10 films about queer and trans women to stream this Women's History Month (and one to watch in theaters)

To celebrate Women’s History Month, it’s important to consume media that features queer and trans women, front and center. Oftentimes, notable queer film is centered on cisgender gay men, and while many of those films are important, it is equally important to showcase astounding and revolutionary film centering queer and trans women. Here are some of our favorite films about LGBTQ women that you can stream right now, but there are so many more out there. Let us know what films about queer and trans women you will be watching this month!

A Fantastic Woman (2017)

After making history earlier this month with the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, A Fantastic Woman is continuing to open in more theaters throughout the country. Starring breakout trans actress Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman tells the story of Marina, a woman who loses someone very close to her, and faces discrimination from his family and the system around her. The film portrays Marina as a three-dimensional and nuanced character, a rarity in film depictions of transgender characters. Hopefully, this Oscar win will mean more films like this one can be made. Click here to see if and when A Fantastic Woman is playing in your city.

But I’m a Cheerleader! (1999)

A cult favorite among queer women, satirical romantic comedy But I’m A Cheerleader! is still a beloved film today. Written by out gay screenwriter Brian Wayne Peterson, and directed by out lesbian Jamie Babbit, But I’m a Cheerleader! follows cheerleader Megan (Natasha Lyonne), as her family finds out she is attracted to women and sends her to a religious conversion therapy camp. There she meets and falls in love with rebel Graham (out actress and director Clea DuVall) and their romance blossoms in this unorthadox setting. But I’m a Cheerleader! is available to stream on Hulu.

Carol (2015)

The critically acclaimed GLAAD Media Award-recipient Carol is a period romance directed by out filmmaker Todd Haynes. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, both Oscar nominated for their performances, play Carol a glamorous housewife and mother, and Therese, a shopgirl and photographer, who fall in love over the course of a Christmas road trip. The film is a rarity in that it is a queer romance set decades in the past that still has a hopeful ending, and tells a sweet, authentic, love story. Carol is available to stream on Netflix.

The Handmaiden (2016)

Almost defying genre, the Korean film The Handmaiden can best be described as a psychological thriller romantic drama with comedic moments. Inspired by the Sarah Waters novel Fingersmith, The Handmaiden follows Sook-hee (Tae-ri Kim), a thief who is part of a con to help defraud a Japanese heiress, Lady Hideko (Min-hee Kim). The film takes a series of twist and turns, which include the two women falling in love despite the plot they are wrapped up in. The Handmaiden received rave reviews, both in Korea and the United States, and even received a BAFTA earlier this year. It is available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Kumu Hina (2014)

This documentary follows a year in the life of Hina Wong-Kulu, a transgender woman or māhū, who is a teacher in Honolulu. The film focuses on her relationship and mentoring of a student who wants to be the leader of her school’s all male hula troupe. It also delves into Hina’s romantic life and want for a committed loving relationship, and if she will be fulfilled with her upcoming marriage to a Tongan man. Kumu Hina shows a way at looking a gender outside a binary, as well as preserving an indigenous culture. It is available to stream on Netflix.

L Word Mississippi: Hate The Sin (2014)

Showtime’s documentary L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin follows several queer women living in the Deep South, the community formed there, and the daily struggles and homophobia they face. The documentary follows several different stories including those of Dannika, who is trying to connect with her homophobic mother; Sara, a pregnant woman whose partner is transitioning; and Rene, a butch woman who believes her sexuality is a sin and tries to reform herself through the church. Hate the Sin paints a portrait of the queer community in a part of the country that is often overlooked, and it tells their stories with nuance and emotion. L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin is streaming on Showtime.

Mosquita y Mari (2012)

A coming-of-age film set in Huntington Park, Los Angeles, Mosquita y Mari is about a two teenage girls who form an unlikely friendship that eventually turns into attraction. Yolanda (Fanessa Pineda) is a straight-A student, whose immigrant parents have the highest expectations for her, while her new neighbor Mari (Venecia Tronoso) is more rebellious, and has to support her single mother and sister. The film is a realistic portrayal of the connection between the two teenage girls and how it informs their futures. Mosquita y Mari is available to stream on Hulu.

Pariah (2011)

Written and directed by out Oscar nominated filmmaker Dee Rees, Pariah is a feature length expansion of her semi-autobiographical short film of the same title. It tells the story of 17-year-old butch lesbian Alike (Adepero Oduye), who embraces her identity despite objections from her parents. The film shows Alike as a vibrant protagonist, as she experiences a range of emotion from first love to rejection, while never falling into tropes or clichés. The film received both NAACP Image and GLAAD Media Awards, as well as stunning reviews. Pariah is available to watch on Netflix.  

Reaching for the Moon (2013)

The period romance and biopic Reaching for the Moon follows the love story between American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares (Glória Pires). Taking place in the 50s and 60s in Brazil, the film tells of the highs and lows of the relationship between the two, from former girlfriends to addictions to the homophobic culture of the era, but it still shows the love and beauty of their connection. Reaching for the Moon  is available to watch on Hulu.

Tangerine (2015)

Sean Baker’s Tangerine is the story of trans women sex workers on one Christmas Day in Los Angeles, and it hits both dramatic and comedic notes. The film was in conversations for the fact that it was entirely shot on iPhones, defying filmmaking conventions. Tangerine was also notable for the breakout performance of trans actress Mya Taylor who went on to win the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female, the first trans actress to do so. Tangerine is available to watch on Netflix.

Tig (2015)

A documentary that follows out comedian Tig Notaro, Tig tells the heartbreaking, but ultimately inspiring story of Notaro losing her mother, being diagnosed with breast cancer, and seeing her career reach new heights. The film also documents Notaro’s attempts to have a child, and tells a geniune love story between her and her now wife Stephanie Allynne. Tig is available to stream on Netflix, and Notaro and Allynne’s show based on the same events One Mississippi is streaming on Amazon.

Let us know what your favorite movies about queer and trans women are!