15 LGBTQ+ Christmas Films to Make the Yuletide Even Gayer
Merry Gay Christmas to All!
From Clea DuVall's Happiest Season to Hallmark's The Christmas House franchise, there has been a number queer Christmas films in recent years. That's a major change to a genre that has historically excluded LGBTQ+ people -- and a change some television networks aren't necessarily happy with.
Below, you'll find some of the latest and best LGBTQ-focused movies about queer folks that you can stream this weekend (and really any time of year).
Since it's probably too late to get off Santa's naughty list, just sit back and make that Yuletide gay with these queer productions.
Out actor Jonathan Bennett stars in Hallmark's first gay-focused Christmas movie along with George Krissa, Matthew James Dowden, Chelsea Hobbs, Nathan Parrott, Everett Andres, Mila Morgan, Amy Goodmurphy, Todd Matthews, and Ross Linton, among others.
The official logline for the movie reads: "Sam is a workaholic bachelor who babysits his niece and nephew before the holidays when his sister and her husband have to go out of town. Completely out of his element, he recruits help from their handsome neighbor Jason and finds himself in an unexpected romance."
In a recent interview with The Advocate's sibling publication Out, Bennett, "The Hallmark Channel is for everyone, The Holiday Sitter is for everybody."
He addees, "So to be a part of this movement that is making sure that the people watching these amazing Christmas movies feel like they're represented on screen... it is so important."
Dashing in December
What's better than gay cowboys? Gay cowboys at Christmas! And that's exactly what Dashing in December delivers when Wyatt (Peter Porte), a New York City financier, connects with his roots and a handsome ranch hand on his mom's ranch/Winter Wonderland attraction when he returns home for the holidays to try to convince her to sell the place. While visiting his mother, Deb, played by Andie MacDowell, Wyatt meets Heath (Juan Pablo Di Pace) and the attraction is palpable. Cue the Brokeback Mountain, God's Own Country gay ranch vibe, albeit with a decidedly happier ending for all.
The first LGBTQ+-focused holiday rom-com backed by a major studio, Happiest Season is directed by Clea DuVall and written by her and her writing partner Mary Holland. It tells the story of Harper (Mackenzie Davis) and Abby (Kristen Stewart), who run into problems when, as they are headed home for the holidays to visit Harper's overachieving family, Harper reveals some crucial information. The movie costars Holland, Dan Levy, Victor Garber, Mary Steenburgen, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, and Ana Gasteyer. It's a full-on same-sex romantic comedy with all of the holiday fixings. And it also features a soundtrack of all LGBTQ+ musicians that is the icing on the gingerbread people cookies.
The Christmas House
Hallmark has gotten into the gay Christmas movie game in recent years. In 2020, the channel released The Christmas House, starring Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls) as Brandon and Brad Harder as Jake, a gay couple returning home for the holidays while also anxiously awaiting a call from an agency about adopting their first child. Treat Williams and Sharon Lawrence star as Brandon's parents in this sure-to-be heartwarming movie from the network renowned for its wholesome fare.
The Christmas House 2
In the sequel to 2020's The Christmas House, the Mitchell brothers, Brandon (Jonathan Bennett) and Mike (Robert Buckley), find themselves in an unseasonably heated sibling rivalry for the ages, and their parents Bill (Treat Williams) and Phylis (Sharon Lawrence) have to manage it.
The Christmas Setup
On the network known for its made-for-TV movies, Lifetime's The Christmas Setup stars real-life husbands Blake Lee and Ben Lewis, who fall in love all over again on-screen. Lewis plays Hugo, a New York City lawyer who goes to Milwaukee with his best friend, Madelyn (GLOW's Ellen Wong), to spend Christmas with his mom, played by The Nanny's Fran Drescher. A meddling matchmaker who also runs the local holiday festivities, Hugo's mom, Kate, arranges for him to run into his old crush Patrick (Lee), who's home from his high-powered job in Silicon Valley. The hitch? Hugo is offered a job in London just as things begin to get good.
The Bitch Who Stole Christmas
Emmy-winning TV icon and Drag Race legend RuPaul got in on all of the gay cheer by releasing her very own special holiday special for VH1, aptly entitled The Bitch Who Stole Christmas!
