Best gay holiday movies to make a gay Yuletide

Photo illustration: an eagle; Images courtesy of Hulu, Netflix, and The Weinstein Company via TUBI and Hallmark Channel

This list was originally published in 2021. It’s been updated with more movies.

Not long ago, LGBTQ+ people who wanted to see themselves cast in holiday movies could either (a) pretend or (b) settle for a B-movie with a queer character who had very few streaks, ambition, or sophistication.

Early Contemporary Queer Vacation Act, 2005 family stone, which stars gay icon Sarah Jessica Parker as a (shocking) New Yorker vacationing at her boyfriend’s family home, becomes an odd hit for a B-plot gay couple aspiring to adopt a child. And while the movie is still worth an annual watch, a lot has happened in seasonal cinema since SJP’s iconic spilled layers scene with mom Diane Keaton. That is, gay and lesbian Christmas movies actually focus on gay people now — same-sex holiday celebrants crushing and falling in love, breaking up, rekindling romance, and just living the same festive existence in December that every heterosexual (or closeted) character has had. Well, always.

Now if only we could get a clever, well-written, lesbian Hanukkah rom-com out of a celebrity.

Hallmark’s first-ever gay romance is a brilliant, engaging film about the virtues of settling down and having a family in a brilliant world where homophobia doesn’t exist. Sam (Jonathan Bennett of mean girls Fame – Find a Very Good Reference), a self-employed Manhattan “business executive” who plans to travel to Hawaii for Christmas, but instead is called to the spooky suburbs to look after his niece and nephew. Nearby, handsome Jason (George Kressa), an Asbury dad, is studying an adoption brochure in his festively decorated mansion, while his doting mother consoles him over the phone from her home across the street. Fortunately for the singles, Sam hires Jason as an “uncle counselor” to help him spend four days with young children. Eid babysitter It is a fast-paced, feel-good, family-friendly film that absorbs the queer into a suburban dreamscape.

Eid babysitter Premieres on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, December 11th.

Christine Baker (Christmas on the farmAnd the season of love – Both on this list) The latest queer holiday movie is the first Christmas romance with a non-binary lead. Broadway star Becca Winters (Dia Frampton) takes a break from the stage to spend a month at home in Evergreen, Tennessee, where Sam Sheridan (Andy Renee Christensen), her childhood best friend and first love, is still working at their family bar. Trivia host and part of all the deals. Even though the two haven’t spoken in years, their mother decides to step in extensively and reunite the couple aided by the fact that Becca will be running the town’s Christmas pageant, with Sam running the one-man crew (naturally). The two soon reignite their relationship despite their struggles with how they still fit into each other’s lives. It’s an entertaining ride – with original songs – that follows a big-city hit who doesn’t have to compromise her dreams for (strange) love.

Available to stream on DIVA Box Office

Lifetime’s new and first-ever lesbian Christmas is a legitimately good gay movie in which the main character, Alma (Elise Bowman), is not only accepted by her parents in Maine, small-business owners Christmas for being a lesbian but encouraged to get caught. In love with out-of-town stranger Charlie (Tationa Jones). As cheesy as it is, the premise is as sweet as it can be predictable with loads of fun, memorable scenes, and unexpected moments. And perhaps against all odds, there’s at least one decent gay-sex joke in this made-for PG-rated seasonal TV flick, which certainly has annual viewing potential.

The corporate city girl returns to her small town to save the family business And the Fall in love with a family farm hand? A classic metaphor, except this time, the sweet encounter between two women. Haley (Laur Allen) and Kate (Amanda Righetti) have adorable, irresistible chemistry from the first few dating app messages. The plot, again, is predictable from the first few minutes, and the cheesiness is palpable, but that’s part of the charm.

A very familiar, perhaps too exaggerated, heteronormative plot twisted to be gay? So! over here! for! He. She! Netflix’s first true gay Christmas movie (2019’s Let it snow It has a cute gay teen subplot) that follows plant dad Peter (Michael Urie) as he heads home to New Hampshire with his best friend and pretend buddy, Nick (Philimon Chambers), to avoid his nagging mom (Kathy Najimy) about his perpetual song status. A Christmas-loving mom who can’t wait for her healthy son to meet a nice guy? So much so that she gives him a blind date with a hot guy as a snap gift? Very pleasant. The Friends-to-pretend plot from lovers to actual lovers is only sweetened by Jennifer Coolidge’s good looks as a gorgeous, sex-positive aunt.

Available to stream on Netflix

Perhaps the most anticipated lesbian rom-com of all time (oh, wait, there’s only like, well, zero), Kristen Stewart’s non-home-for-the-vacation Hulu debut was the best thing to watch in 2020. Don’t be fooled. This flick is neither a rom nor a com (even though it was billed as such), but it sure is heart-warming with plenty of subplots to discuss during our annual rewatch. Should Stewart really end up as Aubrey Plaza instead of her friend who celebrates Christmas with (Mackenzie Davis)? discuss.

Available to stream on Hulu

Lifetime’s first gay Christmas movie is a love story between (surprise!) two cis-men, white, pretty fit (who are real-life couples!), but still has its merits. Manhattan attorney Hugo (Ben Lewis) returns home to Milwaukee with his best friend, Madeline (Ellen Wong), to hang out with his impulsive mother (Fran Drescher), for a very festive week leading up to Christmas. Naturally, Hugo encounters young Patrick (Blake Lee), who is now a tech billionaire who spends his time volunteering. With some nudges from his mother, Hugo realizes his feelings for Patrick while trying to save his neighborhood’s historic train station. Formulay in the best sense, this 90-minute movie proves that a rom-com is unquestionably a weirdo friend and that it’s just it is necessary To tell heart-warming same-sex love stories in the same format as decades of hetero-romance.

Available to broadcast for life

Truly the first lesbian holiday rom-com (considered since it didn’t have major celebrities starring or directing), this ensemble-based Christmas movie feels like… Actually love Minus all the scary and sad stuff. The escapist follows three lesbian couples, all joyful during the most wonderful time of the year, and is full of quirky jokes but can be widely enjoyed by all.

Available for rent at Tello

Based on the lesbian novel by Patricia Highsmith The price of saltAnd the Carol It became canon bizarre even before it hit theaters thanks to the star power of Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara and palpable on-screen sparks. It takes place in the fifties of the last century. Carol It tells the love story of Therese Belivet (Mara), a 20-year-old aspiring New York City photographer and department store clerk, and suburban mom Carol Aird (Blanchett), who remains best friends with her ex-lover Abby (Sarah Paulson). Terese and Carol’s sweet encounter, which takes place at Christmastime, begins when a sophisticated shopper forgets her winter gloves at the game counter where Terese works, and Terese takes it upon herself to return them to their sexy owner.

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