Oliver’s coming out party: a recs post

One Life to Live‘s Fish stepped out of the closet today, finally admitting to Cristian, Layla and himself what he’s been so afraid to acknowledge aloud: He’s gay. And, okay, from a ‘shipper perspective, I also had to squee because he acknowledged Kyle’s importance to him as well…

Oliver: I went to college, and it was a thousand miles from home, and I joined a frat because that was a good straight thing to do, a frat. And that’s where I met Kyle. He was just like me. And for the first time in my life, I looked at someone and I felt…I felt welcome. And he saw me. And it was amazing. Until it wasn’t.

And in honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I would recommend some of my favorite gay-themed films. My list could go on and on, but I’ve deliberately capped it at 10. Let’s just call it some educational material for Oliver, to help him grow more comfortable with who he is. ;)

1. Shelter (Trevor Wright, Brad Rowe) – Two young men grow close while one deals with being the linchpin for his unstable family. Shelter is heartfelt, earnest and incredibly romantic.
2. Y Tu Mama Tambien (Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna) – The movie that introduced talents Bernal and Luna to the rest of the world, it has a lush sensuality and a heavy thread of regret. Just gorgeous! Spanish, with subtitles.
3. Dor (Gul Panag, Ayesha Takia)- Not actually a textually lesbian film, this Indian arthouse film has beautiful subtext, as it tells the story of two very different women connected by one tragedy. Hindi, with subtitles.
4. But I’m a Cheerleader (Natasha Lyonne, Clea Duvall) – A teenager’s parents suspect her of being a lesbian and send her to an atrociously (i.e. hilariously) over-the-top de-gaying camp. Wackiness — and romance— ensues!
5. Dostana (John Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan) – Two guys pretend to be gay in order to score rooms in a hot girl’s apartment and learn the value of true friendship in the process. Hindi, with subtitles.
6. The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce) – One of the funniest and most touching movies I have ever seen. Three drag queens head into the Outback to do a series of shows and go on a journey of self-discovery in the process.
7. The Broken Hearts Club – Okay, so this is basically like an incredibly sanitized episode of Queer As Folk, all about drama between friends. But the cast is what makes me love it: Timothy Olyphant, Dean Cain, Andrew Keegan, Christian Kane, Zach Braff, and Justin Theroux.
8. The Wedding Banquet (Winston Chao, Mitchell Lichtenstein) – Ang Lee’s moving, funny film about a gay man who engages in a sham marriage to convince his traditional Chinese parents he’s straight and finds a new definition of family in the process.
9. Velvet Goldmine (Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor) – A smutty, sexy saga about glam rock that is loosely based on the supposed affair between Iggy Pop and David Bowie, VG is all about identify and identification.
10. A Touch of Pink (Jimi Mistry, Kyle McLachlan) – The spirit of Cary Grant guides a man when his conservative Muslim mother shows up out of the blue, hoping to marry him off to a nice girl. It’s a sweet coming out film with resonant cultural angst.

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