"In the draggiest Christmas movie ever made, a workaholic big-city fashion journalist is sent to a Christmas-obsessed small town to dig up a story when she finds herself in the middle of cut-throat housewives, a high-stakes "Winter Ball" competition, and a sinister plot that could destroy Christmas fore-evah!" reads the films official description.
Written by Connor Wright and Christina Friel and directed by Don Scardino, the film stars Mama Ru alongside a whole slate of amazing talent including Krysta Rodriguez, Andy Ridings, Michelle Visage, Ginger Minj, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Peppermint, Jan Sport, Jaymes Mansfield, Latrice Royale, Gottmik, Morgan McMichaels, Porkchop, Carson Kressley, Ross Mathews, Chad Michaels, Heidi N Closet, Kelly Mantle, Kimora Blac, Laganja Estranja, Manila Luzon, Mayhem Miller, Pandora Boxx, Raven, Rock M. Sakura, Kylie Sonique Love, Kim Petras, Charo, and Anna Maria Horsford.
Single All the Way
Directed by Tony winner Michael Mayer and starring a stacked cast that includes Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers, Luke MacFarlane, Barry Bostwick, Jennifer Robertson, and comedy screen legends Jennifer Coolidge and Kathy Najimy, Single All the Way is Netflix's highly-anticipated, first gay holiday film and tells the story of a gay man named Peter who is "desperate to avoid his family's judgment about his perpetual single status," according to the film's official (and relatable AF) description.
The entire film takes place between Christmases, so we say this iconic queer musical (and broadway show) is a perfect holiday treat to celebrate love, happiness, and friendship -- and also the importance of friendship.
The debut film of Sean Baker that was filmed on iPhones, Tangerine focuses on two trans women sex workers over the course of Christmas Eve in Los Angeles after one of the women finds out that her partner (who is also her pimp) cheated on her. They're out for some yuletide revenge.
Christmas at the Ranch
While a woman (Laur Allen) tries to save her family's ranch during the holiday season, she falls in love with the ranch hand (Amanda Righetti) who's wished for love. It's a total queer twist on the city slicker returning home for the holidays trope, but we're here for the sapphic romance.
Merry & Gay
Merry & Gay stars Dia Frampton as a Broadway star Becca who returns to her hometown in December and falls back in love with her high school sweetheart, Sam (played by nonbinary actor Andi Rene Christensen. While Sam doesn't quite take to Becca again after their history together, they discover the sparks again while working on the town's Christmas variety show. Featuring a diverse cast that includes nonbinary and trans characters, Merry & Gay is swell addition to the queer Christmas family.
A Jenkins Family Christmas
Drama and secrets get exposed in this brand new, queer-inclusive family saga that features a gay couple played by Broadway actor/photographer Anthony Chatmon II and out model Derek Chadwick!
"After the loss of a loved one, the Jenkins Family attempts to carry on with their Christmas traditions while learning to navigate a new normal," the official description of the film (which, from the trailer, even features a proposal between the two queer characters) reads.
Under the Christmas Tree
Under the Christmas Tree is Lifetime's first-ever lesbian romance.
"Marketing whiz Alma Beltran (Elise Bauman) and Christmas tree whisperer Charlie Freemont (Tattiawna Jones) cross paths when Charlie finds the perfect tree for the Maine Governor's Holiday Celebration - right in Alma's back yard," the film's official description reads. "While they initially spar, romantic sparks soon begin to fly between the two women as the enchanting tree and some Christmas fairy dust from the town's patissiere extraordinaire (Ricki Lake) bring out the best in them and spark each other to take leaps of faith and fight for love and Christmas magic."
Carol, about a soon-to-be-divorced New Jersey socialite and a mother who falls for Therese, the shopgirl who is, as Carol notes, "flung out of space," earned six Oscar nominations, even if it was snubbed in the Best Picture category. Still, it was the first Oscar-worthy love story about a female couple in which a man does not steal focus and that doesn't end in disaster or death for the women. In fact, the hopeful ending of both the film and the novel it's based on offer a possible happily-ever-after for Carol (Cate Blanchett) and Therese (Rooney Mara).
Carol begins during the days before Christmas and includes Carol and Therese consummating their desire during a road trip on New Year's Eve. There's a Santa hat, Christmas tree shopping, booze, family turmoil, and the glow of Christmas lights reflecting off of snowy surfaces. Watching Carol for Christmas has become a bit of a holiday tradition, especially among queer women.