The Best Queer Coming-of-Age Movies of All Time

Mar 13, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Still from 'Call Me by Your Name' of Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer
Image: Sony Pictures Classics

The category of LGBTQ film is a curious thing indeed. While plenty of films have presented queer characters and stories, for a majority of the genre's existence, those people and stories have been coded, not explicitly explored and left to the audience's own interpretations. Today, we live in a much different world. In the last 30 years or so, LGBTQ films have been able to push boundaries, to revel in their explorations of queerness and in 2018, films like Love, Simon — which tells the story of a teenage boy finding the right way to come out to his friends and family — are making their way into theaters. 

Coming-of-age queer cinema is a relatively small and, in the timeline of LGBTQ film, relatively new subgenre. That said, its value cannot be overstated. To see younger folks coming to terms with their sexuality and gender identity when it doesn't fall within cisgender, heterosexual norms is pivotal for audiences who may need to see characters like themselves to relate to. Luckily, there are some notable queer coming-of-age films that have become some of the best representatives of the genre. 

Keep clicking to see what films made the cut.

1 /13: 'Call Me by Your Name'

Still of Timothée Chalamet at the piano in 'Call Me By Your Name'
Image: Sony Pictures Classics

1/13 :'Call Me by Your Name'

2 /13: 'Blue Is the Warmest Color'

Still of Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux in 'Blue is the Warmest Color'
Image: Wild Bunch

2/13 :'Blue Is the Warmest Color'

3 /13: 'Moonlight'

Still of Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome in 'Moonlight'
Image: David Bornfriend/A24

3/13 :'Moonlight'

4 /13: 'Pariah'

Still of Adepero Oduye in 'Pariah'
Image: Focus Features

4/13 :'Pariah'

5 /13: 'My Summer of Love'

Still of Natalie Press and Emily Blunt in 'My Summer of Love'
Image: Focus Features

5/13 :'My Summer of Love'

6 /13: 'Carol'

Still of Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in 'Carol'
Image: The Weinstein Company

6/13 :'Carol'

7 /13: 'The Handmaiden'

Still of Min-hee Kim and Tae-ri Kim in 'The Handmaiden'
Image: Amazon Studios

7/13 :'The Handmaiden'

8 /13: 'Thelma'

Still of Eili Harboe in a crowd of people in 'Thelma'
Image: The Orchard

8/13 :'Thelma'

9 /13: 'Brokeback Mountain'

Still of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Brokeback Mountain'
Image: Focus Features

9/13 :'Brokeback Mountain'

10 /13: 'My Own Private Idaho'

Still of Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix in 'My Own Private Idaho'
Image: Fine Line Features

10/13 :'My Own Private Idaho'

11 /13: 'Imagine Me & You'

Still of Piper Perabo and Lena Headey in 'Imagine Me & You'
Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures

11/13 :'Imagine Me & You'

12 /13: '3 Generations'

Still of Elle Fanning in '3 Generations'
Image: Walter Thomson/The Weinstein Company

12/13 :'3 Generations'

13 /13: 'Personal Best'

Still of Patrice Donnelly and Mariel Hemingway in 'Personal Best'
Image: The Geffen Company

13/13 :'Personal Best'