The 18 best queer coming-of-age movies

Before watching the wonderfully raunchy new comedy Bottoms, check out these terrific films with LGBTQ+ themes, characters, storylines, or moments

The 18 best queer coming-of-age movies
Clockwise from top left: Booksmart (Annapurna); Bottoms (MGM); Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (Lilies Film); But I’m A Cheerleader (Lionsgate); Red, White & Royal Blue (Amazon Studios)
Graphic: The A.V. Club

Bottoms, a raunchy, bloody comedy from director Emma Seligman (Shiva Baby), is kicking and punching its way into theaters on August 25. The film stars Rachel Sennott (Bodies, Bodies, Bodies) and Ayo Edebiri (The Bear) as two teenage “ugly, untalented gays” who end up starting a fight club at their school in order to, in the film’s excellent parlance, “get some cooch.” It’s horny. It’s fruity. It’s hormonal. It’s so very high school.

And—unlike its protagonists—it’s not alone. There are plenty of terrific LGBTQ+ high school and coming-of-age films available to stream or watch in theaters. So before taking a friend or future lover to the multiplex this weekend to check out Bottoms, take a look at our list of other very angsty, very queer, and very good coming-of-age films—listed in alphabetical order—to really get yourself in the mood.

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Blockers (2018) - Dad, I’m a Lesbian Scene (9/10) | Movieclips

is one of the most slept-on high school comedies of the past decade. While people get hung up on the admittedly very icky title and conceit—three parents try to “…block” their teenage daughters from losing their virginity on prom night—what lies beneath is a genuinely moving and forward-thinking exploration of identity, family, adolescent friendship, and sexuality. The latter mostly concerns one member of the friend group who, over the course of the film, realizes that she not only doesn’t want to sleep with a man at prom, she doesn’t want to sleep with a man ever. It’s very sweet and leads to a surprising number of emotional scenes like the one we’ve linked to above—as well as an after-prom smooch, of course.

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