Tis The Season For (Our Top 10) Queer Holiday Movies
Even if most agree these days are just a never-ending mirage of food, family, and friends, it doesn’t mean you can’t plan to do a few things to keep the holiday cheer up.
What better way to spend a well-deserved break than to watch movies. Even better, holiday movies. Even better queer holiday movies. No matter how you usually feel, we know that a good hallmark movie will definitely thaw your cold cold heart this time of year, and so we have made a list. Once again, in no particular order, think of it more as a menu where you pick and choose what suits your mood.
Single all the way - Netflix
This movie is the fake relationship to lovers pipeline we can’t get enough of, packaged in a Christmas atmosphere, courtesy of the newest holiday movie contender on the block, Netflix.
Although the film follows the usual character going back to their highly aesthetic hometown for the holidays, Single all the way is not about finding love in said hometown with some baker/Christmas tree farmer/other holiday related professions. In fact, despite Peter, the main character’s efforts, he cannot fall in love with someone from the heartland, or in this case New Hampshire. No, instead he falls for his fake date, Nick, proving that love, was there all along.
Under the Christmas tree - Lifetime
This, on the other hand, is exactly the plot we were describing before. Big-time city girl goes back to her hometown for Christmas and falls for… wait for it… a Christmas tree whisperer. Now you could say that is cliché and overdone for sure. But what you fail to realize, first, is that we would watch this kind of movie a million different times, we’re suckers for this kind of romance, and we bet you are too. Also, this film is the first Lifetime movie to feature two lesbians falling in love, already a huge plus for us.
Because even if 'Under the Christmas tree' is a painfully slow-burn kind of romance, where else are you going to find a Christmas movie with a joke about strap-ons? Go ahead, we’ll wait.
Dashing in December - Paramount Network
Cowboys for Christmas: what could possibly be better than that? It really is the aesthetic we didn’t know we needed. Of course, this movie has some Hallmark vibes including the tried and true 'big city guy returns home for the holidays' plot, but it has its own heart.
In this case, Dashing in December is about much more than just finding love at home, but about the relationship that people and especially queer people have with home. Quite a few melancholy moments for a Christmas movie but they are moments that deserve to be explored. And still, of course, a lot of the warm and fuzzies to go around.
Also the fact that Paramount is showing a gay, Hallmark-ish, Christmas movie, and men have even been shirtless. Hallmark would never.
The Jinkx & Dela Holiday Special - Hulu
Ok so maybe your vibes for the holidays are more high-camp with a lot of banter. Fret not, we have the perfect content for you in the form of The Jinkx & Dela Holiday Special.
If you have ever tried to get along and organize something for Christmas with friends and family we think you’ll relate to this classic holiday special with a twist.
The twist of course being that two very different drag queens will have wildly opposing opinions when it comes to classic holiday traditions which you can see played live on stage by RuPaul alumni Jinkx and Dela Holiday. Think enemies to, maybe not lovers but definitely friends. Or maybe the twist is the sentient eggnog that accompanies the whole affair. Or maybe the mysterious naked man. In any case, many twists and turns in this deceivingly sweet special with a heart of gold.
'The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night' - Short Film
Having a queer Muslim Brown rom-com for the holidays feels like the best present we could get this year. The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night is a short film for the ages.
It is the single funniest representation of bringing someone home for the holidays there has been and probably will ever be. A romantic comedy that tells the story of how a queer Muslim woman adds another wild card to a gathering that’s already plenty unpredictable when she brings her new partner to her family’s holiday festivities, the film will get a laugh out of everyone.
With a ruthless family, a spectacular sense of humor, and unabashed honestly about race, queerness, and just family in the modern-day, we cannot recommend this enough.
Home for the Holidays - Idk Blockbuster I guess
If you are looking to give your holidays a more serious vibe, decorated in a 90’s aesthetic then, first of all, good for you for being so clear in your plans. Second, why not consider the classic drama about outsiders returning to their family home, Home for the Holidays.
With stellar performances from Holly Hunter, playing a single mom who just lost her job and has to face the dreaded family catch up, and Robert Downey Jr. playing her gay brother who, as it turns out, is harboring his own secrets. We cannot get enough of this very honest portrayal of families and the relationships within them. The fact that it was directed by a queer woman is just the icing on the cake.
