9 Most Powerful LGBT+ Movie Scenes Ever

In this Pride month, I have the perfect excuse to talk about amazing movies that might otherwise not be mentioned in WhatCulture. For many reasons, queer films often struggle to enter the mainstream – and those that do will never be as popular or beloved as the more typical cinematic fodder we’ve all come to know so well.

The fact that we all have our own individual experiences of gender and sexuality means that, by nature, it is nearly impossible to pinpoint the EXACT most powerful moments of all time. What is incredibly powerful for me may not be for the next person, because we have experienced our Queerness differently.

However, there are plenty of moments there that are recognized by the Queer community as being super important, and will be placed by many at the top of their lists of “most important movie moments of all time”. Using this and my own (of course still expert) opinion, this list has been assembled to recommend to the uninitiated and remind those in the know of some of the most vital and impactful moments in queer film history.

Happy Pride Month everyone! Let’s crack…

It’s an incredibly simple, low-key scene in which Cliff makes the heartbreaking decision to step out for what we know to be the first time. Sitting next to his friend Hefina and accomplice of the strike, Cliff prepares sandwiches in silence.

After being corrected on his cutting style, he pauses for a moment before saying, calmly and very measured, “I’m gay”, before continuing to cut his bread diagonally – staring downwards.

The shot is still, still, staring at the two friends as Hefina stops. She takes a moment to think, her face barely betraying her feelings, before a warmth takes over her voice and she turns to him and simply says, “I know.”

The interaction that follows is so full of acceptance and respect that it doesn’t need anything pompous to make it memorable. Cliff’s shocked face, Hefina’s faint reassuring smile tugging at the corners of her mouth – it’s a special moment between two friends in which Cliff is for the first time able to feel completely secure in his true identity.

Thanks to the meeting of two extremely different communities, he has the freedom to accept and express who he is – and it is natural as anything. It may be brief and minimal, but it’s a scene that surely brought tears to many viewers.

Andrea G. Henderson