People & Inspiration

In Focus: 7 LGBT Films That Tell Stories Of Self-Discovery

In Focus: 7 LGBT Films That Tell Stories Of Self-Discovery



By Chris Clemente

Coming out isn’t the same for everyone. Even thinking about it can cause panic and anxiety to those still trying to figure out why they need to come out in the first place. How come straight people don’t need to come out as straight? 

What does it really mean to "come out?"

Well, it means freedom. It’s putting yourself out there, literally, in all your queer goodness, for everyone to see, to judge, and ultimately (hopefully) to love and accept. Yes, it can be scary beyond belief, but it can be the most liberating moment one can experience. While some find it harder than others, at the end of the day, coming out opens up an entire new world. And isn’t that what we’re all here for?

But before coming out can happen, there is that beautiful thing called self-discovery. It's that moment when you find out that you are not like most people, that there’s something special about you. It gets even better when the world sees it, acknowledges it, and embraces you for all that you are.

Here, we list seven movies that paint that picture in the most loving, tender ways. Some of them may lead you to your own self-discovery. Or if you’re past that and need inspiration to tell the world who you are, to step out of the closet, these movies will help ease you in–or out for that matter. 

1. Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (2005)

It’s hard enough fitting into a family of macho men when you’re a flamboyant boy. Add the fact that you have a crush on the neighborhood cop investigating your brood of petty thieves, then pre-pubescence just became even more colorful and challenging for you. This is the drama behind this award-winning movie. What’s prepubescence without some debacle concerning your love interest and family, right? All of us are Maxi Oliveros at one point or another. 

2. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

If you’re still reeling from your fling and want to relive it, this poignant coming-of-age tale of summer lovin’ might just be the flick for you. Maybe it’s the heat, but summer is always a good time for romance, and in this movie, Elio and Oliver find just that.

Elio (Timothée Chalamet) is a 17-year old boy staying in his family’s villa for the summer with his father, a professor of Greco-Roman Culture, and his mother, a translator. Every year, his father hires a new intern to help him in research work, and that summer it was Oliver (Armie Hammer) who arrives to fill in the post. The two slowly, but deliberately, forge an intimate bond over the course of Oliver’s stay. This is a story about first loves, first heartbreaks, and finding solace in a genuine connection whether it lasts or not.

 3. Baka Bukas (2016)

How do you tell your best friend that you've fallen for her without thinking about the consequences that may ruin your relationship? Alex (Jasmine Curtis-Smith) has been in love with Jess (Louise de los Reyes) for the longest time. But Jess doesn’t know she’s gay. When Alex finally comes out to her, they’re forced to re-evaluate their friendship and navigate an unfamiliar territory together. A brilliant film by Same Lee, Baka Bukas also marks great progress in LGBT represantation in the local film industry, making it a real must-watch!

4. Love, Simon. (2018)

For those who feel that they’re done living in a world where they can’t be themselves, this movie will inspire you to finally break away from exactly that. Secrets can really weigh you down, no matter how perfect you think your life is despite living with them.

Take Simon (Nick Robinson) for example. He’s living with the secret that he’s gay. But then he meets a guy who forces him to face who he is, and suddenly Simon finds himself out of the comforts of his closet and the world as he knows it is turned upside down–or as he discovers, right-side up.

5. Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)

Based on the graphic novel of the same title by Julie Maroh, this French film was hailed as one of the best movies of 2013. It tells a raw and honest story of a lesbian relationship starting with high school student Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos) who's struggling with her sexuality. When she meets the blue-haired Emma, an artist, she confirms what she’s been suspecting all along. Their relationship grows well into adulthood and is tested by the obstacles that any kind of relationship faces.

6. Ang Huling Chacha ni Anita (2013)

Anyone who’s ever fallen in love with the proverbial bad boy/girl will relate to this coming-of-age, coming-out film of a 12-year-old girl living in a conservative environment. Anita (Teri Malvar) is a 12-year-old girl living in the province of Bulacan. She is in the cusp of young adulthood when she falls in love with Pilar (Angel Aquino,) the new girl in town. They form an unusual friendship that incites the unease of town conservatives who see Pilar as a seductress. This movie doesn’t concentrate on the sexual side of discovering one’s sexuality, but focuses on the thrill of a first love and the childhood notions that seemingly have little place in an adult world. 

7. Ma Vie En Rose (My Life in Pink) (1997)

If you’ve ever felt like an alien in your own skin, you’ll relate to this movie about Ludovic (Georges Du Fresne,) a boy raring to come out. He knows deep inside that he’s in the wrong body and doesn’t understand why everybody around him doesn’t get it. As more of the girl inside seeps out, his family’s concern grows. Eventually, Ludovic is sent to a psychiatrist for some "fixing," but eventually they come to accept that understanding is the only "cure" to what the child is going through.

Discovering who you are from within is truly one of the most incredible journeys one could ever take. Just like these characters, you should be fearless in letting the real you shine whatever hurdles you may have to face. And once you've revealed the most genuine version of yourself, you'll know that it was all worth it.

ALSO READ: In Focus: LGBT Youth And Advocates Come Together In DLSU For 'G For SOGIE'

Banner Photography from Netflix, Photos from IMDB




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