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The Top 10 Queer Biopics You’ve Never Seen

The Top 10 Queer Biopics You’ve Never Seen


You might have seen Milk, Boys Don't Cry and The Imitation Game, but what about these lesser seen films about famous LGBT folks?

The Oscar-winning film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing -- the gay mathematician who broke the Nazis' Enigma code and invented what we now call the computer -- is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
The film is one of a handful of high-profile film biographies of noted LGBT people, including Boys Don't Cry, Milk, and Behind the Candelabra. But you might have missed some of these lower-profile queer biopics. (Maybe you've seen a few of them, but judging by the films' grosses, not a lot of people did.)
Either way, here's your chance to catch up.
Queer-biopics-10_010. Worried About the Boy (2010)
Douglas Booth (Noah, Romeo and Juliet) stars as the cross-dressing George O'Dowd, who transformed himself into Culture Club's karma chameleon Boy George -- and put the Q in queer music of the 1980s.

Queer-biopics-09_09. Howl (2010)
James Franco plays young Allen Ginsberg, the gay poet laureate of the beat generation. The film chronicles the creation of his great poem "Howl" and the obscenity trial that ensued. Read the poem. See the movie.

Queer-biopics-08_08. Soldier's Girl (2003)
This is the true yet tragic story of a young soldier who fell in love with transgender nightclub performer Calpernia Addams. In his stunning film debut as Addams, Lee Pace gives a performance that's miles away from his cheery turn on TV's Pushing Daisies or his portrayal of The Hobbit's imperious Elven King.

Queer-biopics-07_07. Christopher and His Kind (2011)
Gay author Christopher Isherwood chronicled his 1930s adventures in The Berlin Stories, which inspired the stage and movie musical Cabaret.Dr. Who's Matt Smith plays Isherwood in this film that explores his gay sexual awakening in Berlin amid the rise of the Third Reich.

Queer-biopics-06_06. De-Lovely (2004)
Kevin Kline plays famed Broadway composer Cole Porter, who lived both the high life with his wife, Linda (Ashley Judd), and a closeted gay life. This musical fantasia lacks the fizz that its subject deserves, but Kline and Judd breathe compelling life into the conflicted Porters.

Queer-biopics-05_05. Kinsey (2004)
Before he became a revenge-obsessed action star, Liam Neeson played the bisexual researcher Alfred Kinsey who pioneered the study of human sexuality in the 1940s. The strong cast includes Laura Linney as Kinsey's wife and Peter Sarsgaard as his bi-curious assistant.

Queer-biopics-04_04. Frida (2002)
Salma Hayek stars as the bisexual, occasionally cross-dressing artist Frida Kahlo. The visually stunning film explores how Kahlo's tempestuous marriage to artist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) and a horrific accident informed her life and work. (Bonus queer points for Hayek's steamy tango with Ashley Judd.)

Queer-biopics-03_03. Infamous (2006)
The rival Truman Capote biopic Capote beat this one to the screen, earning an Oscar for Philip Seymour Hoffman. But Infamous is a much more entertaining and compelling film, with Toby Jones disappearing into the role of the gay author and Daniel Craig simmering with sexual ambiguity as the convicted killer whom he befriends.

Queer-biopics-02_02. The Hours (2002)
Three interlocking stories of women struggling with their identity and sexuality include Nicole Kidman in her Oscar-winning role as bisexual author Virginia Woolf, Julianne Moore as a 1950s housewife, and Meryl Streep as a lesbian mother caring for an AIDS-stricken friend (Ed Harris).

Queer-biopics-01_01. Wilde (1997)
This gold standard of queer biopics stars gay actor Stephen Fry, who brilliantly captures the wit and wisdom of the legendary poet and playwright Oscar Wilde. Jude Law is pitch-perfect as the petulant, aristocratic lover who triggers Wilde's spectacular fall from fame and grace.
Which queer film biographies would you recommend and add to this list? Share them with us in the comments section below.
Adam Sandel is an arts journalist, screenwriter, and playwright who lives in San Francisco. He has contributed to the Bay Area Reporter, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Los Angeles Times,, and He teaches literature, critical thinking, and mythology & folklore at De Anza College.
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