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The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures 

Ranker Film
Updated August 23, 2019 351 votes 74 voters 1.4k views 24 items

The LGBTQ+ community has long been one of the less-represented subjects within TV and film—that is, until around the 21st century (and 2010s). Though various gay and queer roles have been portrayed in a wide range of movies, that's not to say they've been the focus of a great deal of films. However, there have certainly been some great LGTBQ+ movies, many of which are films based on real people. In short, though gay figures haven't been celebrated nearly as much as other notable figures throughout history, there are indeed some incredible and riveting LGBTQ+ biopics from over the years. 

Primarily taking on drama and romance themes, the best LGBTQ+ biopics don't span many genres, yet they do cover an array of stories and scenarios the community often faces in society. Moreover, they document the hardships and obstacles many LGBT and queer figures have dealt with in life. For instance, Milk takes a close look at the life of gay rights activist Harvey Milk while the 2018 hit Lizzie covers the life of Lizzie Borden and her dark story that later unfolded. The two movies cover completely different people and stories, but both display the difficulties that society can place on gay, bisexual, and trans people. Of course, these are just a couple examples of the many gay biopics out there.

Check out the list of top LGBTQ+ biopics below to see what you should check out next. If you've seen any of the films listed, be sure to cast votes for your favorites so others know which biopics are best. 

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list ordered by
1
Milk is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
James Franco, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin

Released: 2008

Directed by: Gus Van Sant

Milk is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, ...more
2
Boys Don't Cry is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, Natalie Zea

Released: 1999

Directed by: Kimberly Peirce

Boys Don't Cry is a 1999 American independent romantic drama film directed by Kimberly Peirce and co-written by Andy Bienen. The film is a dramatization of the real-life story of Brandon Teena, ...more
3
The Imitation Game is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong

Released: 2014

Directed by: Morten Tyldum

The Imitation Game is a 2014 historical thriller film directed by Morten Tyldum, with a screenplay by Graham Moore loosely based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. It ...more
4
Frida is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, Ashley Judd

Released: 2002

Directed by: Julie Taymor

Frida is a 2002 Miramax/Ventanarosa biopic which depicts the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. It stars Salma Hayek in her Academy Award-nominated ...more
5
Monster is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Rose Byrne

Released: 2003

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Monster is a 2003 drama film about Aileen Wuornos, who was executed in Florida in 2002 for taking six men's lives in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Wuornos was played by Charlize Theron, and ...more
6
Gia is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis, Faye Dunaway

Released: 1998

Directed by: Michael Cristofer

Gia is a 1998 biographical HBO film about the life of model Gia Marie Carangi starring Angelina Jolie, Faye Dunaway, Mercedes Ruehl, and Elizabeth Mitchell. It was directed by Michael Cristofer ...more
7
Capote is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Cooper, Catherine Keener

Released: 2005

Directed by: Bennett Miller

Capote is a 2005 biographical film about Truman Capote, following the events during the writing of Capote's non-fiction book In Cold Blood. Philip Seymour Hoffman won several awards, including ...more
8
Wilde is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Jude Law, Orlando Bloom, Stephen Fry

Released: 1997

Directed by: Brian Gilbert

Wilde is a 1997 British biographical film directed by Brian Gilbert with Stephen Fry in the title role. The screenplay by Julian Mitchell is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1987 biography of ...more
9
Christopher and His Kind... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Matt Smith, Imogen Poots, Toby Jones

Released: 2011

Directed by: Geoffrey Sax

Christopher and His Kind is a 2011 BBC television film. It tells the story of Christopher Isherwood's life in Berlin in the early 1930s. The film, adapted by Kevin Elyot from Isherwood's ...more
10
The Danish Girl is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
The Danish Girl Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw

Directed by: Tom Hooper

The Danish Girl is a 2015 romantic drama film directed by Tom Hooper, and loosely inspired by the lives of Danish painters Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda's (Alicia ...more
11
Tom of Finland is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Tom of Finland
12
Gods and Monsters is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave

Released: 1998

Directed by: Bill Condon

Gods and Monsters is a 1998 British-American drama film that recounts the last days of the life of troubled film director James Whale, whose experience of WWI is a central theme. It stars Ian ...more
13
Worried About the Boy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Worried About the Boy Richard Madden, Douglas Booth, Mark Gatiss

Released: 2010

Directed by: Julian Jarrold

Worried About the Boy is a 2010 television drama film centred on the life of Boy George. It starred Douglas Booth as Boy George and Mathew Horne as lover Jon Moss. It was shown on BBC2 in 2010 ...more
14
Bessie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Queen Latifah, Michael Kenneth Williams, Khandi Alexander

Released: 2015

Directed by: Dee Rees

Bessie is a 2015 biographical film directed by Dee Rees. The story of legendary blues performer Bessie Smith (Queen Latifah), who rose to fame during the 1920s and '30s.
15
Kinsey is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Liam Neeson, Tim Curry, John Lithgow

Released: 2004

Directed by: Bill Condon

Kinsey is a 2004 American biographical drama film written and directed by Bill Condon. It describes the life of Alfred Charles Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of sexology. His 1948 publication, ...more
16
Bohemian Rhapsody is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Amy Boal added Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee

Released: 2018

Directed by: Bryan Singer

Bohemian Rhapsody is a 2018 American-British biographical drama film directed by Bryan Singer. A chronicle of the years from the formation of Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) ...more
17
Kill Your Darlings is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Daniel Radcliffe, Elizabeth Olsen, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Released: 2013

Directed by: John Krokidas

Kill Your Darlings is a 2013 American biographical drama film written by Austin Bunn and directed by John Krokidas in his feature film directorial debut. The film had its world premiere at the ...more
18
Vita and Virginia is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki, Rupert Penry-Jones

Released: 2019

Directed by: Chanya Button

Vita and Virginia is a 2018 British biographical romance drama film directed by Chanya Button. Poet and novelist Vita (Gemma Arterton) and literary icon Virginia (Elizabeth Debicki) embark on an ...more
19
Lizzie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Lizzie Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jay Huguley

Released: 2018

Directed by: Craig William Macneill

Lizzie is a 2018 American biographical thriller film directed by Craig William Macneill, based on the true story of Lizzie Borden. When young maid Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart) comes to ...more
20
Soldier's Girl is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Soldier's Girl
21
The Hours is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore

Released: 2002

Directed by: Stephen Daldry

The Hours is a 2002 British-American drama film directed by Stephen Daldry, and starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by David Hare is based on ...more
22
Infamous is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Gwyneth Paltrow, Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig

Released: 2006

Directed by: Douglas McGrath

Infamous is a 2006 American drama film based on the 1997 book by George Plimpton, Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career. It ...more
23
Iris is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
Kate Winslet, Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent

Released: 2001

Directed by: Richard Eyre

Iris is a 2001 biographical film that tells the story of British novelist Iris Murdoch and her relationship with John Bayley. The film contrasts the start of their relationship, when Murdoch was ...more
24
Howl is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Biopics About LGBTQ+ Figures
James Franco, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker

Released: 2010

Directed by: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

Howl is a 2010 American experimental film which explores both the Six Gallery debut and the 1957 obscenity trial of 20th-century American poet Allen Ginsberg's noted poem Howl. The film is ...more