The best LGBT films of 2013
text size

The best LGBT films of 2013

From a Gallic lesbian romance to a Thai doc on transvestites, the movies have yielded many high moments in gender diversity

The best LGBT films of 2013

2013 has proved historic for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world. Many countries _ France, Uruguay, New Zealand _ legalised same-sex marriage. In the United States, the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, opening the door for many states to legalise same-sex marriage.

Blue Is The Warmest Color.

Thai legislators haven't yet gone that far. But this year has been remarkable for gay rights activists, who have been fighting to pass a civil partnership bill that could potentially lead to same-sex marriage.

The progress of acceptance has also shown in the film industry. A number of LGBT-themed films were released, and several were lauded with awards and rave reviews. The following is a summary of significant LGBT moments in international and local films of 2013.

International Films

Blue Is The Warmest Color

The winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Blue Is The Warmest Color was the most hotly debated film of the year _ from its artistic value to the scandalous lesbian sex scenes (one of them lasts eight minutes) between its two leads, Adele Exarchopoulos and Le{aac}a Seydoux. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche _ and based on the eponymous graphic novel _ the film tells a touching story about love between women. It opens in Bangkok next week.

Stranger By The Lake

Featured in the World Film Festival in Bangkok, Stranger By The Lake has made waves since its initial screening at the Cannes Film Festival. It tells the story of a man who falls in love with a mysterious stranger he meets at a gay cruising spot by a lake. When it comes to gripping, thrilling and homoerotic films, the French know best.

Dallas Buyers Club

One of the most dramatic works from Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club is based on a true story during the HIV/Aids scare _ and the homophobia _ of the 1980s. McConaughey plays an HIV-positive cowboy who hosts a secret club to sell cheap medicine to other HIV patients. Leto, who plays a skinny transgender, is his partner.

Floating Skyscrapers

Billed as the first gay film from Poland, Floating Skyscrapers is the story of a young athlete who realises he has feelings for a man _ while in a relationship with a woman. This beautifully shot love triangle raises questions about teen angst and sexuality.


Bridegroom is based on Shane Bitney Crone's sensational viral video, which he filmed after a tragic accident took the life of his fiance{aac}, Tom. Director Linda Bloodworth Thomason decided to turn the touching story into a documentary, which deals with unconditional love and coping with loss. If you want to know why the LGBT community is fighting for the right to marry, this is the film to watch.

Thai Films


It's not exactly an LGBT-themed film, but Tangwong features a prominent transvestite character who's essential to the story. Tangwong is arguably one of the best Thai films of the year, as well. The film touches on issues such as spirituality, pop culture, gender and politics. It centres around a group of teens who pray in a spirit house. For their wishes to be granted, they must perform a traditional Thai dance. One of the main characters is Nat, a beautiful transgender and a traditional Thai dancer who is in love with a man she met on the internet.

Nang Fah (Angels)

This marks the first work produced by actress Bongkot Kongmalai, who also stars in the film. It was somewhat of a flop, but the story touches on an interesting issue. Angels follows three beautiful dancers at a bar in Pattaya, but mainly focuses on one character, who leaves the bar and becomes a florist. We later discover that her son is not hers, and that she is, in fact, transgender. Although the film adopts the stereotypical idea that the lives of transgender people are generally hopeless, it also shows that true love _ or motherly love, even from a transgender woman _ is completely pure and unconditional.

Pijarana (The Consider)

The Consider is a documentary directed by Panu Xang-chuto. The film centres around a boy who identifies himself as transgender. Because of this, he is punished by his teacher and bullied by friends. With heavy pressures surrounding him, he decides to take his own life, but luckily is rescued. The film was selected to screen at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in the Netherlands.


Since the birth of YouTube, a number of low-budget, gay-themed films have been made. Timeline is one of those. It's a love story about two boys who explore their sexualities in modern Thai society. The plot or the acting aren't particularly significant, but the fact that the film garnered enough attention to make the jump from the internet to the big screen makes it special.

Visible Silence: Thai Tomboys And The Ladies Who Love Them

I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself, because this film won't be released until next year. Directed by Ruth Gumnit, this is probably the first documentary that explores the history and reality of Thai lesbians in the modern age. The film is now undergoing final edits. It is scheduled to be screened at Frameline's San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival early next year. Learn more about the film at

Do you like the content of this article?