Our 10 Favorite Post-Gay Movies

From "post-punk" to "post-millennial," it seems we can't resist defining an era by what came before it. In recent years the term "post-gay" has come into vogue. According to Urban Dictionary, "post-gay" refers to "[t]he notion that homosexuals should be able to define their identities by something other than sexual preference." Lately we've seen a surge in films featuring gay characters whose sexuality feels refreshingly incidental to the plot. Post-gay movies can be love stories, dramas, or comedies, but what they all share is a recognition of gay people as part of the natural fabric of modern life. In fact, most of these films rarely even mention the word "gay." The characters just simply are.

We believe our film Last Weekend is a quintessential post-gay film. It was co-directed by a gay man and a straight man (how post-gay is that?), and it features a gay couple, Luke and Theo, maneuvering through the early phases of their relationship as they visit Theo's family for a Labor Day weekend at their lake house. In honor of our own entry in the post-gay genre, we thought it was fitting to recommend our 10 favorite post-gay films.

  • 10 Concussion
    If you've been waiting for a lesbian take on the Catherine Deneuve classic Belle de Jour, look no further. Stacie Passon's directorial debut stars Robin Weigert in a breakthrough performance as a lesbian mother who turns to prostitution after her son accidentally hits her in the head with a baseball. Through its engrossing portrait of a post-gay woman, Concussion explores the complexities of being a wife and parent and the desire to reclaim your sexuality.
  • 9 The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    Stephen Chbosky's adaptation of his own novel feels like a post-gay version of a John Hughes film, so perhaps it's unsurprising that teen whisperer Hughes himself worked on an adaptation of the novel before Chbosky came back on board to write and direct the film. Set in the early 1990s, the film takes all the angst of a Hughes film but adds modern archetypes to it, such as Ezra Miller's gay teen Patrick, who can be seen here standing up for himself in the ninth circle of hell, otherwise known as the high-school cafeteria.
  • 8 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    Perhaps this is the most unexpected title on the list. Who would have guessed that this surprise hit about British senior citizens adjusting to life in an Indian retirement hotel would be post-gay? Without ruining any surprises, we'll just say that Tom Wilkinson's Graham Dashwood is a true post-gay hero. Portraying a High Court judge searching for the first, and truest, love of his life, Wilkinson proves that you can be post-gay at any age.
  • 7 Kill Your Darlings
    Post-gay movies don't need to take place in the post-gay era. Take, for example, John Krokidas' Kill Your Darlings, which thrusts us into the Columbia University days of the Beat Generation writers. The story concerns Allen Ginsberg's friendship and infatuation with the charismatic and rebellious Lucien Carr, and, though a murder keeps the plot interesting, it is the unique relationship between these two men that forms the heart of the movie. Rather than immerse his characters in the gay politics of the time, Krokidas gives us a portrait of an artist as a young man.
  • 6 The Bling Ring
    Sofia Coppola's satire, based on the true story of a group of friends who invaded celebrity houses for fun, was divisive and underappreciated. We were all so consumed by the superficial world the film both mocked and celebrated, and by the celebrity cameos, that we barely paid attention to the fact that the film's lead was a post-gay teenager, vividly played by Israel Broussard.
  • 5 Beginners
    Christopher Plummer won a much-deserved Academy Award for his performance as Hal Fields in Mike Mills' perfectly bittersweet film. Based on the true story of Mills' father coming out at 75, Beginners wryly explores the relationship between a man and his father, who immerses himself in gay life at an advanced age. Take a look at this scene in which Plummer discovers house music for a peek into the joys this film offers.
  • 4 Blue Is the Warmest Color
    This being a French film, it is filled with explicit sex scenes that garnered attention and controversy upon the film's release. But look beyond the sex and you will find a film that is an honest exploration of love, class, and freedom. Cannes Jury President Steven Spielberg, upon awarding the film the festival's highest honor, pretty much summed up why this film deserves a spot in the post-gay pantheon: The film is a great love story ... that made all of us feel ... not embarrassed to be flies on the wall but privileged to have been invited to see this story of deep love and deep heartbreak evolve from the beginning, in a wonderful way where time stood still, because the director didn't put any constraints on the narrative, on the storytelling; he let the scenes play as long as scenes play in real life. And we were absolutely spellbound by the brilliance of the performances of those two amazing young actresses, and all the cast, and especially the way the director observed his players, the way he just let the characters breathe....
  • 3 Pit Stop
    Yen Tan's melancholy and romantic Pit Stop shines a gritty, indie light on the lives of Gabe and Ernesto, two gay men in small-town Texas, a blue-collar world rarely seen on film, let alone in a gay context. Tan fills his film with great performances and surprising post-gay choices, like the warm relationship Gabe shares with his ex-wife and daughter.
  • 2 Life Partners
    Last Weekend was co-directed by a gay man and a straight man. The witty and heartwarming comedy Life Partners was co-written by a gay woman and a straight woman and explores the co-dependent and complex friendship between a lesbian and a straight girl. Winningly portrayed by Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs, these two women show us that sometimes the most important issue in a post-gay world is losing the friend you watch Top Model with.
  • 1 Weekend
    Andrew Haigh's indie masterpiece, about two men who connect over a weekend in Nottingham, is so post-gay that it can feature a scene in which its two leads debate gay marriage without ever seeming preachy or political. Instead, it feels raw and authentic, a modern exploration of the human condition. This scene ends with what might be the most important question for the post-gay generation to ask themselves: "Are you happy?"