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10 Most Iconic Movie Kisses in LGBTQ+ Movie History

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Gyllenhaal Ledger Brokeback Mountain 2005 River Road

Quality queer representation on screen is so important for the LGBTQ+ community to see themselves and their stories shared on screen and their experiences recognized and validated. That said, the LGBTQ+ community has faced an uphill battle for queer representation in movies, going as far back as 100 years to the earliest days of cinema.

Historically, depictions of the LGBTQ+ community have been less than flattering: LGBTQ+ characters were either queer-coded or portrayed as deviants to appease the inequitable Hays Code (1934-1968), which prohibited movie studios from producing favorable LGBTQ+ content, as one was not allowed to portray subjects deemed “immoral.” During this time, it was a rarity to see a touching and emotional story with any truth to it, let alone any outright LGBTQ+ romance movies.

It wasn’t until the Stonewall Riots in 1969 that queer movies began to infiltrate the mainstream as movie studios began to see the untapped potential in the queer community and began creating stories to draw in queer audiences. By the 90s, the New Queer Cinema Movement took off wherein several independent filmmakers began writing meaningful, empathetic, and honest stories dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community. If not for this important movement in history, we might not have a plethora of LGBTQ+ shows and movies with meaningful stories and representation today, such as Queer As Folk

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, Euphoria, Moonlight, etc. In honor of Pride Month, here are the 10 most iconic movie kisses in LGBTQ+ Movie History.

The Watermelon Woman is a historic work in New Queer Cinema as it marks the first feature-length film written and directed by a Black lesbian filmmaker. Cheryl Dunye writes, directs, and stars in this groundbreaking film about Cheryl, a lesbian who works as a video store clerk to support her passion project, a documentary about a 1930s Black actress subjugated to mammy roles. Cheryl is attracted to customer Diana, and the pair eventually go on a date. The steamy first kiss soon follows as Diana seductively and playfully lights Cheryl’s cigarette.

Related: Best LGBTQ+ Movies About Women, Ranked

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, Y Tu Mamá También is a critically acclaimed Mexican coming of age story about two teenage boys who take a wild and emotional cross-country road trip with an older woman. The trip challenges their perceptions of each other and ultimately brings them closer together. During an unexpected sexual encounter, the two men share an exciting and passionate kiss that earns its place as one of the most iconic LGBTQ+ kisses of all time.

Bradley Cooper stars as camp counselor Ben in the teen comedy Wet Hot American Summer, which follows the raucous exploits of a group of camp counselors on the last day of Camp Firewood. In one of the most iconic LGBTQ+ kisses of all time, Ben and fellow counselor McKinley sneak off to the tool shed together for some passionate alone time. The film was considered a flop upon its initial release, but later gained a cult following. The film would eventually spawn a Netflix series titled Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.

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