Film Forward

14 LGBT Romances You Can Stream Right Now That Prove Love Is Love

Something to watch for Valentine's Day.

If you're looking for a romantic movie to watch, there are certainly plenty of great options to choose from, but it can be hard to find love stories that don't focus on straight, cisgender characters.

A study by GLAAD found that only 17.5 percent of major movies released in 2015 featured LGBT characters, with no improvement from the previous year. Additionally, only eight of those 22 films passed GLAAD's Vito Russo Test, which assesses how LGBT characters are represented in the story, similar to the Bechdel Test for women. That was the lowest in the study's history (since 2012).

This representation on the big screen has a long way to go. The good news is that quality films do exist that respectfully depict LGBT people, including romances. The better news is that many of them are available to stream on services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

This Valentine's Day, curl up with someone special or have a night to yourself, and stream one of the films below. They include high-profile award winners, lesser-known independent films, and foreign titles, in various genres. What they have in common is their exploration of love — and all the happiness, heartbreak, and tragedy that go along with it.

1. Carol

This film was nominated for six Oscars, including nods for its stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Based on the 1952 novel The Price of Salt, it tells the story of an affair between a married woman and a young department store clerk.

Where to Watch: Hulu

2. The Way He Looks

This Brazilian coming-of-age story, based on a 2010 short film, explores the budding romance between two teenage boys, one of whom is blind.

Where to Watch: Netflix

3. Liberty's Secret

If you're in the mood for a musical, give this one a try. The daughter of a preacher joins the campaign of a conservative presidential candidate, only to fall in love with her female chaperone (the campaign's spin doctor) and cause a controversy.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

4. A Single Man

Tom Ford's directorial debut, based on a 1964 Christopher Isherwood novel, features an Oscar-nominated performance by Colin Firth as a college professor mourning the death of his partner, who is remembered in flashbacks.

Where to Watch: Netflix

5. Margarita With a Straw

This Indian film focuses on a young woman with cerebral palsy who leaves Delhi to attend New York University, where she discovers she is bisexual when she falls in love with a blind activist.

Where to Watch: Netflix

6. Brokeback Mountain

Ang Lee's adaptation of a short story by Annie Proulx, about the complex relationship between two cowboys, won three Oscars, including Best Director. Stars Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger were also nominated.

Where to Watch: Hulu

7. Boy Meets Girl

This film tells the story of a young transgender woman and her relationships with people in her small Kentucky town as she dreams of becoming a fashion designer.

Where to Watch: Netflix

8. Farewell, My Queen

Based on a novel of the same name, this film explores a fictional account of the relationship between French Queen Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger) and her most trusted servant (Léa Seydoux) during the last days of the French monarchy.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

9. North Sea Texas

Don't let the title fool you. This Flemish drama takes place on the Belgian Coast and tells the story of a teenage boy who falls in love with his best friend.

Where to Watch: Netflix

10. Cloudburst

This film follows an older lesbian couple (Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Flicker) who travel from Maine to Canada to get married after one of them is placed in a nursing home by her granddaughter. They pick up a young hitchhiking man along with way.

Where to Watch: Netflix

11. Big Eden

This romantic comedy tells the story of a man who moves back to his hometown after his grandfather suffers a stroke, only to deal with renewed feelings toward his teenage crush as he receives the support of the townspeople.

Where to Watch: Netflix

12. Blue Is the Warmest Color

This three-hour film, which depicts the ups and downs of a romance between two young women, won the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Where to Watch: Netflix, Hulu

13. Weekend

As the title would suggest, this film takes place over the course of one weekend, and the relationship that develops in that time between two men, one of whom is planning to leave the country.

Where to Watch: Netflix, Hulu

14. Naz & Maalik

Two closeted Muslim high schoolers in Brooklyn raise the suspicions of an FBI agent in this relevant drama, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2015.

Where to Watch: Netflix

Cover image via YouTube

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