underrated! It wasn’t a typical ‘the two main characters live happily-ever-after’ kind of movie ending, but Ellie’s self-realization and independence were so freaking poetic. I loved how the plot normalized her queer crush, and just focused on love in general in both romantic and platonic forms. Everyone needs to watch this masterpiece!”

pumpernickeltoday

13. Appropriate Behavior (2014)

Peccadillo Pictures

Appropriate Behavior showed that being bisexual doesn’t make life or romance any less challenging, especially when you’re in the closet to your conservative family. It was done without being overly depressing or discouraging — plus, it starred Desiree Akhavan who’s bisexual (she also wrote and directed the movie).”

nonexistant_knight

14. The Way He Looks (2014)

Vitrine Films

“When I watched The Way He Looks, I was so surprised by the ending (since the main characters didn’t die or live a sad and tragic life). It’s a Brazilian film, and it’s very moving — Leo and Gabriel are serious couple goals.”

goldsteinmaryhelen

15. Carol (2015)

StudioCanal

“After everything Therese and Carol had been through in Carol, when their eyes met across the crowded room, so much emotion passed through them. Their small smiles promised so much. Neither one of them expected Therese to actually come, but she did, and it’s a beautiful ending to a beautiful movie.”

ultimatefangirl12

16. And Moonlight (2016)

A24

“Chiron from Moonlight has to be one of the best depictions I’ve ever seen of a queer character. Here we had a Black, queer man living in the South, discovering and defining for himself what manhood meant. Though his road was rough, he still stood up for himself — often times we’ve seen Black queer characters being portrayed as ‘overly feminine,’ and Chiron reminded us that queerness doesn’t have just one look.”

—ncbain13

Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Writer’s note: Casey Rackham, who cowrote Crush, is a managing editor at BuzzFeed.

Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s posts celebrating Pride 2022.

Kevin Valente / BuzzFeed

My Fake Boyfriend, a new LGBTQ+ rom-com from BuzzFeed Studios starring Keiynan Lonsdale, Dylan Sprouse, and Sarah Hyland, is out June 17 in the US — just in time for Pride! Sign up for Prime Video now so you’re ready to watch.

BuzzFeed Studios

Not in the US? My Fake Boyfriend is coming to Prime Video in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM, and Brazil on June 10, and all other territories on June 24.

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