Lucky Fares - Vimeo
We now take a hard left to bring you the funniest, yet poignant Christmas short film you have ever seen.
It is hard to describe a film where a black Santa Claus and a brown wise man (specifically Balthazar) end up kissing. In prison, did I mention that Santa and Balthazar are in prison worried about what happened to Gaspar?
This is only the tip of the iceberg for a movie that goes on to show a burgeoning love story between our two holiday icons that eventually ends with a passionate kiss.
Lucky Fares is much more than its odd premise or admirably original kissing scene. It is a deep and funny look at migration, love, deportation, sexual orientation, and doubt. All that jam-packed in 11 minutes of pure gold.
'A Jenkins Family Christmas' - BET+
Family drama in movies can be cathartic, and 'A Jenkins Family Christmas' is certainly that. So many Christmas movies nowadays market themselves as the iconic turning point for queer Christmas representation. Don’t get me wrong, we love that stuff, we’ve even featured quite a few on this list. But 'A Jenkins Family Christmas' is honestly so jam-packed with all kinds of family drama that for once being gay is not the main point of contention around the dinner table.
A long-lost sister, the death of a loved one, many, and we mean many, family secrets are all a part of this brand new, queer-inclusive family saga that features a gay couple played by Broadway actor Anthony Chatmon II and model Derek Chadwick. A good reminder that gays are also allowed to have other character arcs besides being gay.
Meet me in St. Louis - probably the TV
What would the holidays be without some kind of vintage flair? If the never-ending Michael Bublé Christmas classics CD hasn’t driven you crazy yet, we have one more rendition of 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas' you have to hear.
In fact, it is the first-ever rendition of this song, in the classic Judy Garland film Meet Me in St. Louis. Sure, the movie does not take place entirely during the holidays but it remains a Christmas movie in our hearts, much like we think When Harry met Sally… is the iconic new year's movie while taking place over ten years, we give this one a pass as well.
And how could we not, when gay icon Judy Garland waltzes so beautifully through months of pining and anguish to finally emerge victorious on Christmas Eve and get her prince charming.
I Hate New Year’s - Tello Films
And since we are on the subject of musicals, allow us to recommend a spectacular new one for all the people who think hallmark movies could use a bit more song and dance.
Let’s get one thing straight, if your best friend, no matter how close you are, is willing to spend New Year following you around your small town bars desperately looking for your ex, there might be something more going on there. This is what 'I Hate New Year’s' is trying to tell you.
You see, the benefit of New Year's' movies is that there will always be a kiss at the end, it’s an inevitable rule of the universe. The brilliance of 'I Hate New Year’s' is that the kiss does not come from the person you’d expect. Because don’t let 'I Hate New Year’s' title fool you, this movie is unlikely to bring you down this is a story about love and hope. Starring Dia Frampton, Ashley Argota, and Candis Cayne, this film follows Layne Price on a trip home to Nashville for New Year’s Eve, where her best friend Cassie is harboring a secret crush on her.
Hollywood, Holiday movies and the lack of diversity
We know Santa may have just come through with a bunch of presents for you, and we could never hope to compete with the big man himself but since the season is all about giving we have included a little something extra. This time it is not another recommendation but a question. Where are all the diverse holiday movies at?
When we started this article, we were certainly excited to sit down for a solid week of binge-watching. But as the Christmas trees sparkled on screen and the actors did some rather aggressive carolling we noticed a distinct lack of menorahs or any other religious faiths for that matter. Sure we could mention blink-and-you’ll-miss-it references in films like 'Love, Simon' or 'Call Me By Your Name', we can go digging through the internet for holiday movies with at least one BIPOC actor. But the truth is Hollywood needs to do better. Forget about a white Christmas, I want a racially and religiously diverse one.
In the meantime, we can only wish you happy holidays, and hope this list helps make them merry and bright.
And if you run out of movies while you’re in the perpetual food coma that comes with the season, check out our top Lesbian Scary Movies or the absolute slew of other LGBTQI+ and feminist movies we have recommended!